Friday, September 23, 2005

Crunch Time

At two minutes past midnight, with the sound of the still leaking faucet on my just-guzzled glass of low fat milk in the background, I stare at the wedding invitation program printout on my lap. I am hosting a monumental wedding in two weeks to be held at the grand ballroom of the Westin Philippine Plaza, with none other than the President herself as the guest of honor. I met with the wedding coordinator over a cup of tall Frappucino at around 7pm at the 6750 to discuss some of the requirements, as well as to get the 50% downpayment for my hosting fee (I am so going shopping for a suit tomorrow!!!). Before we parted ways, with all the new literature (i.e. receiving copy of check, wedding program, floor plan/seating chart, contract, and some checklists) in my hand, the coordinator reminded me to email to her the script that I was going to be using for the wedding. Apparently, the bride's father wanted to make sure that whatever I will be saying would be sanitized. Geesh. So much for a "Hello, Garci" opening to spice up the evening. ;p

When I asked her when she will be needing the draft (or should I say the FINAL draft) of my script, she casually said, "oh, early tomorrow morning!" as if I didn't have other deliverables in the office first thing this morning.

So here I am typing away the lines that I will be delivering on the big event. And as I got to the middle of the document, my PDA alarmed reminding me of my deadline tomorrow after lunch: send in updated resume and credentials to my friend Carissa in DLSU. Now, if I intend to make an impression and land a part-time teaching job, might as well fix up my CV and email it tomorrow morning, so she could send it before she goes to her Obligations and Contracts class in the pm. After snoozing the alarm, 'twas my phone's alarm's turn to go off: finish draft of game mechanics for strategic planning workshop on Friday...due this afternoon. Snooze.

Deadlines. Deadlines. Do we plan things only to snooze the deadline and take/make more time, or do we let these deadlines take control of our lives?

The other day, I went to SM Home Department with my friend Chrissie. She was finally moving in her new studio-type condo unit in Makati, so she wanted to purchase a Japanese-themed bed and a couch. She earmarked a nice light-chestnut colored Queen-sized bed before we hit the food court to have a nice big helping of special La Paz Bachoy. When we came back forty minutes later to finally purchase it, a huge SOLD sticker was stuck on the headboard. It was the last piece. Chrissie was devastated and was almost on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I tried to comfort her by saying that it was probably not meant for her and that she would find something much better. She wasn't as optimistic as I hoped she would be after that la-dee-da bullshit script I used for cheering a friend up.

In one of our earlier conversations over a steaming cup of coffee and a plate of pasta, she mentioned that she was getting so pressured because she's approaching the big THREE-O. And when I asked her what the fuzz was all about, she said that she gave herself mandatory milestones to reach at certain points in her life. In other words, she gave herself "life deadlines". At 20-25, she should have a good stable job; at 25-30, a car, a house, and a boyfriend; at 30-35, to settle down and maybe have kids; at 35 up, have her own business; at 40 up, do early retirement. She was so resolute about all these tick marks in her road to success, that anything that would mean derailing her from it gives her butterflies.

I was stunned. I'm 29 and I don't have a car, a house or a steady, serious relationship. I am now officially a good-for-nothing yuppie. I have successfully set a legion of deadlines (and promptly met 80-90% of them) at work, and yet I have made no deadlines for myself. No wonder my Mission Statement was so vague about time frames: I have no idea when I'm meeting or doing them! Scary.

Have I been too "easy" on myself, been too wearied by all the frustrations from all botched plans, and gone pessimistic about the future? But...

Why buy a car when I'm just a 15-minute walk from my condo to the office, and thus would not have to worry about parking expense? Why stress out over buying a house/lot when my family has at least five lots (three of which are under my name), and the entire family house will be mine when my folks move on, and my sister lives with her husband in Forbes? A steady, serious relationship now when I myself am not sure if I am ready to commit and share my life with one single person for the rest of my life? Doubt that it's a superb idea.

No, I'm not too easy on myself. I'm just not being too hard on me, that's all. I guess I'm just...different. With what I've been through in my 29 years of existence, I have learned to live my life one minute a day at a time. And that doesn't go to say that I am not looking ahead. All I am saying is why pressure myself with life's "deadlines" when I'm already swamped with a lot of those at the work place?

I say you let me worry about today, build on the now, and let tomorrow take care of itself...and say, "Deadline my ass."

Friday, September 16, 2005

Toldja So

My friend Bambi (from Déjà Fuck blog) wrote an email to me and the rest of the gang this morning. She was finally ending a relationship with Erick...her pseudo-boyfriend, fuck-buddy, friend-with-benefits, special friend, and all that shit about anything-but-a-boyfriend.

She first met Erick some three months ago. Their blind date at the Shangri-la was, well, according to Bambi at least, "magical". Erick turned out to be this soft-spoken, kind-hearted, sweet, childlike guy. And, oh...I forgot to add "hot in bed" to the list. You get the general picture.

So, she was going gaga over this Erick guy, and was barraging us with emails about how she was so happy and tickled pink...but that there seems to be a teenie weenie bit of a problem. Erick has another girlfriend.

I remember having this thread of email exchanges with her (CC of course the rest of the gang):

---Original Message---
From: Bambi
Subject: Erick

god is a great big joker. from one night... it turned into another. he went to my place. i made love to a demi-god. a beautiful soul, a perfumed neck, a bubbly ass, strong arms, a smile that can melt an iceberg and a voice that whispers sweet nothing in your ears. he slept beside me. felt like a cool balm on the soul to hear his soft snore. next to my ears.

the next few days was bliss. a text here, a call there. until mid-week... he sent me a message saying, "ei. will be out with my gf. no texts for the mean time, ok? i'll just text you tomorrow."

lord... what have i gone into? another one. another one who is owned by another while... me... have to do with crumbs!

To which I replied...

---Original Message---
From: Ben
Subject: RE: Erick

Yes, Bambi, you ARE insane...and I am not just attributing that to your sudden liking of Air Supply.

How can you say that you are FULLY AWARE that you are treading dangerous grounds when you are still going ahead with it with nothing but a devil-may-care attitude??? Trust me, that glitter/glimmer/or whatever twinkling you see in your eyes is no different from the glow of light a deer sees coming its way before a huge truck hits him head on. (Dammit. You really ARE Bambi!!)

It's just not worth it. I've been there. And although it is a cliche that there are different strokes for different folks, it does not, on the other hand, take a rocket scientist to know that being a "mistress" is just plain admitting to yourself that--as you've said yourself in your previous email--you are merely making do with the leftover crumbs.

I dare you. Ask Erick to choose between you and his girlfriend. I'm going to bet all my fingers he will not think twice about leaving you (of course, I'm just being pessimistic here...but best to think of the worst case scenario, rather than be complacent). Do you seriously want that feeling when you are but second-best?

Alas...Bambi decided Erick was good enough to cling to, and that she was second-best.

So their "game" went on for a couple of months, three to be exact. 'Twas supposedly OK, until the other night, as Bambi was watching the performance of the Philharmonic at the CCP, she saw Erick with his girlfriend. He did not even acknowledge Bambi's presence when they bumped into each other at the lobby! Imagine how hurt Bambi was.

Well, we got the blind copy of her letter to Erick...finally saying goodbye. When I asked her how she was holding up, she said that she wasn't all good...that she feels not only dreadful, but also pained, dejected and worst of all, humiliated. I told her she was gonna make it through this...and that in order for her to move on, she needs to pass through this mandatory grieving phase.

This was my last email to her before I went back to what I was doing earlier...

---Original Message---
From: Ben
Subject: The Storm

a good friend will tell you, "you're gonna be ok...", but a real friend will tell you, "i told you so." i think i'm sticking to "real".

however, when i say "i told you so", i mean that with this context: i told you from day one that erick's just going to make your life miserable, and that you're too damned good to be with someone like him...someone who will never give you the love, time, and effort that you would otherwise deserve from another [decent] man.

you, of all people, who have told me more than once that i always end up with the wrong dates, that i always sell myself short with the choices i made, should know. it's sad, right?? it's really like that when it comes to giving advice: we always give the best ones, but when it's our time to apply the very exact same advice to ourselves, we're such nincompoops.

but, hey, that's the beauty of being human: having such a thing as a learning curve. we learn from our downfall...only to bounce back up. so, go ahead. marinate in your grief for now (we're just a holla and dalandan margarita away, just in case)...for soon, you'll be back on your way up.

cheerio. all my love, babe.

Sigh. Why is it that when it comes to the heart department, we--the ones who are supposedly smart and sharp thinkers--always turn out to be amateurs? Wasn't there a Divine and logical reason somehow why the head was strategically placed on top of the heart???


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Where Have All The Hair Follicles Gone?

I had my routine once-every-three-weeks haircut a few hours ago at the same salon that did my hair color (and all the snip-snapping involved) last summer (and the subsequent cuts, too). After the customary shampooing and conditioning (with matching trickles of water entering your eardrums, thanks to the blasting water aqueduct of a hose!), I sat down the chair and read some magazines.

Levi, my suki hairstylist whose waistline is prolly not more than 23 inches, and whose hair is long and parted in the middle like Sadako's, told me that my hair grows in factorial speed like weeds. I told him not to complaint, because my more-than-average and frequent visits work to his advantage. After all, he's the one I insist to cut my hair, ergo more tips for him. Discussion over.

Halfway in the cutting, thinning, and snip-snapping, he started caressing my topmost scalp. No, not in an indecent, nasty way that inmates would likewise touch you (how the hell did I know that?), but in a hairstylist-y kind of way (yeah, like there's a hairstylist-specific way to touch hair...). And then he proclaimed in his shrieky, classic parlorista bakla voice, within full hearing range of all the staff and clients of the salon, "Ben, your hair is thinning!"

Oh God. Ohmygod. I can NOT be balding.

Monday, September 12, 2005


Next to annoying I-know-it-all talkers, lack of respect for time (read: always late), and men not washing their hands after they tinkle in the toilet, my biggest pet peeve are surprises...surprise visits for that matter. Some of you might think I'm retarded for hating surprises. But, hey, hear me out.

I am obsessive-compulsive. No, not so much like the Jack Nicholson-type in As Good As It Gets, but OC nevertheless. And being OC, I have this lethal necessity of having control over my schedule (cutely pronounced as "shed-yoo-wool"). I know I may not be able to regulate other people's schedules...but I have to master mine at least. And being OC, I need to make plans. Spontaneity is for teenagers and college students who have all the time in the world, and a whole lot of space for errors and discoveries. Spray-paint the word spontaneous on my wall and I'll freak out and start planning steps on how to erase it from my dated, numbered, and outlined wall.

Surprises are lovely. I do not mind getting a surprise from someone. A snapshot. A birthday card. An unexpected package. A stem or whole bouquet of blue tulips. A bottle of wine. Anything.

But a surprise VISIT? So not going to make me happy. Why? A surprise visit encroaches upon one or more person's privacy, timetables, and previous plans. It may also cause some form of friction/tension on both parties.

My friend Chie's boyfriend Louis tried to surprise her in her condo in Rockwell one time. He's been out of the country for almost two months, and he decided to show up at Chie's doorstep with himself in a bow as homecoming gift. Chie, obviously not knowing this was going to happen that night, went out with her friends at Eastwood, and her phone battery dying on her just as Louis was stepping out of his pad to surprise her. Louis got really upset and mad at Chie, saying she should've been at home. When Chie told me this, I was like, " not your fault". True, Louis' gesture was so romantic...but surely, you'd agree with me that Chie was not at fault. After all, there was no plan whatsoever.

My aunt Solly hates it, too. An impromptu visit scares the bejeezus out of her (and my Mom, too, and wonder I'm like that, too!). To her, visits--especially by friends of her daughter, or visiting relatives from abroad--are supposed to be carefully planned: from the chlorine-reeky cleaning of the toilet bowl down to the four- or five-course menus. And, needless to say, she isn't a believer of the cliche "it's not the food served , but the company and conversations". Do you sense a Bree Van Dekamp (of Desperate Housewives) in that?

I was ambushed this morning (at exactly 10am) by my hunny JW and "entourage" (three friends, to be exact). Turns out, this surprise visit was JW's idea of saying sorry for being mean to me last night. A fuckin' surprise visit. I didn't know whether to feel more consternation over the idea of an unannounced visit or the still-haven't-met-by-me friends being brought as reinforcement and support for a forgiveness plea. In the end, the former prevailed. I had no fuckin' food, the house was a mishmash, I haven't even taken a shower, and worst of all, I've already made plans for the day (all of which I wasn't able to do), thanks to their bushwhacking.

OK, fine. I let that pass...but not without telling JW that another one of these surprise visits, and I'm really going to be hysterical. Yada-yada-yada and JW and I made up...and out. At least THAT turned out to be a nice surprise. *evil grin*

God. The things you do for love.... ;)

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Child's Play

(delayed post from 07.25.05)

I was at home sick (yes, yet again) and was just laying on our faux leather couch, absentmindedly scratching my tummy (gone itchy due to constant use of the freakin' tummy trimmer band), when my niece Jasmine semi-stampeded into the house with two of her cohorts: all three of them aged 5-6.

Now that I have been disturbed from my Me Talk Pretty One Day (David Sedaris) reading, I found myself lookin' at and observing their every move. Nina and Alyah (her playmates) helped Jasmine pull out her doll house, which, incidentally, I gave to her for her 5th birthday last January. It was a very sophisticated P1,750 doll house--replete with all possible contraptions and mechanisms that a REAL house could have. It had a fancy doorbell that, when you press it, produces a classic doorbell sound, a subsequent almost-realistic barking of a house dog, and a consequent lighting of a miniature Victorian doorstep lamp. Upon splitting open the house into two (you'd wish you could actually do that to your house), you'd see that the house is actually three levels from the inside: the ground floor, the mezzanine, and the attic. There's even make-believe Bermuda grass in the garden, a masterfully-crafted fireplace-and-chimney, a ceramic-looking bath tub (and shower that goes with it), miniature appliances (like a microwave oven, ironing board, vaccuum cleaner, and gas stove), and etched banisters on the staircase going to the second and third floor (which is actually the attic). Oh, and yes, the plastic people--all four of them--and their doggie are peacefully lodged on the easy chair by the viewing room. Boy, I'd want a house like that.

Although I never had a thing for playing with doll houses--not now or ever--I had an instant flashback of my childhood. No, not playing with dolls, smart ass. Just the idea of playing per se.

Back in those years--and I mean less than 30 years ago!--imagination, creativity, and inventiveness were of strong importance in every boy's or girl's playtime. Toys were much simpler, less ornate, absolutely cheaper, and somehow sturdy. And when kids weren't playing with these off-the-rack playthings, they were out on the streets playing some imaginative game either under the bright glow of the evening moon, or the scorching heat of the weekend sun.

Friday afternoons were the best. Right after the dismissal bell at school, every kid heads straight home to change into play clothes (or not even!) and cluster with their respective groups or "clans" to play some form of team competition game in the middle of the still-unbusy streets.

There was patintero or harangang-batis, where team A attempts to "cross the brook" from one end to another without being caught by team B members who are unyieldingly guarding every "lane". Think of it like the arcade game Frogger, with opponents trying to tag you, instead of trucks and cars attempting to flatten you. Speaking of Frogger, don't you miss those boxes and squares in the Atari-controlled television/screen threatening to turn Frogger into another blob in that very screen if you weren't careful making him cross the street?! Ditto Asteroids and Space Invaders. PS2s and X-Boxes were unheard of (or perhaps even unthought of!), and squares and dots and mazes and ghost-eating Pac-Man ruled the cybergaming world.

Sitting down, kids can play so many things as well. There's sungka, which was supposed to be played only during wakes and pre-necrological services, according to superstitions. There's Jackstone, and teks (I dare not spell it "text", lest be confused with SMS-ing), and rubberband hoops, and jolens (aka marble stones).

Standing up, there's even more choices.

There's the classic Chinese Garter, where you demonstrated your flexibility, agility, and gymnast-like dexterity. This was a classic back-of-the-classrooms or entire-width-of-the-street type of game boys and girls play. Thanks to this, I find yoga and pilates stretches like child's play.

And also Sia-to. With just two uneven length sticks/twigs, hours of fun can ensue. I sucked big time at this game that I was always balagoong. But thanks to that, I developed the air- and voice-reservoir of a seasoned singer.

Touch-base, Heaven-and-earth (aka "Langit-Lupa"), Pinoy-style football, 10-20..., sipa, Hide-and-seek, and Tumbang Preso. Who could forget all those???

During New Year's Eve, me and my cohorts would build cannons made of connected Pringles canisters and coarse weak gunpowder. Or, we would use bamboos for the cannons instead. And that was just in-between flinging pebbles using our slingshots (aka bantil or tirador), or propelling mongo beans using heavy duty straws lodged in our mouths.

Awakening from this reverie--the cute little imps now done with their doll house and decided to take their business of making noise outside--I looked at the teenie little storm they have left in Jasmine's play area. God, I miss the simplicity of child's play...where nothing is complicated, no big life-changing decisions needing to be made, no deadlines to be met, and no pretensions, no treachery, no immorality. Just plain childlike innocence.

I miss those.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Déjà Fuck

CAUTION: Not for under 18. ;)

I was just finishing my last few bites (more like quick gobbles) of pork afritada and sautéed balsam pear (nyehehehe...what a pretentious way to say "bitter melon" or "ampalaya"), half-way through the reruns of Season 2 Episode 19 of Sex and the City ("The Chicken Dance") when I semi-choked. No, not because of the, ahem, "balsam pear", but because of one of the lines Carrie was VO'ing to Samantha's fornication scene:

[He] seemed so familiar. Samantha was having a déjà fuck.

Déjà Fuck. Loosely defined, it is "when you're having sex with someone and you realize that you've slept with them before".

My old officemate Bambi told me once that she was having some mmmmm-ing in bed with "some guy" when she realized she's already slept with him (Oscar, his name was) a long time ago. How in God's name did she arrive at this epiphany? The shape--uhm, in all its oddness--of Oscar's penis. Bambi was like, "I swear, Benny-boy [She should SO stop calling me that], I've never had sex with anyone with a dick as big and as crooked-to-the-left as his. When he took off his boxers--Oh, what's up with you men and your boxer shorts? Do you guys think that you are going to sleep all the time?! Anyway...--I knew it was him. Oscar *bleep*. Ateneo Law. Venetia Bar. Horny, sex-crazed bastard. Eeek."

Makes one think: what's up with these now-almost-anonymous one night stands? Has it come to a point where we just lose count, simply because we're already talking in the double digits (or triple!)...and actually forget these people? And what exactly does it take to remember?

I remember a personal experience in a bar in Manila. I was with friends, and I just got back from the US. I got the feeling of being watched, and so, almost instinctively, I turned to a non-particular spot. True enough, somebody was watching me. And quite intensely, for that matter. We exchanged nods and almost perfunctory smiles and went back to our own businesses. But merely five minutes later, me with way over the drunk driving blood alcohol content in my system (thanks to Strong Ice, Vodka Red Bull, and White Tail red wine combined), I found myself strutting to their corner of the bar. As I got there, we locked gazes. And with a semi-bewildered look on my face, I asked, "Aren't you my ex?"

Beat that. ;)

Friday, September 2, 2005

Dating 101

I left the office last night at around 730pm to meet my date.

But first things first. You see, the thing about me is that I normally use the term "date" loosely. I could be with my sister and still I call it a "date". A luncheon meeting with my boss Boni and colleague Ella is likewise a "date". Ditto that food-tripping adventure with Daniel or Sheila or Nolet or Chrissie in the malls or side streets and esteros. Last night's friendly and quasi-business Japanese dinner with Bill was also a date, so it would be from my vocabulary. Heck. Anyone I go out with, I'll consider my date. It beats the hell out of saying, "I have a luncheon meeting with..." or "I'm having coffee and tea with...". "I'm on a date" sounds just succinct enough for me, thank you.

Last night, however, as I was on my way to meet my "date", my friends Arianne and Jay were going on their own: to a Speed Dating event. For a fee of 800 bucks (or as Batch One participant, Grace, said, a thousand bucks), you get some tacos, nachos, drinks, and a chance of a lifetime to meet your destiny. ;)

How does speed dating work? Well, take it from me, a previous participant (nyehehe).

Simply, speed dating is a formalized matchmaking process that actually pokes fun at the overly-protracted courting stage. Speed dating is everything but coyness, hesitation, and convention. Men and women (or recently, even gays and lesbians) are rotated to meet each other for only 8 minutes each (in Arianne's and Jay's case, 7; and in Grace's, 5; in mine, 3), are forced to the next round no matter how much they are enjoying the interaction (or dread the next one), then submit to the organizers a list of who they would like to see again (their shortlist, so to speak). If a match is achieved a la secret ballotting, contact numbers are given to the corresponding people. As I was told by my source, numbers cannot be traded during the rounds, to reduce pressure to accept or reject a "suitor" to their face. Hmmm. How considerate is that??? ;)

A lot of people frown upon this notion of speed dating. They say that it's shallow and that it tends to reinforce first impressions, which are often shallow to begin with. Or that, on the other end of the spectrum, it misleads one to like the other person because the latter puts his best foot forward. Others even go to the extent of saying that speed dating totally bastardizes the very essence of dating: that is, taking time to get to know each other and building relationships.

Personally, I think speed dating is such a whoopee. I mean, come on. In meeting people--be it on a blind date, a "regular" date, or a group date--first impressions almost always last. So, what's wrong with putting your best foot forward and reinforce that (supposedly good) first impression?

As I've blogged earlier in my entries, we are in this time and age where speed is almost synonymous to breathing: anything, almost everything, is instant. If you can get the nod of approval or the liking of your speed-date, and his/her number to go with it, I say, fuck those conservatives and go on to your next level: the REAL date that follows the speedy one.

At the end of the day, what do you lose from this fun (or funny), exciting, and totally enriching experience? Nothing, really. If at all, only your 800 bucks.

So, Arianne, Grace, Jay....rock on!!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Ho, ho, ho!

'Twas 5:30 this morning when, for some weird reason, I woke up almost in hypersonic mode (ya know, how those people in a protracted-a-la-The-Dead-Zone coma, just readily open their eyes after a deep slumber?). Since my mobile phone's alarm won't go off for two more hours, I tried to go back to sleep. Normally, it'll be easy as pie...but this time, I couldn't sleep no more.

Frustrated, I pulled out my PDA and started reading where I left off in Tuesdays with Morrie. I was staring at the same page, reading the same sentences for six minutes, when I resigned to the reality that my capacity to be cognitive, let alone be awake, was still on hold. So I plugged in the headset of my phone to activate its FM radio (my mp3 player was downstairs on my table, and actually getting up to get it was so out of the question). First station on my preset ones was playing static. Second was doing the same. The third was playing some Pat Benatar song (OK, fine, I do know its title: "We Belong". Dammit), and the last one was what made me stop, have a quasi-coronary, and sit up straight. They were playing Karen Carpenters' The Christmas Carol. What the hell?

And then it hit me. Aaah. It's the 'BER months now, it being September 1st. Filipinos always love the idea of celebrating Christmas WAY ahead of time. Pretty soon, Ayala Avenue's lamp posts will be adorned with bright-colored lanterns; malls will have cherubs and angels and reindeers (god forbid, harlequins [i have a major fear of those fuckers!]) hanging on the ceiling; and Christmas Bazaars will be all over the place.

I remember when I was back working in the US, I started humming Jingle Bells at around the 2nd of September, and my colleagues gave me this weird, what-the-hell-are-you-singing-christmas-carols-this-early look. And then I realized that at this time of the year, Americans are far more concerned about planning trick-or-treating costumes and turkey stuffings, rather than pine trees and trimmings. Blah.

Aaaah. I'm just glad to be back home where Christmas is three to four months long. =)

And while I'm at's the lyrics of a Rockapella song I've always loved...

Christmas Without You
Scott Leonard
I crunch across the street to the Maine man
who sells us our tree every year.
He asks how we’ve been.
I just smile and say "bag up that five foot blue spruce please". Nice trees.
The taxi ride home, I’m just fine, it’s just me
and a tree and Abduhl.
He shows me the lights, red or green doesn’t matter, pedestrians scatter 'neath.
A snowflake of light suspended high above 57th.
We slide to my stoop, I track in, put up the spruce, step back and see how it’s gonna be.
Christmas without you, it’s hittin home: I’m all alone.
Christmas without you, so unfamiliar.
Christmas without the love we shared a little much to bear this Christmas.
At least you left the lights. OK half,
probably the ones that blink.
Where are you tonight? Everyday I’m a mess even Rudolph’s depressing.
I hop on a train to Macy’s, thinkin I’ll just replace these memories we made together.
But all the memory shelves are bare.
Christmas without you, it’s hittin home: I’m all alone.
Christmas without you, so unfamiliar.
Christmas without the love we shared is far too much to bear.
Don’t think I’ll ever be the same this Christmas without you.
Lonely are the days, lonely are the nights without you.
Christmas without you...
Lonely are the days, lonely are the nights without you...

OK. Time to go to work...and it's 115 days before Christmas. ;-)