If my blog was a significant other, it would break up with me for not even acknowledging that we've been together for a year...and neglecting it for so long.
Ahhh..... *sigh*. It's been quite a bit for me these past two weeks. A lot's happened so I'm bound to forget some details. The gears in my brain are slowly grinding again. I'm still blowing off the proverbial dust from my brain, so grammar and creative writing is optional at the moment. I've been on leave for close to two weeks because of a family emergency. My Aunt fell ill and passed away. It's something to watch new life being brought into this world but there no words when you see someone die in front of you. This was the woman who cared for me when I was alone. When I was practically the black sheep, she was there to support me. And all this while she was an ocean away from me. She would call me up like we were next door. And now her earthly vessel is a jar of ashes.
Like what I said at the mass, we all had a way of dealing with the grief; my way was that I never said goodbye to her during her final breaths. I sincerely believe that while her physical form is no more, she is still with us. What can we learn from all of this? Pass on the goodness she showed to all of us while she spent her days here on earth. Pass on the spirit of generosity and love. We all carry the piece of her that she shared with us. Take it out to the world and pass it on. My other aunt has a well-developed third eye which allows here to channel messages from those that have passed on. When an uncle of my mine died (who happens to be the husband of my recently deceased aunt) this other aunt of mine could tell us what messages he had for us. I recall that my uncle wanted to tell me that I'll be successful someday.
I'm being paranoid here, but since the dead can see these kind of things, I'm afraid my Aunt will now be able to see the blackness of my heart. The other side of me, the things that I'm ashamed of. It hurts to think that all she knew of me was that I was a good nephew. Now she'll see what I really am...the bad thoughts, the selfishness, the ugly things behind the facade.
I had to step on some toes and upset some people to leave and visit her, but I had to. The circumstances made it inevitable. I wouldn't have if it wasn't so important to me.
It was a surreal experience trying to get back home from the US. My status a non-revenue chance passenger doesn't allow me to get a seat if all slots are full. It took me several days before I could go home - hence it involved several trips to the airport, carrying my luggage and bringing it back to my cousin's place when they couldn't let me on the bloody plane. It's a good thing my cousin lives nearby, otherwise I'd either have to go to a nearby hotel, or sleep at the airport.
During this time, there was a strange old guy who I had a conversation with. He was an ex-military black guy married to a Filipina. He's been around, he tells me. A Vietnam veteran he is, and no stranger to the ways of the world. We were stuck in the same boat as he was a chance passenger as well. Huddled in the chance passenger crowd, we were waiting for any word of available seats. This was when he came up to me to start some chit-chat. He's a tall man, about 6 feet or so, bearing lines of experience and age on his face. He was chewing some sort of cinnamon candy which I could tell from his breath. They guy asked me to explain to his wife as to why we couldn't get a ride home. So being the nice guy I am, I explained to her (in tagalog) our common predicament.
He went on to explain to me how he knows so much about the Philippines having been around the world during his younger years in the military. It was the first country he has been to outside of the US. I didn't really answer much, I let him do most of the talking. Apparently, it must have made quite an impression for him to be knowledgable about the Marcos era onwards. The general flow of the dicussion was how the "screwed up" booking system of the airline was reflective of the general corruption back home. He goes on to preach to me (in a non-threatening and inspirational way) how I should be proud to be a Filipino and take it out to the world. I should not let the corrupt political powers that be control me and be their puppet. We should collectively tell them "hey, we're not going to take any more of this". Then he says "now I'm not asking you should start a revolt, but just be proud of what you are and don't let them control you". He tells me "now I now you're probably thinking, 'what the fuck is this black guy talking about? He doesn't even have a country of his own' ".
So here I am back home, with no intentions of starting any sort of social upheaval. Just the desire to go through the day without a hitch.
More than half of our staff is out on holiday tonight (well, the sun is already out, but you know what i mean) for thanksgiving. Since we work on U.S hours, we rest when the yanks do. So here I am, with the headphones cranked up all the way to drown out the hip-hop music my co-workers are playing nearby. What is it about modern rap and hip-hop that gets people so hooked? Poke me for my musical prejudice, but any genre that has nothing better to sing/rap about than bitches, money, bling-bling, cars and other mundane shallowness is SHIT in my book.
This hatred of mine has deep roots stemming all the way back to high school. I was the sullen, black Sabbath-head kid in the back who was subject to occasional, not-so-subtle ridicule for one reason or another. Most of the popular guys were of the ghetto wannabe sort. You know who I'm talking about: the loud, boisterous blabbermouths who own souped-up, tricked out honda civics (and other asian economy car types) made to look like sports cars, which play fat-bass beats meant to attract maximum attention. Those guys that have this illusion that their rides are some sort of phallic enhancement. Anyway, I hated them for being shallow assholes that think that they're some sorta demigod or something. Jealous? Honestly, maybe partially because they were popular and all. But most of the bile that rose in my throat could be attributed to the attitude that they put out, and I linked that to their fucking music.
College did nothing to cool down the flames of hatred I had for rap/hip-hop. My girlfriend then (now my wife) has an ex who fit the aforementioned thug wannabe profile. Needless to say, it only fueled my rage against their shallow music. I hated that culture of fucking testosterone. Yes, you could call me an uptight bastard - it's not as if rock isn't capable of the same debauchery you might say. BUT at least rock can be that OR something better...like sticking-it-to-the-man as Jack Black put it in "School Of Rock". Prepackaged corporate angst? Maybe. But not all of it, I'd like to think. I have this high-minded ideal that rock can be a vehicle of change, of passive resistance, that you can play heavy music but be cerebral at the same time. But we all know that is not the case for some. (read: Creed, Kid Rock, etc) These days, the hate I feel has calmed down somewhat, but it flares up once in a while. Which brings me back to today. I don't hold it against my co-workers that they listen to that kind of music...I guess they just want to have a good time and enjoy themselves right? It should be no biggie at all. So, there is no point to this jigsaw of a rant. Feel free to share your thoughts, be it in concurrence (is that a word?) or violent disagreement.
Just some tomfoolery at work. If you look very closely, you'll see my (real) finger sticking out of the jacket sleeve :D
This blog has been more of a punching bag these past few months. Well, it's probably time to actually muster enough brain cells to use this as a journal instead...as in, "a log of the recent events in my life".
The business that we've (my wife and I) been losing sleep over to get started has finally kicked off. Customers have been coming in but it is going to be a bit stressful for me to teach in the evening before going to work at night. Here's hoping it takes off - good start so far. I'm going to be teaching some kids elementary Japanese too. It's funny when I think about it. I feel more responsible, like I'm a full functional adult. Like those busy busy people who have two jobs just to make ends meet.
In fact, I was just teaching this 12-year old boy before I went to work. Lyn had a late afternoon class so I covered for her tonight. The kid's pretty smart, but he's a smart ass too, and impatient to boot. He was basically raring to go home so he tried to breeze through his math homework and other various assignments. And I told myself back when I was still studying that I'd rather not be a teacher since I don't want to deal with impossible kids. So it got me thinking on the way to work: I wonder how I'm gonna deal with Dan when he gets to that age? Well, deal is probably not a good word, maybe handle is more appropriate. One day at a time I guess. That's the mindset I'm trying to adapt these recent days. One day at a time...before you know it, a year, a decade, a good chunk of your life has gone by.
Here I am at work, dragged back into the night shift. Some guys in the managerial position at work tell me I need to go back to night duty to boost my stats, since I'm on the day shift more often. Less calls during the day mean less calls and less utilization (well, as far as our phone client performance monitor tells us, since it doesn't care about the emails you answer). Oh well...hope I can go back to daylight by the time the holidays come around.
That's all for now. I'm gonna update the photo album with some pics I took at the office.
Listen to this.
Now scroll down...
This a voice recorded by Karen Mossey, whom she believes to be that of her dead father. Of course I'm not sure if this is real or not, but if it is....oh man.
What's worse than a run-the-mill, hackeneyed "reality" show? A cheap rip-off of a run-the-mill, hackeneyed "reality" show. A pathetic attempt to imitate its western versions (like scariest places on earth), this show didn't catch my attention at first, but it pissed me off after seeing a couple of episodes.
This is another of ABS-CBN's contribution to the saturated "reality" market. Since I'm sick of these type of shows invading the airwaves, seeing this travesty just makes me all the more sick. Oh, the intensity of raw, shaky footage! Why do people gobble up this stuff? OMFG the night vision makes their eyes look freaky and shit! Oooh, someone is crying, such significance! Just because footage is raw, it doesn't mean you can't edit it to bend the truth, and then package it with this "reality" crap. I appreciated what the Blair Witch Project did (with its own flaws), but the concept has been whored out by the local media giants.
The introductory dialgoue between the three guys at the start and in between the actual program is more fake than Pamela Anderson's enhancements. God, why don't you just whip out the script and read the lines to each other, please. Reality? Riggghhhhhht. And one of those "questors" wearing those geeky emo glasses makes my eye twitch too. His so-called visions are cringe-worthy, to put it lightly. I can't stand to see him get all teary-eyed and nervous when he "senses" a presence, etc.
I've had supernatural experiences myself, and I am open to the fact that there are things that science can't explain. Our world has long been in existence before we came into the picture so there are forces beyond our understanding for now. But, come on, this show reeks of utter phoniness. A big middle finger goes out to the people that came up with this.
** ripped off this funny stuff from http://www.negativepositive.org/Things-that-need-to-die.html
I really don't mean to give rap so much attention, but once again, something made my eye twitch enough that I couldn't help myself. There's a video for this 50 Cent collaboration called G-Unit. The song is "Poppin Them Thangs," and yes, I know you're as impressed as I am with that title. Basically the checked box on the Formulaic Rap Video Construction form is C. "I'm a Mob Kingpin, so don't try to step or you'll get smacked down - note how nobody smiles ever - that means WE HARD." Of course, having the ability to rhyme words with other words makes you an unstoppable force in the underworld, able to strike fear in the hearts and command the respect of big time mob bosses. "Holy shit. He can rhyme FOCUS with LOCUST! Oh, man! He's got a big gold medallion... AND IT SPINS! That spinning medallion definitely makes him too HARD for our entire criminal organization to compete with. Don't mess!" There are subtitles at the bottom of the screen showing the dialogue between the various mob bosses. One of them says, "I don't approve of you. You are SHINNING a light into our darkness." Who fucking wrote these subtitles, Groundskeeper Willy? How could such a glaring spelling mistake slip by the hundreds of people who no doubt saw the completed video before its release? Wasn't there even ONE person who saw it and said,"Yo, dawg, dat's dope, yo, werd. But, yo! You misspelled 'shining'"? How could they spend millions on the production of the album and video and then hire some illiterate fuckass to write the subtitles? How? Because obviously all of the people involved in production of the video, especially the artists, ARE RETARDED. I caught the error the very first time I saw the video, and I was only watching it for the same reason I would listen to G. Gordon Liddy or Rush Limbaugh; to know more about what I think is stupid. If you're going to spend assloads of money, put it on MTV and BET and show it to millions of people on probably a half-hourly basis (on the rare occasions that they are actually showing music videos) wouldn't it make sense to proofread it to avoid looking like illiterate fucktards? There's no way you can play it off as the intentional misspelling that rappers always do, either. This isn't "dawgz," this is "SHINNING," I guess meaning "to SHIN." I guess when you're as stupid as G-Unit is anyway, literacy can't help or hurt your image. I wonder how many of their fans even noticed. I guess if you're stupid enough to think G-Unit is really cool, you're stupid enough to miss glaring spelling errors in bold capital letters at the bottom of your TV. In a way, though, I have to say I'm proud of G-Unit for employing people with physical disfigurements. Lloyd Banks proves that even if you have a hare lip and a lazy eye, you can make it as a big time rap star.
Side note: The other options on the Formulaic Rap Video Construction Form are:
A. "Gigantic party at a mansion with lots of money falling from the sky, lots of $200K+ cars parked out front and lots of girls in bikinis. Girl to guy ratio is 5/1. Everyone at the party is rich and black,"
B. "Getting chased by the cops in my Lamborghini talking on the cell phone while a hot chick or the album's producer is driving. Variation: Instead of cops chasing me in a Lamborghini, this could be interchanged with cruising in a Hummer limo and giving everyone 'the vapors,' Same shit, different vibe."
D. "Every girl in the club is mostly naked and very attractive and is so impressed by my jewelry that they're all competing to get to fuck me"
E. "Generic choreographed dance video with amorphous high contrast sets and possibly flood lights arranged to spell out the rapper's name,"
F. "Seemingly pedestrian environment such as a barber shop, diner, car wash, movie theatre, etc. where lots of hot chicks are dumping their boyfriends because my jewelry, car, clothes, etc. are so impressive that they just have to fuck me," G. "Here I am hanging out in a shitty neighborhood. This means I'm true to my roots, despite the fact that I arrived in a limo and will be going to a four star restaurant to eat foie gras and beluga caviar after the video shoot." (Default for all selections: Four or six point star filter used on camera lens in conjunction with bright lighting to make jewelry appear to sparkle blindingly.)
(I hate) Rappers who continually flaunt their jewelry, cars, cell phones, and women, implying somehow that their wealth is due to being some sort of criminal underworld power figure. Of course you have money! Of course you get laid! You're a multiplatinum MUSICIAN, numbnuts. If you put a potato on-stage in front of 10,000 people, SOMEONE would want to fuck it. Last time I checked, the job title "Musician" didn't make you a tough guy, though I feel myself straining calling someone a musician when their real job title should be "Inarticulate guy with an undeserved large ego who has friends in the music industry and puts on a mean face anytime someone puts a camera in front of him." Big Pun died of a heart attack? GO FIGURE! He was 675 pounds and STILL tried to brag about his sexual prowess. Ahh - money, jewelry, cars, guns, and sluts... what an endless source for creative, inspired music writing. (Insert 6 minutes of repeating unchanging sampled beatloop here).
Reading too much highfiber is going to cost me in many ways. The IT guys here in the office will probably hang me to dry for all the supposedly prohibited browsing I've been doing. And to think that rumors were floating around work concerning what actions would be taken to punish our specific deaprtment for abusing our internet rigths. Hey IT guys, this post is a shining example of it! If it's not allowed, then block the sites you don't want us to go to (I'll proably eat those words sooner than I think). It's keeping me away from work, but there isn't any to be done at the moment (zero emails to answered in the queue). Still, I need to read up on some dusty emails sitting in my inbox which contain info on work-related updates, etc. The dark cloud of night-shift duty casts its obese shadow over me, and I've been so out of touch from the stuff I need to know during those unholy hours.
Now, I'm thinking: what if I actually took my Japanese studies (college course) seriously? What if I actually took the pains to learn the language beyond the basic structures and words (which really mean zilch in an actual conversation with a Japanese person or when trying to watch untranslated anime). I sometimes picutre myself as a fluent practitioner of nihonggo, able to strike up a conversation with a Japanese person. Man, imagine the money I'd be earning for doing cool shit like translating documents, or hanging out with business executives as an interpreter for hire. What could be more impressive than speaking and writing like a native!
But that's just me. I've applied numerous times for the Asia Pacific team here at work so that my work hours would be some thing like 6am-3pm. That way I'd have time to take nihonggo classes in the afternoon and really master my stuff. For all the Japanese history/economy/politics classes I took, I really don't recall much. Just bits and pieces to create the illusion that I'm a cultured fellow that's knowledgeable about such things. If I have any aspirations of actually applying my college course into something remotely lucrative, the language compnent is all I really have to go on. I guess I suffer from the rut of mediocrity that call center people experience, namely stuck in a job that has no relation to the stuff they took up in college.
Someday maybe, someday.
I just added a nifty new feature to my blog - don't forget to vote.
Just finished through a bunch of emails - time to kick back and log some overdue brain farts looming in my noggin. Currently trying to reproduce the Incubus concert experience by blasting a live CD in my ears right now (song: Circles). I know the last few entries have been reeking with discontent and neagtivity - but what the hell, that's what this blog is for right?? In light of the recent steam I've been blowing off, here's a to-do list for myself (in no particualr order):
- Stop being so pissed off
- Stop slacking off
- Lose some weight for god's sake
Don't get me wrong, I'm greatful for and appreciate the fact that my mom and dad in law lets me stay at their place while me and Lyn are still striving for total financial independence. At the risk of coming off as an ungreatful bastard, I actually find some things I find a wee bit annoying about the circumstances we're in. Lyn's brothers are nice people I can get along with, honestly. It's their quirks that upset me from time to time, even though I'm not the one directly affected by it.
The second eldest sibling has this grating habit of lying down all the frickin' time. When he gets back from school or somewhere else, he's like a hawk, eyeing the living room bench - waiting for the current occupant to leave....and then, bam! He rests his lazy bones on the couch to hog major butt space. When he gets up in the morning, he leaves his room in a hazy state to go downstairs...and sleep some more in his parent's room. Come on man, get off your ass.
The youngest brother is always out of the house. He's always somewhere else, mostly playing that online game I love to hate: Ragnarok (which by the way is why he's flunking at school). I love video games; I spent a lot of my high school and college days in front of the TV, playing until my eyes would bug out. But there's something about that damn game that's so annoying. When I'm at the nearby Internet cafe, throngs of kids are so crazed about it. I don't get it, and I don't want to get it. That's just me, I guess - counterstrike still rocks, even though all I did most of the time was die at the hands of loudmouth braggart kids laughing at the highest possible volume.
Anyway, he always comes home late and never eats the food mom-in-law prepares...magpapaluto pa siya ng ibang pagkain, usually hotdog. He's basically a spoiled brat when it comes to a lot of things. He's too picky with food for one thing. For instance, we were eating fried pork which he didn't find crispy enough. Then, he looked for some Mang Tomas to make up for the said lack of crispiness. The bottle was something like near empty, but you could certainly get a good amount for one serving. He wouldn't have any of it and said in a whiny voice "ayoko na nga...". Mom-in-law proceeded to go next door (they have a duplex type of setup where her sister lives beside us) to get another bottle filled with more of the brown pork sauce.
And when he hasn't arrived by dinnertime, mom-in-law sets aside a portion of food just for bunso after cooking...I don't see her do that for her other two offsprings. Dammit, the guy's already in college for pete's sake. And when he decides to grace us with his presence, mom-in-law sets the plate and utensils for him. Fuck man, you're 18 years old for chrissakes - fix your own plate for the love of god. Annoying, really annoying. When he comes home from school, he'll just dress up to go out again, and come home god-knows-what time.
The special youngest one also was upset because his parents didn't by him a cell phone as promised earlier; money was tight at the time. In an act of rebellion, he flunked all of his subjects in one term. So mom-in-law bought him his precious little camera phone, but whaddaya know, HE STILL FLUNKED HIS SUBJECTS. Puro laboy at ragnarok kasi.
Yeah, it's none of my business, so I don't say anything at home. But when I see stuff like that, I can't help but be irritated.
I've been stressed these past few weeks, so pardon my fucking french. My potty mouth can be blamed on the crap I have to deal with everyday.
I need to blow a few things off my chest. First, money. It's always about money. I thought I could stand not having any of it for extended periods of time (2 weeks), but I'm only human. I can't blame myself if I get weary of lacking that mundane necessity. I know it's just a piece of paper, but goddammit, it really gnaws away at my patience sometimes.
Next, that piece of crap that's supposed to save me from heat exhaustion while driving in the sweltering tropical hell of this country: the car's airconditioner. For this year, I've taken the car to the repair shop several times to have that cursed piece of equipment fixed. It's finding new reasons not to work. If it's not the compressor, it's the pressure switch (so I've been told)....or sometimes, it's the freakin' fuse that conks out. Come on, WTF is up with that?? I am by no means a rich person. I can't afford to have the piece of shit fixed everytime it decides to piss me off and have a tantrum. There was one time it was so hot on the way to work, that I ended up having a fever (trankaso) that night. Imagine how it feels to come in the sub-zero office straight from the extreme heat outside. Picture yourself spending an hour in a sauna then walking into a cold room right after.
Third, the traffic in my area. I'm beginning to hate the City of Rizal for its roads. They're always digging up a HUGE chunk of the street for no apparent reason. Once they're done with whatever the hell they did, the road is left for dead, at the expense of the motorists who have to pass there. The street is literally turned into an obstacle course of potholes the moon would be proud of. It's a waste of OUR taxes. The roads don't look wider or smoother. In fact, it looks shittier than it was before. Not to mention it takes them forever to finish their "road work". The conspiracy theorist voice in my head tells me that they drag out the so-called project as long as they can to jack up the hours, and hence they get paid more. Not only that, the substandard materials they use to patch up the roads literally disentegrate overnight after a strong downpour. It's like they're using oreo cookie crumble instead of ashpalt. I guess the cheaper the stuff they use, the more change they can stuff their own pockets with. The people responsible for this travesty should be punished medieval style: drag them with horses over those broken roads.
Well, that's it for now. I'm sure I'll think of other things to bitch about soon.
What's the fastest way to empty your bank account? Simple, withdraw from a fucked up ATM. I inputted the amount to be withdrawn (which happened to be everything left in my account) and hit "OK", then the machine gave me the cheerful message:
THIS MACHINE IS TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE - PLEASE TRY ANOTHER TERMINAL
I reported this to the branch manager who had the gall to blame my bank's system (my card is Equitable PCI, but they're a different megalink bank) for my loss. Excuse me bitch, but it was YOUR ATM that wigged the fuck out didn't it??
So the hag made a few calls and whoopee-de-do, the ATM came back to life. Of course the amount I withdrew is now gone. Needless to say, I gave the bitch a mouthful (in English, I might add, which she sadly couldn't keep up with). To no avail though - for all my anger, all I could do was fill out a complaint form, which she says will supposedly get my money back within today. "Supposedly?!?" I asked. "I have nothing to go on for the next 2 weeks." She then rephrased her statement assuring me the goddamn money will be back within today.
Maybe since I'm in the call center business, I'm overly critical of customer service that I'm given. But she had no sympathy whatsoever - hell, I probably wouldn't care myself if I was in her shoes. But come on, not even fake empathy? That blows big time.
So here I am at work, with no money or food to last me the day. Not to mention the car airconditioner is flaking out again, which is literally hell driving to the office at high noon. If I were Bruce Banner, I would've torn that place apart.
Whoever said that you're lucky if you have 5 close friends by the time you're old was right. Last weekend was a painful reminder of that. I met up with some classmates from college for lunch at Makati last Saturday. It felt like before, as if no time had passed since we last met - although I was embarassed to walk in 1 1/2 hours late (came from a wedding in Antipolo).
The same jokes, banter and laughter was there. It would have been ok, except that there were two guys from my block that, by the time we graduated, I was on bad (non-speaking) terms with. The rift occured approximately the same time with both of these guys, whom I shall name B1 and B2 respectively, sometime during our senior year. They were both good friends that I used to hang out with, until they were pissed at me for different reasons and decided to consolidate their rage towards me.
Now fast foward to a few years later: there I was, having lunch with them as if nothing happened between us. B2 greeted me with a "pare" and a buddy-buddy high-five as I sat down, and again when I settled into my seat. B1 was sitting a few seats away from me, but greeted me just the same (sans the high-five). It was surreal to be in their company once again after all the issues and years that passed between us. I dryly mentioned what work I was doing now, and showed some pictures of my son stored in my digital camera. They were swapping stories and teasing each other usual, with me as the quiet one commenting occasionally. I was comfortable with this kind of thing back at our tambayan, but now it's different since I was silent because of how surreal and awkward things were. It should have been a fun time, catching up on the latest stuff about my friends, but sad to say, it was a tense and complex affair for me. I bet B1 and B2 saw how sad and uneasy my downcast expression was.
I don't get it. Are they thinking that they've "found it in their hearts" to forgive me? Or they honestly just decided to let bygones be bygones? I remember back in college when I tried to talk to both of them about the ever-growing gap between us. I honestly tried to salvage our friendship by opening a dialogue between us. The thing is B1 was my thesis partner who did have the right to get mad at me for slacking off big time. I've since then made the necessary amends and have done everything, short of cutting off my pinky yakuza style to let him know I was sorry. I even wrote him a letter telling him that I didn't want to lose our friendship over something like that. A goddamn letter. Shit, you only do that crap for your girlfriend. But oh no, he wouldn't have any of that. The guy even called me garbage behind my back, the nerve.
And for B2? Well, he had entirely different and invalid reasons for getting mad - at least the reasons I heard from other people. He never had the guts to tell me himself. I'd rather not get into the details of why he was upset, but take my word for it, it was silly and childish.
Of course being the spineless twit that I am, I never brought up the pent-up feelings I had during that lunch. I was afraid to ruin the occasion, considering that we (the rest of my blockmates) never get together at all. Seeing them happy and chattering cheerfully, I painfully felt out of place trying to grasp the weirdness of the situation. If B1 and B2 can act normal about it, I can't. Not at least until we clear the air about our past diffrences. The fact of the matter is, they left me out to dry back then. Tangina nila, tinabla nila ako...iniwan sa ako ere.
The last half of my college days were not happy ones, as far as the ones I could remember. It was not only a low point of my undergraduate life, but my life in general. Where the hell were they when I was down in the dumps? Acting like coy motherfuckers, snickering behind my back. What kind of friend would do that to you? I have a lot of hang-ups from that time I guess, and they were part of that.
As it stands, we can be civil with each other as from what I saw last Saturday. But friends again? That remains to be seen. Should I try yet again to get them to open up and talk about what happened? Or would that be another pandora's box for my sanity, and leave things as they are?
I shouldn't have come. I could've spent time with my wife or son instead. Read a book. Watched a movie. Anything else.
Slipknot is a band I can't love or hate totally - it's like walking on a tightrope and falling on either side occasionally. When I first heard "Wait and Bleed", I dismissed them as trivial and made only to shock people. Like Marilyn Manson I thought, who will lead you to madness if taken seriously. Come on, they're wearing masks for crying out loud.
But there is something about their music (although some would use that term loosely for this band) that keeps me coming back for more. Their more radio-freindly singles aired on NU have always caught my ear. It is refreshing in a way to listen to rock that has a sense of chaos. Most of the stuff I listen to doesn't have the same anger and rage that proliferates in songs like "People = Shit", or "Heretic Anthem". My friend who's into Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth and the like, got me back into Slipknot after lending me some Revolver magazines with articles about them. Browsing through some of the stuff about the band helped me see the madness behind the music so to speak. I've been giving a good listen to the 2001 album Iowa (a co-worker's CD) at the office these past few weeks. I honestly can't get into a lot of their songs, but after watching some of their concert footage, I can appreciate what they're trying to do: pushing the envelope and see how far they can go in exploring the dark side of rock.
So how can I make sense of what they're all about (in my own opinion), why they do what they do? Well, I remember the Japanese concept of compartmentalization that my college professor used to talk about in class. Basically, the Japanese tend to group the different aspects of their life (and respective people in it) into separate "compartments". This means that the "contents" of these compartments will never mingle with each other. For instance, a housewife may have a group of friends from work that she socializes with, but will never meet her husband. Another good example of this concept is a true story of a Japnese man in a relationship with a Filipina. He also has affairs with other women, much to the grief of the the Filipina. Trying to make sense of why the guy was doing that to her, the girl told her story to my professor. My Prof simply explained : "He truly loves you, if that's what you want to know. But you see, you're only one of his many compartments..."
So what the hell does this have to do with a band that has nine members, trying to make as much noise as possible? My theory is that everything that comes with their music goes into one compartment. The things that go with the Slipknot sound fall into some sort of alter-ego that exists as an outlet for all the emotions harvested from the negatvity of real life. Why else would they wear masks? For me that symbolizes their darker selves that want to vent out the madness within (although they say the masks are meant to take the focus away from themselves and divert it to their music instead). Essentially, it's a coampartment that is meant to release all those pent-up feelings and process it into a cathartic, primal scream.
But whatever, you know...that's just my opinion. That's the best way I can reconcile their stuff with my specific preferences for music.
The perfect way to end an exhausting day is to arrive late at the office and work throughout the wee hours of the night. And come in tardy on the second day of the month to boot. I still need to readjust my body clock to U.S. hours, and probably lose my sanity in the process.
There's this new show on NU 107 that I find questionable. It's something like an hour dedicated to letting the public know how great Ateneo is (oh I'm sorry, I meant the Ateneo). Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those overzealous alumni that feels the need to be hostile towards other universities. In fact, I would feel the same if La Salle (my school) did the same show on NU. I don't feel this fierce loyalty towards my school (although I am proud that my folks were able to send me there) and, I don't give two shits about college basketball and the rivalry that comes with the game. I am totally neutral towards these kind of things, and absolutely have no opinion about the topic. It's just a total waste of brain cells and time for me.
What burns me up is that a rock station is being used as a platform to proclaim how wonderful their damn school is. I guess I'm just biased towards school sports in general, but come on, I just can't reconcile their program with the radio station. It has nothing to do with music...it's just a bunch of Ateneo alumni talking in thick cono accents telling everyone over the air how awesome their school is at basketball. Can you really base the value of a school on how much or how well a bunch of guys can put a ball through a hoop? Seriously....they need to get that damn show off the air. It's sickening, repugnant, and nauseating. I thought I left that crap back in college...now it's back to pollute NU's airwaves (along with feeling-cool Mondo's between planets). Who the hell came up with this shit?? Maybe it's the stattion owner Atom Henares, whom I think might be Atenean.
Whatever the case, this "I'm so cool being on the air and you should shudder at how much of a mover and shaker I am in the upper crust of society" kind of crap should stop. Please. It's just going to alienate the rest of the listeners who didn't study at Ateneo.
A lot of things are getting me down today, mostly financially related. Sometimes I wish we could live in a Star Trek-like type of society where we don't need money at all and focus on the other things in life.
The credit card bill is knocking on my door once again. Good thing I got a cash incentive at work (for sticking around this long), which sadly seems destined to settle the plastic debt. Other obligations include the phone bill, milk/diapers, and the nanny's wages.
The car aircon is also acting up (i.e. not cold on a f@#$!ng hot day) hence the inevitable costly check up/repair. What sucks is that it might be related to the scrap metal mishap I had earlier this month. My mom-in-law said she saw something dripping under the car. Could it be a freon leak? Or is freon a gas...? Forgive my ignorance about these kind of things. I could ask my Dad to help out on the maintenance for the mehcanical beast of burden.
I was telling my friend in the U.S. about my problems (thank you IM)...and he told me, "chin up" (probably referring to that line from SpiderMan 2). Which reminds me that I didn't post any comments yet about the movie, which I loved. I've always loved Peter Parker's character (in and out of costume) because his everyday problems, coupled with his "other" duties, would have broken a lesser man. That's something that I really admire in him - and serves as an inspiration to me as well.
Well, at this point, I could use a smoke, but I'm still sick. And sick is costly too, when translated into medicine. Lemme tell ya, at this point in my life, it sucks to be sick. You can't do the things you need to do when you're not physically well. Bawal magkasakit.
That's what it feels like right now. As I'm typing this, my sinuses are clogged, my head is pounding, and it feels like my skull is going to crack open with every agonizing, phelgm-induced cough. Speaking of phlegm, the mucolytic I've been taking hasn't helped that much as every cough is nothing but pain. I can feel it holding steady in the depths of my chest each and the little bit of mucous that does come out sets my lungs on fire. Quite graphic, eh? Today's griping is not for the squeamish.
I've been coming to work sick these past few days, and I'm not getting any better. I can't come to work tomorrow; if I did, I'd be useless on the floor. Unless our customers want to speak to a coughing, wheezing agent that is the virtual picture of death.
We still need to instruct her in the fine art of changing diapers, preparing milk, and lulling the little one to sleep. For now her duties are limited to doing the laundry, ironing, and carrying the baby.
I remember a line from Riding in Cars With Boys where one mom said, "if we actutally felt how much we loved our kids, it would kill us". How true. When I'm at work, I can't bear the thought of not being with Dan, looking at his picture on my workstation. Lyn bought a nursery rhyme audio cassette for him that features this song that struck a nerve:
Listening and learning
With fun games to play and sing
I am learning everyday when i sing along and play
songs that help me think and learn and grow
Learning and listening
To songs that are fun to sing
There's so much to do and see
Come and sing along with me
Music helps me learn things, I should know
Now watch me grow
The masters of classroom songs
Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, Gogh
My IQ is on the rise, with nursery rhymes and lullabyes
The great composers help my mind to grow
Listening and learning
With fun games to play and sing Iam learning everyday
When i sing along and play
Songs that help me think and learn and grow
Now watch me grow
The "watch me grow" part really pulled some heart strings. I felt as if Dan was singing the song to me. He's such a fragile little work of art; holding him in my arms triggers this side of me I never knew existed, or wasn't there before. I see a bit of myself in him, and see a bit of myself in my father at the same time. In my young life, this is such a strange revelation. I tried to anticipate all the cliches that come with fatherhood, but you honestly never know what it's like until you're there. Never.
So with that, I bid farewell for now: many emails to answer, and some other tasks to attend to.
Samus Aran will save us all
Memories of my childhood are punctuated with the greatest invention known to modern man: the Family Computer (known as the NES in western countries). Pathetic, I know. But come on, the classic games evoke a unique atmosphere of nostalgia. I cherish memories of staying up until 3am to beat the last boss in Megaman, Ninja Gaiden, etc. You might think it's just an indication of a sedentary lifestyle, but playing video games served as a common ground to meet other people. Yes, swapping war stories and game secrets helped foster bonds of friendship for me. A hobby that kept me off drugs (not that I was ever curious) can't be bad. I've been playing the old stuff lately, and let me tell you, it takes me back to many years ago. Braving the first level of Castlevania or Contra brought back memories of sharing good times with my buddies. It's a catalyst for the past, y'see...seeing the lo-res graphics, hearing the 8-bit music...
And that brings me to the point of this whole entry. I was searching the mighty Google for some MIDI music files for game Metroid today, and I found something better:
If you ever played this game as a kid, you will know what kind of gold I struck upon. These are heavy metal interpretations of the game's music. Hearing the opening theme was geeky and heavy at the same time. This lead me to search for other rock versions of video game soundtracks...and lo and behold, this is what I found:
Don't take my word for it. Have a listen and see what it does for you (if you're into this stuff).
Take for example one night last week when the car dragged a piece of what seemed to be scrap metal along the road. Lyn pointed it out and I just let it pass under nonchalantly, thinking it was just a wayward plastic bag along the road (it was dark, ok?). The horrible, sickening, grinding sound of metal against metal against ashpalt (that would be the car, piece of metal, and the road) proved me oh so very wrong. The scrap got caught somewhere in the underside of the car for about a few meters and let go after. To the best of my memory, the whole mishap took place in a span on 5-10 seconds - but of course the ordeal seemed longer. I have yet to have it checked although everything seems to be fine: brakes feel the same, gas is ok (not leaking, but the car does have an inaccurate gauge), steering ok. Sorry Dad, I didn't mean to really.
I was also thinking of submitting articles to magazines to supplment my income. My older sis was at ABS-CBN publishing before so I'll be using her connections to get my foot in the door...well maybe not exactly. She asked me to submit some samples of my work so she can show 'em to her contacts. Which I don't have of course. I could give the URL of this blog, but it's a bit personal. Or I could write something along the lines of being a new dad, or something related to that since My sis used to work for a parenting magazine. Ideas, anyone??
*sound of crickets chirping*
Ahhh...what else? Damn, I'm drawing a blank already. That's why it took me so long to post here again. Just at a time when I was thinking of doing writing on the side.
The Simple Joys in Life
Sometimes I'm afraid of posting deeply personal (but non self-incriminatory) thoughts on the web. I feel that if I share it online, it diminishes its value and meaning - doesn't an event/memory/feeling/revelation seem so infintiely special when it stays inside your own head? What I'm saying is that you risk rendering a thought (that you hold dear) useless when you actually put it into words rather than keep it in your heart. For instance, take this piece of dialogue from the movie Gladiator:
MAXIMUS: They fought for YOU and for Rome.
MARCUS: And what is Rome, Maximus?
MAXIMUS: I have seen much of the rest of the world. It is brutal and cruel and dark. Rome is the light.
MARCUS: Yet you have never been there. You have not seen what it has become. I am dying, Maximus. When a man sees his end he wants to know that there has been some purpose to his life. How will the world speak my name in years to come? Will I be known as the philosopher, the warrior, the tyrant. Or will I be the Emperor who gave Rome back her true self? There was once a dream that was Rome, you could only whisper it. [With a snap of his finger.] Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish. It was so fragile and I fear that it will not survive the winter.
The mind can be such a wondeful place to keep your thoughts in - it has no boundaries or limits in which you can replay it over and over; and it remains forever pure and unscathed from crticism or scrutiny by others.
Here's one of the simple things in life that make me happy: Watching (and singing along to) Dora the Explorer with Pauline beside me and Dan (our precious pudgy bundle of happiness) sitting on my lap.
Resist and Multiply
I always thought that the song Vitamin should have been in the Matrix soundtrack. It's as if the lyrics were about someone who woke up and is speaking to, no, defying the machines:
In a moment or two I realize,
that the sphere upon which I reside,
is asleep on its feet.
should I go back to sleep?
We orbit the sun
I grow up
my open eyes see...
A zombified, somnambulist society.
Leaving us as vitamins
for the hibernating human animal.
Do you see what I mean?
You stare at me like a vitamin
On the surface you hate,
but you know you need me.
I'll come dressed as any pill you deem fit.
Whatever helps you swallow truth
all the more easily.
And I wonder, will you digest me?
Into the sleep machine I won't plug in,
in fact I'd rather die before I will comply.
To you, my friend,
I write the reason I still live,
'cause in my mind it's set the vitamin is ripe to give
Coming closer to another 2000 years
you and I will pry
the closed eye of the sleep machine
That's me in the corner
You can file this under 'heretic'. If someone would ask me if I believe in god, I would reply 'yes'. But...my faith in that being has rapidly diminished after some events past. Yes, I do believe that there are things in this world that science can't explain, and a supreme, sentient entity maybe one of them. But it doesn't necessarily mean that he/she/it should care about us.
I feel that I need to take it upon myself to make my life work, and not waste time praying, because from what I can see, it hasn't really done anything for me. It's been more apparent that it's nothing but a psychological crutch I can do away with. Anything I've done to improve my life is credited to my own efforts, and not anyone else. Why is it that if something good happens, it's by *his* doing? And when it hits the fan, *he* can wash his hands clean of it? It violates the good samaritan principle by just standing by and watch it go bad for all of us.
It scares me to think that anyone I knew would think less of me after reading this. I'll still be same person, one who chooses to live a moral life and not step on anyone's toes...just like before, but god is out of the picture.
This whole thing reminds of a scene from the film 'Contact':
Dr. Arroway. Would you consider yourself a spiritual person?
I don't really understand the point of the question. I consider myself a moral person.
I'm sure we all agree that is the case, but I think what Mr. Joss is in fact asking is...
Do you believe in God, Dr. Arroway?
As a scientist I rely on imperical evidence, and in this matter, I don't believe that there is data either way.
So your answer would in fact be that you don't believe in God?
I - I just don't understand the relevance of the question.
Insert Title Here
The parents and the youngest sibling left for Bangkok today. It'll be several months before I see Dad again (his work is based there) - while Mom and Sis are just on vacation for a few days or so.
I'm torn apart between missing Dad and enjoying the use of his car while he's away. I feel guilty that he has to use his other car, which is a bulok Kia Ceres (that has no aircon) when he's here. What's a good offspring to do? Just go with the flow I guess...I mean, he understands that I need his car nowadays in case I need to take Lyn or Dan to the doctor/somewhere else.
It was great that we had dinner with (most of) the family, including Dad, and running into some co-workers as well. I got to show off our precious baby boy in all his cute/handsome glory!
On to to other things, there's this restlessness that's been gnawing at my peace of mind for the longest time. It's this this feeling of hitting a dead end in this stage of my young life (I feel so old even though I've only been in existence for nearly a quarter of a century). Me and Lyn long for more financial and household stability - what I mean is that we haven't been making steady progress towards establishing a better life for our small family. While she's stuck at home to look after the baby and me just earning enough to make ends meet (and not left with any savings), this is stagnant to me.
We need a nanny to take care of Dan so that Lyn can work/study. She applied for post-graduate studies so she can teach after. Being a teacher has its benefits, so I've learned. It'll be easier on the pocket for a teacher to send his/her kid to same school where they work at. Maybe when she starts working, we can rent a place of our own...and don't even get me started on the price for pre-school alone...the anticipation is killing me, and I don't mean that in a good way.
This is my life. I am many things to many people: A husband, father, son(in-law), brother(in-law), co-worker, classmate, friend, nuisance, cause of pain, etc.
"At this point, I would like to speak to your manager for the wonderful help you've been"
Yeah, I guess I have my moments....
Drone of the Digital Empire
Having worked almost two years in this specific call center account, I guess it's not possible to avoid any work-related tussles (which might be an overstatement) with fellow reps. Anyways, I was able to air my side about the whole thing, and I feel that I was able to do my job even if it wasn't absolutely by the book. What remains to be seen is if we can still remain in good terms after this. Honestly, the whole thing upset me, but if they're willing to let me know their own side, then I'm all for it...I can personally let them know my two cents worth as well. I mean work's just work right?
This ditty is a bit personal so my apologies to anyone who might not be able to follow my train of thought, since it's so vague and all that.
-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --
Greetings from Dagobah
It's just one of those days when you just want to curl up in a secluded corner and sleep to the point of hibernation. The cold climate in the office is making me all the more anti-social today. Don't get me wrong, having a job is something I appreciate, knowing that other people don't have the means to support themselves (even if they wanted to). But today, I don't have a burning desire to compete with my co-workers to become employee of the month or anything like that. I just want to get it over with and go home...is that so bad? If everyone is raring to emulate Spongebob at the Krusty Krab, then you can cast me as Squidward, behind the cash register, waiting for the work day to end.
In all honesty, there are days when I am enthusiastic to help people out over the phone. But today, my empathic tone will be a synthesized replication of my better self (confused? we'll just leave it at that). Not that I'll let the quality of my calls suffer, but I could care less if the guy on the other line is having a computer crash/virus/meltdown etc. I'll just do what I have to do to help him.
Why not try and Make Yourself
Ok, so it took me a while to write more about the Incubus concert. I was doing a bit of google hunting for the "Pantomime" mp3 (which was part of their set) and I came across this Brazilian fan blog (http://www.incubuscometobrazil.blogger.com.br/). Here's an accurate list of the songs that they played, and in the proper order too:
02. A Crow Left of The Murder
05. Idiot Box
06. Just A Phase (Brandon na guitarra)
07. Priceless (Brandon na guitarra)
08. Wish You Were Here
09. Pantomime (Brandon na guitarra)
10. Here In My Room (Brandon na guitarra)
16. Talk Shows On Mute
17. Magic Medicine
18. Certain Shade Of Green
19. Sick Sad Little World
20. Are You In?
21. Pardon Me
It was a very welcome surprise that Brandon played guitar on some songs, which I've never seen in any of their videos before. He was like "I'm checking if this in tune....hey Mike, is this in tune? Oh it is in tune, I'm just weird, sorry " (that isn't verbatim). He started playing a song, and my mind was quickly trying to figure out what song it was...I drew a blank. It turns out that it was a little-known (on our side of the world anyway) song called "Pantomime". What a treat it was indeed. The site I mentioned also had the song list of the other concerts from their Asian tour. It's pretty much the same with a few variations, and all opened with "Megalomaniac". It makes sense since their tour is named after their latest album.
I was singning along to all of the songs - is that geeky or what? I was so glad that Ben took the effort to learn the old songs, and play them well. I thought I'd never hear them play "A Certain Shade of Green" or "Idiot Box". We were close to the speakers which made my ears ring a bit after, but damn, it was worth it.
My biggest regret was that I didn't bring my camera. We asked beforehand if we could bring it, but the guy on the phone said no. Well, when the show started, the people beside me were gleefully taking snapshots of the band playing as well as themselves. Security wasn't so tight about that after all. I should've just taken my chances and brought my cam along.
They ended the set with "Sick sad, little world". After the song, Brandon said "thanks y'all, well see you real soon". With those words, my heart sunk knowing that they probably won't be coming back. As they exited the stage, the crowd started chanting "more, more!", and singing the "ooooh-hoooooh-hooo" part of "Are you In?". Being the gracious dudes that they were, they came back and played two more songs. Sure enough it was "Are you In?" and then the excellent "Pardon Me".
Seeing Incubus actually get up on stage and play their instruments added another dimension of my respect for the band. The whole experience underscored the fact that they're real people playing music, and not some manufactured group put together. I recall NU 107 DJ /The Dawn guitar man Francis say that it's important to see past the marketing and really listen to the music. Well, I had the wonderful chance to connect to their music and jump past the hype and packaging. This just occured to when I saw a poster advertising the event after we left the area. Strip away the whole marketing machinery, and all you're left with is the music.
The primary thing that they do is play their music, but they also have to show up for endless photo shoots as well, as part of the whole media vehicle to promote them. I guess it comes with territory.
You tell me if this person is kidding or not:
*note: I've changed the person's name to "xxxxxx"
markoboyd421: Hi xxxxxx
markoboyd421: My apologies for the delayed response to your request yesterday
markoboyd421: just emailed the customer about his *****
xxxxxx: why not yesterday?
xxxxxx: you told me you would do it
markoboyd421: I was answering emails in ****** and I overlooked it - I apologize for that
xxxxxx: look, I'll overlook this one, but that's it
xxxxxx: you told me you would do it and you did not
xxxxxx: our trust has been shaken
xxxxxx: our trust meaning you and me
markoboyd421: It won't happen again -
xxxxxx: thank you
I should create another (private) blog to vent out decidedly unprintable angry thoughts. Being that this one is public, I'll have more room to stretch my grumpy (to put it lightly) side in a new blog. All that'll be left on this one are happy, happy sentiments.
I was going to insert a picture of a person shouting (to underscore the tone of this entry), but google did not yield any good searches and I'm too lazy to look any further.
Test your mettle
It's been a stressful week. Dan's sick, most likely viral in nature. Doc says it will run its course in about 3-5 days; it's day four today. Thankfully, his appetite hasn't slowed down any. We're giving him an oral rehydration solution that he's been drinking without any complaints. The important thing is that he replenishes the fluids he's lost during his sickness. Needless to say, it's a bum out for me. I can conclude that the amount of stress accumulated throughout the day is directly proportional to my ability to come up with sarcastic remarks.
Honestly, I'd rather stay home than be at work in case we need to take him back to the doctor. There's people home for the weekend, so I can put my mind at ease while I'm at the office. The pitfalls of working at a call center, I guess (rest days don't always fall under weekends).
Experts say that you shouldn't baby talk your kid in order to hasten his/her language skills. That's easier said than done when you're holding your sick child in your arms while he's looking at you with a my-existence-depends-on-you kind of expression. It's truly heart-breaking.
Omen of the Apocalypse
On another note, there's so much crap on TV lately that I can't just stand by not say anything anymore. I'm talking about the atrocious campaign ads airing lately. I consider myself to be apolitical, but this shit is repugnant. Here's my inspiration for today's cyber-bithcing:
- Jinggoy: Erap is shown wearing his trademark wristband with the presidential seal on it. Loser. He can't get over the fact that his drunk ass isn't seated in the palace anymore. Then, there's a scene which father is passing on his legacy to his son. I wonder what legacy that would be? A tradition of whoring, drinking and corruption?
Who do they think they are?? The champion of the masses?? Maybe their movies are geared towards that demographic which is the winning formula to ensure maximum profit. But they are not the model leaders of this country, not in this lifetime...or next thosuand ones either.
Did the people selectively ignore the long news segment that featured the wealthy lifestyle of the now defunct pig of a president? When will people see through the lies?
Bong Revilla: "Aksyon sa tunay na buhay"..."Take 1 lang sa paglilingkod sa bayan" (or something like that). With lines like these, where do certain people in showbusiness get the nerve to be offended when they're pigeonholed as unfit for politics? If they want to break the stigma that actors rely on their popularity to get elected, then they should stop airing garbage like this. Making cinematic references in your TV ad only enforces the stereotype that actors have no substance as far as public office is concerned.
FPJ: Am I the only one who doesn't get this? Quality jobs? Right minus wrong? What the hell is he talking about?? Is there an embedded subliminal message in this ad? If this is his attempt to promote his "platform", then the previously mentioned stereotype is all but wrong. This is a prime example of using your financial/social clout to get into public office, or be a candidate. He's right up there with Eddie Gil (thank God they disqualified that psycho. Why not FPJ too??) - they both have no sensible plans whatsoever.
This is the guy who can't give a remotely coherent plan of what he's gonna do once the fate of tens of millions of people are in his hands. And they want him in office?
Honestly, I'm not much of a car person. As long as there's gas in the tank, oil in the engine, air in the tires and water in the radiator, I'm good to go. Although during these unbearable summer days, it's very nice to have good airconditioning - after all, I didn't plunk nearly 5K (a few months back) to have the compressor fixed for nothing. Well, it was either that, or get a new one - which is like 18-freakin-K - and astronomical for my (viturally non-existent) budget.
Oh, and since the exterior is scratched up a bit by what appears to be chicken claws (yes, chickens - the lot where I park is a relative's poultry breeding ground as well) it's due for auto-detailing too. Goodbye wallet...
I probably got all these thoughts just now because I stumbled upon a blog made by a 2 month old baby....which is what puzzled me at first. It occured to me that his mommy made probably made it for him, and writing it from her son's point of view. Which is sooo touching and funny of course...I can totally relate as a dad. Check it out by clicking here. Check out the poem too. It's heartwarming, comic gold!
This murderous heat is cooking everyone's brain and thereby melting away their sense of humor, patience, and overall well-being. Including mine. This does not bode well for my son either. This sweltering hell is keeping him up at night.
Something tells me this goinq to be a loooong summer.
So i took the liberty of borrowing someone else's jacket and am now wearing it on top of my own.
Whenever I'm alone with you
you make me feel like I am home again
whenever I'm alone with you
you make me feel like I am whole again
Whenever I'm alone with you
you make me feel like I am young again
whenever I'm alone with you
you make me feel like I am fun again
However far away
I will always love you
however long I stay
I will always love you
whatever words I say
I will always love you
I will always love you
Whenever I'm alone with you
you make me feel like I am free again
whenever I'm alone with you
you make me feel like I am clean again
However far away
I will always love you
however long I stay
I will always love you
whatever words I say
I will always love you
I will always love you
My ears hurt
If it was taking me a while to sink my teeth into the 'Crow' album, the Incubus show last night jumpstarted that process. Needless to say, it was an awesome experience. The guys opened the show with 'Megalomaniac'. I previously didn't regard it as one of their heavier tracks, but hearing it live is really something else...ear-blistering would be the word.
My biggest apprehension was that they would stick to the new material. But they were kind enough to play a mix of the old and new stuff across 'Crow', 'Make Yourself' and 'S.C.I.E.N.C.E.'. Call me a snotty, geeky fanboy, but it seems that I was the only one (at least in the section where I was in) singing along to the older songs - and headbanging to the exact moment when the heavy licks kicked in...alone on a fairly frequent basis, which made me look like a moron. Oh well, coolness be damned. I came to watch some good rock. Here's a not-so-accurate list of Incubus' set. I can't recall the order, so I'll just sort them out by album (with the most recent 'era' first):
-A Crow Left of The Murder
-Here In My Room
-Talk Shows on Mute
-Wish You Were Here
-Just a Phase
-**Vitamin (with an extended drum solo, click this)**
-A Certain Shade of Green
to be continued:
-Brandon on guitar
-Ben on bass
Ah...all these thoughts I had brewing inside my brain for the past week have ebbed away. Too lazy to write them down and post it here.
Even if the copy of The Last Samurai that I saw was pirated, it was still apparent that it was a good movie. Again, it's all about East-meets-West. There's something about that theme that's so poignant and intriguing. Even if two people live separately and might as well live in different planets, they can still find some common ground. I wish i could write something significant and meaningful that would remotely resemble a review, it seems that my brain cells are spent at the moment.
On another note, I'm gonna look for a new blog skin - - this layout is already sickening to my eyes.
Because of you, my life has changed, thank you for the love and joy you bring
Because of you, I feel no shame, I'll tell the world it's because of you
I need a smoke, and a full night of 8 hours sleep (yeah right, dream on). 7am seems so far away - and then I have to worry about keeping my eyes open on the drive home. I get so sleepy behind the wheel after work.
Welcome to the graveyard jungle, baby. After being on the dayshift sked for a long time, it's time once again to immerse myself in the element that is the essence of a call center. I'm a few hours away from playing night ghoul once again - and should be sleeping. For some unknown reason, I'm actually excited to go to work at such a strange hour...maybe it's the lack of traffic and stress caused by parking at the insane fascist hell known as the office basement. Oh well, I may soon find myself eating my words about my excitement.
We took our baby boy to the doctor earlier today. I was happy to report that for the past two days, Dan's not as fussy as he was at night, which means more sleep for us. Doc suspects that Dan might be lactose intolerant like Pauline, which might be causing him to wake up. We're not 100% sure about that yet, so we're holding off on switching his formula...he seems ok with Nan1 anyway. He did have a good round of farting this morning...maybe it was just cold. He also had his hepatitis shot, which is a pain in the butt for Dan.
Bato-bato sa langit, ang tamaan wag maqalit. This quote seems to ok when I first heard it, but it's taken on a new meaning for me. I find it to be such a smartass expression these past few days, after givinq it some thought. However, it only appears as such in certain contexts. One instance of which is when they trot out that line after qiving out a celebrity gossip blind item, usually on morning time shows. It's like they don't have the balls to name the actual person they're spreading rumors about - and then they deliver that quote in such a Goddamn smug way that pisses me off. And they'll just hide it as a blind item and of course, use the aforementioned quote as a disclaimer so no one can step up to complain about the trash that they're spreading. If someone tries to clear up the rumors, the'yll end up as prey taking the bait...and be branded as guilty. So it means that they can just say shit about other people but don't have proof. Another variant of the line is: "ang mag re-act, guilty!"
Shut up, you qossip whores. Don't talk crap if you can't back it up.
Ouch, that hurts.
Yes, I have to agree that I was a bit let down by the new album, but all it takes is a few listening sessions methinks, for it to grow on me. Just like Make Yourself and Morning View. Maybe since I'm a fan, others won't bother giving A Crow Left of The Murder a second, third, or fourth glance (or listen). Yes, I am biased, but only with the best intentions (if that makes sense).
My initial impressions on the new stuff: raw, rich, and warm - all at the same time. The guitars aren't as heavy as before, and I think Ben Kenney is still finding his flow as a bass player in this one. He should have stuck to his Roots-like hip-hop funk vibe, since that is such an ingrained part of Incubus' sound anyway. Maybe he's sick of that stuff and so badly wants to rock, as was quoted in some magazines. And Kimore's turntables aren't as prevalent anymore, or maybe I just missed out on the subtle effects he's layering on the songs.
As I said, I still need to give the Album a few more sessions to give out a verdict. The last time I was listening to it, I was carrying my baby boy at the same time, rocking him to sleep.
-She can't speak a f****ing word of Tagalog, well almost. She's from Davao, and the person that referred her is probably at fault here since she didn't tell us about this until the last damn minute. But still woman, you knew you were gonna work in Manila, you could have just backed out ya know???!?
-She came from a well-off family and is forced to be a yaya/maid due to financial problems. I have no qualms about that and am happy offer her work that's fair and humane. But she's a slacker and makes herself at home too much, namely LYING DOWN ON THE COUCH AS IF SHE'S THE ONE PAYING US.
- She has dental issues- she has a lot missing teeth, and according to the doctor who examined her, has some sort of gum problem. Again, I have no problem with that, but I can't bear the thought of her carrying our baby in that state of oral health....would you?!?
Since mommy and daddy are both tired, this leads to more arguments and misunderstandings. Honestly, I find myself irritable and out of patience more often that not because of this. But I have to tell myself that I chose this life, so I should damn well suck it in and take it like a man. I'm losing weight too, which is a good thing I guess. Money matters are also chipping away at my peace of mind too, just like Woody Woodpecker. I owe my mother-in-law, my own mom, and my dad a considerable amount of moolah at the moment. Which means I might not be able to afford Incubus concert tickets - the horror (I mean this!).
Oh yeah, they're coming here this March. After all this time, one of my favorite bands (aside from RATM, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Jamiroquai, etc.) is finally coming here. They're probably at the top of my list....finally, finally. I've been waiting for them to play here since I heard 'Anti-Gravity' back in college. God, I can't believe they chose to play now at a time when money is tight....like a vise grip. Yesterday, I was picturing them playing on stage, with me in the crowd, cheering them on. Maybe I should use Pay Pal on this Blog if that's possible (cough, cough).
Whew, that felt really good. I can breathe a little easier now after posting to this online stress ball known as my Blog. Now, back to work. I still have to finish an overdue email to HR to express my deep discontent about their inability to address my payroll issues in a timely manner. I guess it's easy for them to just let the issue rot since they're not the ones getting screwed over. I should sic the Karma doggie on y'all, bee-yatch.
It's the 30th, and this is the second time in a row that they got my pay wrong. I worked for that money. I'm thiking of a thousand horrible things that are just waiting to fall out of my mouth...but no, I'm better than that, and better than them. Maybe someone should cut their pay in half so they can see how infuriating it is. My rage right now is beyond (decent) words, and good manners. I'm going to the HR to raise hell if they don't fix it ASAP. God help them if they give me crap about this again.
Breathe in...breathe out...yeah, I can handle this, sure I can.
Apolitical is an adjective that would fit me, but for some strange reason, I've gone to some anti-Erap sites and others that rage against the Philippine political machinery. I don't have much of an opinion on politics, but it's hard for me not to see what a pompous poser douchebag of a president Erap was. What burns me up is that he likes to polarize the brainwashed underprivileged masses against the other well-to-do social classes. When the chips are down for him, he'll blow the whole thing out of proportion and turn it into a class war. I can't get over the fact that his supporters are totally blind to his bullshit. Come on, how can one claim to be a man of the people while living out a lifestyle none of them could hope to have in three lifetimes?? It's hypocrisy at its best. Sheesh.
More on this tomorrow - gotta finish up on some stuff...
"I was walking along the road with two friends.
The sun was setting.
I felt a breath of melancholy -
Suddenly the sky turned blood-red.
I stopped, and leaned against the railing, deathly tired -
looking out across the flaming clouds that hung like blood and a sword
over the blue-black fjord and town.
My friends walked on - I stood there, trembling with fear.
And I sensed a great, infinite scream pass through nature."
- by Edvard Munch, 22 January 1892
Once again, the pressure is on. I can feel it permeating every pore of my body. It seeps in, crushing the core of my being little by little. Sometimes, I wish for a better version of myself: one who knows nothing of sickness, fatigue, hunger, or stress...and someone who can will himself at two places at once, or three even. I wish I could just shout my lungs out...a good catharsis to be sure.
This quote scares me because one day I might end up believing it:
"Guilt is like a bag of fuckin' bricks. All ya gotta do is set it down." (Al Pacino/John Milton, from the movie Devil's Advocate)
This next one (from the same movie) is unrelated to what I'm feeling now, but is equally scary (and true). This illustrates the double-edged-sword type of danger that democracy and free enterprise poses to humans:
"You sharpen the human appetite to the point where it can split atoms with its desire; you build egos the size of cathedrals; fiber-optically connect the world to every eager impulse; grease even the dullest dreams with these dollar-green, gold-plated fantasies, until every human becomes an aspiring emperor, becomes his own God... and where can you go from there?" (Al Pacino/John Milton)
Don't need Quizilla to tell me that. The reason being that his statement below fits my view on life when I'm pissed off:
**Agent Smith is back at the window of the office, staring out into the world**
He turns to Agent Brown.
Agent Smith : Why isn't the serum working?
Agent Brown : Perhaps we're asking the wrong questions...
Agent Smith : Leave me with him!
**Agent Brown and Agent Jones look at each other, surprised**
Agent Smith : Now!
**They hurriedly leave**
**Agent Smith grabs Morpheus' head with his hands**
Agent Smith : Can you hear me, Morpheus? I'm going to be honest with you.. I hate this place...this..zoo, this..prison, this...reality.. whatever you want to call it. I can't stand it any longer...
It's the smell. If there is such a thing...I feel... saturated by it. I can...taste, your stink. And every time I do, I feel I have somehow been..infected by it, it's repulsive! I must get out of here. I must get free...
Ok, so maybe it's not the smell, but just being dismayed about reality sometimes.
To The Karmic Gods of Justice:
If there is such a thing as karma, then the gods of retribution are coming to charge their dues today. A thousand pounds of emotional weight bears upon my shoulders. Is there anything I can do to pay your fees? Maybe you'll accept my tears as payment, I have plenty of that at the moment.
In response to Ian's post, it reminds me of my own situation in 2001. I recently just graduated and moved in with my mom when she started living at a condominium in Boni. We were already having some long-standing personal issues between us, but it didn't reach its peak until that time. I don't really want to go into the details of it, but it ended with us having a huge argument one day, and me storming out of there with two gym bags full of my immediate possessions. It was more of emotional issues than financial actually.
I was confident to move out on extremely short notice because a few months back, my close friend was bugging me to move in with him. His family was renting a small 3 floor dorm at manila (right behind UST). So, as fate would have it, I moved in with him and his cousins (college students), and lived there for a year (and subsequently got married). I can say I learned a lot from that experience. You got to manage your time on your own terms. Ang sarap pala umuwi at any time you please...without having to worry if the parental units will get upset at you. The first few weeks for me were tough though - good thing Pauline was there to support me since day one...that definitely made it easier for me to adjust to my new life...supporting myself. Food was no problem, but the laundry was another story. On some days, I did it myself. Since walang washing machine, mano-mano yung gawa ko. Nakaupo and nagkuskos. If I'm lazy enough, I just took my stuff to the cleaners next door, although I was hesistant to do so. I had this fear in the back of my mind that they might steal some articles of my clothing.
And you also had to learn how to be patient with your fellow inhabitants. My friend's brother, a huge fan of local rap metal acts like Slapshock and Greyhoundz would sometimes crank up the stereo at the most innapropriate hours (well for me anyways, when I'm on C shift). But still, I was able to get along with everyone there, mababit naman kasi sila sa akin. In fact, I'm good friends with most of them to this day.
Of course, some folks in the family didn't take it well that I suddenly just left...but I felt at the time that I needed my own space. Nagalit pa nga yung iba sa akin. Sabi nga ni Ice, perceived as disobedience yung ganun. Well, somehow I was able to stand my ground, and they eventually accepted my decision. One year nga lang before they got over it. Oh, and I also had a problem with one other boarder in the place. You see, he was of the supernatural sort, if you get my drift. One night, I was sleeping alone on the 3rd floor. I was half asleep when I felt the weight of bed shift, just like when someone lies beside you. To my horror, there was no one there...and I heard someone crying. Right beside me, in my ear, of all things. It turns out that the previous guy living there hanged himself....IN THE VERY SAME DAMNED ROOM I WAS SLEEPING IN.
Ah, the perils of being an adult....
We're slated to move to a nearby building within this month. I just hope the parking there is more coherent, reasonable and democratic. I don't mind parking at the lower level, but there should be more slots for the employees. The arrangement of the slots is designed in such a way that they're lined up from front to back, not side by side. That means that if someone parks in front of you, you're gonna have a hell of a time getting out. The only easy slots to get in and out of are reserved for the managers. What's up with that? It doesn't bug me that some slots are reserved (which is normal), or the distance from the elevator, but the fact that only managers can get to park in and out with ease is highly annoying. That **SHOULD** be everybody's right, regardless of the job position. It's an endless source of hassle for a lotta of us here.
Fatherhood, what can I say? I'm taking this one day at a time, so I sincerely wish that I don't mess up our firstborn or be a source of neurosis for him. I'll just try to recall how my own parents raised me, that's a good start dontcha think?? We were just lucky that we had just enough to cover the bill...well thanks to generous family members anyway, plus my salary loan and 13th month pay. There's lot of good things I should be thankful for I guess, despite my whinings about everyday nuisances.
By the way, my posts starting 2004 will now be set to the correct local date/time: Manila. Previously it was set to US time.