Wednesday, September 29, 2010

moving pains

so that's what it feels like when you're used to being with someone and then they suddenly leave you. well, not really leave, but transfer to a different station. if i really wanted to get over you, you being physically away from me would be a start. i really should start.

of course i'm going to miss you. i feel the loneliness of the empty room already. fishing, are we? why bother restating the obvious? you know what the answer is. the question is, will you miss me?

i know that i want to strangle you most of the time but i really do miss you being there. even when you leave to go somewhere else, i know that you'll always come back. but now, you have to stay where you are and i have the office all to myself.

i've always wanted alone time.

***

of course now that you're "nearer" to her now, chances are, she won't talk to me anymore unless i stop by her office. after all, you do most everything for her, i don't believe there's any use for me being around.

i want to stop feeling this way. i want to not feel any resentment towards you or her. i just want to do good at my job.

if i can't do good at my job, if i can't be happy here anymore, i might as well move on to something somewhere else.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

should i ask M out?

the thought has crossed my head numerous times but i always shrug it off. whatever the hell for?

i think to myself that there shouldn't be anything wrong with hanging out, drinking a cup of coffee and smoking with your ex. i'm friends with most of them. well, all of them except for M.

i don't even add her in Facebook. her face shows up in those People You May Know boxes. ALWAYS.

it's not that i'm bitter or anything. i'm over her. i'm over all of it. i've let go of the idea that she will come back to me, or i will fall for her again. too much history, too much pain will come out of it. i know so, because that's what i felt when she left me and part of the reason i am afraid to have a relationship in general is because of that.

i don't want to blame her for anything. it's not entirely all her fault. both of us made the relationship work, both of us made it crumble.

maybe when time does permit, maybe when i've gone insane again, i will ask her out. hopefully she doesn't make too much of a deal out of it. i'm hoping that seven years is enough time for both of us to mature, to heal and to turn back on those differences so we can be more than just civil. after all, it is a small world and she is still my sorority sis.

just don't fall for her again, bels.

Monday, September 27, 2010

why i rarely show my face at the bar site

so yesterday, i went over to the bar site, like i did the first two Sundays, as Bar Ops for my fraternity brother Maki.

i brought Jonathan along so he could see the dynamics of me and Maki. that way he wouldn't complain that i was trying to argue with him all the time if he saw how Maki and i talked to each other. that would also be a good way of explaining to Maki what i've been preoccupied with. if he knew someone that i knew from work, he'd understand why i don't show up a lot in these fraternity/sorority functions.

i love my organization. i didn't stay that long with them, and i may have joined then for the wrong reasons, but i love the principles we stand for. most especially, i love my brothers and sisters in the org. never mind if the feeling is not mutual. i know you cannot please everybody.

so we have this sorority sister who's probably been pissed at me for the longest time. well, not just at me, but her anger is always directed at somebody because she's just so good at being self-righteous. i guess she never got over the fact that i came between two of her best lesbian friends, A and M, who also happened to be our sorority sisters.

apparently she didn't appreciate the photoshoot i had with Jayson and Mark. it was probably too obscene for her taste. i didn't think it was. if i felt it would be offensive to anyone, i wouldn't bother posting it on Facebook. i thought it was great, it wasn't distasteful or pornographic. besides, since when did i ever act like a girl or show any sort of confidence about my looks? i checked out the profiles of all our other sorority sisters and there was no way she could be referring to anybody else. i was right in front of her. if she was so pissed off with me, or my pictures, or if she thought i was maarte, she could have said so. no need to make parinig. it's so childish. what are we, twelve? and, if you needed for Jonathan to take pictures of the org, you could always ask nicely. no need to call him names, no need to drop hints you don't like his and my presence there. we're old, we're mature, we're not stupid. we can take hints, you know. i also didn't like the fact that she was trying to harbor sympathy from our other sisters. i felt offended that when we took a group picture she tried to cover me. how rude can you get?

the great Jessica Zafra said in her book Chicken Pox for the Soul that if you are offended by something, you have the option not to see it. hypocrisy is also obscene.

M and A try their best to be civil to me. they obviously have moved on with their lives and Bels is just a very bad dream that came between their friendship. i have moved on.


***
it was nice seeing you again. i'm sorry we didn't work out. i'm glad that even if i hurt you, whenever you see me, i feel and see this look of regret on your face like i was the one who got away. i know you are happily married and have a kid now, and i am happy for you. maybe i owe you an apology, maybe i don't. maybe you owe me an apology, maybe you don't.

i have gotten over you too.

***

i will make a conscious effort to try to be at the Epsilon functions, if time permits. i hope i don't have to deal with shit. i already have enough to worry about.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

tidbits early Sunday - but it's not food

save for last week that i spent in Palawan, i've been doing Bar Ops for my fraternity brother, Marc, or Maki, as we call him. i don't really do that much for him. i just spend the night there and come back in time to wake him up. i don't take down notes for him, i don't do errands (mainly because he doesn't want me to), i'm not part of the team that cooks and brings the food over for lunch - i just show up to wake him up. and sometimes, because he and my other frat brods are too stubborn to listen. i can't really blame them. i was insufferable when i was a barrister. the attitude problem was already a given, but my "watchers" would always end up falling asleep before i did. which almost happened last night haha.

i could really tell that Maki missed me. or that he needed someone to talk to. or someone to diss. he kept hugging me so hard i thought my chest would burst. he kept making fun of me, but he missed me.

Maki loves me. i know he does. it may not be a romantic type of love, but it is love nonetheless. and i love my brother.
***

why is it that i have to find out through Facebook that my boss is leaving again??? i think i remember her hinting that she would fly out to Bangkok? not that she needs to ask for my permission but a little head's up would've been nice just in case something critical happened. right?

is he coming with you?

ok, that was low. but i would feel bad if he did.

***

which reminds me. why do you want to join me during Bar Ops? free food? free drinks? i already warned him: if they see you with me, they will think you are my boyfriend and you will get a lot of questions. i think i remember you joking that you might say yes. you are not my boyfriend. i don't think you want to be, even for show. i don't need you to be my escort. but if you insist.

***

we're civil so far. i like that we're civil so far. it has crossed my mind several times to ask you out, even for just coffee, like we used to. not like a date, just coffee. i just don't feel comfortable inviting you, that's all. besides, i know you too well. i don't want it to go to your head. i don't even invite you in Facebook.

i like what we have so far. we don't have to have anything anymore. we don't even have to be friends. sorority sisters is fine. besides, i'm good with my exs as just exs.

"we don't have to stay friends, let's pretend to be enemies"
- Yeah, Whatever by Splender

Saturday, September 25, 2010

angry girl journal 09.25.2010


i was surprised as to how much you cared.

my new boss asked me if i was still upset. i wasn't upset with her. i was upset that i was put in a bad position just because of a laptop (yes, a laptop! that major!) and it wasn't even my fault. i was upset because i had to be in the middle of the crossfire just because they can't tell the big boss, my boss, that they don't want their laptops taken away from them so i had to absorb the initial shock, the bad words, the yelling, everything. i really appreciate how thoughtful it was of her to check on me, if i was still feeling bad.

it meant a lot to me that she cared enough to ask how i was feeling. and if i was sick or something. still not a big save from the "he does everything for me" comment she blurted out the day before, but that'll work for me. for now. i still wanted to talk to her about it, how his behavior sometimes demoralizes the hell out of me. i will. i owe it to Nathan to tell her, no matter how trivial or shallow it may seem. if it affects my work, and how i feel about it, if it affects how i feel about her,working with and for her, i should let her know.

i mean, let's face it: i'm not into girly stuff, i'm not into gambling, i don't know where the cheap furniture are and despite my violent nature, i'm surprisingly not into guns. you have more in common with him than you have with me. but i need your motherly advices. i need your motherly guidance. i need you to build my confidence. i need you to empower me. the way he did and still does. we owe it to each other, mother and daughter combination of this site, to make this work.

after all, i'm not the only one who runs this site. we both do.

the sweetest thing you've said to me so far

i didn't really know how i'd react when i see you again. i have all this pent up emotion (not just the whole i'm-in-love-with-you, but mostly, i'm-infuriated-by-your-acts type) towards you that i haven't really dissected or discussed with you which was causing my chest so much pain. or, it could also just be because it's that time of the month.

i was very agitated with everybody, not just you. you just make it feel like i single you out every time when i don't. seriously.

you asked if we could go out for lunch and we went out and bought so much stuff i didn't know how to burn all of it. you were extremely sensitive and funny and crazy at the same time i almost thought you were on drugs again. you were that way in the cab on the way there and back. it made me feel more awkward.

then we started eating and talking again. i don't even know what's normal between me and you anymore. do we always fight? do we always seem like we're going to kill each other? do we always argue or are you just exaggerating?

then it happened. i didn't see it coming. you started crying.

"hulog ka ng langit sa'kin* . . . you keep me sane. when i'm here at work with you, when i'm here, you keep me sane . . ."

i couldn't see very well. we've been working without the lights on for the longest time, and you're always joking around that i didn't realize that you were actually crying. you said so many other things that i can't remember anymore. all i remember was me walking up to you, hugging you, trying to make you feel better.

what did i ever do to you? what is going on with you? do i even help you at all? you act around me as if i didn't mean anything to you and half the time i'm always wondering if you're real or not and then you break down like that. what was i supposed to do?

i hate you as much as i love you. you really know how to piss me off. then you're sweet to me, that i get overwhelmed at times as to how sweet. i just don't get it.

i will never get it.


*"you are heaven sent"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

how i became a GRO in Palawan

we have been looking forward to some sun all weekend. it was hot Thursday and Friday afternoons so we were hoping when we went out Saturday, during the island hopping trip, same sun would come out.

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it did not.

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fair assessment: while i also went snorkeling in Palawan, i must say that i loved the island of Nalusuan better.

***
after the island hopping session, in which the sun only went out when we were on our way back, we went to our usual coffee place (well, usual while we're in Palawan), Itoy's. wifi! we were killing time so we could go to this place called Kalui.

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to be able to eat at this really fine restaurant, you have to make reservations for either 6.15pm or 8.30pm. yes, it's THAT hard to make reservations for the place. the place has been known for its great food and the first thing you will notice is the wooden cabinets where people keep their shoes.

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***
so Boom takes me out and manages to convince my two other companions to go to this bar. Katabom. of course, knowing Boom, he'd pronounce it as "KATA-BOOM". he used to session for the reggae band playing in the bar. besides, it was the closest thing to a "dance bar" in Palawan decent enough for the my two friends' tastes.

it was the first time i have seen Boom, tattooed and all, wag his hips like that. he does have a huge ass. i rarely see rockers gyrate to the beat of song. this was one of this opportunities i'm glad i saw first hand.

***
much as i thought Boom's friends were nice, some of them were pretty arrogant. yeah, maybe you have money now. yeah, maybe you're famous. but not everything can be measured and bought by money. i mean, Boom didn't have that much money, and he's arrogant but that's not why i hang out with him.

sidebar: if you brought Boom to the bar site and my frat brods saw him talking to me the way he was talking to me, he wouldn't be able to walk out alive. Maki is mean to me, but he's my brod. only brods can be mean to their own.

i hang out with Boom because he's intelligent and i really believed in their band. it's just too bad that at the time i was trying everything to make it work for them, or at least start things out for them, they were preoccupied with other things.

it is only fitting that no matter how arrogant an asshole Boom is when he talks to me, he does acknowledge that he owes me and reserves some amount of respect for me. to some degree, my word has weight.

hmmm. i wonder if i can say the same thing about you.

***
as arrogant as his friends are, especially the most arrogant and supposedly most famous and most wealthy, they are afraid of their moms and their legal wives.

you can't talk of crap about paying your wife to stay at home and take care of the kids when your tail curls up once your wife calls. and he does sound pretty scared of his wife he walks out on us. good thing he paid the bill first. however, he has to use his three other companions, which included Boom, as an alibi. by then, me and my two other companions were sitting at the back of the pick up so it really looked like we went out by pairs. as soon as the wife saw us, it made her so mad she yelled at him and hit him some more.

talk about being the man in the house. not so tough now, huh?

Underground River: use your imagination

a new tour guide came over the pension house to greet us and pick us up for our Underground River tour. aside from the family of five who joined us in the city tour, we were joined by a lesbian couple and an illicit couple. we didn't find out until lunch that he was spending the weekend with his paramour if not for the phone calls he received from friends whom he specifically instructed to "not tell her he was in Palawan".

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of course, if you have friends with digicams and DSLRs, then you'd be so ashamed to bring out your camera phone. never mind if it's 8 megapixels. we saw so many trees, mountains, one even looked the mountain in the movie Avatar. you know that scene where he picks out his whatever you call those pterodactyl-looking creatures.

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anyway, long boat ride to get to the Underground River place.i broke my glasses :(

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much as i'd hate to admit it, i'm afraid of the dark. it's like any moment, somebody or something is going to come up from behind you and devour you and you are totally helpless. i couldn't really appreciate the rock formations, especially if they were too far because it was too dark and the person controlling the lights was moving it around too fast too much before i could actually see what the rock formation was supposed to be. need to have those glasses fixed.

***
while i was looking forward to this trip, i was also a bit pissed off with one of my friends. during one of our conversations, i mentioned going to Palawan, finally and he decided he'd invite himself to my all-girl weekend. i could've told him no but he already booked the tickets and charged it to his credit card. it would be more of a hassle asking him to cancel it. we were all polite but i would've appreciated a little respect from him not to have put me in that position. it was fun having him along. at least, we didn't have to wait for someone to come along to take pictures of the three of us because he was there already.

next time i want to bring you along in any of my vacations, i will invite you. do NOT invite yourself or you will certainly feel my wrath. i know you needed the time away from the pressures of work, love and family but you didn't have to do it in the same place, same weekend we were going. this was a trip my friends and i planned. you CAN take NO for an answer, but it would be better if we didn't have to.

***
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i love coffee. Anna and Cherl love coffee. it is but fitting that wherever we are, we look for a place to hang out and smoke and, have coffee. and wifi.

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wifi ruins people's friendships. it encourages people to be in the same room together but not talk to each other. nothing beats free internet service.

the coffee in that place was NOT BAD. really. i loved my kape ni tagle. the place looked small from the outside but once you get in, you'd be surprised how spacious the back area was, where we smokers/coffee drinkers lurked.

we had dinner at Kinabuchs again, where we met with my friend Boom, from Traumaligno (yes, yes, that band i managed two years ago before they decided they didn't really want to be famous and they just wanted to waste all that hard work by fucking around), who is now an owner of a travel agency based in Palawan. he was kinda disappointed that we didn't book with him due to some misunderstanding but it is all fine and dandy now. after all, this would NOT the only time i'm going there.

long island bels

after a few drinks, they all rode on this neat tricycle while i hopped on Boom's motorbike. hung on to him for dear life, like i would when i hung on to my Canadian friends on a jet ski in Cebu. arrived unscathed in the pension house.

island hopping tomorrow :)

Day One of the City Tour - no littering, please!

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So we had lunch at this place called Balinsasayaw, which means something although I can’t remember it at the moment. It reminded me of this place in Laguna where we had this feast for one of my goddaughters. They had cottages and big tables and so much seafood you’d think you were going to be executed the next day. I had a blast. We rode on this quaint tricycle on the way back to the pension house which was going to be our home for the next four days.

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The pension house was okay enough. I mean, it wasn’t a hotel. It was livable. Besides, if we were going out for the duration of our stay there and the place was merely for sleeping after touring, partying out and swimming, we didn’t really need much. The air conditioning in that room is even colder than the ventilation I have in my office in Manila. And it had wifi :)

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We went on a tour of the city. The city is pretty clean. The people in Palawan take the environment very seriously that if you were caught littering three times, you get to extend your stay for another thirty days. Maximum security. We went to their historical landmarks but I would consider the crocodile farm one of the highlights of that tour. I got to hold a baby crocodile. It was pretty scary but I kept calm and I was very proud of myself.

belscoolkiko

We also went to the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm. I’ve always had a soft spot for people who get incarcerated. I can’t remember visiting a jail cell without crying . I’ve done community work in college for prisoners and we continued doing that even when I was still in law school. It always breaks my heart. While they can walk freely, and they’ve already settled there, they can’t leave while they’re still serving their sentences. Some of them have been there for the last fifteen or twenty years without visitors and their only source of income is the money you pay for all the souvenirs you buy from their store. I left that place with a heavy heart.

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We went to the crocodile farm. These reptiles are amazing. Sometimes they’re more friendly than actual people. Of course, they’re carnivores and you do know that if given the opportunity, they’ll have you for supper. But at least, unlike humans, you know what their intentions are. They will eat you. Humans, on the other hand, will pretend to be nice to you, pretend to be your friend, but will end up biting you as hard as a crocodile would.

Right after we visited the crocodiles and their human counterparts, we visited Baker’s Hill. As the name suggests, it’s like a bakeshop with beautiful houses and life size statues of famous characters like Marilyn Monroe and Snow White and the six dwarfs (yes, just six. The other one went weeee all the way home) and probably some more we just didn’t walk that way around much.

We also had this tour of one of them congressman ranches. It gave us a great view of the bay we will be visiting on our third day. Really beautiful island views. The grass was green, the view was nice. If only the rest of the country could be this clean. If only the air in Manila was this fresh.

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We wrapped up the evening with dinner at this place called Kinabuchs. It's one of the nicest bars in Palawan. We had a blast at dinner. Again, enough to make you feel like you were going to die the next day. Drinks were nice, the people were nice and we had Bob Marley singing in the background.

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We didn't stay up too late since we were going to the Underground River the next day. Plus, we came from shift so you can imagine how exhausted we were.

The air conditioning vent is aimed right at me. All is well in the world.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

trying to leave negative energy and come back fresh

we have all been looking forward to this trip to Palawan since last year. of course, last year, they all went to Bacolod and i ended up staying with my dad in the hospital. so, even without a passport, we booked in February of this year a 4-day stay in Palawan, just the three of us, me and my two B's: Bi (Cherl) and Bee (Anna).

i wanted so much to finish all my work before i left. i put my vacation leave (because i do rarely take days off) on everybody's calendars, sent them reminders that i won't be there to do this and that if possible, send me all that they needed on the deadline i gave them so we wouldn't miss on the more important things. let's face it, at the end of the day, even if they didn't do their job, when the shit hits the fan, it all blows up on my face.

i was really pissed off when i left. everybody was submitting everything at the last minute and it is really infuriating, especially when i gave them all the opportunities to get all that they needed to me before i left. i'm not irresponsible to go on leave for two days and have all sorts of pending items when i get back. people just like to procrastinate. and i hate it.

i'm also pissed off with you. i rarely ask favors from you and when you do, even when you say it's okay, it feels like i'm asking you to swallow cans of steel nails. i mean, you say it's okay but you have this look like i shouldn't be asking you for any favors. it's bad enough that i'm afraid i'm going to lose my job to you or i don't feel as important to my new boss as you are, but you have to give this shitty expression on your face that i will owe you big time for one measly favor. what sucks is the fact that YOU OWE ME SHIT: i'm the reason you're in your job right now; i'm part of the reasons why your girlfriend and your newborn baby got out of the hospital after childbirth; i'm the reason you're even able to send coherent and grammatically correct emails and you act as if i owe you. yeah, yeah, your arrogance is both annoying and attractive to me at the same time but you have to give me some credit that where you are right now wasn't entirely just based on your hard work but on someone's fucking good words about you. and you say that you're actually embarrassed because of this. some manifestation of gratitude that is. i don't ever want to see you when you're not ashamed anymore. i don't ever want to feel how you not being embarrassed feels like. and you even have the galls to compare my bonus to yours or my one year to your one year. such arrogance. you're not as important as you think you are. i always say this: if i can even be half as good as you are in what you do, i will so exploit it to the fullest, along with my natural talents, which you don't have so you can be out of business. sometimes i think the reason you're such an ass is because you get emasculated when i pay for your coffee or your meals. guess what, pal, if you were so concerned about being the alpha-male who wants to pay for everything versus your need to get freebies, because you're such a fucking freeloader, then maybe you shouldn't be making too many babies you can't afford to feed. you're not really a gentleman, you're not really sweet, YOU'RE JUST BEING POLITE. damnit, your being polite is still arrogant.

and yet, even with that arrogance and all those pimples, i still pine over you. goodness, i should really really get a life away from you. after you're done paying me your debts.

of course, i'm pissed with you too. i know you're too excited about the new baby coming up and all and it's all you ever think and talk about. it's all that's on your head. which is weird because when you were here, you never showed signs that you did care about the mother of your child and your unborn baby girl. you just kept on flirting and partying like there was no tomorrow. but she's here now, your baby girl is born and you have the opportunity to be the father you wished you were for your first two kids. you weren't there while they were growing up so this is a chance for you to try to own up to it. i'm just so happy for you. just not right now.

i had this trip because i want to release all this negative energy, apart from all the legal stuff that i have to deal with about the house and my fear of losing the job i so cherish when i get back. but i don't think it's working. i really want it to work. i don't really want to regret about where all that money i spent went without me getting some amount of clarity.

i really hope to have clarity.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

angry girl journal 09.14.2010

I need to find something different to do. I love what I’m doing right now. But I know I could do better. I know I could do more. I love what I’m doing right now but not as much as when I used to do it for my old boss.

My new boss is great. She’s sweet and thoughtful and she lets me do whatever I want. As long as I don’t leave her. I honestly don’t feel like I’m important enough. Not as important as he would be. At least, he gets to use his brain with what he’s being paid to do (which he still has the balls to complain about - asshole). Mine is just mostly clerical stuff which, while important, can be very boring since it doesn’t require me to think too much. I mean, anybody can do what I’m doing. Maybe not as persistent, or as charming or as proficient in the English language as I would be, but it’s definitely easy it’s a no-brainer. I don’t want to keep doing this for the rest of my life. I feel like I can do more.

Sometimes I feel like any moment now, I’m going to lose my job to him. Maybe I don't like to suck up to people as much as he does, or maybe requesting and liquidating funds for the agents (the ones who do the really hard work) isn't important a job enough, or facing clients and taking care of their needs isn't as relevant as say, the P&L statements. But I can do that. Maybe I'm just not as fast in excel or as proficient in that area, but I know I can do it and chances are, if I did, then he'd be out of business, or at least, give him a reason to shut up. At least, I don't complain about how little I'm getting. I got by doing what I did, with the dedication that is asked of me for less.

Sometimes I feel like she doesn't look for me enough and that's what I need. My old boss used to freak out on me all the time about the littlest of things. He would look for me. She doesn't. I can do whatever I want, right? She looks for him, boy wonder, but not for me. She would ask me about where he is and that kinda stings a little. No, wait, IT STINGS. A LOT. Even when she says to me, "YOU ROCK", I need to be bugged every once in a while. I need to be told of how important a contribution I make to this company.

Because I don't just stare at my PC all day. I don't just walk around the floor and smoke and share gossip at the smoking area. I make things happen. I am there to make sure that every agent gets their incentives, every client gets their ride on time, every manager gets to his/her meeting or submits their deliverables. It's easy shit. It's menial shit. But it's important shit. Who else do you know wakes up in the middle of the day just to bug Finance about a bunch of unreleased checks or calls up reception to make sure all the food is ordered in time to make it before the clients arrive or just even call an IT guy when the boss can't check his/her emails. If I can get the job done without sucking up to anybody or dropping the name of somebody higher up in the food chain, I WILL GET IT DONE. I don't really take all the credit. I don't need all the credit. I'm not really THAT needy for attention.

I just hope she can see that. I hope she can see through him. I hope she knows.

I just need to hear it once in a while. Especially when I think I'm not growing doing just that. Because I know myself. Sooner or later, I will burn out and the kind of job I put out will suffer in the process. Help me transform this potential energy to something powerfully kinetic or let me go. It's not even about the money. I can afford not to work for a couple of months, I'm just a freaking workaholic. I know that the merger may have something to do with all the tension in the air or while people don't care. But just like some stupid girlfriend, I need to hear somebody say that i'm doing a good job. I need to hear that my job is secure. I need to hear somebody say that I am important. Right now, that somebody is my new boss.

I'm very very demoralized right now but I'm trying hard not to think about it. I owe it to my old boss to give my new boss a chance, even if he's a tough act to follow because I know I can learn a lot from my new boss. She's just as intelligent and as sweet as my old boss, only perkier. Plus, I owe it to myself to learn whatever it is to absorb from my new boss, just like I did with the old one. Because I know that she can teach me so much more, so much more than all the girly stuff.

She just has to learn to look for me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

cleaning house: baby steps

my friend Jayson had been wanting to come over and clean the house for the longest time. i've been hanging out his house every now and then and his pad is spotless. the way his house is clean and organized will put any straight woman to shame. i know i am and we've been discussing about how he and some other friends can come over to clean the house. actually, a lot of friends have offered to clean the house or have their cleaning lady help me out in organizing my clutter but i always manage to put it off for another day or evade the issue of cleaning completely. i mean, on my own, ten months and twenty or so garbage bags later (this is aside from the normal trash i take out bi-weekly), it still looks like it got hit by a hurricane. only my fraternity brother Maki has been to the place after dad died, not counting two other lady friends who stayed with me during the whole week of the wake, and even Maki wants to clean the house after the bar.

yes, it's THAT filthy.

i've given Jayson all sorts of disclaimers even before we got to the house. every time i try to tell him this and that about the house, it sounded more like a challenge to him. Monday shift he decided it was time he came over to help me clean the house. i gave in. it was inevitable. besides, he was there to help out, he expects the house to be dirty. he didn't even know where to start. the clothes just kept on piling up. after all of the papers and bottles i've initially gotten rid of when dad died, and the clothes i already donated to charity, it still looked like there was still more to be done. i mean, friends have suggested garage sales but you would have to agree: your neighbors don't really want to buy your dead parents' old clothes. he decided to start with my room, since i stay there most of the time and it should be the cleanest because the most i spend in this house is when i sleep there. this would be an ongoing project we would work on since a day is not enough to clean this filthy a house.

i got rid of all the papers i didn't need: notes from law school discussions i know i can always write again myself, shoe boxes, plastic bags, newspapers, worn out clothes, bags and shoes. he made me sort them out but was firm that i needed to move on and let go of certain things, which made sense because if it was just me cleaning the house, it would seem like all of them were important and it would've defeated the whole purpose of cleaning. he was firm and very indiscriminate - if you don't need it, if you have no use for it, if it was part of a past long forgotten, IT HAS TO GO.

of course, you can never run out of fly swatters, water dippers and chopsticks in your house. Jayson asked me if these were fornicating tools that's why i have so much of them. we don't even have flies in the house and i never really knew how to use chopsticks.

admittedly not a closet guy (a person with an organized closet), he left most of the paper, cassette tape and cd sorting and clothes folding to me and opted to vacuum the areas i couldn't reach. yes, we do have a vacuum and yes, it is working, and yes, there was enough dirt in the house to plant rice. it's amazing how you recognize the lilac on the walls and on the blinds when they're clean.

much as i hate to admit it, i did take after my father's ability to accumulate junk. when he was still alive we would argue about stuff i wanted him to get rid of so we could use the additional space but my efforts were futile, not knowing i had adapted the habit myself. the stack of shoe boxes, plastic bags, papers, folders, fly swatters, chopsticks, and a bunch of other stuff i kept over the years are proof of that. there really is a time when you have to let things go as holding on to them will give you a lot of excess baggage.

during cigarette breaks, we'd have discussions about life, work, family and love and we even had a mini-dress up session. aside from being clean and organized, i do love Jayson's choice of clothes.

my greatest fear is having him come over and see that i'm back to my old ways. a lot of people have tried to clean my room before and they ended up being disappointed because i managed to accumulate junk again. i do hope to keep the room clean as it is the only place in the house which has the semblance of being "live-able". you can entertain anyone in that part of the house. well, you get the drift.

cleaning the house, or at least my room, where most of the baggage is, has slowly helped me cleanse my soul. i still have a long way to go to getting the whole place spotless, but it is a start.

everybody deserves a clean slate.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

dealer's a killer

casinos are not my scene. they're not my thing. i want to be able to learn how to gamble. but i don't want to gamble. i feel the same way about gambling as i do about drugs. i don't want to learn because i just might enjoy it and not know when to quit.

i would've wanted to learn how to play poker. or some other card game. i mean, i do. i catch on fast. if i wanted to really know how to play billiards, i could. it would be a good pick-up-a-guy tool, if you knew how to play billiards. or cards. i'll get around to it, eventually. just not today.

i had fun watching them play. i was sitting there for hours with them but i didn't really try to proactively learn to play. plus i got a kick out of flirting with one of the dealers. he was really cute. and funny. and sweet. he bid the players good luck whenever he starts dealing the cards. he's also ten years younger than me.

***
my left wrist is still aching from when we were Cebu. i don't really want to whine about it so much as i don't want to have to worry about it. i don't want to have it checked and then be more crippled working with just one hand because it's in a cast or something. that's much more inconvenient.

i just remember you when it hurts. it's not the physical pain that kills me but the fact that i know you're far away and you couldn't care less about me wherever you are. so i'd rather not.

***
when a guy is treating you like he doesn't give a shit, he genuinely doesn't give a shit - Alex, played by Justin Long, in He's Just Not Into You, the movie.

***
why do they pair you and i up again? i wasn't actively trying to flirt with you so i don't really get it. i find you cute, yes, but that's just about it. you don't seem like the type who would like me that way, although i know on a professional level or even a platonic level, you and i could get along. but i wouldn't get my hopes up. you're not really my type. and i'm not yours.

***
casinos are not my scene. it's also not a great opportunity for people to bond. but that's just me.

i wish you and i had more chance to talk. i was looking forward to this time out to bond with you and get to know more about you the way i want you to know more about me. i don't want to rush it but i want to be able to work better because i feel comfortable with you and not just because i need to be. it will help give me my drive back. i hope.

i hoped.

you spent the whole day gambling. it would've been a great opportunity for you and i to talk. but my friend was right, you and i have dissimilar interests. that's what i'm seeing right now, although i'm still hoping there was some other way you and i could bond, without me having to compromise what i want or what i am just to be close to you and you not having to try too hard to take his place.

because i know i can learn from you. i seriously believe i can. i just don't know how. but i am trying. i will keep on trying.

***
i wasn't expecting anything to happen between you and me in Antipolo. i was just glad that you finally got to join us. i was looking forward to spending the weekend with you and i enjoyed the time that we had. you really looked out for me, as i did for you. it's just like being with you at work but not really.

i get scared when you gamble. maybe because i've heard so many stories about you and gambling. it turns me on and freaks me out at the same time. you are really hot when you talk about something you know so well.

i know that while not too many people admit it, they want us to hook up. maybe i do too. but i'm more inclined to get over you than i am about hooking up. seriously.

***
time to wake up maki.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

of bonding and birthdays

we live in a third world country. unlike in the US and Canada (and probably Europe), we don't have random parties just because your parents are out of town or you have a drink regularly after work. here, we only celebrate every 15th and 30th of the month - payday, or on Christmas, or weddings. OR BIRTHDAYS. hence, everybody just wants YOU to treat THEM out for your birthday.

see, i get it now. haha.

i'm glad i'm not that much of a Filipino, in a way. i mean, please don't get me wrong. i love my country, i love my countrymen. there are just some things i don't like about this country. and i'm not just talking about the traffic.

i know, i know. i don't have a right to whine considering i waived my right to a democracy when i didn't vote. i just felt at the time that it was an exercise in futility considering the same traditional politicians win since the same forgetful Filipinos who make up a majority of this country's population still vote for them.

i remember telling Jim and Trina and even Nathan about this, but i do suffer from some sort of reverse racism, my little guilty bigotry. i mean, i get over it easily but sometimes, those things, those embarrassing things that your fellowmen do, they wear on you like some disease, even if you're not like that.

whenever i'm with Nathan outside of the office, like we're going to a mall or eating out, i make sure i have my ID and glasses with me because i don't want people to think i'm his girlfriend or something. and the bels who's really really proficient in speaking the english language comes out. i mean, it's not like we are doing something wrong or i'm ashamed of being seen with him but people do have this tendency to think that when you're a Filipina and you're with a foreigner, regardless of nationality, people think that you're a couple. and you're not just any couple, you're a couple whose relationship is founded on money. like i was just going out with Nathan for his money and not because he's an amazing person. just the money. and it's not because i care that much about what other people think. i never really cared. maybe i'm just really protective of Nathan and of Jim (although their personalities are totally different and both require different approaches) that i don't want people to think otherwise. i've worked so hard to be where i am right now, although it may not be much, but i'd hate it if people had that sort of impression of me. because i'm not.

i'm an educated human being, i have my own money, i'm wonderful. and i certainly, certainly, do not make friends with someone, or have a relationship with them, on the basis that they have cash.

it's different with Trina and her Filipino husband and i'm not really sure if that's also based on the fact that we live in a patriarchal society but nobody seems to think that way when they're together. people think that Chuck's such a lucky schmuck for "bagging" a pretty Canadian like that. they don't think low of Chuck, they think he's a lucky bastard. and he is, because Trina's such a wonderful person. but that's not what most people are thinking when they're together. and i hate it when that happens.

lately, i have been hanging out a lot with a bunch of Canadians and they're going out a lot. i teach them to speak in Filipino, i tell them about our culture and all the wonderful places that they can visit here. i am very proud of my heritage. but i just cannot stop from warning them about this and that about my fellow Filipinos. i want them as much as possible to enjoy their stay. i want them to come back. i want to retain my relationships (because they have become interesting friends i want to continue seeing and talking to in my lifetime) with them and i don't want them to have to learn the hard way how they can get ripped off here. i know you can get ripped off anywhere in this world but i don't want them to get ripped off or mugged in my country.

***
i'm looking forward to the team building session that we will be having on Friday. it should be fun. i'm very hopeful. it would give me and my new boss, Tina, an opportunity to get to know each other better, along with the other members of her team. it will also give me a chance to solidify my relationship with the members of my current team. i really want to bond with them, and i really want all of us to get along together, professionally. i mean, i like them. they're not so bad. maybe i just got used to working with my old team. and my old boss.

i know it's unfair for me to compare Tina and Nathan. the same way i shouldn't compare Jim and Nathan. i just got used to Nathan being there for me all the time that i'm having trouble adjusting and it's not their fault. i just happen to be built this way. it's an area of opportunity. to learn to bond with new people, get out the comfort zone, open myself to new things, learn new experiences, start new rituals, while keeping in my mind and heart the old.

***
it was awkward. i knew she felt awkward. i knew i didn't get it. i actually felt relieved. some part of me wanted the job but i didn't want it enough. i applied for the job for the wrong reasons and i was scared i'd get it because i knew i wouldn't feel comfortable working for somebody i liked. i would've wanted him to tell me i didn't get it before he left. i would've deserved that much of respect, since we overuse the term so much. but i'm fine. i'll be fine. there'll be other opportunities.

life is all about opportunities. you just have to pay attention before they pass you by. carpe diem.