Wednesday, December 28, 2005

An old New Year's message

For my last blog entry for 2005, I've decided to post a copy of a New Year email I sent out in 2001. Maybe I'm just in a lazy or uncreative mood, but I just don't think I can write something better than what I did 4 years ago. Anyway, my feelings about new years are still the same, and my feelings about the next one are no different. Here's to 2006.

* * *

When I was a kid, before January 1 rolled around, my parents would make me and my siblings sit down and write a good old-fashioned New Year’s Resolutions list, ‘to begin the year right.’ We were expected to put a lot of serious thought into our lists, share them with the family, and then post them over our desks to serve as a reminder throughout the year of what we were supposed to be doing/not doing. Over the years, my lists included the insipid (“I resolve to control my temper.”), the ambitious (“I will finish third grade with honors!”), the dramatic (“I will never lie to my parents.”) and the impossible (“I will keep my desk clutter-free all year long.”).

Eventually though, the imposed resolutions phased out (much to our relief). Now we are left to face new years with our own private ruminations on the past 12 months, and should we be so inclined, to come up with our own sets of personal resolutions for the next 365 days of our lives. I haven’t drawn up a formal list for the past five or six years. I don’t see the point of writing down usually silly self-avowals I know I won’t be able to keep anyway (at least, not for an entire year). But I do appreciate the habit my parents tried (albeit unsuccessfully) to instill in us, because it taught us to pause and reflect upon the experiences of the year that was and contemplate the promise of the year that will be. For there is no better time for reflection than when standing at the threshold where the memory of the past meets the mystery of the future.

In the indefinable, imperceptible moment sandwiched between /separating/linking December 31 and January 1, we reach the end but arrive simultaneously at the beginning. It is a time to celebrate both the year that was, and the year that will be, but most of all, it is a celebration of what COULD be, of the infinite, beautiful possibilities the new year holds-- opportunities to grow, to create, to develop, to heal, to help, to make a difference, to learn, to live, to love.

And when we recognize all that we could do in the new, glorious year, all that we could make of ourselves and our world, maybe we can resolve, at least, to go forth into the new year and try to realize some of them. Even the insipid and the ambitious and the dramatic and the impossible. Heck, even if we won’t be able to keep all those resolutions, maybe we can draw up a list and post them over our desks. It’s a beginning.

Happy New Year, all.

* * *

Allow me one last act of laziness and let me repeat the contents of the postscript that went in the above email:

Thanks and love go out to my family and friends who saw me through 200[5], and who will undoubtedly see me through 200[6], no matter what it brings. You guys are the best part of all my years.

"It's New Year's Eve and hopes are high
Dance one year in, kiss one goodbye
Another chance, another start
So many dreams to tease the heart

We don't need a crowded ballroom
Everything we need is here
If you're with me next year will be
The perfect year."
-Sunset Boulevard

Best of 2005

At first this list was supposed to be the best and worst of 2005, but eventually I thought, might as well just focus on the positive and leave the negative behind along with the old year. :)

Best day: January 20, happiest day of my life! =D
Best investment: Palm Tungsten T5
Best purchase: black Coach bag with 4-way strap

Best life-altering decision: joining the family business
Best trip: New York
Best family vacation: Hong Kong

Best gift received: birthday scrapbook from Openness (love and hugs!!)
Best gift given: joining the family business
Best party: joint surprise bridal shower for Pau and birthday party/despedida for Tangsoc
Best time wasted on roses: dinners with my high school barkada

Best TV show: House
Best movie: Batman Begins
Best movie trailer: Chicken Little

Best actors (can’t think of an actress so I’ll name 2 guys instead): Clive Owen and James Spader
Best book: Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Best CD: “the best Christmas CD ever”, compiled by my sister =D
Best song: Lonely No More (walang hihirit! that means you, Karen xp)
Best band: U2 (no one rocks like Bono and the boys from Ireland)
Best local act: Bamboo
Best radio station: KLITE 103.5

Best (or should I say worst in this case?) obsession: Constantine Maroulis
Best pedophilic fixation: James and Oliver Phelps a.k.a. the Weasley twins, Fred and George
Best inspirational figure: Lance Armstrong
Best fashion trend: flip-flops
Best fashion staple: plain white baby tees
Best (mild) caffeine fix: CBTL English Breakfast Tea Latte
Best sugar rush: Starbucks butterscotch fudge bar
Best new ice cream flavor: Haagen-Dazs Custard Pudding
Best ice cream substitute: Nestle Fruit Selection Very Strawberry yogurt
Best post-badminton dinner venue: Teriyaki Boy Madison Square
Best dessert place: Bizu

Best gimik destination: The Promenade
Best stay-at-home addiction: Star Trek: The Next Generation (geek alert!)
Best achievement: joining the family business :)
Best healthy pasttime: badminton
Best unhealthy pasttimes: Text Twist and Bejeweled
Best new habit: blogging :p

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Something else I got from Laureen's blog

Take the first sentence from the first post of every month in 2005. That's your year in review. [Memes, forwards, icons, requests, and recs skipped.]

Last Friday was my official last day of being an ICA teacher.

My siblings and I (or more accurately, my sister and I, since our brother is what we lovingly-yet-scathingly call “moral support”) are compiling a scrapbook for our mom for Mother’s Day.

My student Jo (who's home from Boston where she's attending university, yay) called Sin City "an ogler's delight."

[The Tom Cruise Movie] That might as well have been the title of War of the Worlds, since the whole frickin' movie seemed to be more about him and his super-incredible-awesome-[insert other adjectives frequently used by Katie Holmes here] greatness than anything else.

I have been down in the dumps lately.

[What’s in Dumaguete?] Well, I'm going to find out.

Friday: spent the entire day conducting store visits of our outlets that were having a 3-day sale (Metro Market! Market!, SM Las Pinas, SM Manila, SM Cubao, the Gateway); was at the Podium from 5PM to 12:30AM, monitoring our sales, helping our sales assistants, and keeping an eye out for shoplifters; was wearing the new Fyrinx batch shirt all day (it's so nice, my sister wants to steal it from me), but did not get to go to ICA to watch the Intrams championship game between the Fyrinx and Xygenz, where the Fyrinx emerged victorious (however, as I told some of my students, better I missed a win than a loss-- I'd have been more needed in the latter scenario... celebrating, they can handle on their own ;p)

Saw [in Hong Kong]: Book 12 of A Series of Unfortunate Events (but decided to wait and buy it from Fully Booked), the latest Coach collection (so many pretty, pretty bags... sigh), a lovely nappa leather jacket at Giordano (if only I didn't live in a tropical country)

After 4 days of playing gracious host to our Thai guests, I felt drained as I've never felt drained before.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Capturing Christmas on camera

I told Sir Tirol recently that my family gets very Brady Bunch during Christmas, and he reacted with what I imagine to be disbelieving derision. I don't blame him, as my family is more Addams than Brady during the other 11 months of the year, but in December we do get into the spirit of things and observe the usual traditions and rituals: having a big Christmas eve dinner, attending midnight mass (the one time of the year we do attend mass), coming home to light the star on top of the Christmas tree, opening presents together, sleeping in 'til noon on Christmas day (ok, so that's not exactly a common tradition, just one of ours), and having another big Christmas dinner on the 25th.

This year was no different, and here's the photographic proof:

Christmas Eve dinner at HEAT
Bens lighting the star at the stroke of midnight

Big kid giddily opening presents

Even Mom's just another big kid opening presents

Hanks showing off the snowglobe I gave her

The Earl Grey addict, all smiles over his new CBTL tea flask

Pa and Ma and our Christmas/wedding anniversary present: a Swarovski camel

Hanks sporting her new fedora

The surprise (shock, actually) of the night: Havaianas from Hanks and Bens
Christmas dinner at Gaudi with Auntie Nene
Sharing sangrias with my sibs
I hope everyone's Christmas was as merry and bright. =D

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The family business, and The Family Stone

It was our company Christmas party today: buffet lunch at Kamayan EDSA, with the usual program consisting of awarding of employees (perfect attendance, highest production output, loyalty awards) and raffling of prizes (mostly appliances and a few cell phones, always a crowd favorite). For the first time in 24 years of attending our annual fete, I actually knew who half of the people were, and was even more familiar with their names than my parents. It finally felt like I was not just officially part of the company now, but that I belonged (yes, there is a difference :p). I now have a whole new sense of what "family business" really means, and I think it's just the right way to cap off my first year as C.O.O. ;p

In the afternoon, the 3 of us took our parents to see The Family Stone. 10 minutes into the movie I was already thinking, "Oh shit, it's a talkie; my parents are going to kill us for dragging them along!" Not to mention my mom can't stand Sarah Jessica Parker. A few weeks back when I saw her (Parker) on The Tonight Show talking about the movie, I got the impression it would be a ha-ha kind of comedy, but it threw me for a loop. It had its funny moments, yes, but it was a full-length dramedy more than anything.

Miraculously though, our parents didn't hate the movie! I didn't love it but I did appreciate it on some levels, and I confess I cried more than once (c'mon, I was with my family watching a family Christmas flick 2 days before Christmas-- what kind of heartless bastard wouldn't have been moved??). My favorite sniffle scene: when the older sister curled up next to their mom in bed. What a pass-the-Kleenex moment.

Other scenes that had me tearing up:

  • when Luke Wilson broke down in the bleachers beside their dad
  • when Diane Keaton threw a fork at her deaf gay son and told him he was "more normal than any asshole sitting at the table".
  • when Diane Keaton told Dermott Mulroney he didn't have to be so perfect
  • when Rachel McAdams cried upon seeing the photograph of their mom pregnant with her
Speaking of McAdams, I have newfound respect for her after seeing this movie. She played the bitchy sister to perfection (so Mean Girls wasn't a case of beginner's luck after all). I also give credit to Her Snootiness Claire The-Philippines-is-icky Danes, for being so believable as Sarah Jessica Parker's nice sister (the irony!), it almost made me forget how she said Filipinos have no arms and legs... almost. Craig T. Nelson's subtle but strong performance was a revelation; I loved that dinner table scene where he finally exploded at the insensitive girlfriend. And the gay couple was just adorable to watch together.

Overall, the best thing I can say about The Family Stone is that it is a very real movie, insomuch as it captures the quirks, flaws and dysfunctions of family dynamics. My biggest complaint is that it had something of a saccharine-sweet, fairy-tale ending (blech), which took away from the candid beauty of the touching and poignant bits. But what the hell, it's a Christmas movie, so I can pardon the putrid pulchritude. It's the season of giving and forgiving, after all.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Family dinner

Yesterday, after an exhausting day of store visits (holiday traffic is an effing pain in the arse), I rushed back to Greenhills to have dinner with my high school barkada. We dubbed ourselves "The Family" way back in our senior year, after drawing up imaginary, convoluted family relationships among ourselves (it was a lazy class day-- we had a lot of those-- and we were bored so we became creative), and we found the silliness so amusing that the title stuck. Besides, I believe friends are the family you choose, so the name is more than appropriate. :)

Dinner at Pasto (because Jen and Vina are anti-Cibo)

This is one of the reasons why I love Christmastime, it gives people an excellent excuse to get together with old friends and renew bonds. So here's to The Family-- my Family-- and many more Christmas dinners in years to come. =D

With Raqs-- best friend, soulmate,
the Elphaba to my Glinda
(hence my Christmas gift: a copy of Wicked ;p)

"Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us, once more.

Through the years we all will be together,
If the fates allow.
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough,
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now."

Coffee/tea at CBTL (because Starbucks was full)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

3 things that have amused me in the past 24 hours

1. A YM conversation with a student (abridged transcript):

K: argh i took this harry potter quiz nga pala about who is your love match.. i got the weasley twins... i dont know who they areee!! di ako HP fan.
Me: they're mine!! don't steal them from me! haha
K: twas destiny, ms lim
Me: i shall claim them for myself
K: i bet you'll get someone gross
K: feeling ko snape ka or something
Me: >:p
K: game tell me who you get before i log out
K: hahah wait i'll answer it they way i think you would, lets see if tama
Me (after answering the quiz for myself): argh, i hate it when you're right. i got snape. but the result does fit me perfectly: "You clearly do not scare easily. You want a man who is sharp, intellectual, cultured, and not too mushy. Get underneath his cool, sarcastic exterior and who knows what treasures you might find." so that’s all right. besides, alan rickman is sexy in a sleazy kind of way. :p

2. My cousin Abi's Multiply page, especially album 22 and pix of that cute German guy (fit as, he definitely is! ;p)

3. The song ELf's Lament, by the Barenaked Ladies featuring Michael Buble (the lyrics are worth reading even without the music-- sad, cute, hilarious and wickedly subversive all at the same time)

I'm a man of reason, and they say "'Tis the season to be jolly"
But it's folly when you volley for position

Never in existence has there been such a resistance
To ideas meant to free us
If you could see us, then you'd listen

Toiling through the ages, making toys on garnished wages
There's no union
We're only through when we outdo the competition

I make toys, but I've got aspirations
Make some noise
Use your imagination
Girls and boys, before you wish for what you wish for
There's a list for who's been
Naughty or nice, but consider the price to an elf

A full indentured servitude can reflect on one's attitude
But that silly red hat just makes the fat man look outrageous

Absurd though it may seem, you know, I've heard there's even been illegal doping
And though we're coping, I just hope it's not contagious

You try to start a movement, and you think you see improvement
But when thrown into the moment, we just don't seem so courageous

I make toys, but I've got aspirations
Make some noise
Use your imagination
Girls and boys, before you wish for what you wish for
There's a list for who's been
Naughty or nice, but consider the price to an elf

You look at yourself
You're an elf
And the shelf is just filled with disappointing memories
Trends come and go, and your friends wanna know why you aren't just happy making crappy little gizmos

Every kid knows they'll just throw this stuff away

We're used to repetition, so we drew up a petition
We, the undersigned, feel undermined
Let's redefine "employment"

We know that we've got leverage, so we'll hand the fat man a beverage
And sit back while we attack the utter lack of our enjoyment
It may be tough to swallow, but our threats are far from hollow
He may thunder, but if he blunders, he may wonder where the toys went

I make toys, but I've got aspirations
Make some noise
Use your imagination
Girls and boys, before you wish for what you wish for
There's a list for who's been
Naughty or nice, but consider the price
Naughty or nice, but consider the price
Naughty or nice, but consider the price to an elf

Monday, December 19, 2005

Weekend update

Friday night: The AP-Annex Xmas Xtravaganza was polyphagia at its finest (Openness would be green with envy). It was an international potluck dinner of California maki (hand-rolled by Fara), pasta (by Pau), asado from Gloriamaris (c/o Margaux), inihaw na manok at liempo (from Maddy and Shirley), lamb chops and more pasta (whipped up by Elyse's culinary wizard sister), fried chicken, chopsuey, lumpiang Shanghai, and soup from Max's (c/o Lynn, Dette and Shels), fruit cocktail (c/o Elyse) and honey cake (my contribution). After pigging out we burned off the calories by playing Twister (I swore under pain of death not to post any embarrassing pix here) and abusing the Magic Mic. I also took the chance to test a game I'd be using for another party on Sunday (see below). Thanks to Maddy, Shirley and Elyse for being such good sports and good guinea pigs, hehe. And BIG thanks to Elyse for hosting the party this year. :)

[Aside: I love AP-Annex affairs in general, but I especially love them when both Fara and Margaux are around because it brings back lots of great memories of my first year of teaching. Just as Kat and I will always have Openness (awww, Openness ;p), Fara and Margaux and I will always have the Cyrenz. Besides, Margaux was my first faculty friend, and Fara was-- and still is!-- my life-saver and the yellow-hat foil to my black hat. I will forever be grateful that I had such wonderful co-teachers and even more wonderful friends (mushy, mushy... I do believe Fara's yellow hatness is rubbing off on me, eek!).]

Saturday night: Watched King Kong at the Promenade. Not bad for an ape movie, as my cousin Abi said. Peter Jackson really has a knack for filming furry creatures (perhaps because he is one himself). The bronto stampede scene was amazing (even if it required willing suspension of disbelief of bronto proportions), and the scene with a fresh-from-the-shower, shirtless Adrien Brody was also pretty amazing. ;p Solid acting from the cast, especially Naomi Watts, who gave her best Nicole Kidman-approximation yet. It looks like Colin Hanks has inherited his father's acting talent, Jack Black (thankfully) did not go over-the-top and turn the movie into a Jack Black comedy (as if Jackson would let him), and I wonder when we'll see Andy Serkis (the eponymous Kong, and also Gollum from LOTR) in a human role...

[Aside: During the
preview, a guy and his mom sat down in the vacant seats right beside me. We turned to glance at each other and there was a cry of recognition and a burst of surprised laughter from my mom and the other mom, because we were neighbors/family friends. I'd never met the son before-- you know what's coming-- and he was cute (mwehehe) in a typical Xavier-boy kind of way, but I think a wee bit too young for me (*mope*). So I just concentrated on Adrien Brody on-screen and not on the occupant of the seat next to me. :p]

Sunday noon: Had a lovely, leisurely, laugh-filled lunch at Teriyaki Boy Madison Square (we were avoiding the horrible parking scenarios at the Promenade) with some of my college buddies: Pia, Yang, Angelo and Mike. It's so hard getting more than 5 people together with our different schedules, especially during the holidays. But the effort is always worth it in the end.

Sunday night:
My mom's high school class's annual Christmas party at the Wack-Wack clubhouse. The lechon did not arrive, so dinner was mediocre (as the food in Wack-Wack tends to be). I was in charge of games this year, and one of them was a modest hit (an amalgam of Pera o Bayong and Street Smarts, a game show I've seen a couple of times on Jack TV). Felt very, very old when I found out that the son of one of my mom's classmates (the shoti of one of my HS batchmates, whom we used to play with when he was just a teeny toddler) already attended the ICA-Xavier Freshmen Acquaintance Party the previous day. Ack. Can someone stop the clock please? I'm not ready to be ancient just yet (late twenties, Mike, tsk tsk tsk :p).

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Found out this morning that Tangsoc got an earlier flight back to NJ, so our dinner on Monday won't push through. :( She did say she will try to drop by our AP-Annex Xmas Xtravaganza tomorrow night. I hope she makes it, I really miss my faculty "sister".

Despite the bad news, the day wasn't a complete bummer. After attending a meeting at the SM head office in the afternoon, my mom and I went to Shangri-la Plaza to get in some Christmas shopping. Now the problem with Christmas shopping is that you inevitably wind up seeing stuff that you want, and you end up buying things for yourself... which is what happens to me and mom all the time, and today was no exception. She got herself a new bag and jacket while I got myself a new bag and a pair of shoes, and you know nothing makes me quite as happy as when I have a new bag and new shoes (plugging for Uncle Ben Chan: I love the Lewre line at CMG, really pretty and not as expensive as the other brands they carry). Needless to say we came home a couple of very tired, very broke, but very very happy shoppers.

I love any season that gives me an excuse to splurge.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Oh happy day

Cause for jubilation # 1: The Linz siblings won the Amazing Race. In your face, you nasty psycho Weavers.

Cause for jubilation # 2: Golden Globe nominations are out, and Hugh Laurie is in the running for Best Actor in a Drama Series. With no Boston Legal eagles in the way, he stands a good chance of winning this year. Hooray for House.

Cause for jubilation # 3: My darling Pierce Brosnan also got a Golden Globe nom for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical, for The Matador. Must see this film (or more accurately, must find the pirated DVD).

Cause for jubilation # 4: Tangsoc is sticking around for a few more days before flying back to New Jersey on the 24th. Will be having dinner with her next Monday. =D

Cause for jubilation # 5: The AP-Annex Xmas Xtravaganza is only two days away. I'm super duper psyched.

Something I got from Laureen's blog =)

Favorite Color: Black (it matches the color of my soul :p)
Favorite Food: cuisine, Italian; food item, ice cream
Favorite Month: December, when all the weight of the past months seems ready to be discarded, and the possibilities of the coming months are wide open
Favorite Song: Back to Good, matchbox twenty
Favorite Sport: playing, badminton; watching, ice hockey
Favorite Season: winter (so it sucks that we don’t get it here)
Favorite Day Of the Week: Saturday
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Haagen Dazs, Choc Choc Chip; Baskin & Robbins, Raspberry Cheese Louise; Ben & Jerry’s, Chunky Monkey (hey, like I said, ice cream is my favorite food)
Favorite Time of Day: 10:00 PM, when the good TV shows are usually on
Favorite Feature on the Opposite Sex: physical, hands; otherwise, intelligence

Current Mood: optimistic (Amazing Race finale tonight! Go Linz family!)
Current Taste: Brit lit (Narnia fever) and Christmas standards (no one croons carols like Sinatra)
Current Clothes: typical office attire - green 3/4 blouse, black slacks
Current Desktop: Nike Free Lance Armstrong wallpaper (“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” I worship this guy.)
Current Toenail Color: au naturel (I don’t paint my nails)
Current Time: 12:47PM
Current Surroundings: the office
Current Thoughts: I shouldn’t have had that Sausage Egg McMuffin for breakfast.
Current Hair: long and "managed" ;p

First Best Friend: my cousin Joy (from the cradle to the grave, cuz!)
First Screen Name: goldeneye (at the height of my James Bond/Pierce Brosnan fandom)
First Pet: never had a pet, never will
First Piercing: never had piercings, never will
First Crush: my grade 4 seatmate, code name: Pack Rat (gad, the things you remember…)
First Car: I don’t even have a license yet :p
First Job: tutoring 3 kids (2 ICA girls, 1 Xavier boy) during my sophomore year in college
First Date: what about it? (haha, avoiding the question :p)

Last Kiss: kissed my grandpa goodbye, after a Go clan dinner last Friday
Last Drink: Eight O’ Clock orange juice from my McDo breakfast
Last Movie Seen: Spanglish on DVD
Last Phone Call: one of our sales staff reporting a problem to me
Last CD Played: more Christmas standards-- Harry for the Holidays, Harry Connick Jr. (this guy is the closest thing we have to a contemporary Sinatra, and he's easy on the eyes too ;p)
Last TV show watched: House =D
Last Person you talked to: in person, our secretary, who was sharing a grievance about one of our office personnel; over YM, Fara, about The Princess Bride and how we both love it :)

Have You Ever Dated One Of Your Best Guy/Girl Friends: yes
Have You Ever Broken the Law: yes (my parents and I jaywalked across Ayala Avenue very recently, despite my protests)
Have You Ever Been Arrested: no (and to think there was a police outpost on the very sidewalk we crossed to)
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: nope
Have You Ever Been on TV: does getting caught on camera at an Ateneo basketball game count?
Have You Ever Kissed Someone: only family and close friends ;p

Things You're Wearing: clothes, my Omega watch, a bracelet I borrowed from my sister, my @ pendant and Nine West flat slip-ons
Things You've Done Today: ate breakfast in the car, answered emails, filed papers, fielded phone calls, chatted with my cousins and Fara over YM, skipped lunch
Things You Can Hear Right Now: office lunch-break chatter
Things You Can't Live Without: family, good friends, good books, ice cream, coffee and a cell phone
Things You Do When You're Bored: blog, play Text Twist or Bejeweled on my Palm

4 PLACES YOU'VE BEEN TODAY: only 3 so far: home, McDo drive-thru, and the office


Black or White: Black
Hot or Cold: Cold

1 THING YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE: I actually have 3: teach, write a novel, and go to Europe; since I’ve already done teaching, and I can only pick 1, I’ll have to go with writing a novel.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Why I'd win any my-room-is-messier-than-your-room argument

I actually lost someone's Christmas present inside my own room. As in it disappeared, vanished, went poof without a trace. To my frustration, it was one of the nicer ones I had bought (a pack of storybooks for Yang's son Jalf =( ), and I don't know if I have enough time to find the same thing again before I meet them this Sunday. I have been keeping a box where I stash all the gifts I'm giving out this Christmas, and as far as I know I had placed the package inside, but last night when I was ready to wrap it (or rather, ask my sister to wrap it), I couldn't find it! ARGH. I sifted through all the piles of junk on my desk and at the foot of my bed (yes, there is a mini-junkyard at the foot of my bed), emptied all the paper and plastic bags lying around the floor, and scoured every nook and cranny (I even looked under my bed!), all to no avail. This should teach me to maintain better housekeeping in my own room, or at least better inventory of my holiday purchases. Hmph.

Monday, December 12, 2005

In mourning

I received some devastating news last Saturday night...

My sister (reading a text message from Auntie Nene, our favorite gossipmonger): Hey, Matt Damon got married.

Me (in a scream of pure anguish):

My sister (rolling her eyes): As if you had a chance!

Good point. Sniffle.

Share in my heartbreak.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Overdue outing

After many weeks of planning, coordinating, postponing and rescheduling, I managed to rope together 4 of the Fyrinx volleyball players for a very belated celebration dinner. 2 of the kids (Tarin and Bern) are my Openness babies, while the other 2 (Des and Brock) were never my students but for some reason have always shared an easy familiarity with me (plus I found out tonight they are eerily accurate in reading me :p). We were missing 2 more (Kyla and Gra), but that only means we'll be having another evening of out-of-control binging, non-stop laughing and free-flowing gabbing sometime soon. I can't wait.

Dinner at Pancake House Connecticut (because Conti's was full)
Dessert at UCC
B1 and B2: Bern and BrockParfait palsSharing with Shobe

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

So this is Christmas

What about the weird weather we've been having lately, huh? Last Sunday it was summer in December, and then today it's looking like rainy June. Somehow it's harder to get into the holiday spirit when you're sweating like a pig, or getting surprised by unseasonal showers. The outdoor tiangge at Greenhills is a public sauna one day and a communal bathhouse the next. Good thing I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping. I'm pretty efficient this year, considering I have more people on my shopping list than ever before (as I grow older I make more friends and get better at keeping in touch with old ones-- it's tough on the wallet, but well worth it). All that's left now is the most challenging purchase: a Christmas/wedding anniversary gift for our parents (they got married on Christmas Day, of all days... at least we just need to get them one gift ;p). I think I'll drop by Deco Centrum on my way home from work today, see if they have anything within our budget (of course when I say "our" budget I mean my budget, seeing as how I'm the only one earning an income of the 3 of us). If I can't afford the tiniest Lladro they have then I'll have to consider other options. I know they need a new water pitcher for their bedroom... who knows where I can find a good selection of pitchers?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

What a week

After 4 days of playing gracious host to our Thai guests, I felt drained as I've never felt drained before. It wasn't even physical fatigue, since we were always chauffeured around town and the closest thing to exercise I got all week was walking around malls and department stores so that the Thais could check out the market, the competition, the merchandise, etc. Besides, we treated them to some of the best meals Manila has to offer during the whole time they were here, so that meant I as their official tour guide was well-fed too. No, I was spent on an entirely different level-- but not even mentally, because it required so little brain activity, and certainly not emotionally, because there was no affection nor resentment (heck, not even mild dislike) involved. I just felt utterly depleted somewhere inside after all the painfully polite conversations, solicitous gestures, and various courtesies, pleasantries and niceties that I had to engage in. I guess the effort that went into being so damn hospitable sapped me of energy, and by the time I dropped them off at the airport yesterday afternoon, I was ready to collapse.

But then, like the rider in Frost's immortal poem, I had promises to keep before I could indulge in rest or sleep. So I dragged my weary butt to Xavier to meet some friends at the Wish bazaar and to support AXD in the Season of RoXs battle of the bands (Pat, Stef, Gra-- I love you guys that much :p). After that, just when I thought I was running on an empty tank and about to crash and burn, I met up with Fara for dinner. And I was so very relieved to be around someone I didn't have to be nice to (after all, your truest friends are the ones whom you can freely abuse), and I was so very grateful for the familiar, comfortable company that I could have wept had I been the weeping kind. Later Lynn joined us for dessert at Bizu, and I was completely cured of my exhaustion by a mixed remedy of sinful chocolate cakes, insane conversation, and hysterical laughter. I don't think I've ever appreciated Fara (HSC) and Lynn (GOD) more. Thanks to my dear friends, I went to bed the most relaxed and happy I'd been in the past week, and already beginning to forget my tiring time with the Thais.