Wednesday, April 25, 2001

Among my hobbies is to adore my son.

Since he is born. Pictures here and there, audio and video recordings, almost everything about him and his life is documented. I'm among those who always has a camera, you know to capture the moments. I even have a videotape of him eating dinner, just that, eating dinner. Actually, because it's hilarious to watch him not eat while eating. Heh!

I know one of these days he'll get embarassed with me taking pictures and recording. But not yet, so I take my time and enjoy. Here are some of those, clips as he vies for his first karate belt.




































Ala Matrix ha!

Sunday, April 22, 2001

In a snap, we were there.

Three girlfriends and I watching Renee in the sweet, funny film Bridget Jones’s Diary.

Somewhat rubbing it in, the glory and tribulation of life the third decade. I mean, being 30. I sure am not yet there, but it is rubbing it in. Here, I watch this movie with three girlfriends who are already there, 30s, watching a movie about being 30s too. And so on my bedside lies another, a book about being 30 called Plan B.

Plan B as defined in the book:
What you turn to when you reach thirty years old and suddenly realize everything you thought would happen hasn’t, and instead of marriage, parenthood, and professional success, you’re facing bachelorhood, divorce, career failure, middle age… Thirty. shit.

Wow!

Not a very welcoming thought about turning thirty.. If you’re not yet there, or far from being there, don’t even think about the hilarity and grossness of it all. When you’re younger, it feels as though you will be that young forever. At least it feels that way. That the days and years run endlessly to your favor. But then, if you think this way, it is most likely you’ll end up in the Plan B category. Ouch!

I see it, I read about it, I know it from people who show signs of pressure in being 30s. I have to have someone, I have to be this, I want, I need. The 20s, even early teens can feel this way. It is just that at 30, the pressure builds when the fear of losing time sets in. Somewhat feeling the rub of not having anything to show for the years. It can be bad. Especially with the media playing up these things. As if you should arrive by age 30, as if you’re old at age 30, as if the future is age 30.

Well, let’s just polish our own mind. Translation: have your own mind. Don’t listen to anything crappy to your own agenda. There’s no use to being pressured, nervous, or to harbor any ill feelings at all. That’s counter-productive. What about being 30? Just be thankful that the air is still ever so able to go in and out your lungs.

Not in a year from now I’ll be thirty. I’m quite cocky about this because my Plan A has worked. So I have plenty of rooms, thank you very much. I have no pressure whatsoever, just a good dose of drive and ambition to keep me pumped up. Anyway, I think it is because when I turned 20 I cried. I swear, I cried my heart out. Cause then, my 20th birthday, I felt the enormity of it all, of what was about to come. The hefty responsibility and challenges I didn’t know what to do about. Awful. I knew I have to do something. So quite stubbornly, but not without resistance, I did. That there’s no more tears forecast for me by 30. I worked so hard to save myself that heartache. Nah. Just a birthday bash for me actually. It is more like after all the tribulation, my lungs are healthier, haha, and I can breathe with great ease.

So I say, thirty … Yes! Big hug!!!

Friday, April 20, 2001

Then he answered, “yes!”

I put down the fork in my hand this time. “Who?” As I stared at him, his profile, his nose, his eyes, his clear skin beckon to my eyes. “Some consultant, a girl from Andersen.”

Whoa! This is going to be exciting, my eyes are still intent on him as he pick up some lettuce with his fork.

"Is she pretty?"

He hesitated for a while, and then he stared at me and smiled. “Yes. It’s weird though, she looks a lot like Christine.”

Whoa! Christine, the ex-girlfriend, the one he left to be with me. Yeah, she must be pretty.

“So what happened? Tell me,” I, nudging him to spill. “How tall is she? Is she blonde? How old? Single?”

“5’7”, brunette, 27. Very much so.”

Whoa!

Come on, so tell me…

“She met with me in this project. Then, we had lunch, all of us the group. Then, she was there…”

I am still mesmerized. Staring at him, looking for a cause of alarm yet find the excitement in it all. Remembering the way I tease him, singing “my ex-girlfriend is at ho-ho-home. It is my ex-girlfriend, she’s at home…”A Tony Toni Tone favorite that I played specifically to squeak and have fun as we drove by his ex’s home in Chicago not so long ago.

I stare at him on cue that he continues.

“She was there, you know bulok. Calling me on the phone to ask for someone’s extension. Haha, just to start a conversation. She’d flutter around, go to my desk, and tinker with my stuff.”

I can just imagine that, tinker with his stuff? And what is that my picture? Erase, erase… his notes, his filofax, maybe even the soft Space Jam ball that he plays with the rest of his I.T. team, like a soccer game, to chill. It must be his quiet, unshakable personality that caught her.

“She actually invited me for dinner. Ah… but I had lunch with her some occasions.”

Whoa!

“Yeah, just the two of us.” He confirmed.

Cool, gossip material.

“So?” I asked him, as if squeezing him for the juicier part. He smiled nonchalantly as he resigned, “I didn’t mind her I guess.”

Ah that snobbish attitude of him. Girls fall for that all the more, the “unattainable” challenge we women so inexplicably prefer. He’s just snobbish, this guy can challenge me in terms of snobbishness. Besides, his eyes, nose, face… he has things going for him, his polished personality, his being cerebral, his confidence quotient that is almost perfect, sometimes I can sit beside him and think it is not such a bad idea to worship him. Except that he worships me first, and I am his Goddess. Haha!

“That’s it?” sounding quite disappointed. “ So what happens to her designs to you?”

“I don't know, it’s just not on my mind.”

"Ek, sayang. Tsk." That's me with mischief."You’re just too busy, happy with the goings on…” My analysis, “Then of course, you’re just so enamored by me, no one else matters.” Then I continued, “I just have to keep my eyes on you, what with your washboard abs in the horizon. Are you sure you don’t want a trainer?”

Our conversation effortlessly jumped to the gym, and the washboard abs.

Come to think of it, it’s great. How our relationship has always been like that, flowing effortlessly since day one. Of course, I am jealous and possessive. Donald is just able to balance me out, the yin to my yang so to speak that I am free, that I learn to give back the same. Forgive me for saying this, but Donald and I are so damn good together. I myself am impressed. Haha!

Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Yes, it is expensive. And it even gets more expensive.

So I come to ask Josh, the cute karate guy (Hershey take note) for the hand protectors, if it was already in stock. That was while little Pen was down the hall training. While Josh was looking for the missing hand protectors, a tall 40ish guy entered the scene, smiling at me. Hi! How are you doing? The man was smiling at me. I smiled courteously not caring, the gears was all that mattered. So how much are all these? I asked Josh pertaining to the three gears I was interested to buy. $105.00, he answered. What!

Indecisive to buy, I knew it would be a better deal if I got the entire set which they sell discounted at $215.00. The knee pads, head protectors, rib protectors etc. etc. As if Penny has immediate use for them, and he has not, which just added to the confusion. Besides, they packaged the entire set with a bag which is really, really ugly. Hideous! I mean, how could I buy that bag! I was not in the mood to do the math, if I buy the set with the bag or minus the bag and forego the discount. Man, tough! That I left the office without the gears just sat myself at the lobby to watch Pen. I'd buy later.

When Penny was done, Josh immediately got to his side, and talked to him. Penny ran, bowed, and ran towards me. He said, “they want to see you in the office.” What now? But I went anyway.

There he was the 40ish guy. So he was Bill, the boss. Ah, a black-belter too I could see that. He asked me what I thought of the program so I told him that I was concerned about Penny learning the basic stance. It seemed that some instructors taught fast. He replied looking straight to my eyes, “that’s what we’re here for. Penny can have private lessons. I can give him private lessons. Do you have time? Right now?” I raised my brows. He said, “10-15 minutes?” … okay.

Three of us went to the adjacent room where they hold private lessons. The little boy was already too happy. Punch here kick there. How do you do that kick again? I asked. My mistake, because by then Bill wanted to instruct me of the kick and asked me to stand up. There I was the Mom, being taught to kick too. But I was not surprised. I sort of know since I got called in the office that Bill was eyeing me. Luckily, I was really interested about the kicks that I more than willingly oblige. While Bill was teaching me the stance, he wanted too badly that I do the stance correctly he knelt beside me, yeah right! He held my right calf, and pushed my leg forward. He even positioned my foot with his hand so that it would land in place of the target pad. If this guy has a foot fetish, well he just got himself a treat. What with my freshly pedicured nails haha!

Bill was all smiling to me when he said, “why don’t you bring Penny 3 times a week for a couple of weeks. That way he’d progress faster.” The guy knew that Penny was in a once-a-week program. Then, he continued, “3 times or 2 times depending on your schedule.”

“Alright Bill,” and I shook his hands. I turned my back, depending on my schedule haha!

My thoughts were back to the karate gears that I wanted to buy. Sure now, I’d get a better deal.

Friday, April 13, 2001

Today is Good Friday. God, I almost forget. Here, I'll most likely remember TGI than Good Friday.

Anyhoo, the thought came by yesterday when thinking of how best to spend the weekend. I was even trying to arrange a tennis match when the thought struck. Oh God, it's Good Friday! So no tennis match and TGI but abstinence for Friday. I mean abstinence that I have to remind Donald. No meat, yeah, no meat. Haha!

Comparing Holy Week in Manila and the U.S. I like the one in Manila. The reason perhaps is because I grow up there and am used to our customs. Besides, there's no such thing as Holy Week in the U.S., just Easter. That's the gig here. Whereas in Manila, wow! I only have to close my eyes and imagine the observance there. The pasyon, the t.v. specials (because the t.v. channels take this as vacation from the public so there's no regular program to see come Maundy Thursday), the heat, and the quietness ( especially on Good Fridays, at the strike of 3 when all the pasyon singing are done and over with :P). Imagine, quiet and no t.v.! I remember that abstinence should be every Friday after Ash Wednesday culminating on Black Saturday. Come Easter, it's back to normal time.

In contrast, U.S. boasts of a mix of culture, beliefs, what have you, including religion that Catholicism, and Christianity is but one of them. Might be the reason why nothing ceases here, not even for Holy Week. No Holy Week. What Holy Week? Just observe your own Holy Week. So if it comes as a surprise for me that ha? It's Good Friday? Well... What I am reminded here is Easter. That's what the whole country celebrates, Easter.

It is big deal here. In the media, in the grocery stores, in the mall, you'd be reminded of Easter a month or so in advance. I don't know if it is more of a marketing and sales strategy, because Easter goodies is good business. Just like Valentines, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, Easter has its own merchandise, especially for the Easter Egg Hunt. In fact, I already have in my keeping, hush it's a surprise, an Easter egg basket full of goodies for the little boy. Then, there are some more for other dear kids. Easter I remember but Good Friday? Well...

Another analysis I have for the contrast between our Holy Week in the Philippines and the lack thereof in the United States is that Filipinos tend to dwell on what is sad, while Americans tend to dwell on what is happy. That's why we observe more of the Holy Week and less of the Easter while here, it's all Easter. All happy. Kind a like, we are more ying compared to the more yang Americans.

Although I'd like to think I don't tip my fulcrum in favor of one side, I feel yang more and more. See, it is only 8 o'clock this Friday morning and I already manage to break one abstinence rule. To make amends, I promise not to pump iron today.

Ah, maybe a little swim. Yoga...

Thursday, April 05, 2001

Being an adult means mustering all your resolve to get to where you want. Boy I wasn’t aware of that. ;)

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I had such an opportunity to meet interesting people last weekend.

All 7 of us, Filipinos gathered in one table in a house in Atlanta. The way our conversation went, it was as if we were seated at the U.N. table discussing about the future of one developing nation called Philippines. What sentiments! One proponent of the discussion was an officer in an NGO (so don’t ask me why.) We tried a lot of scenarios actually, what could help the ailing state of the country. What? What! WHAT…

Even as we load our brains with food, we could only come up with some brilliant ideas. Being aware of the problem is one thing, acting on it is another. How much could be done when the problem is deeply ingrained? Kind of malignant. If only some ideas brought could be implemented. Anyway, among us there was one keen on a mayoral position back home. I challenged him that surely he’d be sick corrupt. To that, he just laughed. Smiled wickedly. Haha! See what I mean.

But one thing for sure,
there are 7 adults in that table with a hell lot of resolve.