Friday, December 26, 2003

few and far between

Posts are few and far between this Christmas season. Of course I access the web more at the office than at home, and then of course there's the general chaos of the season. This is one of the few posts from home that you will be seeing. It's quite a hassle to connect to PLDT's dial-up Vibe access (can't afford DSL just yet, priorities!), especially when you're using to zippy access in the office. Oh well.

Merry Christmas!

Had a good time at my aunt's house in Alabang yesterday. All the kids were there, children of my cousins. The three girls were in their element, although they're growing up fast. Camille was actually in black flare pants (at eight years old! I remember I didn't own anything black until high school--but that was then of course, this is now). Pam was in a bad mood but managed to break out into a smile before we left. Angel, four, did the otso-otso perfectly. She even coached Nins, telling her, "pwede na" ("That'll do."). Louie was a bad boy, although hard to scold because he was super cute. Tsk tsk I understand now how some problems get rooted. He was really really cute though. And then there was Carlos, all of one year and five months and almost three feet tall and two feet around. He looked like a mob boss (Don Vito, to be more precise) waddling around and scowling, so cute too!

I realize we're all getting older. We used to be the "stars" of the Christmas day celebrations that have become a tradition at my aunt's house. Now it's the next generation. I do love my cousins' kids, but I don't really relish having kids of my own. Maybe someday.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

false modesty post of the day

I don't know what they were thinking! They named me Employee of the Year! Me! Wow. Am overwhelmed. Surprised. After all that blogging and surfing during office hours. God is good. And then I remember, of course, "To whom much is given, much is expected." Suddenly the modesty isn't so false. Am quite humbled, actually.

My cellphone bill is up 60% from last month. Wow thanks to MMS. Hope I can keep it down in the succeeding months.

A.'s Maid of Honor (MoH) treated us to videoke and dinner at IO last night. There were only a few of us but we still had fun. In the quiz about the hubby-to-be, A. only got 13 answers correct, prompting some good-natured ribbing from us all. Talk turned to depression and shitty men. After this: Props to M. for her rockingly indignant rendition of 'I Will Survive'. I also scored a new shirt from MoH, who brought a lot of corporate giveaways for prizes, what fun!

Got a Justice League mug from D.--just so happened it's my current favorite cartoon. I gave him a burned copy of that CD he keeps on putting on the car stereo when he rides with me. Friends we are. It's all good.

Why did they close Powerbooks Arnaiz?!?!?!

Powerbooks Arnaiz
The last bastion of free parking in commercialized Makati.
Where I could spend an entire Saturday afternoon and evening just reading reading reading.
I'm so sorry you're gone.

Powerbooks (Live!) at Greenbelt 4 is just not the same.

P. & M. had a beautiful wedding last Sunday. Her niece S. was so cute. When we were saying our goodbyes, Bespren J. and I asked for a kiss from her. She made me kiss the butterfly that she had caught in the butterfly release.

Butterfly releases generally look good, but poor butterflies...!

Thursday, December 18, 2003

seven days

till Christmas. Honestly? I'm quite excited. The season is going well, with the Christmas parties come and gone, bringing along a dollop of fun, a night of forgetting all the business-like cr@p in the office, one with old friends and one with even older, and dearer ones. I've found that I don't need to spend all that much to convey my Christmas wishes, but I know that I still spent a considerable amount. I guess it's because there's some degree of abundance for me now so I'm quite grateful for that blessing.

Sigh. It's hard to tie up the salvation of mankind with the gift-giving extraganza that Christmas has become nowadays. Suffice to say that my gift-giving spirit is a manifestation of the thanksgiving that I feel. Some people say that the spirit of Christmas is dead--if that's how they feel, then fine; after all, that's a personal decision. But the spirit of Christmas should never die if we always remember what we're celebrating. And I hope that it will never die in me.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

work is going to kill me

It may be a long aftermath of those all-nighters last May to June. Or a manifestation of my general disgruntlement at work, and perhaps with the rest of my life as well. Lately I've been having quite frequent fever, headache, nausea and stomach pains. I know it's probably psychosomatic but it still signifies that there's something wrong, right. Oh well. Here's to my mental health--it's steadily degrading.

The only reason I went to work today was to have my performance appraisal. Let's just say a was .06 points short of the highest mark. Aw. My boss still thinks highly of me, at least. Despite my having a messy desk and not wearing my uniform. I just hope this translates to a significant raise next year. Is that too much to hope for? After all our company is known to be p-r-e-t-t-y stingy.

1 minute
I missed the cutoff for parking by 1 minute. I came it at 9:17 and was going to leave at 12:18. So I was going to be charged for the next hour already. Grrr! That sucks. They should have a grace period or something. It's just a tad unfair: when I have to pay (and not just parking), each fraction of an hour is considered a full hour; but when you go on overtime, you have to complete the requisite number of hours (not just a fraction of the hour) to qualify for OT. Tsk tsk. Of course I know that's how the world works. But it still sucks. That's why I'm here typing this up... going to make use of that extra hour.

Been watching the first season of The Sopranos, Nin borrowed her friend's DVDs. Disturbing, but entertaining. Goodfellas with quirks and lots of boobs. The story of The Godfather was much grander but in the same vein as Six Feet Under, HBO has created another darkly comic series that succeeds in catching your attention and holding it quite well.

I also like the fact that Lorraine Bracco plays the clueless (? or is she?) shrink to whom Tony Soprano goes for therapy. Funny, because she was the wife of mobster Ray Liotta in Goodfellas. Fine. I live for concurrences like these.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

a wedding, videokes and a trip to the south

I can't believe that I fit all three of these from Friday afternoon to Saturday night. Friday afternoon was the wedding of M., bestfriend D.'s only sister, to A., scion of a political family in a southern province. It was a beautiful wedding. D., maid of honor, was already tearing up while walking down the aisle at the beginning. I took some pictures but I really can't post them because the "rights" belong to M., all from an ethical point of view. They had some big-name political sponsors, but it didn't make much of a difference--it was still a wonderful and intimate wedding. Shared a smoke with Tita B., D.'s mom. This is one woman I really like. Their family has gone through a lot and I think that they truly deserve to be blessed. Felt bad during the wedding, though, and went home early, although Ibs and the bilyaran barkada were back in town and hanging out at the old billiards haunt.

Eight the next morning I was on the road to Sta. Rosa, Laguna, to J.'s house. It's a nice cozy house that ten of us there filled just fine. J&J also gave us our early Christmas gifts, shawls from Baguio for the girls. I got a black one, whoopee. That was a no-brainer as about 2/3 of my wardrobe has a shade of black in it. Videoke wasn't working properly, so desperate people that we were, we managed to sing most of the songs on the cable videoke channel, including 'Can't Touch This' and a weird Eva Eugenio song. And then of course there was the reason for the thought of doing detox in the first place: the food. We always enjoy J.'s culinary treats, and that day was no exception. We had a HEAVY Pinoy-na-Pinoy breakfast with omelette, corned beef hash, sardines, tocino and garlic rice. Mmmmm. Then X-Men 2 on DVD and then it was lunchtime! Goodness! That's where the liempo, chicken and baked tahong came in. Our itinerary was: eat, smoke, take pictures, watch X2, eat, smoke, videoke, smoke, take pictures, drink and smoke some more. What fun.

I couldn't leave right away. I said I was going to leave at 4:30 but they kept asking me to stay (and who was I to begrudge the owner of the house, drunken though he was?). So I ended up leaving at 7:30 and by that time I was in a bad mood because I needed to be at Music 21 at 8pm, we had a reservation for the Glider Christmas Videoke (videoke again?! you must know, I have a terrible, monotonous, singing voice). There. I was late. I left early and it was super traffic on the highway and then we had to make a pitstop in the middle of the highway because some people had too much to drink. Oh well. I got to the GCV a bit frazzled but in one piece. It was a good evening, capped by the fact that C. was able to make it--an old friend whom I hadn't seen in ages. He had a new boyfriend and was looking really good, this gay friend of mine who thankfully wasn't a screaming fag.

Tiring though it was, and bad-mood inducing, I really enjoyed the weekend. I was happy to see my friends and I was looking forward to more times like these. I just hope that it isn't only during Christmas. Diba?

Monday, December 15, 2003

the beginning and end of detox

I decided to do some light detox after a weekend of binging. Okay so it's actually been a couple of weeks of binging (since the Christmas season set in) and it's definitely going to take more than a couple of days' worth of detox to counteract that. Anyway I decided to go on a detox diet. I was ready--this morning I only had tuna in brine, a banana and 1/4 of a melon. I brought my own food for office: another 1/4 of the melon, and an apple.

At around 11am I was going great: I'd drunk three glasses of water and had some melon. And I wasn't really hungry. Only lunch time came. Was ready to eat the apple (and just the apple for lunch) and then Boss R. offered me a homemade fajita. Yum! Grrr. Detox is set aside for the time being. Or is it still applicable to have just detox breakfasts and dinners and not lunches? In any case, since I had already had a fajita, I pounced on a choco mallow that M. had brought as well. I'll have the melon later, I promise.

Friday, December 12, 2003

height of frustration, pt. 1

Despite the difficulty in keeping my eyes open yesterday, I was working quite hard on a data mapping for our latest acquisition. Unfortunately, late yesterday afternoon, our big boss (who is actually quite petite, so we call her our little big boss) told me that they had already assigned the task to someone from XYZ Co. since they were more knowledgeable about the data, a fact that I pointed out when they assigned me the task in the first place.

So there. Most of yesterday went for naught because I spent most of my time on that. At least I was able to make a significant blog entry (yeah, Christmas parties and otso-otso are significant, thank you). And then I left early and embarked on...

height of frustration, pt. 2
Email messages that zing back and forth within your office barkada with what you know are catty comments that were just bitten back due to the fact that the emails were for everyone but you can sense the tension just beneath the surface.

height of frustration, pt. 3
Try finding: (1) good formal shoes with just a hint of sexy (2) for chubby feet (3) during the holiday season with all the shoppers flocking to the malls. I was ready to murder last night. Everyone suggested that I go to Landmark. After all, most of the good brands were there. Unfortunately everyone else and their mother up to their great-aunt's cousin's stepsister were also there. And of course quite difficult to find shoes that will look passable on quite shapeless feet. Sigh.

height of pathetic-ness
What is the right term for the state of being pathetic? Is it pathos? Anyway, I'm now hanging my head in shame for something I did in a most annoying, makulit manner last night, which I don't think person-I'm-blatantly-flirting-with (but only for fun ha?!) didn't seem to appreciate or take as anything remotely resembling fun. So there. Hands off first.

Ooh this could get messy / But you don't seem to mind / Ooh don't go telling everybody / And overlook this supposed crime So sayeth Alanis in Hands Clean.

height of ka-jologs-an
Downloaded the polyphonic ringtone of Ocho Ocho. Instant hit here in the office.

height of nostalgia
We were back together last night, that motley band that was our high school barkada. Of course Anj was only there is spirit, being in Bacolod and everything. Adele is here for her wedding. Jen, Joel and I are sponsors and Denise is a reader. It was a good evening to end a frustrating day.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

can't keep my eyes open!

I guess it was the general excitement and activity of the day: spending most of your time in front of the PC in your office, your muscles atrophy and a simple walk from Greenbelt 1 to Gilligan's in Glorietta 2 necessitates a few seconds to catch your breath. Anyway, I honestly can't keep my eyes open today. Right now, as I'm writing this, I have my right eye shut (take a short nap, my dear right eye). Since waking up this morning, my eyelids have seemed to flutter on their own and force themselves shut.

Anyway, we had the office Christmas party last night at National Sports Grill in Greenbelt. First Christmas party without the agents. Most raucous and fun ever. There were raffles (I didn't win a single thing), billiards (oh yeah, free billiards is always a good thing), Videoke King and Queen, and the CEO doing the otso-otso (novelty ditty and dance popularized by local comedian Bayani Agbayani).

There was a Dress Up Your Jeans contest for our Street Party theme. My immediate boss is a constant finalist in these costume contests. Last year she won first place because our theme was United Nations or something and instead of a kimono for Japan, she was dressed as a ninja. This year, for the Street Party, she came as a Christmas-decorated STREET VENDOR. Wonderful. The ideas this person comes up with. She was tied with another friend of ours who dressed up her pants with blinking Christmas lights--never mind that she had to lug around a scooter battery for most of the night.

This was my first Christmas party of the season. There are others more to come, but even if I only had this party, with the people I see day in an day out letting their hair down, I think you could call it a good Christmas season.

Had a nightcap at Gilligan's before finally turning in, with D. and some people from our Collection department. P. was a dear and brought me home. I'm glad he does things like that for me even when I'm so blatantly flirting with him. Or maybe because he was just too drunk to care last night.

Free billiards (and seeing your bosses get wild once in a while) is always a good thing. Only I wish I could keep my eyes open today!

[trying to sneak in a nap in the restroom]

not-so-long shot
It is also partially true that the quality of movies have deteriorated, at least this year. Although Oscar season isn't upon us yet. However, this could very well mean that Return of the King may have a shot at the Oscar! Woohoo! I mean, I'd pick RotK over Master and Commander any day...

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

new blog-friend

Visit Tatang's Karinderia. I especially like the physiological explanation of the pangs of unrequited love. Deeply insightful and replete with current events and cultural phenomenon. Oh yeah, and Pops Fernandez.

christmas party!

Wow it's Christmas party time in the office.
Nice to have an excuse to wear jeans.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

oh yeah

I'm home sick.
Not homesick.
Sick at home.
Threw up and everything.

an ennui towards cinema

I realized that I don't watch movies all that much anymore. The last movie that I watched in the cinema was Finding Nemo. I used to watch movies at least thrice a month, but now the numbers have definitely gone down. It's probably that I don't have a constant companion to watch all the movies, and partly it's the work; but generally I think that I'm experiencing a pronounced boredom towards the movie industry.

Lately there haven't been many movies that I've wanted to watch. Matrix Revolutions came out and everything but I didn't feel an intense urge to go and watch it. I haven't watched Under the Tuscan Sun, which is probably the one that I would be most inclined to watch among the movies currently showing in the Ayala cinemas. I wouldn't be disappointed to just catch Intolerable Cruelty on cable.

So there. On one hand there's been a dearth of must-see cinema, at least for my personal tastes. Nothing has come up of great entertainment value (or any other value for that matter) since Nemo, except maybe PotC: The Curse of the Black Pearl--ah, referring to it in anticipation of the "franchise" it's aiming to become.

Then of course, there's that hypothesis that because I'm not in a relationship, I've no one with whom to watch movies, but then that's not quite the case because I'm still able to go out with my friends, only I haven't been really excited to see any movies. I thought that I had to watch Matrix Revolutions but it turned out it was good enough on (pirated) DVD. [Don't tell pareng Bong.] By the way, I also watched Pirates of the Caribbean at home.

There are some movies whose showing I'm anticipating quite eagerly, though, first and foremost being, obviously, the last of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King. There is also the next Harry Potter--am just wondering what difference Alfonso Cuaron is going to make in the series, because I wasn't quite satisfied with Chris Columbus' retellings. I'm also looking forward to Crying Ladies, with Sharon Cuneta and Angel Aquino. [Jologs side surfaces.]

So what is it? Maybe I'm just really getting bored with escapism. And that really makes me sad, because movies are to us today what the gladiator arenas were in the time of the Roman empire--the opiate of the masses. Hollywood is the new Colosseum, but lately it just seems that the entertainment hasn't been good enough to eclipse the drudgery and uncertainty of daily life. Where have all the good movies gone? Or am I just too preoccupied to see?

is that her?
I just saw the new Carefree commercial. One of them definitely looks like Natasha, my high school classmate. I haven't spoken with that girl in ages but we spent four years in the same class and were on relatively good terms. But I don't know if we'd actually get to talking if we saw each other on the street or something. I know. That's weird.

You can imagine how it is with the people that I didn't really get close to? I really won't make the first move when we meet up; while I'm sure that they, too, would think twice before saying hi. I feel bad that I feel that way, but I guess I don't want to risk a raised eyebrow and a "do I know you?" Sad but true.

as promised

Maleen's table with some scant "welcome back" decor.
Maleen's table
The side board with the note tacked to it belongs to me. Oh well.

I'm still testing out the camera that comes with the phone. Apparently you can set it to a higher-quality picture.

Monday, December 08, 2003

welcome back maleen!

Maleen is back at work today after three weeks of recuperation for her dislocated kneecap. I'll post a picture of her "welcome back" workarea with balloons and stuff later. I took it on my

new phone
I did get a new phone, the Nokia 6220, as previously mentioned. Okay, so I blew my performance bonus on it. Satisfying, though. I don't know. I figure the optimum length of a phone with me should be two years, and the 8310 had been with me for around that much time too. Was able to sell it to my officemate for P4k.

Friday, December 05, 2003


If I died tomorrow, how many people would come to my funeral?

playing in my head
Kenny Loggins' Conviction of the Heart

"How long must we wait to change
This world bound in chains that we live in
To know what it is to forgive,
And be forgiven?"

Am in a whole-day meeting for system support for our new product. I believe that meetings sap the life out of people, especially meetings that last for more than one-and-a-half hours. Suffice to say that I do my bext work in front of a PC, and not in front of other people. But since most of our projects are cross-departmental (duh, we're in business processes, so we check the processes and systems of other departments), then we can't do the work alone and need their input. Sigh. These are times when I relish my 'writing time'.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003


Office blessing was today. It's similar to a house blessing and if you don't know how a house blessing goes in the Phils, well... there's a priest who prays over the place, people are holding candles, the priest goes all around anointing the place with holy water, and then the homeowners (in our case the directors) throw candy and coins around and people jostle to get them. Relatively funky.

I got three candies and four bucks. They say you shouldn't spend the money because it's "lucky". In any case I will just keep it handy here in the office for when I won't have money for a jeepney ride going home. Now if they meant to ward off the evil spirits and such: why am I still here?

i wonder how far gone i would be to do this
Man Burns Life Savings, Fails Suicide Bid

happy birthday sunshine!

literature + alcohol

= Ernest Hemingway, but here's a take on it that's closer to my heart:

Tequila Mockingbird
2 oz tequila
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 tsp white Creme de Menthe

Shake the ingredients with ice in a shaker and strain into a cocktail glass.

Toast to more good times at Cocktail Times.

update on my credit card
Talked to one of their "customer support specialists". Apparently my updated balance is Ps.8.89, because there were retroactive VAT charges. Am fine with that. Their phone service updating sucks. Oh well. At least I don't owe Ps.6,000 more than I should.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003


I participated in a small focus group discussion for a market-research company last Friday night. It was at a posh hotel in Makati, very convenient; we had free dinner (which was relatively good--I always like lamb chops, although I am particular to Cafe Mediterranea's version) and got some gift cheques from Rustan's (which I promptly turned over to my mom and told her it was my contribution to noche buena -Christmas Eve- dinner).

I'm not really a talkative person but I think the person that conducted the field interview with me and some of my officemates a couple of months ago had good timing and found me in my element. Last Friday night, I wasn't all that comfortable, especially since I was mostly with a bunch of pretty and sosy girls. The moderator was veering us towards trends and everything, and that made me a little uncomfortable because I've never been a trendy person. However, I saw that I was also into some of the stuff that they considered trends.

They considered badminton a trend, because it's just gaining popularity now; but then I've been playing badminton for quite a while already. Friendster was included in the trends; as well as bars with ambience and acoustic bands. So I figured I was still in the loop. Got thrown a curve when they asked about clothes and accessories, though, because heaven knows I think that Ps.1,500 is too much to spend on an item of clothing unless it is a gown. So with all their answers about Mango, Nine West, etc., I just said, "Hey I get my clothes from Greenhills." With a wide grin.

Apparently, the target market for whatever product they were researching is an upscale one; of which I'm just on the outskirts. I don't consider myself as really upscale although thanks to my friends I'm a little trendy because they introduce me to a lot of stuff--like nicotine, videoke, and those nifty bars in Salcedo and Legaspi Villages. I've developed a taste for West Ice, Tequila Rose, Mediterranean cuisine and Starbucks.

I've realized that if I were more of a hermit (read: antisocial), I wouldn't be into most of this stuff. I'd be pretty much the same way I was in most of Grade School and High School, either with my nose buried deep in fiction or typing away. I know that I've been able to juggle work, play and my literary apetite, but lately I haven't been giving the books much of a chance. I've had to experience being a social animal and witness the sordid underbelly of the Pinoy middle class life for myself and not have to read about it. And that's fine with me. I still don't buy my bags at Coach, or Kate Spade. I still only have ten pairs of shoes (for a woman my age, sadly below the lower limit). I still don't consider myself trendy. And I still yearn for a couple of hours uninterrupted when I can continue reading the next novel on my list. But at least I know I'm not clueless.

Posted to


I just checked my outstanding balance for my credit card and it's much larger than what I expected. I was actually expecting a zero balance, but their call-in service says that my balance is 6k. Hmmmm. And here I was priding myself on managing my credit card wisely. And of course all their operators weren't available. Wonderful.