Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ending the Year of the Klutz... being one. 

Slammed my head into a wall while running in the stairwell a week ago. It wasn't as painful as it was funny. I learned first-hand just what the boys at Fight Science talk about when they illustrate just how the energy of an impact to the skull travels through the brain and along the neck and spine and into the muscles in the shoulders and the back as they work to absorb and dissipate it. I was lucky that some of the impact was mitigated by my hands and arms (energy travels through them too, all the way to-- yes-- the shoulders and the back).

And just today, in my rush to get to work I forgot both of my cellphones when I would sorely need either one later... for when the fireworks would start. There won't be a way in hell barring telepathy that my parents would be able to know when to come for me later. They won't even know  where to go to pick me up.

Too, I could have sworn that my ATM card was in my wallet yesterday. It was  in my wallet yesterday. I've had no reason to take it out at any time except for when I really needed it, which is tonight.

I'll be en route to Cainta to pick up my phones, then to QC to track down my ATM card. (This is assuming of course that people in my QC house have been practicing their brand of silent interventions in my so-called wayward life.) Then I hie off to Alabang to join the folks. All of this to be done tonight.          

But my year--in fact the last two-- haven't been exclusively marked by physical klutziness. I was also inexcusably socially inept. 

C'est la vie.

I hope this is the last time that I'll be this klutzy-- you know, physically, mentally and what have you.         

Happy new year, folks.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Not Nihil, Nihil

There are two major Christian milestones worth noting, regardless of what denomination of the Christian faith you belong to. One is Christmas. The other is Easter.  We celebrate the beginning of Christ's Mission on the former; we celebrate its fulfilment on the latter holdiay.

The Christian is supposed to witness this truth: God bends over backward to reconcile Himself with His wayward Creation. I sometimes wish He'd do a better job of it-- what with all the broken people out there, breaking themselves against the intransigence of other people; those same people being broken in their turn. I wish the Christians would do a better job of witnessing too-- some of those broken people broke themselves on Christian intransigence.  

Jesus died so none of us would answer the question of meaning with "Nihil, Nihil." When we leave Christmas morning behind, we are supposed to carry the hope and the joy that knowing this gives us. And Love too, love most importantly: to share-- to witness-- these as far and wide as is humanly possible.    


T: To your "Nihil," I will answer always "Ti amo." 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy New Year!

How do you know you're too old for derring-do? 

1. When you demand peak performance from your body and get it less and less;
2. When you find yourself risking life and limb for utterly stupid lost causes;
3. When #2 happens too frequently;
4. When the embarrassing and self-injurious consequences of #2 cease to be charming 

I didn't save a friend's possessions from the potential ravages of a fire. I didn't interpose myself between some hapless old lady and an out-of-control bus. I didn't recklessly spend all my money to make sure a loved one got medicine. I didn't fight off a bunch of goons intent on robbery. 

No. Nothing so heroic. I marked the end of this year by running down a stairwell, slipping, tripping and slamming my head on a wall half a floor below me in the name of workplace punctuality.

I'm okay, for now. I'm just waiting to see if the latest bump on my noggin has any neurological and psycho-motor side effects that I should be worried about. I think my personality's still intact-- not an occasion for cheering if some people are to be asked.  

Happy new year. At least for me, the fireworks came early.  

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Season of Lists

Stuff I'm keeping out

If only for one day, let me keep out some guests that have been residing in my mind throughout most of the year. Here's the list--

1. Anomie

The feeling of being disconnected from everything has been my default state since 2005. There have been a few occasions where I connected with people, thank God, but these have been few. I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth, mind, but they have not been quite the connections I needed.

2. Korean ESL Students

I'm sorry. I like them, I do. The women, especially. But I've done nothing but teach them Engrish the past two years. I want to relex und tinks of nothings lelated to koreun schyoodunt. I'll make an exception for my favorite student from my Engrish 11 days, Jenny, but she's busy with her studies in Japan.

3. Women

I have found out that I am pathologically inclined to be generous toward them, and they have consistently given me reasons why indulging in my pathology has been a waste of my time. They make great friends, they do. But only to people who are not the least bit "threatening" to them, like my Tita Dex persona. They will never truly see me as They will always see either ex-Calauan Mayor Sanchez or Tita Dex.

4. Television Christmas Specials

Most especially the noontime variety show Christmas specials. I don't doubt the intent of the people who watch them, and the intent of some of the people who make them. But I cannot deny the BS and mediocrity that oozes from each of every one of them.

5. Friends

A good number of them anyway. The best time to see them and catch up is waaaay after Christmas. If I were a responsible friend, I would have caught up with them now and again way before Christmas. Saved myself and them the anxiety of rushing to catch up just because everyone else is expected to. Mea culpa, people. And I am sorry.

6. Computers

I have a choice between prayer and non-Engrish related work. But since I plan to greet and engage the Savior in an argument on his traditional birthday, then computers are out. After I argue with God, I will wish him a happy birthday-- moot, considering that he is already happy in himself, if the pastors, priests and shamans are to be believed.

7. Rants and the things that vex me.

If only for one day, I'll endeavor to still the mind, to keep it from overanalyzing everything. To STFU. I realize that I'm an angry man, picking at the scabs of the same old issues. Obviously they're important to me. But at least, just for a day, I have to let them go.


Stuff I'll be doing

From one grumpy old man to a whole slew of grumpy old men: wine, sandwiches, and a show.

If there's time, reestablishing family ties with Fr. Varela and the rest of my long lost Andalusian-Asian kin. It would be so cool to proudly wear that family's colors. Yeah Dex, feed your delusions of knighthood, why don'tcha?


Stuff I really want

Aside from a laptop, a car and 42 million bucks?

There must be better ideas than going into torpor after meeting familial obligations on Christmas. But I stopped believing in Christmas reconciliations three years ago. One almost happened, but it soured in February so it doesn't count. Someone please prove me wrong here.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We finally had "The Talk"

The preamble was respectably short, but I, well versed in the language of rejection knew where this spiel was leading up to.  She sat me down and spoke matter of factly about why this just simply would not have worked. Even if we spaced her gifts over the course of the next two months. Let it last until valentine's my eyes pleaded. Her eyes didn't blink: she was being firm, but I could tell she wanted to be kind.  But the word was final: there would be no Christmas bonus.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Status Updates


Still sick, but I've been constantly drinking water and chugging on vitamins. I try not to miss a meal. The good news is that I am slowly recovering. The bad news is that the lack of sleep I am forced to experience means that recovery will be slow. 

I run/pedal two kilometers a day now, just to keep fit. I can't push myself to do the usual five because I'll need my energy to get well. 


Everybody keeps talking about the recession so much that I sometimes want to throttle the next guy who mentions the word. Answers are somewhat terse when we talk about the Christmas bonuses and sundry that we need so badly. What frightens me is that people around me are looking to me to break the ice, to wave my magic wand and somehow make it all better.

I'm flattered, but I can't even convince my ex to talk to me. It wouldn't hurt to broach the subject at least. I have no plans of being a damned union leader (damned being very operative here), but I can do that much.

...and I can decide, based on management's response, if it's still worth the trouble to stay.

Life Choices

My ex quit Engrish 11 in August of 08. I got this job, at IELTSherp, a nearby office, in part because I was hoping to see her again. With her gone, there's little to keep me here but the students and the pay. But each month I stay here takes away time I can spend on other things I'd rather be doing.  

The people who drink with me know that I have a "grandkid" working my ex's old job who I don't see often. They know I have other friends there who I didn't get to see as often because all this ex business has basically turned my dealings with my former office into an awkward game of "spot the elephant in the room." Someone there who I'd like to consider a friend is the unfortunate object of my totally undeserved ire. I am constantly torn between saying hello and ripping him in half. 

I'm sorry, dude, but I had to say it.

I have other friends in other venues who have been somewhat neglected (sins of omission) because of my preoccupation with filling the vacuum left in Tina's wake.

My parents are constantly puzzled by what I've been doing (nothing new there) but I'd appreciate it if they'd preoccupy themselves with something more constructive for once. Like focusing on their own lives.

I know, I know: they care. And if I were in their shoes I'd probably be nagging my kid too. But I'll wait my turn. There's got to be a better way to engage my kids besides.    

So now I'm wondering if everything I did was worth all of this. Friends I don't see, long long hours, inadequate pay, continued parental doubt, being constrained to act on the 16th and 30th of every month, love of my life running away from me like I was frigging satan. 


The good news is that I have actually gone out on several dates already, and I had a wonderful time  on my most recent outing with a colleague. I gave her a tour of my happy places-- Mongolian Grill and Subway-- on the same day. No, we're just friends and we're likely to stay that way. We're both too hung up-- Tina's words, not mine-- on our exes.   

The important thing is that I had an opportunity to be chivalrous, to lavish attention on someone without being treated like a leper or drawing the wrong kind of attention. It means a lot to finally be seen for the good in me.  

My friends from the 20th floor are moving to the tenth, it seems. I'm cautiously optimistic about this, because it means more shared elevator time. And maybe the rest of the staff at 'Epsis won't consider me an oddity anymore.

Because every time I share floor space with them someone invariably sings something from Arnel Pineda. And invariably they sing "I don't waaaaaaant to remee-mber/ the things we used to do/ all the things/ that remind me of youuu...."  Sigh. The exigencies of the long-locked.

Don't worry, I'm used to it.