Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Pain of Pursuit

I just found out I am a masochist.
I've never figured that out 'til a friend pointed out the exact same fact about himself which I could totally relate to. Man, what a revelation.
That we actually enjoy doing the pursuing instead of being the one pursued.
Sad, sad, sad. But I guess that's just the way it is.

Another friend said something cryptic the other day too.
"Maybe the only reason your still together is because your so far apart."
It wasn't really a hypothesis as much as it was an actual statement.
Will my life always be about ironic statements? Will irony always play a big part in my love life?

"He's sweet, but he's an underachiever."
"He's hardworking, but he's always too busy."
"He was nice, but not nice enough to stay."
"He was everything a boyfriend should be, but he didn't love me."
"He's perfect. but he's too far away."
"He's responsible, but he doesn't know what love really means."
"He wants me, but I don't love him."

Great. I am now officially a major whiner, OFF the field as well as on it.

Dammit, I know that there's more to life than just having guy problems.
Heck, the fact that i even HAVE guy problems is a big surprise to me sometimes.
I have it on good authority that these things beat money problems any day (which does not mean I have money. It just means I'd rather not worry about it.)

I could have it much worse, which is to not even have a love life to speak of.
Why else would I continue to blindly pursue these "chances" at a life long love, even if the odds are against me? Because to love is to have a life. To have someone, somewhere, thinking and feeling the exact same way about me. Because even if it may not last, I will still be so grateful it happened. But of course, every single time I keep hoping it'll be outlast everything else.
My happily ever after in the making.....
And because I'm just too busy right now to be bitter or jaded anyway.

A loved life, now THAT is what I have.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dreary Day, Bright Outlook

It surprisingly rained alot today.
What started as this annoying trickle after midnight ended up being a full-blown downpour all morning. After a week of hot sun and dry weather (as evidenced by my weird-looking weekend sunburn after staying out in the sun all afternoon and forgetting to take off my shades), I guess everyone was kinda happy to get a chance to take out their windbreakers again.

Today I feel like I've got windburn on my lips too. Tres weird......
Thank God for Carmex. and Ziploc. and that snazzy sandwich maker that I've been planning to get for ages and ages (By ages, I mean I've been wishing for that food "iron" ever since I was a kid and got a taste of my tita's hot cheese melt sandwiches. Kind of like a prehistoric Hot Pocket. I also can't wait to try it on peanut butter and jelly too! Ah, the excitement that comes with promise of yummy inexpensive food.

Speaking of food, I've been drinking lots and lots of coconut juice since I found out that it would do my kidney good. I need to stay away from salty food. So basically, except for the lack of dentures, I have miraculously turned into having the diet of an 80-year-old, minus the arthritis. I have to rein in my pizza and pasta cravings. I guess that's fine. I can live with it as long as my sandwich maker is there to make me a happy camper.

I heard that the average lifespan in Korea is 80 while Japan has an even longer figure. Is it their diet? Their way of life? The weather? Or all of the above? Will a Filipino therefore, be able to live longer if they move to these countries? Now that I realize how much in danger my health may be, I keep thinking about what measures I can take to save it, if not prolong it. I love living, I love feeling what I feel. I welcome pain because it helps me enjoy being okay so much more. I remember the sad times because it makes the happy ones even more significant. It's okay to not always feel okay. I'm glad I know that now.

I got some unexpected but welcome news last night which I think might be the reason why I'm unusually, uncontrollably, decidedly happy (despite the lack of sleep, and usual shirking of responsibilities I've managed to accumulate). The thing I least expected to happen anytime soon might turn out to be the first big thing to occur next year. Thank god. I thought I'd never get this same chance again. I can't wait.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I think I'm watching a movie by myself today.

Not that I planned to.
My favorite movie date bailed on me unexpectedly because of a family matter.
No worries, I just plan to enjoy the weekend (Weekends for me, in case you were wondering, start at the precise moment I step out of the office lobby every friday.)
I LOVE fridays.

Plus, with the disappointing results of my recent medical exam, i think I deserve a little treat.
I don't really want to talk about it. It just means added expenses, medication and a re-test by next week. Turns out I'm not exactly the healthy individual I aspire to be.
Not to sound like the total drama queen, but I never have been totally without affliction.

Yesterday was the day everyone at work gets their anti-flu shots for the year.
I, of course, have never really felt the least bit squeamish about needles. After being opened up, scraped into and stitched up so many times in the past, one tiny little prick seems like a breeze. I was waiting in line with the rest of the headless chickens in the office when the nurse announced that anybody with any sort of allergy cannot have shots. "It might even kill you," she stresses. Geez, no wonder I keep getting the flu. I don't recall getting a flu shot in my entire life EVER (okay, maybe at infancy i did. But considering that right now I have the memory span of a hamster, how much worse it must have been when I couldn't even talk yet.)
So, there goes a bummed, dejected me, not being able to take advantage of one of the few and far between freebies work has to offer and feeling like a sad sorry little turd for having so many allergies (my allergen list is crazy. How I lasted this long on earth is a wonder.)

Anyway, back to my evening plans. I cannot stress enough how much I love the movies. It took me awhile to appreciate watching with a crowd (especially a noisy, uncultured one often found in local densely-populated malls), but after seeing those dingy, old neighborhood theaters in the States (except for AMC, I love them.), I have a newfound appreciation for our nice movie megaplexes. The ticket price is a bit high over here for the average Pinoy, but it's discriminating enough that you don't have to worry about sitting beside some perv. But geez, it makes you wonder about things when the price of a movie ticket is considered half a day's work for a minimum wage worker....

Right now, I don't even care what's showing (although The Golden Compass looks very promising. Too bad it comes out in December pa), I just love the whole experience. Watching a movie is a big production for me. The choice of snacks can even be just as crucial as deciding what to watch. Minsan, pag bitin yung nabili mo or too much naman, it affects everything. Well at least thats the case when it comes to me. My motto when it comes to watching movies is "Minsan ka nalang din manuod, itodo mo na." After all, Isn't it the reason we work ourselves to the bone each day, if not to enable us to do what we love doing?

I don't mind being alone. In fact, I'm used to it. Which kinda scares me a little.
One shouldn't feel so comfortable like this.
It keeps people away.
Although solitude should be welcomed every so often, it is something that can or should be shared too. Thats why I'm so loving my pilates and flow yoga class right now.
It's the only way I can get my mind to rest.

Here's to a happy weekend.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Things I'm not supposed to do (abroad)

(Foreword: this post is actually a really old one from months ago while i was still abroad. I'm lifting it off my friendster blog so that I can start putting my entries in just one site. That, and I'm also too lazy right now to write any new ones.)

Okay here's the deal.
I'm abroad so everything's supposed to be different.
The food, the scenery, the culture and the people.
I decided I want to take it all in.
Fill up my senses with information and just take it all home.
I want to go to every museum, landmark, event and heck even supermarkets and just feast my eyes on the new, the weird and the mundane.
I want to remember everything.
But aside from that resolution, I never thought I'd be learning more about myself in the process.
Here are the list of things I've done (whether voluntary or not) that are so undoubtedly Filipino:

1. Lily's peanut butter
I have always favored this brand over the imported stuff. My cousins say it takes more like sugar than peanut. I say US brands like Skippy and Goober taste more like peanut than sugar. So what? I grew up with this stuff. I happen to like it whether its on bread, pita, crackers, bananas or just by eating a big dollop off a spoon. I guess it's useless to argue the point. It may not be the healthiest thing in the world, but thats just my third world (un)common sensibility kicking in. It's cheap (well, maybe not over here. It costs almost $3 a bottle. An almost 200% profit for asian stores). So far, I've bought at least 3 or 4 bottles during my stay here. Crazy huh? Just like getting a little piece of home.

2. Karaoke
This is definitely a staple in any Filipino party here in the states. It goes with the "smile-though-your-heart-is-aching" mentality we Pinoys have. People may complain about loneliness, money troubles and stress over here, but once someone starts belting out a tune, everyone becomes happy again. Even some Filipino restaurants have it. We frequently visit this one place in San Jose which is open til 2am everyday because of their videoke hours. They also offer discounts on the food if you sing (I have no idea if this also applies to off-key singing as that goes against the whole theory that singing will make people want to stay)

3. Filipino restos
I've always wondered why with the proliferation of Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and Korean restos, there is a glaring disparity in the number of Pinoy places to eat. Somebody pointed out to me that Pinoys scrimp on the serving size. Another person told me that they overprice things. So I checked out Goldilocks, Barrio Fiesta, Gerry's Grill and a bunch of other home cooking restos. (Jollibee doesn't count. It's the same menu, but you have to order rice as a side dish).

Goldilocks is the only place I've eaten at over here that actually counts the number of meat and actually lessens the serving in front of you. No wonder only Pinoys eat there. But it's always packed though.

Barrio Fiesta
Barrio Fiesta's interiors look the same as their local counterpart, only stuffier. The waiters have been there for ages and ages already and the staff is very attentive. Definitely first-world customer service. Their $4.50 halo-halo was okay, but the leche flan (which is like the piece de resistance of any halo-halo in my opinion was exceptionally disappointing). It tasted worse than ready-to-make flan you buy at the supermarket.

Gerry's Grill (Union city)
It was a pleasant surprise to know that one of my favorite sisig places had opened near my cousin's house. But I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up too high. They had obviously adjusted their cooking to suit foreigner's tastes already. The chicharon bulaklak was almost all meat (which is actually a good thing). Everything else was fine. They were kinda pricey though. Must be because of the cool interiors. Unlike other Pinoy restos, Gerry's definitely put a premium on good ambiance.

Chowking and Red Ribbon
I havent actually gone there yet, although I've passed by these places so many times. They close early so I can never grab a bite to eat there after my games. Looks promising though, my cousin says the dimsum is good.

I don't know why so many Filipino places here look like your average carinderia or canteen in Manila. Whether the price of upkeep is too high or they simply don't bother with appearances, it just doesn't cut it as compared to other asian places (but in fairness, the toilets are always clean and tidy unlike better looking Chinese restos. ugh). I find it funny that the older pa-sosyal people who lived in Manila before go to these places alot. Pero when they go back to the Philippines, hindi mo sila mapapapasok sa ganung lugar. Oh the hyprocrisy nga naman. When they're in Manila, they wanna look rich because they're "stateside," but when they come back here, they're as bakya as you can get.

3. Halo-halo
It's summertime so Pinoys just love to go out and cool off. My lola loves it when we take her out for this treat if a dozen or so delights (hehe pahiram ng tagline Icebergs...). The price of halo-halo here averages from $3.50 to $4.50. Wala pang tax yan ha. I would rather order sago & gulaman, but I cannot part with my $3.75 for something I know probably cost them less than a quarter to make. The problem is with getting halo-halo at Pinoy eateries is that your never quite sure what your getting. Minsan masarap, minsan hindi. The worst problem would be if they ran out of your favorite ingredient (it doesnt matter if its a major or minor flavor, one place even had the gall to charge us full price even though they ran out of leche flan AND ube!). And when I went to complain... "Ay, pasensya na po, madami kasing nag-order nyan kahapon eh. Kaya naubusan na kami." Geez. As if stating these facts automatically absolves him of substandard food quality AND not being forthright to the customer. This is why I love American customer service standards. I actually abhor that saying "Kung maikli ang kumot, matutong bumaluktot."

4. Malling
I'm staying at a place near the Great Mall (which I think really isn't so great and worthy of it's name. Come to think of it, they should've named MOA the Great Mall of Asia. Now thats a "great" mall if your talking of sheer size alone. Nevermind the store arrangements...). I haven't really done alot of malling since most malls here are just one or two storeys high. Parang ali mall lang. But I've visited most of the major malls in the area. There's Valley Fair and Santana Row which is our equivalent of Rockwell or Greenbelt. Then there's Sunridge and Eastridge (I cant tell them apart) which would remind me of Galleria or ATC except that I find them inferior in aesthetics. Hay... miss ko na talaga ang Gateway.

5. Movies
I thought my movie watching addiction would subside over here (given the $9-10 price range) but I guess that was not meant to be. Thank you God for $6 matinee shows and double features. Thank you $2-5 DVD sales at Hollywood and Blockbuster video. Thank you Netflix for getting me through my housesitting weekends! I can't remember everything I've watched but Disturbia, Spiderman 3, A Mighty Heart, Transformers, and Sicko top the bunch.