January Wrap Up

One month down, eleven to go!

The first month of the year swished just like that. It was fun though. And fast.

Let’s see, what was I up to last month?

January holds a soft spot for me mainly because of my birthday. Cash-strapped but adventurous, I managed to enjoy my 32nd birthday up at a mountain in Benguet. The first two weeks of January were actually spent scrimping and buying [yes, that’s possible], and mostly preparing for the Mt. Pulag trip. Not so much, physically…to the detriment of my legs. But I survived. My separate blog update is still in the works so I will link it up when it’s done [hopefully, within this century].

One hour into the trek, we saw this. This does not do the place justice. It's majestic, magnificent, and when we went, insanely cold.

One hour into the trek, we saw this. This photo does not do the place justice. It’s majestic, magnificent, and when we went, insanely cold.

I started the year on staycation because of forfeitable leave credits from last year. I cut it short by two days, much to our office timekeeper’s cute annoyance, because I got bored. Yes. I got bored. Plus it was crazy hot that week. Had it been this semi-chilly, I would not even think about the office.

My book haul is at a modest six — five bought, one received as a gift. I think it was conservatively countered by my Kindle. I don’t want to speak prematurely though. As I said, we have eleven months to go.

Four out of six books hauled in January. I picked up MIDWIVES to add to my Chris Bohjalian pile, WEAVEWORLD to add to my Clive Barker I-will-see-you-in-my-horror-reading-month pile, FAR NORTH by Marcel Theroux because it's dystopian that's less mainstream, and WICKETT'S REMEDY because I need something to pair with Midwives to avail the Buy One, Take One sale. Not in photo are JOYLAND by Stephen King [gift] and THE ANTHOLOGIST by Nicholson Baker.

Four out of six books hauled in January. I picked up MIDWIVES to add to my Chris Bohjalian pile, WEAVEWORLD to add to my Clive Barker I-will-see-you-in-my-horror-reading-month pile, FAR NORTH by Marcel Theroux because it’s dystopian that’s less mainstream, and WICKETT’S REMEDY because I need something to pair with Midwives to avail the Buy One, Take One sale. Not in photo are JOYLAND by Stephen King [gift] and THE ANTHOLOGIST by Nicholson Baker.

As for books read last month, I book-ended it with 7 books. That’s just right for my 75-book challenge this year. I try to keep a sane balance between e-books [a swooning post about S. Eloise, my Paperwhite, is in the works, too] and printed books so as not to start a jealous fit. Yes, my thick, thin, page-foxing books have feelings!

One highlight of the last month was the first book session of my book club at The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros. I loved it! I also cannot forget the yumminess of 9 Spoons’ tokwa’t bagnet. It’s a take on tokwa’t baboy but they substituted, obviously, bagnet, but more than that, the vinegary spice made a huge difference. The flavor seeps through the bagnet strips and tokwa cubes. Oh man, I’m drooling just typing about it. Will definitely come back. You can actually order off the 9 Spoons menu even when you are at the SkyDeck. It made the experience more interesting. Hint to my future date! Although it probably wouldn’t be wise to ravage tokwa’t bagnet on a first date. 🙂

Taken from the Skydeck of The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros. I love my city!

Taken from the Skydeck of The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros. I love my city!

On the work front, I marked my 11th year in the office. There are days when I think it’s time to move on, move forward. I don’t know; it comes and goes. I’ll see. As always, I will actively seek and wait for the chance to present itself. I also welcomed a new staff so if only for this new addition, this change, there’s something fresh to look forward to. Plus yummy friend is going back to the building in a two weeks! My lunchmate will be back.

Speaking of people, someone makes me smile everyday, more often lately.  Meh, I’m just going to enjoy it. And of course if I’m doing anything else about it, I will not tell you. Well, that is, assuming you are interested.

So, how have you been?

It’s my yummy friend’s birthday!

It’s my “yummy friend” Dennis‘ birthday today! I can’t give him a gift because he’s not here, so I feel that this blog post for him would suffice.  Well, even if he’s here, I still would give this post as gift.  Mahirap ang buhay.  Hahaha!

Our nickname for each other (‘yummy friend’ in case you’re still not getting it) is something that stuck through time that we no longer care if it means something different if you hear it the first time. There wasn’t anything to it really; it started with one of those “send to many” cheesy messages which said yummy people are friends. If people ascribed other meaning/s to it, I don’t want to rain on your parade so just think whatever you want to.

So, since it’s his birthday, I want to list down, IN MY BRIEFEST BEST, things I love about him.

  • He keeps me grounded.  He tolerates my insanity but only to a certain degree.  In life, consider yourself blessed if you have friends who would give you sides in every situation, who would play devil’s advocate, still for your own good.  Most of the time, that’s him to me.
  • His “STOP-THAT-YOU’RE-EMBARRASSING-ME-YOU’RE-SO-UNCULTURED!” look.
  • The way his mind would drift away after 30 seconds whenever I’m spilling anything about my romantic life (or the utter lack of it).  He mastered the art of looking at me, nodding at proper moments, and commenting briefly, like, “Babae lang nakakaramdam nyan.” or his classic, “Tigilan mo na kasi yan e.”
  • He’s very easy to please.  I don’t know with you, but I always manage to annoy him then make him laugh sometimes within one long sentence.
  • He can really stare.  Outstanding moments for me were the one with an office visitor wearing a very sexy dress (he was holding the door for too long, muntik pa maipit) and with the Taiwanese girl in Taipei 101 (as in staring while he’s walking away, parang pelikulang slo-mo, wtf).
  • He loves his nieces so much.  He always has stories about them.  I know they know that, you know, he’s a slave to them..
  • The way he trills his r’s and deliberately forgets his f’s and p’s.  It’s annoying at times but it’s cute, too.
  • I can talk to him about ANYTHING.
  • Whenever he has to criss cross his way when we’re crossing the street just so he would be on the “danger” side.
  • He won’t admit it but he remembers if he pushed a wrong button before; he will not dare touch it again.  He will mock you crazy about it but he will not do it again.  I’m speaking metaphorically, of course.
  • Whenever he loses it because I’m late, either for lunch or after office hours.  Grabe magdabog yan at umirap-irap.
  • He also loses it when you stop at ALL the stores and buy stuff.  Typical guy dilemma because he almost always go in a straight line and buys something he wants at one go.  More touching is even if he chides you for this, kahit galit, he would bring your bags.
  • He’s so human in that he snores.  He fucking snores. rotfl.
  • He cares.  Contrary to what he said in one of his blog entries that he doesn’t, I believe the opposite.  When one of our friends was dying, hindi rin sya mapakali.  When our other friend lost her mom, he was also so uneasy and outrightly suggested na pagkatapos ng lahat, we should all take her for a trip.  Kahit kay Oreo, their Aspin, he’s also like that.  Even with Boy Turon!  Whenever the shop’s closed, he’d always think may nangyari na.  So sweet.
  • He’s not good with direct compliments but he can make you feel you did something great and he’s proud of you.
  • He’s so supportive.  Like, matiyagang naghihintay sa akin pag mahaba ang pila sa BPI.  Very recently, I made a bold attempt to do something for my lovelife (LOL), andun sya sa 2nd floor hallway at nakasuporta in case I screw it up (I didn’t, ahem).
  • The way he drags his feet when he walks.  As Sheila said, parang Lotus Feet.  Alam mo na agad pag sya yung padating.
  • He enjoys life and never stops dreaming.  I have too much to say about this but with the length of this post, he’s already seething in annoyance, I’m sure.

There are more things I love about him that could not make this post.  I’m sure he touched your life as he touched mine.  I couldn’t believe we’re going to be this close, to think that when he first got to the section, numero unong supladito ‘yan.  For the past 3.5 years, he’s the constant male presence in my life, and I thank him for being there.  Wag na mag-alala yung may mga gusto sa kanya, we will NEVER be together, that I can tell you.  But I will love him for life!

So to you, yummy friend, happy birthday!!! You’re old enough to need a rectal exam in your APE! Hahaha!!!  I wish you lots and lots of money and something new to stimulate you (I mean, anything than Walmart, LOL).  More importantly, I hope that when you go inside a church, she would have a face again.  You deserve it.  I love you! 

 

oh universe, you’re a tease

right after my grinchy post below, more greetings came in, including a personalized greeting card made through photoshop. it’s very very sweet and touching. what do i do now, what do i do?

anyway, my mother is more excited to celebrate my birthday than the celebrant herself. she went ahead and went out with her friends and when i asked her why, she said, “to celebrate your birthday.” hahaha, my mother is crazy. in one of her “gatekeeper” moments (aka taking phone calls for me) this moring, i heard her berating a cousin for meddling big time, once again, in her son’s personal life. towards the end, she said, “ako wala akong pakialam sa kung sinong gusto nya (meaning me), kung ano gusto nyang gawin. kung gusto na mag-asawa, sige. kung ayaw at gusto magsasama lang sila, bahala sya. ang sabi ko lang kung gusto mo magpakasal, magsabi ka in advance para makabili naman ako ng bagong damit!” crazy, really. the cousin must have asked if i’m seeing someone now because i heard her say, “mukhang wala kasi umaga at gabi walang ginawa kundi house, house, house.” she then proceeded to explain who house is and why she does not like him because he’s arrogant and dirty-looking, and even chided his tacky blue backpack.

so now i’m home, slowly trying to respond to my beloved well-wishers. my date with my high school bestfriends is still at night. i think i’m going to read a book for now.

Thank you but back off a little, honey.

Salamat, Thanks, Grazie, Gracias.
Salamat, Thanks, Grazie, Gracias.

I am overwhelmed by everyone’s greetings and calls (most of which I dodged. I’m sorry). I am never trained nor I allowed myself to get used to all this attention that’s why I can only say a short but heartfelt thank you. People are not expecting anything more than that, I know.  Some of them don’t expect to get acknowledged at all – they did it because they wanted to; I even do it all the time.   That’s why it bothers me that I feel guilty that I am choked and stifled by too many of them.

I have been accustomed to my low self-esteem and we’ve been bestfriends for a long time so I may appear ungrateful and thankless to some especially in times like this. I didn’t mean to hide from or ignore people. I simply get scared of the sheer volume of attention. Growing up alone and living with unrequited feelings for a very long time (not only about romantic feelings, but in all types of affection I gave since I became this damaged, lahat ng yun that were not sufficiently returned  favorably) and then factor in my natural brooding personality, they should explain why I’m like this when the crowd gets too big and I’m the reason why they are coming together.

It’s not that I do not like being with people. I do, but only with a select few. I made plans to be with people I want to spend my time with. I also do not mean I dislike everyone else whom I did not “invite”; I do, I even love most of them, too, it’s just that I feel a certain level of my personal space being invaded when, as I said, lots of people converge to tell me that they remembered.

I am aware that I touched their lives at one point that’s why they took time to send me something or (attempt to) call me. Someday, when I grow old alone, I may realize the importance of being grateful to them. I may be less scared and intimidated by the attention. As of now though, I don’t know how to handle it gracefully, and well. It’s not that my mother (who has always acted as my buffer and sort of like a “publicist” that’s why people have not realized na ako ay hindi marunong makipag-kapwa tao, or ayaw sa tao, ehhh, something like that) and my experience with people taught me nothing. I guess I’m just this way and I will stay this way for a very long time.

Before I turn more people off, I am ending this post, but not without another sincere THANK YOU to everyone who remembered. It’s not a great time to publish my frustrations and crazy personality problems in my blog, on my birthday nonetheless, but I just can’t help it. For now I need time to be on my own, like I always loved it. Salamat ulit! 🙂

the birthday aftermath

I’m officially 26 years old and very proud of it. I still dread most parts of it, especially the ones leading to the future, but everything else is rosy and bright. I spent half of my special day working, good thing I was let off by the boss early. I played the “Sir, it’s my birthday” card, and thankfully it worked, as he responded through e-mail, “Get out of here before 2:30 p.m. Leave approved.” Niiice.

Fantastic things happened and I think it’s brought by the fact that I really felt good about everything in the first place. My mother threw quite a feast for me and she knows she didn’t have to, what with her own golden year celeb in March, but she did. Love, love her!

As if it’s on a rehearsed schedule, neighbors, paternal relatives, office friends and maternal relatives came in batches, making the party an on-going thing from lunch time till around midnight. My brothers were there and one even helped with the drinks, having been a super bartender for most of his life – my office friends were raving at one of his mixed drinks until today.  A sister from up north paid me a surprise visit, never mind if it’s an incidental trip. Everything was really great, and fate made it happen that way because our house cannot accomodate more than ten people at one time. Hahahaha!!!!

I saw people  I haven’t seen in ages, and met relatives I’ve only heard of in family anecdotes. Mom’s favorite cousin (a contested title!) took a video of a great chunk of the gathering, and I’d really like to thank her for it. I got wonderful gifts, too!  

After all that’s said and done, I am now unafraid to say I may still be clueless about some things in my life. At the end of the day, such as when I am about to sleep I ask myself if this is what makes me genuinely happy. Ironically, most of the time I feel that this is all I want for now, and the things I have are more than enough. Aging, whether it’s fast, slow or just in the right speed, would make you set your ways well, you just have to help yourself.

^-^

I can say that in light of a very recent heartbreak (and please, a heartbreak is not only about, in my case, something involving a man), I’m more secure with myself, because I know it will help me “unblurrify” (a term SF came up with just for me, hahaha!!!) my path and see the real one ahead of me. This was kicked off by a quote that affected me, which said, “You’ll never find anyone who achieved great success without a ‘give up story’. There will come a time when you will find that you too will have to give up something good if you want to achieve something better.”

My forms of grieving and wallowing over this heartbreak are keeping myself occupied with little things that I know I’m good at and more importantly, not talking about it this early.

It’s not about a man…which I’m still going to swear off from, though if a chance presents itself, I might go for it, but not without a fair assessment of my readiness.  It may not be pleasant to know but I love myself more than ever and I want to stay this way for a long time. Ang sarap ng ganito, sobrang sarap.  

It’s not also about my work, which believe it or not, I came to really appreciate as I go through the heartbreak. Maybe it had to take something I felt bad, frustrated, hopeful, confused and pretentious about on the same level as I did with it, or probably a higher degree of the aforementioned feelings, before it really dawned on me that my work is something I don’t have to make a problem out of as it is really very good…for now.

Anyway, I’m still feeling the remnants of my birthday high. From time to time though, the heartbreak still creeps in but I’m moving on very very very well. I’m 26, after all. High five naman dyan!!!