Monthly Archives: May 2010

Of red nails and thirty cents

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So who isn’t happy with pay day?

With utmost confidence and arrogance, I walk the streets on my way to work with nothing more than 30 cents. I try to avoid any stores with glass figurines for fear that the clumsy and penniless me might break something. You know what they say, “Once it’s broken, consider it sold.”

This is probably one of the best marketing and sales strategies invented. Admit it, once you see a store lined up with cutesy things and stuff, which you don’t really have a need with, you are tempted to at least browse through the sections and try vainly to see if something attracts you. Since the shelves are strategically lined up extremely close to each other, you can either come out of the store unscathed or with the sound of the broom sweeping what you have just broken. Ingenious.

Well, as happy as I am to receive my awaited pay, I still have to find a way to make it to the closing time at Lucky Plaza to remit. Just a few more months and its Christmas, but first I have to painstakingly remember that it’s the enrolment time. Who says headache for tuition payments are only for parents?

In the meantime, I am happy with my blood red nails typing at my keyboard. Never mind that I don’t make sense.

Wrongfully correct

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I am at my worst parasite mode when it comes to lunch time during office days. So when Kuya Jojo did not bring his usual economy dish today, we were left with no choice but to buy from the local hawker center or the carinderia. (Usual economy dish in Kuya Jojo’s cooking vocabulary means any dish that comes less than 3 dollars all while the serving can still be good for at least four people.)

Since I just had fried hokkien mee last Saturday, I decided to take the usual combi dish from the Chinese stall, take away of sauteed bean sprouts, a gigantic fried chicken, and rice. I have purchased the same combination for a couple of times already that I know it is worth 3 dollars for the entire thing. So, when the new Chinese young guy handed to me 2 and 5 dollar bills after paying 10 dollars, plus coins (which I thought was 30cents at first), I questioned him and presented the change in my hand. “My meal is 3 dollars right?” He looked at the change in my hand and said disapprovingly, “No, it’s 3.30.”

I was more dumbfounded. Even at 3 dollars, he gave me too much change already. Two reasons on why I didn’t insist on my point. One was that I might have been too drugged with the cough syrup I was taking and two, they have this uncanny ability to throw back a question at you which will definitely make you doubt if you are speaking real proper English. I’m sure most can relate to this, especially when you are talking to people who are not really that good, yet still remains to be assertive and authoritative. The smugness on his face as well as the tone of his voice made me just back down. Hey, if he didn’t want 30 cents it’s fine with me. Oh, correction. If he didn’t want 60 cents, then it’s fine with me.

When I went back to the office to check if I was hallucinatory or I was really right, lo and behold. I actually had 70 cents and not 30 cents. So, my 3.30 meal was charged to me for 2.30, saving me a dollar and an argument. Though you might be thinking why I am making such a fuss with the cents, actually my point is that although at times the persuasion and argument makes you inferior, it doesn’t mean you are always wrong. ­čśë

If I had Alzheimer’s…

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AlzheimerÔÇÖs disease is a brain disorder named for German physician Alois Alzheimer, who first described it in 1906…Is a┬áprogressive and┬áfatal brain disease...Is the most common form of dementia, a general term for┬ámemory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life…Has no current cure.

(from http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_what_is_alzheimers.asp)

If I had Alzheimer’s, I would have hated it (not that I can remember to hate it when I already am suffering from it). I think that it is a very lonely disease, and has the capacity to hurt the most. Just imagine staring at the face of a stranger, whom in actuality, you have shared all your life with. Dreadful.

So, before I hit the rocking age of 60 plus, and assuming I won’t have it before that age, I’d like to thank all the people who have been a part of me – big or small – as well as those who have given me hell (feeling was reciprocated) as inspired by a blog I read from somewhere.

MC Day 3: the Meltdown

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(belated post for 19th May 2010)

Third day of coughs reverberating throughout the lonesome corridors at home. I have nothing against doctors or nurses. As a matter of fact, two of my siblings are brave enough to wear the white uniform. It is the idea of sickness that bothers me, although I am mature enough to understand that not everybody is born a superhero unfazed by these earthly detriments.

Add to that are bottles that, for the life of me, I cannot spell the name or let alone pronounce. Worst part is that the only part written on it, using the human language, is my name.

If there is one thing I learned from the doctor-imposed exile, it is this: never ever hold a tweezer when you are bored. One less strand on the left, minus one more on the right, plus another one on the left…and poof! In a few seconds you can actually watch your face become animated from determination to patience to horror. Not all girls are blessed with womanly eyebrows, though some girls belonging to this learn how to deal with it. Too bad I don’t. Though I admit I do not have these feline skills, I will still attribute the mess up to my then shaking and weak hands for doing a weird job. Task now is to find a parlor to salvage them.

I have never been a sickly sick girl. There was no need for doctor consultation for me and the number of times I went to a hospital can only be counted by hand – at least four for each time I went to the hospital for the birth of my siblings. Last year, two instances would have made me rush to the hospital, if it weren’t only for the distance.

Dad was included in an accident early last year that involved multiple injuries and damages that would have amounted to at least half a million pesos worth. He was on his way to the New Bilibid Prison to escort a few fugitives as a favor for his friend and former colleague. Previously he worked as a cop, you see, whose life is pretty much having the same action as that of Filipino movies – with all the suspense, the drama, and the action. Anyway, on the way back, a family with the driver learning the basics for the first time – in a bustling highway take note – made a few errors which affected a whole lot of lives – my Dad being the worst.

Among the car accidents, Dad got the worst injuries, and despite that, the best thing that happened is that he survived. Ever since I was a kid, I always believed him to be invincible, someone to come out of burning buildings or walking in a field of explosions or dividing tsunamis – the stuff that Rambo would usually be in. It is in this particular instance that maybe, and gladly, Dad is one of those few born to be a genuine superhero. He even got the mindset to call my Mom, bloody and all that, before passing out on the way to the hospital, which I found really romantic and thoughtful (after the panic and hysteric subsided).

My siblings of course, expectedly, raised hell, when they found out who the culprit was. If I were there, I would have done the same exact thing, or even more. ┬áHey, learning how to drive in a public highway should be punishable by death. Another blessing in this is that the people culpable also worked in a hospital and are responsible people, so they never lurked from expenses and paid the damages inflicted. Dad had the best treatment for his face, an expensive titanium which will not affect him that much when there are changes in the weather. Titanium had to be operated into his skull on two places, one near the eye (good thing it didn’t affect his eye) and one over the cheeks.

For a while he got conscious of his appearance, but Dad, being the maton and punk that he is, never showed it. Bless be his good looks that’s why the scars can be overseen, which don’t show anymore. It was months, almost half a year, before they revealed the truth to me. They got scared of worrying me from afar. Imagine my Dad trying his best not to pant and make his voice normal all while talking to me and asking how I am, all while he was in the hospital bed recuperating. Damn. Enough of those thoughts. He is all and well, thank God.

Another is a minor incident with my Mom, where several months after, she was needlessly admitted at the hospital which scared the hell out of me. Two of my siblings, boy and girl, took Mom to the doctor where they were met by a grouchy intern. Although it is understandable why he is grouchy, probably from a long day of work or what not, it is still part of one’s responsibility, especially in that field, to see to the health of the patient. Else, why are you there in the first place?

As being interns themselves who carefully maintained good relationship with their patients, these two take-no-shit-from-nobody siblings of mine contested on the wrong diagnosis and unacceptable aloofness from a yet-to-be-registered intern. They took Mom to another doctor, and actually there was no need to confine her. They just agreed to have Mom stay at the hospital for a few nights to keep her from doing the laundry instead of resting.

Funny thing happened when I went to the doctor for the first time here, just for the sake of reimbursing my consultation fee and getting it filed under a valid medical leave. I had to go to polyclinic because government clinics are the “only clinics recognized” by our company – for unjustifiable reasons. So I went to Hougang polyclinic at around after lunch on Monday. At the registration, upon the attendant knowing that I was dizzy with fever, she had me queue up at a special lane where they will give special priority to those who need immediate attention. I never did feel any special attention as I deliriously waited three hours before meeting the doctor to give me just a paracetamol, a cough syrup, and most importantly, the most-coveted medical certificate.

So you see, it is a love-hate relationship between me and hospitals. Aside from the fact that I am not too keen on science, with all its nose-bleeding words and terms, hospitals do have this constricting and looming feeling. Although, taken in the best light, they are also the avenue for new life.

7 out of 14

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Hey, I tried okay? Well, since most are material, I have expected this anyway. Passing marks in the least.

Goal number 1. Paint my nails ÔÇô including cleaning them up first.

Yes, I actually did. Twas just the same color as before and need redo this as they have started to chip again.

Goal number 2. Buy ballet shoes.

Nope. Good thing I can always wear slippers in the office.

Goal number 3. Buy a cute dress plus bag.

Yep! Haven’t been able to wear it yet, though. As for the bag, I received one as a gift.

Goal number 4. Get blue hair color highlights.

Nope. No treatment to be done with my hair yet. Blue hair ain’t happening soon.

Goal number 5. Buy new bed sheets.

Okay. Sometimes you must sacrifice. I’ll just wait for the next Hush Puppies sale.

Goal number 6. Get a balikbayan box, fill it up with nice, inexpensive, expensive, edible, and usable things to send home.

A big yes! Among all those listed here, this is the one I’m proudest. Just need to buy a few more chocolates and perfumes and the pick up man is just an SMS away.

Goal number 7. Fulfill goal number 6.

Yes! Yes! Yes! ­čÖé

Goal number 8. Get another job and get the pass approved.

Nope. I am still keeping my optimism though. Never say die! ­čśë

Goal number 9. Stuff this more with meaningful goals.

I have to say yes to this one. ­čśŤ

Goal number 10. Decide if I am going to spend this dreaded deadline in Malaysia or not.

Yep! I did more than just decide, I spent a 2-day leave there! Loved the outdoor theme park of Genting Highlands. Too bad there wasn’t enough time for the indoor, but fun, fun, fun nonetheless!

Goal number 11. Try to fix the layout of this blog.

I did. A bit. So it’s a yes. Just have to learn how to put pictures though.

Goal number 12. Get my eyebrows decently shaped this time.

Ahm. No. Next!

Goal number 13. Have my PSP version 6.2 modified.

Nope. Hope Dark Alex does something about this.

Goal number 14. Buy for me a perfume.

Nope. Probably next time. ­čśë

Though my target date has already passed, it doesn’t mean I’ll stop. Should even think of bigger ones. My goal today is to get well. Damn viral flu. At least I am doing marginally better.

MC Day 2

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I hate being sick.

I love being loved at even my worst. Thanks for being mad at me just to get me to stay at home to rest. Thanks for taking the day off from work to be, well, my caregiver. Thanks for tolerating my constant whining with love-filled smiles.

Though I am comfortable with solitude, having to hear only just the laptop keys and running vehicles outside under a beautiful day just sucks.

In the meantime, I’ll just amuse myself with pictures from online shops in Facebook. Reminds me of the days when I used to watch home tv shopping and the face off between Iglesia ni Cristo and Ang Dating Daan.

What to buy for breakfast when everything tastes the same?

Another 365 days older

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Funny how we wish for the ironic: hope that the clock speeds up a couple of hours to be able to get out of  the office (depends on the job you have, to be fair), and how, on the other hand, wish that we were younger (reminded by candles which seem to reproduce every time you blow them).

Bloated stomach, indigestion, where’s-my-pillow syndrome, having too much raw food for dinner, and lack of oxygen in the brain causes me to think that based from the partial results of the elections, the Philippines is in deeper chaos that it was when World War II was inked in our history, at least in some aspects.

Just think, a 50-year-old bachelor and father-of-none Aquino as a President, possibly Roxas (who married a journalist right before the elections for a subtle impact to what we call the fourth estate: the media) for Vice President who will likely oppose the president, and former President-now-Congresswoman Macapagal-Arroyo for Speaker of the House will be running 7,107 islands regardless of the tides. Aptly called a circus, politics in the Philippines is a good way of reducing calories. Why?

First is the headache of seeing the same faces again. Taken in a wrong context, democracy seemed to be synonymous with the elementary game of Chinese Garter where the basic idea is to step in and to step out. Best thing about it is that even if you fail to make it through one level, you just have to wait, sit, let your opponents take advantage of your skipping turn, then play again. This would give you minus 20 calories.

Second is the unending campaign jingles and surveys which have varying results. Though – blessedly – I am not in the country as of writing, I read different facebook accounts all complaining of one issue which is noise pollution. I won’t be surprised if these are subconsciously chanted during their sleep. Surveys can either make or break a candidate. If the survey is in favor of them, press release is that surveys are accurate, making more masses sway into the decision of the majority. If it goes the other way around, expect violent reactions similar to those of ladies having big pimples on prom day. On the calorie-meter, lack of sleep from these can maybe bring you 30 points down.

Third is who to vote. Bloodlines, celebrity status (come on), appeal for the masses that comprise majority of the population (it is actually disheartening to know that “masses” mean number of votes and not number of people who are below the average-income families), and some claiming with real credentials being the “underdogs” run the show.

The clamor for political change has always been resounding and yet, each and every time, nothing happens. This can be attributed to the opposition turning into what they have campaigned against when they themselves are elected. Choosing a lesser evil and going for the one which “majority” thinks will win is a predominant factor for deciding who to vote. I’d note 30 less pounds for this.

Fourth is having to hear the results being the opposite of what you have expected and/or reaffirming the expected results which is the opposite of what you would have wanted. Glad to know we don’t have to hear much about bloodbaths and claims of unfair elections, vote buying, black outs, and shoot outs partly due to electoral innovations. Though it has taken years before this gets formalized and needed last minute tinkering to work, I guess we are improving, albeit in a snail-like pace. Less 30 calories for this.

Roughly, without even noticing it, about 110 calories are lost every time we experience the above-mentioned. That’s almost equivalent to 20minutes of pure jogging every time. What cannot be measured is the fifth reason which is the aftermath.

Reason number five speaks of the results of what had just happened. Months of campaign and calorie-burning are all gauged to one judgment day. Bottom line is if one wants to have  nation-wide calorie burning, in the form of starvation, then look for officials who will increase your taxes, make the requirements of your benefits hard to obtain, and bombard you with products price hike, all while they are not affected in the slightest of inaction on their part. If it is only an individual who wants to lose calorie, better resort to the traditional exercise.

I write this with evaluation of how tight my pants have become since last night, after a sushi-fest and all things raw at a Japanese restaurant for a post-office celebration in my hellhole. I guess I would rather complain at how easily a small wrapped rice can make me gain weight than to complain about lack of food and surging prices in the Philippines.

365 days older, and the countdown of another has started. Thought after writing this: ridiculous. When you are older, you try to think more and make less sense. Jeez.