Sunday, November 30, 2008

A reason for coffee.

Its Monday, but I am not in a hurry to go anywhere. I stayed in bed feeling the soft mattress on my back and stared at the empty ceiling. I know my brain craves for caffeine, but I am yet too lazy to get up. My mind drifted to the movie I watched last night - Apocalypto.

There is a scene of cannibalism in the movie...
Hmmm, humans have come a long way, evolving from man-eaters to man-lovers, and I feel like a lower life-form because I can neither eat nor love any man. Ha ha, just kidding on the love part. But can't we just split firewood, make furniture and harvest grains?

The movie directed by Mel Gibson also show lush virgin forest.
Oh yeah, I wish there will be forest left in my country.
However contrary to the idea of tree huggers who can't see through the bark, the Philippine government is the most successful eco - group. Yes the are! They give away permits for logging, mining, plus the operation of coal-fired power plants is part of the plan.

Here's how the plan works: logging, mining and power-plant operation make some people rich; rich people think they should be at golf courses; golf courses have trees and greens and emission-free golf carts. Clean and green indeed...

The movie is action packed.There's the tribes war..damn its too gory to watch, with all those blood splattered on the screen...
I remember someone once says "Everlasting peace is a dream, and not even a pleasant one. War is a necessary part of God's order."

Probably the same reason why the military wants all able-bodied male in college to undergo compulsory ROTC training. However, letting cadets march in formation for five hours, carrying wooden rifles, only prepares them for the kind of war fought ages ago. I suggest that Counterstrike be included in the high school curriculum and 12 units of Airsoft adventures be required for a baccalaureate degree.

Damn, I do need to get my caffeine before my mind gets haywire.

Get up, and dash!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A blast from the past.

What? vinyl is still alive?

For those who are having senior moments and can’t remember them, or those who are having junior moments and haven’t heard of them, vinyl is the thing you spin on a turntable, a needle running through its grooves, producing the scratchy sound you hear in loudspeakers. Its last incarnation was the LP, or long playing record, which contained about a dozen songs in them, six to a side. I guess, that's where "flipside" originates.

I have read on the Internet that some labels in the United States and Europe have resumed producing vinyl records for new artists, though they’re a lot pricier now than they once were. The keeping of vinyl alive has a completely practical value. Which is that vinyl is superior in sound to the CD. That is at least the consensus among experts.

It’s nice to know that not all that is new represents an improvement on the old. I am not averse to change and newness. I certainly prefer the PC to the typewriter, manual or electric. But it’s nice to know that analog still has its virtues, or indeed its superiorities.

Using vinyl entails (re)entering a fairly unhurried world, where you invest some time listening to music, treating it as a real object of attention rather than collateral sound. But as always, there is a rub to it.

To play vinyl, you have to physically raise the lid of the turntable, slip the record into place, carefully lift the tone arm and lower the needle down to the edge of the spinning disc. At the end of five or six songs, you have to stand up, a not very easy thing to do if you’re plunked down on the sofa, tiredness beginning to ooze off you like the ebbing of the tide, to flip the disc over. And you can’t skip a song, unless you’re prepared to stand up before the whole side is done. There’s no “Next” on the player, or on the ultimate source of household wars, the remote control, to get past the unwanted track.

But vinyl has no end of joys to reward those willing to be initiated into its world. At the very least, it doesn’t give you a sense of life flitting by.
Looking back, the reason the old songs seem so memorable to us, quite apart from the mnemonic powers of nostalgia, was that we couldn’t just click the annoying tracks away, unless you were willing to go through the motions described above.

Listening to vinyl is not unlike preparing tea Zen-style. It is a ritual all its own.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Americans are going hungry - too.

”The young man, wearing a shirt and a tie, turned up just as the pantry operated by an Iowa food bank was closing for the night. He knew it was after-hours. That’s why he was there. He kept his gaze downward as he told the woman from the food bank that he had lost his job, had a wife and kids and was too embarrassed and ashamed to stand in line to receive a bag of groceries that hopefully would feed his family for a week. “I have a master’s degree. I shouldn’t have to do this, he said.”

That’s the stark reality that America is facing today, as more and more new faces were standing in line in food banks. Some of them, not looking anyone else in the eye, hoping not to be recognized by friends or neighbors.

The bitter irony for some of them was that, once, they had contributed to their local food bank. Now its them who needed its help.

Sure, these people do not fit the stereotype of those who would likely come to a pantry, a shelter or a kitchen. But a lost job, an unexpected medical expense, a utility bill or difficulty paying the rent or mortgage - especially during this period of high food prices can push people into that line.

Right now, an estimated 36.2 million people struggled with some form of hunger in the US alone or, to use the government term, “food insecurity.”

We always viewed Americans to be self sufficient. But now more and more people with jobs, with educations, but with diminished opportunities, resources and hope – were struggling.

Many of them never thought in their life that they have to come to a food pantry. Yet sadly the line grows steadily each day.

Guys, if its any consolation to you, we also have so many hungry people here. But in contrast, we don’t have a food bank. We don’t have a pantry to run to. We are left to fend for ourselves.

That, is even more pitiful.

Over forty and loving it.

I am over 40 and I'm on top of the hill! But wait, will it be downhill from here on?

Oh, the ride up the hill included more that 18 years of formal education, innumerable physical, emotional and intellectual growing pains. I have my first kiss, first date, first love, first pimple, first rejection letter, first break-up, and first failure, not necessarily in that order.

While many of these firsts are memorable and endearingly sweet, for the most part my firsts are what give me a taste of something. From there, I decide if I want to continue or move on to the next first. I know that to really enjoy and master something it will require time and multiple attempts at it. I'm grateful that not all of my dates turned out like the first and that after the first break-up I didn't just give up on love.

Now that I'm here, I guess it doesn't matter how I got here. I'm glad I'm beginning to let go of the pressures. I'm pleased that I got to live in the simpler times when I was a kid. But I'm also thrilled to arrive in the new millennium. To have grown as an adult into all the new technologies of today. The amazing new developments which improve exponentially.

Yes, the world has become more virtual, as I stay in constant contact with people through the World-Wide-Web, no matter where I live. This makes me feel less isolated, even if I choose to stay home and raise a family. I have more rights and privileges too, which is a wonderful thing.

But don't get the idea that I jump from my bed each morning and do fifty push-ups. I have aches and pains that come with age. But I don't examine my face for new wrinkles or count the new gray hairs.

The world is still the same, I work, eat, play and sleep. I just know myself better and I am way more tolerant. Being over forty, I now have this deep sense of who I am and what I want from life.

Now if I could just find where it is...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Love and sex in cyberspace.

The question on whether it can be called cheating for a married person to enjoy online relationships with people other than their partners has been tossed around the internet airwaves nearly every day.

Some would argue, that one crosses the line the moment one begin sneaking around to share intimate thoughts with someone other than their partner. In cybersex you have secrecy - intimacy and sex are all the same elements as an affair.

Most of these relationships grew organically, sprouting from the seeds of mutual fascination, sexual curiosity, and palpable attraction to the way that person made one feel about oneself.

Of course some would say that they didn’t embark on these journeys with the intent to meet and marry their next man or woman.
So what then is the destination of adult men and women when they jump on this train to tryst town? Just where do they expect to get off?

Interestingly though most online friends I know don’t realistically aspire to meet their online lovers in real life, given the myriad constraints that exist. This is especially true of those who foster flames from afar.

The only explanation they can give is that, they want to find someone they will never physically feel, love online partners they will never pursue, and make virtual marriages they will never consummate.

It’s just that the adventure in itself feels so damn good. Maybe because they all know in the backs of their minds that these relationships rarely have a chance at surviving beyond a certain point.

But I argue, it’s not their survival they strive for. It’s just the joyous journey that they seek. And, when that trip is over, they will be first in line to take the next tour.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A necessary twist to an old story.

With the economic difficulties we all face right now, I'm guessing there are a lot more nervous, stressed out parents out there than there were last year. As I post this, many could already be unemployed. And maybe like me, they also worry that they may not be able to send their kids to college.

Yet some may still be wondering whether they are getting the axe before Christmas or after it. All I am certain is that there’s a lot of fear out there. And scared parents mean scared kids.

This, I think, is inevitable even if you are the best parent on the planet - and most of us aren’t. I too grew up in a household where the economic cycles undermined our stability and where my father’s actions and mood were dictated by our economic situation. I therefore, have a good memory of how hard this can be on children. And I want nothing but to isolate my kids from all these.

However, this is easier said than done, of course, since I’m just as prone (maybe more, as i am a single parent) to becoming grumpy and irritable when I’m worried as anyone else.

But, should my kids know about this bad stuff? Should I let them know about the darker scenario ahead of us? Is it necessary that they understand that we’re spending less money on the holidays, and that we might be facing hard times that will last a while?

Economics notwithstanding, I cannot tell my kids to eat less, dream less, want less. As a mother I know in a way that I help create my children's expectations - expectations that I will no longer be able to fulfill.

I plead guilty of telling them that a normal existence means new clothes every Christmas and birthdays, a cell phone, shopping as a hobby, buying what you want at the grocery store. But now, I'm going to need not just to tell them that those things have to shift, but to work on making sure that they understand that these shifts aren’t necessarily bad.

My kids live by the stories they were told. Yeah sure, they have learned that affluence is incredibly important, that their future was about money, and that security comes in the form of wealth. I can’t prevent them from all the hardships that are probably coming their way, but what I can do is shift the stories they learn - they should learn that being poor is normal, and that it doesn’t have to prevent people from being happy.

They can learn that their family unit, extended or nuclear is working together in the face of difficulties. That they should understand that their participation in this project is part of what is holding our family together and to enable them to keep going.

I hope they can draw strength and pride from these experiences, from their sacrifices and their participation, even if they are scared and angry, even if they are sometimes.

But I know I have to start telling them different story. I am thinking up new roles for my kids right now, or the old ones will drag them down.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A masquerade.

How do you keep real love alive with the onset of the virtual stage?
Yesterday, I read an article of yet another woman who had decided to dissolve her real life marriage in pursuit of the promise of illusive paradise she feels she’ll find with her online lover.

So what’s the big deal, you say? Why can’t she toss out the old and trade it in for a newer model if she’s convinced it will bring joy to her real life?

Well, I certainly wouldn’t want to deny anyone the opportunity to pursue happiness. But I do have trouble reconciling the knowledge that, when we meet someone in the net, we are only exposed to the person they choose to share with us at any given moment. It’s like he or she wears a metaphoric mask to hide characteristics he or she desires to keep hidden.

We don’t realize this because perhaps subconsciously, we all too often fill in the gaps with images of a lover we project onto them. In essence, we mistake the idea of our lover for the real person themselves and become captivated by this new hybrid of who they are and who we want them to be.

Sadly, many of these married people who pursue cyber relationships are merely groping for a happiness that does not exist in their real life marriages.
And their real life partner has no chance in this unfair fight, since she live with him day in and out. She experience first hand the good and bad attributes that her partner exude every day. From farts and fevers to pimples and sagging belly, their real life partners are just that - real. Complete with unsavory idiosyncrasies and all.

If only she would just at least construct a foundation of a life with her real life partner, and do it with the full knowledge that the grass, however green, will not always be a bed of roses...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

World's sexiest.

I was watching news on tv from my bed early this morning, when the entertainment news flashed that Hugh Jackman was voted "The Sexiest Man Alive" for the year. Damn, there was an annual award like that? But then again, I’m not much of a connoisseur of male beauty, or so I think.

Obviously, it’s the tacky People Magazine in the US that hands out this rather tacky honor. So far they have named the likes of Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, bla, bla. What a boring and predictable list! And are there so few sexy men in the world that some have to be nominated twice?

And while it is true that some of them are very sexy it is also true that the majority were far from sexy outside of the glitz and glamour of hollywood. But what makes them so irresistible? Is it because thay are being stalked by the paparazzi, or is it their washboard abs which could cut glass?

Aside from their celebrity status, these men were lots of things - unhappy, embarrassed, unwell, unattractive - but by and large they are far from the sex symbols we gaze at on the big screen, as a snatched paparazzi shot is from a Vanity Fair cover.

Besides, can it really be that the world’s sexiest men are all English-speaking and predominantly American? Although of course, Jackman is Australian.

Just as a matter of population statistics, an American should appear on the list no more than once in 20 years and Brits and Australian for that matter only once in 100 years. Meanwhile an Asian man should appear every five years.

Indians, Chinese, Filipinos, do you hear me?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Men are from where, again?

There seems a common belief that women are more complicated than men. And women tend to assume that men are so easy to understand that there is no need to even try to understand them better. So when it comes to better understanding the opposite sex, it’s often the case that men feel defeated before they start and women barely see a need to start.

Or maybe because in our quest to understand men, we simply give up trying, having discovered that most men tend to have a vague outline of an idea on what they really want or need from their women. They always seem to say one thing, but end up doing something else. Now, that's so damn confusing, isn't it?

Well the little I know about men is that they are adventurers. They like to explore the unknown. Yet they also love to be given attention. But be warned ladies, too much attention can scare a man off in a heartbeat.

It is a fact too that men get bored easily with long conversations. They have the tendency to eventually "tune us out" and only pick up the following words -
sex, (just the mere mention of the word will make a man turn his head) food, money, free beer, sports, plasma screen, car, to name some.

Ask any man how his day was, and he will tell it to you in less than three minutes. Ask a woman, and you get a play-by-play walk through, that even an ESPN commentators would be jealous of, haha.

Men for the most part do not like exaggerations, they love highlights. And we women tend to be offended easily when men act as if they don’t care. Oh sure, maybe they do, but perhaps we just need to use small words and if the man is looking like he is tuning out, then end your next sentence with the word ‘sex’ and you will once again regain his full attention. (Just Kidding!) Ok, sorry for my silliness.

Well, I don't understand too why men seems to "selectively" listen, and why women has this deep desire to tell their men EXACTLY how they feel. When it comes to communicating, men and women differs in style. This is not their fault, it’s just their nature.

One more striking thing I noticed from men, is that they generally go on first impressions. They look at the exterior before they look “under the hood” so to speak. Dating is considered test driving and purchasing is considered a commitment.

Want to take a guess what repossession is considered?

Monday, November 17, 2008

A second life to none.

Has this ever happened to you? Finding your free time gobbled up by the daily routine that your once smoldering "virtual life" screeches to a shocking halt?

I admit I have stopped coming to my favorite chatroom, and even my beautiful loft stands vacant in IMVU. I could almost see my curtains gently bouncing off my empty walls. I’m not there to enjoy the fabulous furnitures I tried to acquire over the months. I have even stopped tweaking on my Hp, nor read the important group announcements for events I can’t attend.

Ok, perhaps my schedule hasn’t changed all that much. Maybe I’ve just noticed that chatrooms and IMVU has lost a bit of its luster. It seems that the little dings of chats that once poured in by the bucketful have dwindled. The mediocrity of some of the roomies has me clutching my ears begging to make it stop. Is it because some people cause trouble when they can't tell one from the other and some because they can't handle real people in real life so they hide behind a keyboard running their mouths?

What I’ve learned lately is that my engagements in my "virtual life" grow and fade like the monthly metamorphosis of the moon. Of course, I am aware that my real life needs work. And if I engaged in a fantasy–life too deeply, then I am most certainly depriving the roots of my real existence of the most essential nutrients needed for me to grow and flourish.

I realize there are many of us whose lives are so painful that we sometimes retreat into our virtual lives and virtual friends to give us some room to breathe. I get that. But then we can also take steps to make real changes in the lives we hide from.

So in the spirit of finding a balance, I think of five other things I could do besides sit in front of my computer staring at my avatar as she travels around the galaxy. If I don’t like what's showing in the TV, I find some new books to read, or watch a movie, call an old friend I haven’t spoken to in awhile, or make a cup of hot tea and just sit calmly.

Sure, virtual life can be fun when played in moderation. But it can also be dangerously all-consuming. And when that happens, we run the risk of losing what’s most important to us - our real selves.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Unlikely everafter.

Nobody has a fair idea of how and when we are going to die. Accident, disease, homicide, terrorism, war, suicide—these are just some of the circumstances under which our earthly life is taken away. One wrong move, one wrong decision, being at the wrong place at the wrong time could demand that we pay the ultimate price.
No one has been able to survive for very long. No one has achieved immortality.

Everyone dies.

But if given the choice, would you really like to stay in this world until its very end? Would you want to witness all technological evolutions over time? Would you want to meet every one of your grandchildren, their grandchildren, etc.? Honestly, the mere thought terrifies me.

A life without end would lose meaning. One would have to work his ass off until eternity. One would have a very difficult time loving another forever. You would see your enemies come and go, and you could not laugh about it.

It would be a life of sadness. You would have to attend every funeral of the persons you love, and the procession will never end. The people you love would just grow in number over time, and they would all be gone at some point.

Being immortal would probably make you feel like you’re walking around aimlessly. No one likes to begin reading a story knowing that it would never end.

So I say death is a creepy gift which you do not have the power to reject. Party hard before you receive it. And watch out for its arrival.

Most likely you won’t like it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

At gun point.

Hmmm.., it seems folks in the US have been buying up guns in record numbers since the election. And Obama winning it, has triggered a gun sales boom nationwide.
An article I have read in the New York Times says, that a general manager of Federal Firearms Company had been fielding about 30 calls a day from people interested in buying assault-type rifles, especially semi-automatic weapons, often with magazines that could hold lots of ammunition.

Why? Is there a growing fear of an increase in crime rates? Or are they just stacking on it as investment - like it's a better buy than gold?

Or simply because, the human race hasn't changed over the millennium. There are still good people and bad people, kind people and cruel people. There are still predators who will prey on people they think are too weak to defend themselves.
We all know that criminals are by definition lawbreakers and don't obey gun-control laws. Why? Will it be a consolation to you that police may later charge the man who murdered you with the additional crime of "possession of a firearm by a felon"?
That won't buy you a ticket out of the cemetery, you're history!

Unless we're super heroes, we cannot hit a man beyond the distance of our outstretched arm, nor can we kick a man beyond the length of our leg. But a man with a gun can stand 15 yards away and shoot us. And unlike Jackie Chan or Jet Li, we don't have a scriptwriter who will determine how the fight will end.

But owning a firearm for self-defense is a serious business. A gun is an inanimate object. If it's loaded, cocked and the trigger is pulled, the gun will kill or maim anybody who happens to be in front of the barrel. Responsible ownership is still the key, folks....


Thursday, November 13, 2008

A cold truth.

Yeah, yeah, most people love a hot shower in the morning - even those who don’t live in cold climates. For many, they just can’t seem to get started on their daily routine without that hot shower.

Ugh, no wonder many were appalled to know that I don't have a water heater at home when they have read my previous blog. I really didn't expect that it would seem strange to many of you.

Well maybe you are among those who get up in the morning in your centrally heated homes, switch on the kettle for your coffee, turn up the heating system in your house if it's too cold, and run a hot bath or shower without a thought since hot water is readily available on tap and in constant supply.

So here's the thing and don't be shock. You won’t find a heating system in houses here in my country. We live in the tropics and we bathe in cold tap water( we aren't called third world for nothing, folks!). Neither, will you see bathtub or even a shower handle in most of the houses in this part of the globe.

A bath tub is considered a luxury, or excessive vanity in a typical Filipino bath room. We use "batya" instead. It is a large basin where a toddler could dabble in soap and water. We also use a dipper (tabo) which we would use to scoop the water from the basin and pour over our head.

There is a secret though to taking a cold bath. You have to first pour water on your head. If you wet your head first while taking a bath the heat from the head travels down the body and escapes through the feet.

Of course, freezing cold bath may sound like pure torture to many of you - because it is! But that's exactly how I get by with a couple of hour less sleep each night, mainly because I was practically electrocuting myself in the morning with freezing showers.

Oh its a very good way to get rid of the lethargic feeling. And after the initial shock wore off, I feel more awake and in a good mood. It definitely got my day going, much better than coffee I think.

Wonder why you shiver soon after a hot bath?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Worth a popcorn.

I love watching movies, although I have not been to a movie house in ages. Ages, I mean about a couple of years ago. Not that there isn't one near where I live, but with the prices of ticket in theaters now, going to movie houses has landed among my whim's list. Besides, with the proliferation of cheap DVDs, watching a movie at the comfort of my home has become a better choice.

Do I miss going to theaters, and what are the relative merit of both?
Well maybe for one, movie houses have the advantage of the big screen. But that advantage however has been overshadowed by the onset of plasmas and LCDs which in small rooms can loom just as hugely and just as immersive.

And yes, movie houses also have the advantage of the sharper image and the louder sound, notably Dolbys and THXs. But that too has been offset by the newer digital TV sets that offer 1080p, the high-definition standard that can give movie houses a run for their money.

But if one can't afford to have a reasonably state-of-the-art home theater, like most everyone of us, or if you have a neighbor who objects violently to loud noises from your 5.1 surround system, even as he inflicts his own karaoke on you, the movie house is still the best way to go.

Also, movies are current, while DVDs are not. But the greatest considerable charm and magic in movie theaters I think is the added suspension of disbelief - you can't click a movie into pause to go to the john or to make a sandwich.

Not being able to pause a movie gives you a sense of something beyond your control, of something having a life of its own. That's what make movies magical and a little less so when watching them in videotape and discs. The remote control somehow made movies smaller than life rather than larger. But that may just be me.

No, I don't have a state-of-the-art equipment at home, in fact I have but only a state-of-the-trash pirated discs which are dirt cheap. Of course, this one is bound to raise the hackles of the intellectual-property police.

But what the heck, I still get to watch those movies released a few months ago. Hopefully too, I will be able to see "Quantum of Solace" before the year ends.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A cause of alarm.

Should I be alarmed and feel creeped out that my kids school teacher and college professors are using Freindster and MySpace to interact with them online?

Maybe it's just me, but I honestly cannot agree with teachers and kids friending each other in social networks. Why does a teacher need to understand the outside lives of their students in a personal sense?

There is nothing wrong with an adult going into a social network site for their own personal life - with their adult friends and family. I believe that an adult individual should be able to go into Facebook/Myspace/Freindster, etc… but as a person of their own identity and right.

However, students and impressionable youth who spend their days looking up to their teachers as a role model, idealist-educator shouldn’t be invited to feel like they belong in their personal life as a peer and friend. At least, that’s my opinion. And even if the teacher is trying to “save” one of their wayward students by invading the net by being friendly to that child, being a maverick is dangerous.
What the heck, my youngest is only 15 and even if he is 22 he still do not have the development and growth necessary to be able to fully understand and judge situations!

A student between 15 - 22 year old doesn’t necessarily see what’s wrong with forming relationships with older people because they believe themselves to be MATURE, on the brink of adulthood.

Believe it or not, I can be slightly hard some times when it comes to my kids. Oh sure my kids rock, but they can become attached, they can form friendship expectations and may push for special treatment, or demand acknowledgment. Worst, they may identify with an adult, and see how different he is from other peer, then build personality around him, and help stroke fire of “drama”.
Time to raise the flag.

Gotta talk to my kids tonight.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A furry of joy.

It has been four weeks now since our cat gave birth to six lovely kittens. For the first week of their life the kittens were confined to a box. Then on the 2nd week Stray decided to move them in the boy’s room, under the bed, and there they nest, mainly sleeping and suckling.

On the third week the mother moved them to my bedroom. Maybe, because there is less chaos there. By this time the kittens eyes had opened and they had started to crawl although they still confine themselves under my bed.

Then suddenly one of them decided to go farther out, and within minutes the rest of the kittens had discovered that the world was slightly bigger and more interesting than the dark corner at the far end of my bed. This fourth week are wonderful days with six kittens causing mayhem and laughter throughout the house.

But we know we have to let go of our kittens save maybe for one or two, because we cannot allow then to take over our little abode. They will be jumping and crawling all over, and leave scratch marks in my couch, curtains and rag, and leave stinking pee anywhere they pleased. I won't allow them to become adorable kitties of mass destruction.

Of course, it wouldn't be easy, but at least we had the chance to witness the magic of birth, to endless laughter and entertainment right down to letting go of the kittens.

I have seen how helpless kittens were dumped from vehicles, Stray being among them, and I heard stories of kittens put in a sack and thrown in a river to drown. That won't happen to my kitties, as they will be moving to loving homes that will take care and nurture them. And as for the mother, she will be spayed to avoid her having endless kittens that would become more and more difficult to home.

Only few days left till we bid them fond farewell, yet until now I am undecided which kitten we let go and which will stay behind. Darn...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fancy a date?

Last night I was at my neighbor's birthday party. Being the only single woman there I was showered with more attention than I can take. They say I should start dating again and they came up with several names, all of whom I am not familiar with.

Hey guys, I didn't ask to be in my 40s and single, but reality being what it is I live with it. I have my kids, I have my work, I can cook and clean, I have a plan for myself that is better done without a man messing it up. Nah, I don't hate men, I just know what is worth my time and what isn't.

Ok, ok, if I do date I think I would put up a rule. I think I ought to come up with what works for me, keeping the reality of my particular situation in mind.

So here it is...

1. I won't date fat men. If he is walking around looking like he has a beer keg stuffed in his pants, then he don't give a damn about himself, so I really don't expect him to give a damn about me in the long run. If he and I had fallen in love twenty years ago, gotten married and had a family and he had put on the weight, I would still be with him, but we didn't and so I see no need to accommodate his lack of discipline.

2. I don't like a man who would boast about his independence. Being able to take care of himself doesn't make him special, it makes him an adult. Second, if he is that independent, why is he looking for a relationship in the first place? Independence is the opposite of dependence and being able to depend on others is why we get into relationships of any kind in the first place.

3. I wont date a man who is a full time father to his kids.( Of course, I am not optimistic enough to be asked by someone young and was never married.) But I see no need to be a full time mother to someone else's children and a part time mother to my own. Mine have been through enough already, I'm both Mom and Dad to my kids and I feel I am doing what is best for my children, they were here first.

There you go. I know it's short, but that's all I can think of for now.
I have not been dating and maybe never will. But even 40 somethings get lonely at times, some more than others. Well, there are all sorts of reasons people over 40 are single.

Just keep breathing and you might find yourself there some day.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A belly take over.

As a woman, I know how easy it is to gain weight around the stomach. God only knows why it has to go there, but it does, and once you have a little bit, it seems to attract more. Sometimes I just wonder what is this thing that’s been growing around my mid-section since I started college. And now that I am older, it has become a permanent fixture. I am not a voracious eater, I don't even eat breakfast, and I love to skip meal. Yet despite of this, fat builds up around my stomach area, and I can't seem to get rid of it.

No, I am not fat or big. I am not someone who shops at the plus-size department. I never weigh more than 110 lbs, take note that my waistline and my age aren't the same. But my lame attempts to exercise doesn't seem to work at all. .

Then, I stumble upon an article in the news. It says that tummy fat can be use to grow breasts. Say it again.?! Ok, continue reading... "Scientists say they can create a fat mixture with concentrated stem cells, which, when injected into the breast, apparently encourages tissue to grow. And if licensed, it may rival silicone for those seeking bigger breasts."

Wow, so can I just assume that my breast had been misplaced? That instead of growing a little bit up there, it landed in my mid section? Then my mind prickle toward a practical scenario - When I sleep, and if I want to turn or shift, most of the time, I sort of have to double-shift and bring the "stomach boobs" with me, making sure they're not being smooshed or squeezed. Damn, this is funnier than it sounds.

I don't play god. Who will?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just chillin'.

Phew! so ok... I am stressed from too much thinking, I feel sluggish because I lack sleep and on top of that I feel lousy because things didn't turn out the way I expect them to be. So, how can I chill out so I would feel a lot better and not vent it on the kids when I get home? There are many ways I could think of...

1. Hit the gym. Yeah, I would love to spin and kick and even go to yoga classes to ease the stresses of the day. I love to feel my heart pounding hard and be out of breath till my lungs hurt.
But I don't have a membership in any fitness studio, so scratch that out.

2. Crank up the stereo in the car and belt along with the music as I commute back home.
Nice, except that I don't have a car anymore. I don't drive and going home from the office only takes me 10 minutes on a tricycle.

3. Take a walk on the beach to relax. Feeling the sand between my toes and smelling the salty ocean air would definitely work magic on my sagging mood.
Pretty good. However, I don't live near an ocean. The only sand I see is the sand box where my cat poops.

4. Unwind by taking a hot shower, put on my pajamas, wrap myself up in a cozy blanket with a cup of tea and put on a good movie.
Hmmm... too bad, I don't have a water heater at home, and my cat and her kittens had invaded my bedroom big time, that it has turned into a nursery of sorts.

5. Fix dinner slowly and concentrate on what I'm doing. It feels good to make a homemade, healthy dish. Plus, all the chopping I have to do helps relieve tension.
Yeah, yeah...I always tell that to myself, sometimes it help but most of the time it didn't. Besides, that's what I do every night, so that's nothing new.

6. Write a blog. It helps me unwind and vent my frustrations without looking immature in front of other people. When I read what I've written, it helps me determine if I'm truly upset or if I'm just being silly.

Most times I'm glad I've kept my stresses to myself. Now you know why you are reading this.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The lesser of two evil.

The smoke has cleared, the dust has settled, and now we see the last man standing.
Barack Obama is now officially the president of the United State.
Are Americans pleased and happy with the result? Here is one reaction I got from my friend Juni...

"the election? it's another one of those hold your nose and vote elections. we've just been handed the lesser of two evils every election cycle. i wonder, will we get what we want? or get what we deserve? either way it's scary with the economy the way it is. i seriously thought about voting for spongebob squarepants like my grandson kaleb asked me to. lol"

Does this mean that Americans have rejected the party of Bush (the bigger evil) and embraced a candidate who, in many ways, is his exact opposite? That the election was a negative referendum on Bush rather than a positive mandate for Obama?

So maybe, Bush and the economy were the fundamental dynamics of this election, huh? Of course, we are aware that the Bush administration has given the US two recessions during his term, and two unfinished wars. America is in a recession the likes of which we haven't seen since the early 1980s. The country is already 10 months into this recession and the country don't see any end in sight.

On the other hand, Obama ( the lesser evil) is not only youthful and black, articulate and cosmopolitan, he's also well to the left of Bush on many key issues. The man has been in politics for only four years and has never held any executive office. Obama's qualification was that he offered hope for a better America, or, as he put it, "change you can believe in".

Yet embracing a man so youthful and inexperienced, is a leap of faith.
America has hoped, voted, and taken the leap...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Another sleep-deprived day.

Time flies so fast. I have not yet relish the short semestral break of the boys, and now I have to get up at 4 in the morning again to prepare breakfast for them. Classes started yesterday and like most single moms, I have to grope about in the kitchen with my still closed eyelid while going through the morning chores.

Today I cooked chicken-pork adobo for breakfast and for Cedric's lunch provision. I also fried three cod fish for my cat. The meat were very cold and very much melded together when I took then off the freezer. I didn't bother thawing them, I just put them all in the casserole thinking the ice will just melt away anyway when it is subjected to heat. Besides I don't have the luxury of time. Weekdays are always a busy day, they may be productive but in no way relaxing.

So while the activity in the stove is on going. I was also doing the laundry. And while I am sorting out clothes to put in the spinner, I kind of pause and think - why do we need to wash clothes? Why can't we just wear a soiled, smelly, dirty clothes for days on end, and just throw them away when it become so sticky we can hardly take them off our skin?

Just imagine how it would be walking in a crowded place and see the people breaking away giving you that needed space to walk on. Like the proverbial sea parting when Moses lead his men toward the promise land. Also if you have so many work in the office and doesn't want to be disturbed, what a better way to drive away people than a pungent smell as soon as they step into your cubicle. Its like a repellant that will drive them as far away from you as possible...duh!

See how the lack of sleep clearly affects my thinking, or cognitive processes? My sleep-deprived brain is truly running on four rather than eight cylinders. And this is happening to me everyday, 6 days a week.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Life's ripple.

When we look back to those days past, is it with fondness or regret? Did we make an effort to create special moments when our life give us an opportunity to do so? Will people remember us long after we are gone?

Too often we see our daily life as just that, a routine, that repeats itself day in and day out. Many times, we don't remember the things we did the next day, let alone a week later. We lose ourselves in the blur of the world around us and other times we are the blur in our own lives.

If we asked those people we have met during our lifetime what it is they remember about us, would they say something else, rather than "nothing!"?

The true measure of our contribution is seen, although seldom recognized, in the way those we love feel about us. Many of our contributions can never be known by us because they are part of the ripples as the direct effect we may have on the lives of others. We help someone and because of that, he or she is able to help someone else and so on. We may never know about that third person,or fourth person, but we had an effect on him, just the same.

There is always something of ourselves that we can share that will make a moment a special one. We can create our own special memories of our lives. And we should. Regardless of our age, I believe we owe it to ourselves to go out and not just do something ordinary, but do something memorable and maybe remarkable. How do we do it is up to us.

I was a recipient of someone's kindness the past days. It was overwhelming to be on the receiving end from someone who barely knew me, let alone a stranger from across the globe. This person is the type who would reach out to help people in need and never bothered if it gets recognized. He said he lived alone and unnoticed in their community.

No, my friend. You aren't invisible. You have touched our lives and had changed our future and we will always remember you. Your little gesture of kindness had made an impact into our lives and thus making the simple act a moment worth remembering...


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