whine and dine

pseudo fabulous pinay

Avenue Q

I loved it.

Okay, for those who object, I have yet to see the Broadway production, so my expectations are somewhat lower. Any prior experience has been limited to sessions with Jemai’s PekPek Ipod – a constant “The Internet is for Porn” and “My Girlfriend who lives in Canada”. Sesame Street baby ako, and it was wonderful to see something familiar. And like Sesame Street, it felt like, I could relate. Avenue Q was like Sesame Street for this age. RCBC was packed, mostly the just out of college crowd, my people. And I know nearly everyone of them have wished countless times that they could, like Princetongo back to college. I know I have. I still do.

To those who haven’t seen it or at least taken the two minutes to Wiki it, it might come off as another Broadway play with a gimmick. It’s not. It’s the story of our lives, and when I say our, I mean this generation of twenty-somethings. I have a person in mind for every person in the story – the perpetually single or No Boyfriend Since Birth (NBSB) schoolteacher, the person with a degree and a dream, the has beens, the Trekkie Monsters, and the Gary Colemans (He’s real, by the way). We all wish we could go back to the one place we’ve been trying to leave the past 4 or so years: college. That was when life was simplest, but that’s over, this is the real world, and Avenue Q is the closest we can get to Sesame Street.

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September 25, 2007 Posted by | Me, Plays, Theatre | Leave a comment

Pissed.

I get fat when I’m too happy. Or too content with everything happening in my life. Now, I’m fat. Seriously.

But yesterday, I hit the gym. And today I hit the gym and endured an hour of hearing the instructor yell “Beyonce, Beyonce!”.

I think I’m fucking pissed.

September 25, 2007 Posted by | Me | 1 Comment

My inner junkie

The thing about poetry is that it requires some thinking. Unlike a good book where you can tell from the teaser on the jacket if it’s something you’d be into, poetry requires actual reading, then sorting through the themes and authors which touch you the most. It’s for this same reason that the few poetry books at home are Robert Frost’s and Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s.

    Tisha has been the dealer to my inner poetry junkie.

This poem is so real. It makes me want to cry, not from sadness. But because, ang galing ng pucha. This is as close as I can get to a sappy mood.

The Muse This Time, R. Zamora Linmark

I am, at the moment, a patron of the meat market. Profession: a poet on-call because poetry only comes when it wants to; hobbies; listening to Gershwin while looking for Freud in Woody Allen movies; history of the heart: six lovers who wanted to be immortalized.

“Funny,” said my fourth, “you can cook up a poem about bumper-to-bumper traffic, but when it’s time to write about me…” How do you explain to someone who makes you come thrice a week and gives you head and foot massage at bedtime why it is much easier to write about gridlock in the land of diesel than return to that humid night in Makati, where we had met, in a Korean-owned steam room, a misnomer since lust provided the heat.

The fifth and sixth were more demanding. “Screw the acknowledgment page,” said the fifth. “I want a biography that sings,” said the sixth. Completely unaware they were making the same request an hour apart from each other, I told them, “What do you take me for? a mail-order poet? Dial-a-poem?”

“I don’t get it,” said the third. “You can create beauty from a dead fish,” said the second. “Destroy buildings in one line,” said the first, “but you cannot write about the good ole devil?”

Their words are stinging now as I approach twilight. Truth is: love’s hard to live with. I forget to set the alarm clock, I buy everything on credit, I start making up words, I call in sick to the world. “Are you a poet?” asked the second. “A lover?” asked the third. “Just shut up and write,” said the first.

I can’t. Nothing is entering. Except the voice of my first lover, the one who set the picture straight. “The problem with you is you think you’re Woody Allen in Manhattan.”

Gershwin’s blue clarinet, black-and-white Big Apple, an ice cream parlor. At the counter, Woody is buying Hemingway’s daughter, Mariel, a milkshake before he delivers the bad news. Tears coursing down her cheeks, she asks, “Why? Because I’m too young? Because I don’t know Rita Hayworth from Veronica Lake? Because I’m not Diane Keaton running with you in the rain?” They split, then a minute before the credits roll, he changes his mind. “I’ll take you back,” Mariel says, “when I return from London.”

That’s the closest to my idea of love: watching the skyline, making out, making mistakes, making believe desire means it’s with somebody else, then breaking up, and, if we’re lucky, forgiveness that comes right before take-off. There, I’ve said it. What more can one want? A lover who loves me as much as the rain. Rain, and, from the opening credits to the closing heart, Gershwin.

September 25, 2007 Posted by | Me, poetry | Leave a comment

Shake Body Body Dancer

The last three weeks I’ve been busy participating in among the campiest of corporate Filipino traditions: the variety show. In our company, this is otherwise known as SCiP on Dancing, a dance-off between various corporate units. The winning team gets a shiny cup, bragging rights, and the unfortunate task of hosting next year’s event.

Where I work, it is not only a matter of serious business, but a chance to initiate company noobs to the unwritten clause in the employment contract – that everyone must perform at least once in a corporate activity. It didn’t take much for me to say yes, because I knew if I didn’t do it now I would still end up doing something like it in the future. I gave all necessary disclaimers to HR because I have the coordination of a stick of bamboo. I can sway to the left and right, and even then it still looks clumsy. Upon hearing the theme as being “Dance Icons and ours being Shakira, I crossed my fingers, gave a little prayer to Kuya Jess and hoped that I didn’t end up falling flat on my face, injuring my workmates, or make HR regret their choice of dancer.

Thank goodness for our choreographer who had the foresight to assign me to the segment of the dance which required the least amount of dance ability: the tango. While I had to do some booty shaking (again something I had not planned to do beyond the confines of my room and the company of a belly dancing video) for the chorus, I was lucky enough to have a very competent (ooh another corporate word) dance partner. All he had to do was push me around really.

It honestly took me close to ten years to pick up the steps and do it with some confidence. It wasn’t until three days before the event that I was able to go through the dance in sync with the music. It was great in the sense that I got to know at least 20 other people who worked for the company (there’s always a kind of bond when people go through something together), achieved the unwritten clause in my employment contract, and learned this one thing: It’s never too late to learn how to dance.

September 25, 2007 Posted by | Me, Workety-work | 1 Comment

Now, Personal Finance

Again, the things you pick up from Oprah. (This is a  somewhat, geeky entry.)

I’ve recently started practicing financial planning. In reality, it’s a lot harder than than they say it is in the books. Add to that the ever growing multitude of self-help and advise books, all with contradictory statements: “Don’t buy this, Buy that.”, “Don’t borrow or borrow other people’s money”, “Individual stocks vs. mutual funds”, “Dollars and currencies”. For a twenty-something starting out it can be confusing. And downright frustrating when you want everything to happen, as in NOW.

I am taking it very, very slowly. For one, I am at least, debt-less. Patience Kim, patience. So far:

I’ve taken the pie-chart I picked up from Oprah and turned it into something like this:

I put up spreadsheets for monitoring and tracking my expenses, Accounting 101 style. It’s a little bit disconcerting to see that my net worth in cash/peso assets is just about $400. But it’s something to work on. Thanks to the pivot-wizard in Excel for Mac, I have been able to create various pie-charts and correlate what data I could. Now I can see exactly where the money goes, the general idea being, if I can reduce spending in that area, then I’ll have cash for elsewhere. Not surprisingly, my transportation expenses make up a good 26% of whatever I spend. It’s a sign I really have to start carpooling with Cheryl. (In Jemai’s words, “Help save the environment!”)

I’ve saved at the very least 20% of my income. Not counting the first two months of work which brought about various economic issues (including, asking for allowance from my parents, yet again.). Sure, the interest is only a little over 1%, but the bank is a safer place than my wallet, until I meet the balance I require to keep for an emergency fund, and then I’ll think about what to do with the rest of the cash.

I have not (read: NOT) been using my credit card. Even if it gets charged to my mom. It’s a bit shameful to do so, considering I’m only taking care of myself and no one else. Plus, I’ve always had this fear of credit card debt. Remember Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde? When she said, “I never thought I could be this happy without credit card debt!” I thought that would be me.

When I want something, I mull it over and buy it. I don’t mull over the price, but whether I really, really want it. It saves me from the inevitable crash of going crazy over other things because 1) what I wanted is long gone or 2) all the waiting to buy it made me crave to spend more.

Presently, I’m finding the financial plan which works for me. That includes reading the advise of the likes of Kiyosaki, Trump, and listening to Cashflow and even the likes of a certain Kate Oliva. I don’t have to do everything they say, but I can at least sort out what I think is crap and the parts which I want to try out for myself. And that’s important. (It saves me from the blame game, and the possible ranting of “_ is a liar and an idiot!” Should things turn out badly. (Cross fingers.)

And lastly, I’ve stopped doubting the power of karma. I try to do good when I can (occasional temper flares are acceptable). Okay, you may say the nastiest guys out there have all the money, but doing some good always helps, if not in this life then it’s for the next.

September 15, 2007 Posted by | Debt Diet, Investing in your 20's, Me, Show me the Money | 2 Comments

What I’ve learned at work.

It was only a matter of time before I posted something about work.

What I’ve learned at work:

It’s a small, small, world.
Recipes is a yum-o restaurant.
You can get addicted to Facebook.
I do know WAAAAYYYY to much about food.
It’s never too late to learn how to dance.
Engineers can be funny too.
You could burn through your first salary without even knowing it.
In Abby’s words, “There are no boys!”. (Okay… there are, but very few non-tatay-ish ones.)
Small planes suck, no matter how pretty they are on the inside. (Trust me!)
Gas is mahal.
My office shoes are way too high.
I love rice. I love it, I could marry it.
Anywhere you go, there’s always some form of studying.
Whenever you need something from the resource cabinet, it jams up.
Some parents have a hard time thinking of baby names, so they use their last names instead.
School would have been the greatest if you got paid.
Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you can’t rock.
El Nido is a teeny tiny town (it takes like, 5 minutes to drive around) but it takes your breath away.
People think I have more money than I really do.
If ever I get married, I’m going to play Sam Cooke at the party.
Patience is something I have to learn.
An all-white pantsuit is a no-no when eating Kare-Kare.
There’s more to helicopters than just flying them.
It’s not easy to go from work to the gym, no matter how near it is.

More to follow…

September 13, 2007 Posted by | Lists, Me, Workety-work | Leave a comment

balik high school

Scenario: Isipin mo balik-high school ka kasama ang mga kabatch mo.

1) Sa anung subject ka magcucut ng class?
all classes except econ (sir vlad rocked!)

2) Anong club ang sasalihan mo?
what clubs? i’d still run for council.

3) Anong kakainin mo sa recess on the first day of school?
caf siopao. to thi day i don’t know how they kept it from going bad without a heater or st. puie pizza

4) Sinong gusto mo maging seatmate?
ada

5) Anong laro ang sasalihan mo pag intrams?
sports hater ako nung high school… but will end up playing yung sports na desperate for players

6) Sinong iboboto mong class president?
lisa yap

7) Saan ka tatambay kapag uwian?
soccer field, seniors’ table sa caf with all the quilts and blankets, lockers, teachers’ lounge

8) Kung may isang teacher lang all subjects, sino ipiliin mo maging teacher?
sir vlad

9) Gusto mo ba makilala as Crush ng Bayan o Kopyahan ng Bayan?
duh…

10) Anung subject ang gusto mong tanggalin?
math

11) Sinong faculty/staff bibigyan mo ng Award? Anung award?
???

12) Sinong gusto mo maging roommate pag retreat/recollection?
the usual – ada, kim, aisa, rachel, aina, bianx, and ann (hehe, ang dami niyang food)

13) Saan mo gusto magfieldtrip?
out of the country… or mga bars sa makati!

14) Anung school policy ang iibahin/papalitan mo?
abolishment of clubs

15) Anung school event ang hindi mo papalampasin?
dorm open house, prom, fair

September 1, 2007 Posted by | Me, Survey | Leave a comment

the invitation

This poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, touches my heart. I would never have come across it if not for Tish. (The author’s name is befitting her poetry.)

it doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
i want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

it doesn’t interest me how old you are.
i want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

it doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
i want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

i want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

i want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

it doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
i want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
if you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

i want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
and if you can source your own life
from its presence.

i want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“yes.”

it doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
i want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

it doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
i want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

it doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
i want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

i want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

September 1, 2007 Posted by | Aww..., poetry | 2 Comments

No Kim is an Island

Since my later years in college, I have gotten into the habit of disappearing off the radar for weeks, even months at a time. In this country where even the manong magmamangga owns a cellphone which probably costs more than a month of his earnings, I’ve even gotten as far as not using my mobile for three months. It’s a feat (If I were Jason Bourne hiding from CIA assasins, which I am obviously not otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this blog.) but it’s not one I’m proud of.

When it started it was just because I needed time alone, to feed the monster which had become my sadness, and to figure out who I am, and what I really wanted. After that, there was always an excuse – my feasib, my diet, the gym, my family going at each other’s necks, or my pocketbook. I can honestly say, at this point my “me time” has become my comfort zone. And that’s fine, it’s prepared me for that solo flight backpacking trip I’ve been planning for the longest time.

But it has a downside too.

I’ve become too comfortable with being alone that more often than not I haven’t bothered to nurture my relationships outside of my family. I forget birthdays (forgivable because I tend to forget even my parents’ birthdays), bail from events at a drop of a hat (a result of my moodiness or random whims), won’t bother to send an email, and can’t even spare a measely hour for the courtesy beer. It’s selfishness really, and now I realize, all the moments I’ve missed have compounded into this one big void which should have been my experiences.

We rarely think of our friendships in the same way we do our romantic relationships, but in reality they need the same elements in order to work. Time, trust, sensitivity, a good ear, and effort. It’s about time I put in some of those.

August 31, 2007 Posted by | Friends, Me | 2 Comments

No, I’m not wearing this dress to the office

Last week I wore my navy blue (or is it blue-gray) dress to work. It’s a V in the front with a ribbon, baby-doll cut, and some chiffony material whose name eludes me. The back is sheer for just about four or five inches from the shoulder and falls at the knees, like a bit of a bubble but not as fattening. A dress can sometimes be a woman’s secret weapon, this was mine until about two in the afternoon when my workmate approached me and whispered, “This is not me ha, but someone said what you’re wearing is a bit revealing.”

Hokay. I’m annoyed not because whoever this person is thought the dress was too much (and it’s not, I swear to God!), but because he (or she) didn’t have the guts to tell me. And the idea that it turned up in a conversation, “Oh, by the way isn’t what she’s wearing so __.” (and how do things like a colleague’s outfit choice come up?!) is so creepy, and reminiscent of high school pettiness (yes, I am also guilty of said pettiness, but haven’t been for a LONG TIME). And I’m annoyed because  I would like to imagine that people have more depth than to call a bit of cleavage or a low back (and I can’t even call it low), in a word, bastosin (tama ba?).
 
Never mind that I adore it, or that it’s Marc Jacobs, or that it in itself it is a work of art, or maybe that this is theTWE.Yes, there still is a limit as to how  much people can show (or not show), but clothes are not the person or maybe I’m just sore because it’s me. (And for the record, I think said dress is gorgeous.)

Nevertheless, isn’t it time to change the way we think? This is not me being western or American (which most people claim is the source of all things trashy), this is me being wordly (in the true sense of the word). We’re all eager to embrace world – to live, see, travel. To be global (which I keep on hearing these days), TO BE A CITIZEN of THE WORLD, and when something is a sign it’s actually here, people are f*cking uncomfortable. Well here’s a heads up: This is the new world, and fashion is part of it.

August 29, 2007 Posted by | Me, Whine | 1 Comment