Thursday, August 25, 2005
So, I'm corresblogging (that's my original. If you're even a little bit pert, you'd realize, it's corresponding-via-blogging. Hehehe) with my new bloggie friend Steph from Vegas. And as normal bloggie-friends do, they peruse each others rantings online (OK, I'm blabbering). So, this morning, as I was reading her blogs (which, incidentally, is freakishly like mine, only in a woman's version), I saw her version of 21 Questions...and more. So I said, what the hell. I'll steal it...and then ask her permission after I post it. Hehehehe.
So here it is.
1. how many people on your friends list are exes? oh god. are there any? hahaha. top o' mind thinking, six.
2. what is your favorite part of the chicken? breast and ass. go figure.
3. what's your favorite town? my hometown, bataan.
4. what's the first word that comes to your mind right now? deadlines tomorrow (OK, that's two words).
5. when's the last time you saw your mother in person? almost a month ago. damn, i gotta go home and visit!
6. what's the best insult you've ever heard? "your belly's gross, man." rub it in, will ya.
7. who got you to started with a blog? sheila. i got jealous of all the attention she was getting from fans. LOL
8. what are you having for dinner tonight? i dunno. prolly a salad.
9. how long have you been at your current job? counting the time before i left and then came back, i'd say 3.5 years.
10. is tom on your friends list? who the hell is tom?
11. what's the last thing you said out loud? i just got laid...whoohoo!
12. look to your left what do you see? my hamper, loads of dirty clothes in it. oh wait a minute...that's my RIGHT. my left? the wall and my diesel bag.
13. what are the last two things you spent over $100 on? my pda and gucci shades.
14. who's your favorite villain? my boss. HAHAHA. kidding, man! i know performance appraisal's not yet done. ;)
15. what's the last piece of clothes you borrowed from someone? a shirt from blair...for an unplanned sleepover.
16. what's the last piece of clothing you bought? sexy black and red underwears. nyehehehe.
17. what word makes you laugh no matter where, when or how many times you hear it? burnik. you tell me it ain't funny.
18. what website do you visit the most during the day? gmail.
19. go into your text message log on your phone...whats the 10th? a joke about a guy doing a census/survey. he asks the woman how many children she has, and she says "14". so the census guy asks her, "so many! don't you use condoms, pills, rhythm or withdrawal method?" and she replies, "no. just a dick." that cracked me up so bad i think my costochondritis came back.
20. who's the last person you texted? my tailor...me bitching about my 2-weeks overdue shirts.
21. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what's the first thing you look at? my hair, teeth, and eyebags.
what...??? no more questions?????!
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
I was watching some music video channel the other night in a hotel (now, now, don't be askin' questions what I was doing in a hotel...and with who!) when I hit upon this new song by Destiny's Child called "Cater 2 U". This program, apparently, shows the lyrics to the song as it is being played, kinda like karaoke. So, I read on...and it was something like this...
...the more if i need to reassure you, my life would be purposeless without you (yeah). if i want it (got it) when i ask you (you provide it) you inspire me to be better. you challenge me for the better. sit back and let me pour out my love. lemme let me help you take off your shoes, untie your shoestrings, take off your cufflinks (yeah).what you want to eat boo? (yeah) let me feed you, let me run your bathwater, whatever you desire, i'll aspire. sing you a song, turn the game on, i'll brush your hair, help put your do. rag on, want a foot rub? (yeah) you want a manicure? baby i'm yours. i want to cater to you boy...
Don't get me wrong, sugar. I'm all for you taking care of me, catering to me, pampering me...hell, even giving me a manicure. Who's complaining??! And, hey, I love Destiny's Child/Beyonce to tears...but, baby, I seriously, seriously think you gals are giving feminists something to cuss about.
Now, where's my foot rub...?
In one of the activities, we were asked to write a draft of our personal mission statement. This was supposedly the by-product of all the earlier activities that made us identify, among others, our values, our roles, and what gave us a sense of happiness and accomplishment. We were told to make the draft free-flowing and not be confined to a simple essay or bulletpoint-type of writing; in short, be creative.
This was what I came up with.
I will stand by your side no matter what trouble comes our way.
I will make you understand, will help you learn new things.
I will shelter you, give you guidance, and be your rock.
I will show you how mundane things, work and tasks can be beautiful and turned into a masterpiece.
I will see the world and share with you every minute detail of the experience.
I will make you laugh and live and listen and learn.
I will give you back what it is you have long needed, that I can and will willingly give.
I will take care of myself--body, mind and soul--the way I know you would take care of me.
I will take the time to stop, look, and ponder on what my purpose in life is...just as I am pondering--and realizing--that my place in life is here next to you.
Monday, August 22, 2005
In the middle of all those laughing and hitting/boxing/slapping each other, I felt a sharp shooting pain in my left chest. I stopped for about ten seconds, breathed deeply, and tried to shrug it off as just another one of those heartburns I've been getting at work. But this one was no "regular" heartburn. This was a major killer. Being the hypochondriac that I am, I got panic-stricken with what Patrick told me: that it could be something serious related to my heart. After all, my dad just had a mild stroke a year ago...
I didn't, however, fret. After dinner, i.e. after we parted ways, I still hung out with my friends and had a bottle of beer. I went home around 130am and slept almost immediately, faint pain on the chest still there...hoping that it would be gone when I woke up the next morning.
Morning came. And although I was feeling so much better than the previous night, the pain was still faintly there on my chest. Marinated in bed 'til almost noon, alternated reading a little Tuesdays With Morrie on my PDA, and exchanging SMS with my date. Got up soonafter, and then went down on my knees to scrub the bathroom tiles as I got ready to shower. Packed my gym clothes in my backpack and then left to have lunch. Met up with Patrick again for lunch at WalterMart (which, incidentally, I always incorrectly refer to as "Walmart"). Some more laughing and sneering later, the pain came back...with a vengeance, so it felt. Half-deciding whether to go to the gym or not, Patrick and I went strolling at Makati Cinema Square to buy pirated DVDs. Yes, I am guilty as charged with the DVD issue.
When we parted ways, I went straight to the gym...that is, after feeling so damned hot under the scorching sun (I figured, it'd be better to sweat in a healthier way). As I was taking my shirt off to change inside the locker room, I felt this REALLY sharp shooting pain up on my chest, and I thought, rather disoriented, "Oh God...I did not dream of dying at 29...half-naked in the men's locker room!" And that was the end of my supposed workout. I went home, popped an Advil for pain, and settled in my cozy chair, with my feet on my exercise ball, and watched DVDs.
Two discs in the series of DVDs later, fuck-you-Ben-I'm-not-going-away pain was back. I decided once and for all to go to the doctor (yeah, like, duh).
After calling my friend RD, a resident doctor at the ER of Makati Medical Center, he advised me to go pay a visit to our other doctor friend, Liza at Ospital ng Makati (aka OsMak). So I hopped in a cab and went straight to OsMak Annex by Bel-Air. After all, I'm a Makati resident, and so I could avail of their services.
Upon entering the premises, this security guard started interviewing me--what was wrong with me, how I was feeling, when did that start, the works. Incidentally, haven't you noticed how these days, security guards are getting more and more into the multi-tasking thing? In restaurants, they act as buzz boys and waiters, too. In banks or travel agencies, they act as liaison officers. I wonder if their being in there for security is now the least of their concerns! Haha. Anyway, I'm digressing... So this security guard starts wheeling in a wheel chair and motioned for me to sit there. I was like, "No, boss, I'm good. I can manage not sitting on that." It took three or four haggling until I was finally enthroned on one. And, yes, I've got pictures to prove it. I mass-texted my friends, "Shit, I'm on a wheel chair in a hospital, it's so embarrassing!" (Maita, incidentally thought that it was hilarious that I was feeling mortified with being on a wheel chair [image-wise, that is] rather than be worried about my health condition)
After what felt like eternity, I was finally attended to by a triage nurse, i.e. after practically every one else has been attended to: the 6-year old boy that took 5 orderlies to assuage his homicidal flailing of arms; the rich teenager coming from a drag race and was caught by the police for suspected drug use; the elderly man with bruises and who was obviously drunk to the bones; the nervous first-time pregnant couple; the 9-month old baby having convulsions; and the lesbian girl that had a fight with her live-in partner.
Blood pressure, good. Blood sugar, normal. Later on, I was injected with a VERY thick fluid called Ketorolac which was supposed to allay all the pain I was feeling. Three hours later, nauseated and hungry and exhausted, I was in a cab back to my condo. Diagnosis? Costochondritis (cos·to·chon·dri·tis [kst-kn-drts] n. A condition that is caused by inflammation of the costochondral joints. This is perceived as chest pain with tenderness to one or both sides of the sternum or breast bone. Chest pains are often worse when taking a deep breath or moving the chest wall.)
So, not a heart condition after all. Ain't I relieved to know that?! Try telling that to my chest. (Now where the hell is my Celebrex 400mg?!!)
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
I was just finishing my lunch (of pork sisig and guisado mongo...YUM!) and an episode of Desperate Housewives when I received a message from my friend Daniel. As I finished reading it, a feeling of warmth enveloped me. His message said something like this:
You know what Ben, I think I've never said this before but I believe you ought to know. A man can know many people in his life, but only few can he call real friends. You and Sheila are a few of those people whom I am very happy to keep as true friends, and my life is richer. I am truly glad to have you guys. O, sha, I'm just being mushy...!
I feel exactly the same way about him and our group. I've met so many people in my entire life--both here and outside the country, but I can say that these guys are some of the really scarce people I consider REAL friends. These are friends that you don't really see much of, but you are comforted by the idea that they are there for you...and when you finally do see each other, you'd be picking up from where you left off ages ago, as if you were just together the day before.
That cliche goes, "Tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are". If I am, in any way, a reflection of who and what my REAL friends are, then I am ennobled by the idea that I am someone gracious, level-headed, compassionate, open-minded, and full of love.
I'll see you guys soon. I can't wait to be in the company of true pals.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
At about 430pm, Sheila sent me a message saying that there will be an impromptu gathering at Daniel's place (Daniel's a really good painter, as you can see in the photos. If you're interested in purchasing his work, holler back!). I was hesitant, considering I haven't gone to the gym in 3 or 4 days, and I felt rather bummed out for wasting membership dues either because of plain slackness or some work-related excuse. So despite so much prodding from her (believe me, Sheila can be really relentless!), I irresolutely declined. But you'd think she'll let up? Hell no. Still giving a perfunctory "I will think about it" at around 530pm, I stood from my cubicle and looked at the still-gloomy, wet, and bumper-to-bumper situation outside. I still did not want to go.
And then, she said the magic words. There was going to be wine, lotsa food, and a lot of laughter to go with it. An hour later, I was at Rustan's Supermarket buying Doritos, Herr's and Lay's chips to bring with me to Daniel's pad. Shortly after, I was squabbling with the next eight cab drivers to bring me to Libertad in Pasay City. Oh Lord, have mercy on me for being friends with Daniel for five freakin' years and still haven't been to his pad...and now not knowing how to navigate the damned driver from Legaspi Street of Makati.
Barely 40 minutes later, what with the incessant SMS exchanges between me and Sheila, and me and Daniel, I have miraculously found his 2-storey pad. Pleasantries and abrazos y besos out of the way, I hollered (on the staircase, mid-way to the second floor) "Pop those damned corks and let's start getting wasted!"
Yeah, the wine didn't start pouring until later. We started with white pancit and barbecued pork on skewers for dinner. It didn't feel appropriate to be vino-ish at that time. So we settled for sodas and water, alongside our kvetching for the food murdering our supposed dieting.
Daniel was playing a CD given to him for his birthday by his special friend "P" (not the real name, I later on found out...hah!) when the wine started to get poured on our unpretentious house glasses. Chammie and Daniel were doing something on the computer while Sheila and I entertained ourselves by taking pictures of ourselves on our Nokias. Trust me...they were fun and funny. ;)
Grace came a-knocking after a few minutes to join us. More abrazos y besos, and then some more wine and juice and sodas and water and chips that seem to lose being crispy after barely 2 minutes from leaving their packages.
An hour later, we found ourselves dancing (or, actually, *I* found myself dancing more) and laughing like hyenas at the littlest of jokes and anecdotes. Aaaahhh...the beauty of red wine combining with a total lack of humor. I believe I actually gave Sheila and Chammie each a lap dance. Gracie was way too freaked out and sober to endure my indecency!
When we got tired dancing and listening to oldies from Daniel's babe's CD, I plugged in my Rio mp3 player into Daniel's speakers, and listened to a couple of covers of originals--ranging from Chantay Savage's "I Will Survive" to Destiny's Child's "Let's Wait a While" to Michael English's "(Love Moves) In Mysterious Ways" and Akafellas' "Help Me Forget". (Oh shit, I still owe these guys CDs of these songs!!!) And I quizzed them on what song Eddie Murphy made popular during the early 90's. When they were already uncomfortably haunted by the song that they can't seem to remember, I told them what it was. Can YOU guess what it is? *evil grin*
Called it a night when Sheila started dozing off. Was it the wine? Exhaustion? Oh, hell, all of those. And that was the night Chammie viciously spoiled Harry Potter for the two of us. But between me and Sheila, I was less homicidal. ;)
Nothing beats good friends and good wine. But, heya, Fiona, we still miss your brown ass back here.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Damn Chammie and her spoilers, Sheila and I found out chapters and chapters ahead of us about Snape being the Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore getting killed by Snape and the Death Eaters, Harry and Ginny finally becoming a couple, and all the other suspenseful insights and discoveries that should have been reserved till the very end. @#$%^&&^*$@#$%^*++$*&.
This Potter book is so...for lack of a more apt term, tragic. I was practically semi-weeping with Hagrid and Minerva and the rest of the Order when Dumbledore died. And I could not imagine KIDS reading this book! My God! All the blood and gore and violence! Not that I'm being too conservative or a bore...but growing up, I was (or perhaps WE were) made to read "fairy tales" where tragedy was, well, subdued. Way more subdued and less gory.
And what's up with the obviously incomplete journey/mission of Harry Potter?? God, this last chapter is so screaming "to be continued"... No wonder JK Rowling's one of the new billionaires: she knows well how to dangle the steak in front of famished wolves.
But I will still perform a curse-hex at Chammie for spoiling it all for us. That @#$%^&&^*$@#$%^*++$*&.
With that out of the way, lemme go back to my blogging.
I can't help but remember our prank with our friend Ritchie when he watched The Sixth Sense with his date Lou. Knowing full well that he was way in the near end of the movie, all of us (his friends, that is) barraged him with one liners such as, "Bruce Willis is a ghost" or "Bruce Willis isn't alive anymore" or "Bruce actually died in the beginning of the movie, you idiot". You can imagine the consternation on his face when he realized that, at the end of the movie, we were--pun intended--dead serious about the spoilers. Nyehehehe.
Or the fake spoiler I SMS'd Ella when she was watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I said, "Oh, Charlie dies in the end". Nyehehehe.
So I guess I deserved the Potter spoiler after all. ;)
Oh, c'mon. I was just kidding about that no hurricane being able to ever stop me from going to Divisoria! On a Saturday, with the typhoon on full gear, and everybody and their mothers going to the same place...? I seriously didn't think so.
But when I woke up at 9am this morning and was greeted by a warm and sunny Saturday morning, I realized that perhaps I should go. But the cynical voice in my whispered, "give it another hour, and the rain's gonna come pouring in and dampening your spirits," and so I went back to sleep. So when 1030am came and the sun was still as cheerio as when I first woke up, I decided I'd rather shop than sweat it out at Gold's. Nolet and Sheila turning down my last minute invite notwithstanding, I eagerly jumped in the still-cold shower (what am I talking about? We don't even have hot water!), and got ready to hit the Shangri-la of inexpensive hunts.
Realizing that the old LRT line was going to take me to Recto faster (i.e. a short jeepney ride from my condo to Magallanes MRT station; and then a quick MRT ride to EDSA-Taft; and then LRT 1 to D. Jose/Recto) than if I took the MRT to Gateway Mall and then the very comfy LRT 2 over at Cubao going to Recto, I found myself walking through the Metromall at EDSA. And after mistakenly going to the other side of the route and foolishly realizing I was headed towards the wrong direction, I went back the other way and fell in line at the LRT ticket dispatcher's window.
The LRT train that I boarded was not too full, and I was lucky enough to get a seat. But just as I was getting cozy in my corner, an elderly woman (well, not that old...she was prolly in her early 50s) came inside and stood diagonally across my seat. Almost on instinct, I stood up--quickly scanned the standing passengers and made sure nobody was going to steal that seat in a split-second---and gave my seat to the lady. My secret wish for a simple "thank you" was not turned down. With a sweet smile on the lady's face, she said thank you, and added that I was such a nice young man. (Of course I smiled more with the usage of the word "young" hehehehehe) To which, I returned the sweet smile with a cursory "you're welcome".
As if an air of humanity all of a sudden enveloped our train, at least four or five other men stood up to give their seats to other more in need individuals, mostly elderly. And call me a bloody ray of sunshine if you want, but I felt really REALLY good setting off that goodwill succession.
With only 2,500 pesos in my wallet (I had to leave the rest of my cash, because I had to overpower myself from spending beyond that budget), I steered towards the main mall and its annex. Surprisingly, the crowd wasn't that overflowing. And in less than 3 hours, and after a whole lot of bargaining and withstanding stingy Chinese sales managers/owners, I got myself a wealth of goodies...and all totalling about 2,450.
What did I buy? I was able to score a really chic canvas-like messenger bag, a pair of for-regular-wear-and-tear sneakers, a spiffy black windbreaker, a set of flashy silk neck ties from Thailand, and two sets of sassy-looking fabrics (which are now with my tailor, being cut and sewn into a pair of long-sleeved shirts, patterned after my favorite black Springfield).
I definitely need to go back for more. Arrrggghhhh!
Friday, August 12, 2005
And then...a brilliant idea hit me (with matching sounding of a distant bell, "DING DING!"). I'll just buy some fabrics and then have my tailor make it for me...using the same patterns from these shirts online. Yiiihaaa.
Hurricane or not, I am going to Divisoria tomorrow. Nyahahahahahahahah!
Sunday, August 7, 2005
Thanks to the unceasing mention of our CEO's being hooked on Desperate Housewives in New Zealand; blogger y_slaybelle's generosity in lending me and my assistant manager her downloaded DivX CD copies of the show; and Eva Longoria and Jesse Metcalfe's hot sex scenes in almost every episode, I finally got hooked on the damned show.
Or "re-hooked". I first saw the show when I was still back in the US (if I remember correctly, while channel surfing, I briefly caught that episode where Bree Van De Kamp [Marcia Cross] was telling her soon-to-be-divorced husband, "Why I feel so terrible that I tried to kill you."), and I remember having laughed so hard I snorted my spaghetti pesto up my sinuses, before I surfed back to the FoodNetwork to watch Bobby Flay do some barbecuing (like I need to learn that).
The show is, to me, a masterful depiction of my own life. And although I am (so certainly) not a housewife (and maybe just a teenie weenie bit desperate), I can totally relate to every single one of them bitches at certain circumstances. How and why? Read.
I am Susan. I will most definitely go to extraordinary lengths for love. I have been burnt and am now being cautious in prospective relationships, it's like walking on egg shells. And I have had my share of the bad luck...but never having been locked out of my house buck-naked.
Also a Lynette. I have traded my high-paying, US-based, one-more-year-before-a-green-card job for my life back in the Philippines. I have mixed moments of sheer panic as a breadwinner of the family, and not to mention feeling inadequate (or plain idiotic) amidst all the bright bulbs in the company.
Bree, I also am. Although I may not be a Martha Stewart on steroids, I have my moments of sheer OC'ness. If things are not in order, or the disorder is not in an "orderly" this-mess-should-be-where-it's-supposed-to-be-at, I will most definitely freak out. Folders need to be labeled properly according to categories; socks and underwear in color coding; inbox messages filed in corresponding subject matters. Come to think of it, I am a Bree and a Monica (of the sitcom Friends) twirled into one! Also, as Bree, I have a tendency to mask what I feel...or at least from the public. My friend once told me that I am such a good actor: that I can swing a jubilant, sanguine persona...but my eyes betray me by showing its anguish and confusion.
Aaah. I see Gabrielle inside me, too. At some point, I think I've had it all in my life...but still I wasn't happy...something else was still missing. Perhaps my standards are just too damned high, I may have to alter it. I fall so easily into temptation. I could get superficial sometimes. (But, hey, who doesn't?) And paranoia is sometimes my breakfast.
Edie. When was I not adventurous and forthright with sexual conquests? Few times. It's mostly the exception rather than the rule. But really, is Edie happy?
Desperate Housewives. Hmm. So, am I desperate? Seriously, I think I'm treading on dangerous waters...and I'm getting closer.
Friday, August 5, 2005
When my phone rang again this morning and flashed the same "Call" (or number unknown) notification on the screen, I picked it up on the second ring (er stanzz/line of Atomic Kitten's "Be With You" song). It was my friend Ed from Hong Kong. I was excited to talk to him, considering we didn't really talk (let alone email) much.
"Did you get my message, Ben?" Ed said, rather sounding a bit high-strung.
"I didn't get any. Fuck this Globe network," I replied.
And then he said, "Don't be shocked, ok?"
To which I replied, "You're pregnant again?" (of course in a jeering manner).
I got a forced melancholic laugh. 'Twas then that I felt there was something wrong.
"It's Diether, Ben. Wala na siya."
All my grasp of circumlocutions and euphemisms all of a sudden being put on the side, I retorted, "What do you mean 'He's gone'????"
"Ben, he died last night."
"What??? How...why...who....oh, God. Oh God, God, my God."
"It's his diabetes, Ben. We weren't even aware that it was bad. He had complications. Something like meningitis. He died in his sleep."
Call me histrionic, but the next few minutes of our conversation felt...foggy: 'twas as if I was in a messed up reverie of sorts. I didn't even realize I was weeping until I tasted something sour at the corner of my mouth, and my forearm got somehow drenched with tears.
This just couldn't have happened. For Christ's sake, Diether's only my age. Yeah, he's practically seen the world [he and I actually "competed" on the number of "ports of call" we've "terrorized"), had his share of fun and excitement...but...he's so Goddamned young!
I met Diether in my R&R trip to Hong Kong back in 2002. I was with my friend/host Ogie in a bar at Lan Kwai Fong, when he introduced me to a group of young men and women. Diether was one of those people. When we discovered that we were both from Bataan, we practically alienated the rest of the crowd and started guffawing about people we knew: for starters, my then girlfriend, Sherylin was his classmate in high school; and so was my bestfriend Conrad. 'Twas just six degrees of separation in a totally funny, interesting, Mandarin/Oriental way. It being my first time in HK, he toured me around town, brought me to those stores where I spent loads of money on counterfeit, and drank 'til sunrise at clubs and bars with his friends.
After HK, when I went back to Marianas (and then later on in the US) we still kept in touch. We'd constantly YM or MSN each other, and would call each other from time to time, to keep each other posted on what was happening. Whenever he'd come home to Manila, he'd make it a point to see and hang out with me either in Bataan or in Manila even for just 2 or 3 hours. Needless to say, we've remained good friends. In one of my banters with him, I actually told him that I was jealous of Ed for him chosing Ed as his best friend instead of me...but that to feel better, I'd settle for a nice Nokia phone (because he'd always get the newest, top of the line gadgets, damn him). I never got the Nokia. And never got the best friend title. But now that he's gone...I dunno if I could handle the weight of all this.
Diether was such a happy guy.
He lived his life to the fullest...or up to the point where he felt that he's had it all. He was never mean, always optimistic, and took risks with no fear. I wish I was like him. And I wish he didn't have to go so soon.
Diether...farewell. I will miss you and your boisterous laughter. Godspeed.