Tag Archives: ramblings

The search for an (internet) connection: 2 days, and I smell desperation

You will never guess where I am updating this blog.
In an INTERNET CAFE, somewhere in urbane Makati…surrounded by kids shouting unprintables as they battle virtual assassins on the world wide web; people making a virtual connection on a very public place and what not. In short, its 1998 once again and I have returned to my former life as an internet cafe habitue.

You may prolly sense desperation, I take no offense. I have felt the first waves of desperation and cabin fever as I have begun to curse too violently to the God-forsaken router and the totally inept SkyCable broadband connection. Oh, how I hated that company with a passion now. Imagine me typing this on a foreign place–a public one at that, and you can just imagine the utter desperation building inside my brain. Plus, I have been to too many wonderful places this week (ate at the Spiral at the Sofitel–the experience was superb!) and I can’t even fucking write about it COS I HAVE NO INTERNET CONNECTION AT HOME. Sucks big time, I know.

I don’t know how I am going to upload really cool pictures taken at the hotel, or tell you about the amazing time I have with the Hubby. I have gotten really mental cos I need my internet connection. It was like battling with a different kind of addiction–

1. At first, I was All Zen — “Oh, now that I don’t have internet, I can do things that I used to do when I was still not suckered by the world wide web”. I hauled 28 kilograms worth of laundry to the cleaners; I communicated with the outside world and even had a pleasant chat with my dad; and then started covering all my books and that of the hubby in plastic (something I should have done a long time ago). Then, I sat down and had a really great time reading “Kitchen Confidential”, Anthony Bourdain’s best selling (and a New York Times best seller) memoir of his early years as a chef. As mentioned before, I love Anthony Bourdain. Yup, finished the book in two days.

I hope to make a more detailed post about this book, hopefully when things start working well at home. But, I finished this book in two days…one day, nineteen hours and 30 minutes to be exact after I bought my copy at Fully Booked last Friday. This book serves as a nice wake-up call to those who think that a 6-month certificate in a chef school plus nifty new chef coat makes them a chef. Think again. Shit, Anthony Bourdain is a freakin’ genius and a very amusing read. When I grow old, I wish I to have his wisdom and his passion for his chosen profession. To me, Tony Bourdain is the only EFFING CULINARY GOD! You can have Bobby Flay in all his grilled glory for all I care, I’ll have Bourdain anytime!

2. (After finishing the book) I am again reminded of the lack of internet at home at started becoming ANTSY. I started hauling my stuff, threatening people that I will leave and look for a connection elsewhere. I started becoming a general annoyance to my long-suffering hubby. I started bullying even the cats. It was the symptoms of cabin fever and I knew I had to get out of the house. I packed my bag, Momo, the Hubby and headed to Ayala Mall where I can surf and taste internet again.

3. Then, at Coffee Bean (where I paid 600 bucks for afternoon merienda and net connection — the food was glorious, the net connection sucks) I became agitated again due to the intermittent connection and due to the annoying group of banshees shrieking their heads off as they share their amorous and sexual conquests in the Queen’s language (however, their grammar and sentence construction was really off). And because I am such a mean bitch (and because it can get quite boring looking for net connection) I started eavesdropping on the people sitting near my table. I know that the Filipina who was luridly stroking the thigh of the middle eastern looking dude on the next table will go out on a date with him tomorrow evening again–and “pleeeese buy me a bag naman, meybee a Luis Vutton pleeeeze?” and that my favorite banshees were discussing the love problems of their ilk–specifically, if she should tell the object of her affection that she wants to be courted but would prefer it that she doesn’t look to cheap. Whatever that means. After a few more minutes of the Filipina and middle eastern dude flirting like they owned the place, the hubby finally said, “Can we leave please?” I had no choice but to follow — thus, I didn’t get to hear the resolution on the banshees love problems.

4. Finally, it was acceptance. Resigned that today is another internet-less day, I dragged the hubby to the internet shop…where I still sit this very moment, typing this post.

I know it’s quite pathetic when you look at it. I mean, I used to exist without net, without my blog…but a few years of enjoying being wired, and then I am hooked. As in I can’t imagine not being able to see the familiar sites, or seeing the cute little fox on Mozilla Firefox run and come up with the familiar WordPress homepage. I really should get help, I know. Else, I will find myself sitting on this very public net cafe tomorrow and the next day, and the next. Until that frigging router behaves.

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wakarimashita!

Wakarimashita…it means I Understand.
Or do I really?

Two weeks into the new year and two weeks into my new job, I am beginning to ask myself if I still understand who I was. I loved the fact that I am challenged to excel in something I have almost forgotten how to do. I mean, it’s been two (three?) years since my last CorpComm/PR job.

The last year–I spend learning and discovering everything I loved about Japan–the language, the music, the culture, the people, the pretty, androgynous looking boys with dyed hair… thanks to my writing job in my previous job, which is with a Japanese-owned company. Somehow, even if I was not moving forward career-wise, I was surrounded by everything that I loved. I was speaking Nihonggo albeit very, very, very badly…I was given free Japanese fashion magazines, I was watching my movies and stalking my pretty boys in cyberspace. At my age, I somehow have an idea WHO I WAS, and what I was doing.

The year I spent with that company is like being trapped in a rabbit hole and not knowing that the world was ticking by. I was thoroughly immersed in the culture that I loved. That is until one day it dawned on me that I was missing opportunities just because I was chasing after my own guilty pleasures. While people around me was moving up–the only moving that I was doing is learning the crazy ass steps to Arashi’s songs. When finally after one really bad day of moping and mixed instructions (no thanks to my almost non-existent, almost useless Nihonggo language skills) and I got a bad scolding from the kind-hearted Shacho, I knew I had to move on with my life. And that means I have to find a job that is commensurate to my skills. I have to find challenge in my life. I knew, I was getting stagnant — and no amount of CanCam’s fall collection series or Jun Matsumoto’s brilliant smile can make me reconsider my position. And so I quit.

So yeah here I am usually working from 8:30 AM to 10PM, surrounded by projects that I needed to understand at the least possible time. After a year of doing almost nothing, I am again thrust to conquer my fear of failure. High expectations, unreasonable demands, top-seeded clients–they are my life now.

And while I am missing my “doing-nothing-but-Nihon-stuff-days”, I know I have to move forward. There’s more to life than staring at the computer screen, waiting for the latest Myojo issue to download.

It takes a lot of getting used to, but believe me– I understand. I understand my purpose for leaving and for going beyond my comfort zone. There are just days (like today) when I sorely missed the person who I used to be a year ago…

Insomnia Bluessss

WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT

Typing this as ideas flow — so if the words or the thoughts become a bit aggressive, then let me apologize while I still have time. I am trying to be spontaneous and not edit myself. I have long wanted to do this. Just. Effing.Type. and do away with the censorship. Or maybe I’d like to do a Jack–a Jack Kerouac. Type till I finish something. Did you know that Jack Kerouac wrote his iconic novel “On the Road” almost nonstop? And filed it away in a single roll of finished manuscript? Yeah…. hey, that’s something you can say when you want to impress a date.

Hah. Impress. That’s something that I think I need to do but WON’T. As said countless times in this blog, I’ve decided to transfer to another company where I am given with a bright future and a bigger paycheck (and thus, a bigger tax deduction). While the company is one of the brightest in the industry and has a reputation for being the best in its field–it is also has the highest concentration of annoying biotches in the history of the planet. People here act like they’re all big shots. BIG SHOTS, MY ASS! The real big shot won’t have to work for money.

Anyway, earlier — I was treated to a rare display of skanky, annoying girls trying to assert their seniority on me. But, you know, I am really not in the mood earlier to humor them. After all, I don’t have the time nor the mental faculties to give attention to a bunch of losers who was prolly still shitting their panties at their school while I was already slumming it out with police from the EPD. You know how existing employees get a sick kick out of tormenting new employees? Well, that was WHAT they’re trying to do. Oh, they are so effing annoying I was tempted to tell them to get laid and maybe get a life at the same time. I am that annoyed. But maybe, with growing old comes the maturity to ignore annoying pricks such as these princesses. So, yeah — I don’t have any plans to be their new best friend. After all, I was hired to do my job and not to be Ms. Congeniality.

Here’s a word of advice to these bitches: Been there. Done that. Good luck with your respective lives–I hope you lead boring, miserable lives.

So, how was work? Well, work is cool — it’s the overtime thing that’s killing me. I go to work at 8AM and I come full circle and arrive at home at 11PM — tired, hungry and sleepy! I am now the epiome of pinay slavery 🙂

Anyway, I think I am starting to get dizzy and sleepy. good night, dear audience. Let’s sleep! 🙂

New Year Stir Crazy

Happy New Year!
I can’t believe we’ve just ushered a new year. Following the noise and revelry which lasted up to three this morning, it is unusually quiet and boring in my little corner of the world, considering that today is the first day of 2011.

Here’s how it goes in the Philippines: everyone goes all out when we usher in the New Year. That means fireworks are everywhere and in every street (unlike in key cities around the globe where the fireworks display is held in one place. Read: Times Square, Sydney Opera House, etc). In the Philippines, it’s free-for-all. So as the year comes to a close, one can be assured of an experience that will assail the senses: free flowing food and booze; company and conversation; and the image of someone’s mom (mine, to be exact) dressed in a red and white polka dot combo while beating the crap out of a iron roof sheet as “she tries to scare away the evil spirits of the old year and usher in good vibes for the new year”.
Please don’t ask me to explain the last statement as I will need to touch on centuries of Philippine colonial history and all that shit.

Anyway, after all the revelry, merry-making and general craziness of New Year’s Eve comes…nothing. Yes, today officially the first day of the new year and there is nothing to do but channel-surf, go Facebooking the whole day, eat (New Year Eve dinner left overs), read your backlog of books from 2010 or in the case of Filipinos: do the videoke thing and sing like there’s no tomorrow.

I don’t understand why malls don’t open on the first day of the new year. Is it because employees were still hung over following all the partying of the new year? I remember back when I was younger, my mom and dad will bring us all three kids to what ever was open on January 01 (mall, parks, etc) and treat us to any restaurant we desired. Unfortunately, there was never any mall open so we usually spend the day eating at a fastfood restaurant near our place then we head back home.

On our way home earlier from a quick visit to the in-laws, I counted about six videoke machine set-ups within just two blocks. In one set-up, a woman was caterwauling on lost love and a seven day affair, while in another a group of friends were dancing to a song. Faced with the lack of anything to do on January 01, people resort to singing.

As for me, I am already getting stir crazy due to the lack of anything to do. I would have wanted to take a visit anywhere or even shop anywhere as long as it will require me to get dressed, ride a cab and be somewhere where I am surrounded by people and stuff to buy. 01-01-11 and the first thing I get is a bad case of cabin fever.

Christmas + Manila = Hell

I’ve just been to hell and back, and I survived.

If you don’t believe in hell — spend Christmas in the Philippines. Stay in Mega Manila and decide to shop for presents from 2PM-onwards on any of Manila’s biggest malls and shopping centers. If you’d like the “Singapore shopping experience” then head to Makati, to Ayala Shopping Center, DO NOT RENT A CAR TO DRIVE YOU THE WHOLE DAY, then wait for a cab along with the sweltering masses on any of the numerous taxi waiting areas.

The devils exist — not on the so-called underworld where they cackle and dance amidst the sea of fire and molten lava. In Manila, the devils wear white short jack shirts, carry drivers license and ply the Manila streets as cab drivers. They hide behind kind gentlemen who earn an honest living as taxi drivers. They masquerade as cab drivers, effectively soiling the reputation of the many who never take advantage of local commuters. In Ayala Shopping Center, they stay near the Glorietta 3 exit where they avoid hapless local commuters and instead prey on foreigners staggering home after partying the night away.

As I lined up on one of the numerous taxi bays littering the shopping center earlier, I tried to pass time looking at the people hurrying back and forth, all jostling for their cab. I lined for an hour–and within that hour, only two taxis kindly conveyed passengers from the line. The girl behind me passed time juggling a plastic carrying bed, while a father-daughter duo tried to negotiate from a tantrum. Standing there on the sorry-looking curve, I saw people go from “fresh-faced” to “desperate”.

After an hour, I gave up and decided to walk the distance between Glorietta 5 and Greenbelt 3 where only a few passengers wait for cab (cos most people in Greenbelt 5 own cars! hehe!). Within five minutes, I got my cab.

If you’re the type of person who loves Christmas — the kind who loves picking presents, the cold, Manila pseudo-winter air and the general “goodwill to all mankind” — I truly envy you. What kind of drug do you take? Cos I have a feeling that I’ll badly need it. Nothing about Christmas amuses me, and the general “forced cheerfulness and happiness” of the season grates on my nerves.

Do not get me wrong, I am all about celebrating the birth of our Savior. But what gets my goat is that with the over-commercialism of the season, the message about Christ’s arrival kinda gets lost in translation. Yes, call me the Grinch who made a scene during Christmas but I am not a big fan of the season: the traffic, overpriced goodies, the fakeness of it all… In fact, the only thing I value about Christmas, aside from the birthday celebrant on the 25th, is the act of giving gifts (I love wrapping and giving gifts!). And living my whole life in Manila, where the onset of the Christmas season signals the time where hell takes over the metropolis is enough to make me lose my patience and love for the season.

musings specifically intended for the day that went for naught

I am supposed to be at home today — lounging in bed, usually in my sleepwear (boyleg undies and wife beaters –why do they call it a wife beater, anyway? Playing with Momo while planning my next steps to — world domination? (hah! if I may borrow, Ms. Jessica Zafra). More like planning my escape to the purgatory I am currently in. The more I stay, the more I feel like someone trapped in a sinking quick sand.

Eventually, it became tiring to even think ill of my situation (and current location). The more I think about how shitty my current situation is, the more I feel lonely and depressed. So, I just gave up and learned to lift it all up to God. I refuse to even dwell on the negative cos there’s nothing like feeling effed up to magnify an already hopeless situation.

Yes, I also got disillusioned with the characters I currently work with. Maybe it’s knowing that things aren’t what they see to be. And more importantly, you really can’t trust anyone. There’s nothing like disappointment to open your eyes to the realities of life, work and even love. Though it pains me sometimes, it’s quite disappointing how the antics and the quirks you used to find endearing suddenly feels so old, tiring and even remotely amusing.

...some times

Where do I begin with the disappointments? I’ve written before on how I saw a second lease of life/enthusiasm when Mr. G came on board. The enthusiasm lasted for a total of two weeks tops before finally disappearing in a hazy AND embarrassing screen of smoke. Oh, can you say major fail.

I kinda got flak (and still getting flak) for taking the side of the boss one time to many, especially during instances when he kinda looks pitiful (since no one wanted to be on his side most of the time). I got flak for “babying him one too many times” (as they put it). He was a grown adult, way past midlife who as they’ve said, is way in control of his faculties. But. I. Can’t. Effing. Help. It. THEN.

Now, I can’t wait for the first week of December, where the requisite bonus gets handed out to the pandering masses. Oh, the fact that I am saving the money to have the pathetic room updated. Plus other money worries that is simply too iffy to discuss and give detail to. Bonus gets handed out and then I finally make a move to plan on my future. Cos what I do know and who I work with right now doesn’t exactly play out in the future I am trying to seek. Maybe we can call this one similar to a train station. We wait and converge here, but we all know that we have a destination to look forward to.

And oh—I hate working on a holiday. Never mind if the management promised double pay. It could be a whole set of effing stars plus the moon thrown in and I still wouldn’t mind choosing the tempting vision of “lounging in my room only in my underwear”. As it is a more delectable choice, given the current situation. During instances such as these, how low can you go?

The pressure of dressing differently

Feel free to lynch me if you think I am so full of air, I am starting to suck helium.

Anyway, I was looking at new accessories at the Landmark with The Hubby, while trying to wrack my brain of what I will wear tomorrow for work. While going through the virtual catalog of my clothes, matching them with the shoes I have at hand–it suddenly dawned on me that I am feeling the pressure of looking my best and at my most fashionable ALL THE FREAKING TIME. The incessant need to find something great to wear (in spite the fact that I have two closets full of clothes) is a testament of this pressure.

It dawned on me that due to the usual compliments I get with the manner of which I dress, I have subconsciously ingrained in my psyche that I must never disappoint my “adoring audience”. (You may start pelting me with half eaten bananas at this point if you want) Somehow, I resurrected my annoying need for continuous validation, the kind I get when I wear clothes and shoes that defy the norm of my boring ofice attire. The same kind of clothes that elicit the gushes and compliments, the adoring gaze and even (prolly) inspire people to break out from the herd and just dress up!

Do not get me wrong, I am quite confident of who I am–I just get this natural and unspeakable high when people look at my clothes and my footwear, and profess their utter like. And when this natural high comes with the preternatural need to ALWAYS LOOK MY BEST AT ANY TIME, it can be tricky sometimes. I even feel the pressure when looking for new clothes and footwear! It’s like a part of me thinks that any kind of clothes isn’t just good enough.

Do not get me wrong, I do not belong and prolly will never qualify to Manila’s fashionable set. I am eons and eons away when it comes to their fabulousity… I am just a weird girl (who is always broke — most of the times) who refuses to be in uniform–imagined or otherwise–and is just raring to express herself. Thing is, I just feel pressured sometimes to NOT disappoint my audience.

Anyway, while shopping for clothes with the hubby and after I told him that “I feel this certain pressure” — he laughed. literally. on my face. and professed that he has an adorable–albeit weird–wife.