Friday, January 25, 2008

date of expiry

My license expires in five days. I'll need cash to defray the costs of renewing the thing. While I scramble for coinage I am also thankful, since it's served me very very well.

Again, Jen

People outgrow you.

There will always come a time when students-- if they are diligent, if they learn from you at all-- will not need you to hold their hands and walk them through life's (or in her case English's) rough patches. When you encounter anyone as bright as her, as apt to pick up what you know... well, a part of you doesn't want it to end. Even if you know it must and that you have to let her go when she can learn nothing else from you.

What's nice is that long long after you've done with mentoring someone who resonates with you, he'll still fondly refer to you as "Teacher" or "Sir." Even if, by now, you're nothing of the kind to this person. Happily you can both progress as "friends" if the teacher-student bond is still strong long after it's become obsolete.

* * *

I had wanted to say more here, but I'll keep this short and easy to read. There are always other posts.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What did you just say?

フィリピンの大統領は「我々はEDSA IIを忘れます」と言いました。アロヨ大統領はMENTAL( 異常 )ですか!? もしEDSA IIにならなかった、アロヨさんはフィリピンの大統領にならなかった。

I have some relative freedom to diss the government every time I think it makes a monumentally stupid decision. This is only made possible mostly by two things:

1. a constitution that guarantees my right to speak freely
2. my relative political anonymity.

When my government says we should forget the very thing that put it into power--EDSA II-- then it can go hang.

To say she's betrayed her principles and our nation's dreams is already moot.

I'm not mad enough to tell everyone else to mount another relatively bloodless uprising, no. The lesson of EDSA is primarily that we should not allow things to get so bad that we have to mount another EDSA.

Bottom line: We can't afford to forget.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

It blossoms in all sorts of places...

This morning (well, yesterday morning now) on the jeepney ride home I saw a couple leaning ever so gently-snugly against each other, two hands linked, free arms resting softly on a knee or waist. I didn't want to rock their cocoon -- love's myopia renders everyone and everything else invisible-- so I moved. So that they'd have more personal space.

My seatmate was, like myself, falling asleep but valiantly keeping her head from connecting with my shoulder. Had I not been too tired to speak, I would have told her to go ahead, take a load off. Let the rest of her body deal with her health issues.

I silently wished them happiness.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Project Yearbook Post Mortems

My life --indeed any human being's life-- can be described as a series of (sometimes bonehead) decisions and remorseful post-mortems after the fact. As another phase of this life comes to a close I'm feeling the need to make the requisite summations and evaluations.

Project Yearbook is almost practically done. So.

So. What have I learned?

Not much. They say one is doomed to repeat sitting through the lesson if it isn't learned properly. My lessons involve things like valuing the worth of your work by properly pricing it.

Everybody wants to get "a little something extra" for his money and it's only natural that people will haggle. Even if you're already bending over backward to give them something good. To expect others not to haggle right off the bat because you don't, is futile. You have to make that clear.

I can't price myself worth jack because I'm always thinking about the other guy. Because I'm in love with this person, or because the client is "family." It's not that favors shouldn't be done for the people you care about or out of simple human decency (a shock to some of you, I know). But if this is the rule and not the exception then I shouldn't be in business-- I should be a priest or a UN volunteer. In East Timor.

Nobody else gives a rat's @ss that you're risking your life and your investment when you take your equipment on the road or spend late nights on a project whose profit can be measured in peanuts. Nobody wants to understand the technical difficulties you're mired in-- it's too daunting and it's exhausting simply trying to explain why you need to shift file formats, or why you need the damned dummy last year and whythehellarewemakingthedummyjustnow?

Nobody gives half a damn. So you should.

This will be among the hardest lessons for me to learn. I can only say I've learned it after I can tell certain people "No" and not feel so bad that I wasn't able to help.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


With the imminent completion of project yearbook I will soon find myself Simply. Free. There will still be a few loose ends to tie up, a few places to revisit but... freedom never tasted so good. I haven't felt her skin so near that the warmth of it and the smell of her are making me cross-eyed. I can almost taste her lips.

I'm leaving the Diliman shop, people, at the end of the month. I waited until project yearbook was finished to do this. I've waited so long.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Flush the "Right Thing"

Why does doing "the right thing" have the most appeal and the worst consequences?

I left my old place of work in protest against how my friend was fired. In a place where there's little in the way of clear-cut policy, a lot of stuff gets excused or shoved under the table and easily forgotten-- like the man's contributions, in part. Or the fact that some of the bases for the charges against him were the same stopgap measures he took on his quest to help the company out-- measures that the policy makers approved of at that time. But if it wasn't written down, then it didn't happen.

When you fire the one and only winner of the [Mr Helpful] award, there's something very very very wrong. Even if he was being muley in the end.

Higher admin did give me an explanation-- not that I asked for one, and not as if it was legally obligated to do so to me, but it was a gesture I greatly appreciated. It didn't change my decision, but it made leaving harder. I waited a full month between my decision to leave and my actual leavetaking-- there were loose ends to tie up and covenants I had to uphold.

It'll come as a surprise to some of you but I do have some honor.

There were other reasons for leaving the job of course. I was living with my friend and I did not want to drive a spike between him and his wife, who I love dearly. (She quit the job the same day he was fired.) I was also hitching my wagon to someone else's shooting star-- someone's dream that was going in the same direction mine was. I could have held my ground and stayed but I wasn't prepped for the difficulties that decision would have entailed... or so I thought.

Direct consequences--

It's been difficult to finance the insurance policy I took out some days before my friend was fired. This took longer to happen, but I also lost a girlfriend-- probably the sweetest most loving one since I was engaged to my ex-wife.

In my Universe, Personal trumps everything. This is probably why I still have friends and probably why I'll likely never ever be rich.

Friday, January 04, 2008

It's Your Sunshine, Sir. Spread It Where You Will

Some of my friends are uncomfortable with the idea of intercession, so please bear with me here. I'm holding up my end of a bargain I made long ago. This is part of it.

I still have a roof over my head; I still have some friends; something good came out of all those hours seemingly wasted looking for God in sacred places.

Two people I'd like to thank, and this has been due them for some time now. Thank you Jude, friend of Jesus. And most of all thank you, Jesus.

It's usually after I get grateful and profuse that I get news that makes me want to take all that back and yell "I've been gypped!" But for whatever's it's worth later in the week, I truly am thankful.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Fringer's Work Report (Jan 03 2008)

Status: Strung Out

I guess this would fall under my "bad day" posts. Though it's really more of a "long day" post, when you think of it. What's bad is that as I type, this day's not really over yet.

Got a project I would sooooo much like to dump but my perverse sense of honor is keeping me from dropping it like so much unwanted airport luggage. There will be no profit in this. Meanwhile my other projects are moving at a glacial pace.

I need to cram stuff into a disc (actually two discs) and I'm waiting for a friend to hand me disc #2 so I can fill it and take it to my client.

* * *

By the way, a friend's artwork looks a damn sight better now that it's framed. Not that it didn't look good on its own, mind you. I just hope I have the strength to take it to the client who commissioned it tomorrow, where it's supposed to go.

Meantime I have to wait a few days for my own work to get properly framed and ready for delivery. I'm hoping I can get the framers to do this a little quicker.

I want to sleep. I want to bother some friends. I want to eateateat.

In other news my deviantArt site has, as of 10:00 p.m. tonight, been hit 4000 times. Not that it's really a big deal, but I like celebrating the little things.

Alright. Back to work.