Monday, October 02, 2006
Heartfelt Whinery

Let it be said again that I'm still lucky in spite of the crap that comes along. "Take the bad with the good" is the prevalent motto I stick to these days. But sometimes, I can't help but miss all the good things I used to take for granted before I started working. The thought just occured to me again while we were at the grocery last night, picking out the bare necessities to tide us over until payday. There was a time when I could pick out anything from the shelf, or eat anything my overprivileged ass desired, or was always sure that I could ride a car without worrying about alien concepts such as a budget. When I think about maple syrup, I remember waking up to the smell of pancakes back in Ceres Circle when Auntie was still alive. I'd get out of bed still thawing my feet from Chico's delicious cold and make my way to the kitchen. She'd be there to greet me a good morning and we'd have what would probably be the best breakfast I've had in my life.


I don't mean to wallow in self-pity so much - it's just that I feel a little twinge when I can't afford the little trivial things I can do without but miss badly. Honestly I don't think I asked for much back then, but still but still...I wonder when I can do that again (for my family this time) now that I'm at the helm of the ship I call responsibility. It's all about the Aguinaldos, baby. Gotta roll them in before Dan gets old enough to notice.

Now that I'm done with a little side project I did the other week I can finally talk about it. I was in fear of jinxing it so I held off posting about it but anyway. I took a freelance assignment to write an article for a men's fashion magazine. Basically I had to interview three people to find out what models do to cheat the camera and look good on film. Right off the bat, stuff like that is definitely out of character for me. I mean come on! I'm the farthest thing in the world from a metrosexual which IMHO means "still in the closet". So why did I take the assignment? Definitely not for the money. Well, a little cash in exchange for the time I invested in putting the article together is fine but let's be realistic here. Looking (not too far) back, I did it for the experience. "Wow, look at me! Commuting across the metropolis to interview people and shit!" is what I thought to myself. Me, the (literally) starving writer traversing the urban jungle armed only with my backpack and wits. That was just too cool for school.

I mean I've been working a steady job for almost five years now, but this specific kind of work deepened my appreciation for the schooling that I was lucky enough to have been given. I can't imagine not having gone to high school or college - the years I spent in those pay-to-play institutions have shaped me into what I am and for that I am grateful.

It was just me and the big bad world. Lacking funds and food in a big way, the only thing that kept me going was my education which I owe to my parents of course. When you're sitting in front of someone who's more or less financially better off than you, all you have to show for is your upbringing. Really, having little cash to go on at the time really reminded me that money can't buy class. My wallet could have been bursting with bills or what have you, but the only thing that put me on equal footing with those people was my breeding. If what I had materially was the basis of eligibility, then my editor wouldn't have given me the job.

As for the article itself, it was the most rushed piece of crap I've ever made. I've written better essays for school exams. It was really hard to come up with 600 words between two jobs and a ton of other complications that arose during that crazy week. That, and the fact that the topic I wrote about doesn't really appeal to me. I just hope that my work sees light of day when the issue comes out this October. I don't think my editor trusted me to do the assignment out of nepotism (my sister works within the same group of publications) but on the strength of the sample work I gave him (a movie review that I originally wrote on this site). He wouldn't risk the credibilty of the magazine just to let me write on account of my sister, would he? Here's hoping they didn't edit my work too drastically.