A Bit Scary Bits

Don’t let your fear paralyze you. The scariest paths often lead you to the most exciting places. – Lori Deschene

Hello 2016, you’re almost over. As we flip our calendars to November we also celebrate wifey’s birthday. This year though is a lot more special for today she reaches that phase when life they say begins–she’s now 40! We find it always funny that it happens at the very same time when everyone flocks to the cemeteries to pay respect to their dear departed. Anyway, happy birthday to you milove and may God bless you with better health and longer life ahead. For one, Marcus and I need someone to cook for us.

***

This is usually the week when scary stories and TV shows come around. I recall those years when we would get glued in front of Magandang Gabi Bayan’s Halloween episode but the fact that we now know videos can get manipulated has made me a lesser fan of any similar shows. Some current events news are much scarier lately–EJK, anyone?

***

Our compound was empty as everyone paid a visit to my sister-in-law’s grave so it’s just Marcus and I for several hours. After dropping off wifey at the cemetery, I briefly left Marcus in the tub and suddenly a shriek echoed. I rushed back to see Marcus staring not at a zombie but at a harmless spider on the wall. It made me recall wifey’s story about the other DMD mom’s observation that their sons too freak out at the sight of insects and spiders. Maybe it’s that feeling of not being able to run or at least walk away that makes them feel scared of those crawly creepers. Makes sense to me now.

***

Wifey has this weird habit of staying until the midnight to welcome her birthday but last night she fell asleep early–didn’t text her as I was on training. Hehe. Soon she felt someone shaking her. It was from someone with a pair of tiny cold hands. It was Marcus. Being a late sleeper, he waited for the clock’s two fingers to strike 12 so that he can greet her happy birthday. See it’s not all about scary stuff for today’s blog post. Sweet.

***

That quote on top by the way is from Twitter. Yup, about a year or so of hiatus I’m starting to check it out again. I feel I’m being called to report for keyboard warrior duty. Be scared.

I’m scary even without a mask. (Taken in Bacolod two years ago.)

***
Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Two days off.)

Goldilocks’ Heroes Cake

Kids are hard to please nowadays and Marcus is one of them. Give them the gift that they have longed for and they look for another. Yesterday, he received the toys that he wanted, only the affordable ones though, but asked that his birthday cake be Batman themed. I did not anticipate his request, I thought I have explained it before that he can’t have it. But then again, kids will be kids, their mind will change at any moment especially if they know it’s their birthday.

So where do I get Batman? A high beam over Batangas’ skies won’t make us see the caped crusader gliding down to the rescue. Good thing, Goldilocks knows their customers and I found one cake that would instantly resolve the problem.

Goldilocks saved the day.

***

Finally, a genuine Batman Lego and a Catwoman to make him happy.

Marcus actually received a gift from Batman himself–at least it’s what the gift card says so at the expense of our Skylander gifts being set aside so soon.

Air and Fire characters.

The good American Santas once sent Marcus a used Skylander set and I know he has finished the game already. Later I learned he is missing two other elements so he can explore the game more. On this eighth birthday, he received the air and fire characters, thanks to wifey (I owe you one).

On a side note, kiddo also has his gift to himself. Being a big fan of the Halo game series, he finally opened up his panda coin bank and got for himself a Halo 3 CD. It costs P950 and I think the panda still has more. We will try to sneak later and get some to cover for his birthday party expenses. Shhh.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Recovered the sleep I skipped. Yesterday, I only had more than an hour coming from night shift.)

Thanks to Thanksgiving Day Time Off

Image from the web.

 

“I’ll give you 5 minutes to yourself, but only 10 seconds at a time.”-kids (via Twitter)

 

Do I have time? Such is the question that would linger every now and then. Among other things, time management is the toughest. Time they say is the great equalizer because everyone, regardless of status, has only 24 hours each day to spend. Yes, rich or poor, black or white, young or old, fat or thin, healthy or not, just 24 hours each—what differs is what is at stake for each minute lost. Extra time in reality does not exist and it won’t be a surprise if someone would wish if only they could buy time that the others won’t use. But then again, we can’t. Even Donald Trump can’t.

Do I have time? Take note of ‘I.’ I for individual, I for me. Sadly, we are not alone and time is not ours all the time.  Our jobs, bosses—bad bosses included, relatives, neighbors, friends, parents, wife, and kids, in no particular order, want either a small piece or a big chunk of our 24 hours. It takes a bit of skill, a bit of negotiation, a bit of luck, and a lot of sacrifice to manage time.

Even the holidays do not present total freedom. Unless you get to escape, if your personality and lifestyle permit you to do so, and isolate yourself to enjoy the whole day on your own—half of it I would spend in bed—you have at least one or two other people whom you need to spend time with.

This week I have that opportunity to enjoy the much-awaited time off. Thanks to the Americans who would ignore repeated and annoying rings and trade all business calls for a time together with their family and friends in front of their favorite roasted turkey and beer. Thanks to Thanksgiving Day, I have time to be just at home. No late night drives for two days. How to spend the next days is another matter but we’ll see. There’s iflix, there’s Minecraft and Call of Duty, there’s errand to the grocery store, there are things to pack, there’s a birthday to celebrate.

 ***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Waiting for Marcus’ plan of the day.)

Birthday Weekend

The recently concluded weekend breaks routine. On Saturday, with wifey and Marcus, I attended the 7th birthday party of my officemate’s daughter. It was a good way to meet some of my colleagues away from the confines of the office, it was just about (fast)food and fun. Thanks to Jollibee and the party’s Hello Kitty theme, it erased for a moment the pressure of the Friday that was.

Every time we attend a Jollibee party, however, it reaffirms Marcus’ dying admiration of its mascot. Just like any Filipino kid, he once used to go crazy at the mere mention of meeting the famous red and yellow bee. He was once a big fan that he can even identify the store’s illuminated signs the instance he sees any of it from afar and it is usually when he would excitedly shout ‘Jollibee’ in gibberish. He was less than a year old then. But wifey and I now have observed that Jollibee parties for Marcus mean just parties with free food and loot bags. Period. In the past couple of years, whenever we talk about kiddie birthday celebrations, Marcus would strongly express that he prefers McDonald’s. Or Pizza Hut. Well maybe leaning more on Pizza Hut because lately he loves singing the pizza chain’s ‘making it great’ jingle.

The next day was entirely different. No balloons, no loud music, no screaming kids. On Sunday, we found ourselves at my MBA classmate’s place somewhere near Nuvali. It was a good time to re-connect and chat again after three years since I last met her. (Great house by the way.)

In both days, I am pleased that we successfully skipped the malls—we easily convinced our son to be home after each event. I now wonder if Marcus has started getting bored being inside these places? Has he become more fond of his Call of Duty Xbox game? Or has he begun to know the last-stretch-before-payday feeling? I think I have an idea.

 ***

Happy birthday again Keih and Anna. Thanks for inviting us. Until next time.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Still stuffed. Need to lift weights later.)

Birthday Poem Only For You

A stork was high in the sky,
’twas years ago.
It circled, then swooped very low.
In a humble home, it dropped by.

“Aha! It’s a boy, however tiny.”
He stared, he smiled,
The couple, overjoyed, almost cried.
“Thank heavens, finally, our baby!”

Now he turns five,
What a boy he has become.
Ever so active, so full of life.
This poem is for him, from dad and mom.

***

Happy Birthday Marcus!

Hello, Wifey : )

Until today, I’m still feeling the guilt of not being with my wife on the midnight of her special day. It has been her tradition to stay awake until the very first seconds of her birthday. In return I get to greet her first. Unfortunately this year is different as I was at work packing precious processors instead of packing a birthday gift.

So to make it up to you wifey, here’s one for you:

Being you…

Enhances my identity

Being caring…

Makes me appreciate your presence more

Being patient…

Teaches me to be one

Being understanding…

Encourages me to know compassion

Being funny…

Just tickles my funny bone

Being strong…

Makes me stay as one

Being loving…

Makes me love you more

Being a late greeter…

Gives me the excuse to write this one bad poem.

Happy Birthday!

I love you!

Age…and Age We Would

“How I was born, I do not remember. How I will die, I do not know” – Russian Proverb

My father and I celebrate our birthday always on the same date. Our ages are 40 years apart. And just recently, I turned 33.

My wife asked me one time, if how old is my tatay (filipino for father) going to be this year, and I said “73”. “Do you think you’ll reach that age?” was her quick reply.

Assuming she meant well with that (just kidding), that one quick discussion made me think somehow. Would I still be alive 40 years from now? How would I look like by that time? In what condition would we be? Would we be financially stable by then? And a lot more questions I could possibly think of.

A decade back then, when I reached my early twenties I said to myself that I’d be happy to reach the age of 50. I actually feared (even until now) thinking that I would eventually get old and helpless. And that, I wouldn’t want myself to be in.

But as I grew older, started to work and soon got married, I’ve come to appreciate life even more. Now that age goal had to be extended – as if I can do something about it. Every now and then, I would daydream about a laid-back, idyllic farm setting, my wife and me just lazily sitting outside and watching a golden sun set over the horizon. Children and / or english bulldogs running around are always included, of course.

Sometimes though, these hopes of living longer would be snapped out each time that I would get sick. I’m often so paranoid that a little bit of headache would send me thinking of my mortality. Only the paranoid survive, huh!? Thankfully, I had somehow recovered and got medications (and as far as I’m concerned, is effective) for my “new” migraine. Now I can once again start dreaming of happy thoughts.

Whatever will be, will be. Or Que sera sera, as nanay (mother) would often sing.

So true. And whether I like it or not, I’m indeed getting older. And one obvious fact would be the number of white hairs my wife would happily pluck from my head. On some days I would ask her to leave it alone as I would feel proud having those and see them in the mirror peeking out of the still majority black hairs. When it would be fully covered in white/grey locks, I can only guess.

God willing, I will appreciate it a lot if the time comes that I’d be 73 yet still be able to walk, to enjoy each day and still be together with my loving wife. And so, until that time comes, I’ll let my daydreaming continue.

Aging Anxieties

“How I was born, I do not remember. How I will die, I do not know” –Russian Proverb

My father and I celebrate our birthday always on the same date. Our ages are 40 years apart. And just recently, I turned 33.

My wife asked me one time, if how old my tatay will be this year. “Seventy-three,” I answered. “Do you think you’ll reach that age?” was her quick reply.

That one quick discussion made me think–and I assume she meant well. Would I still be alive 40 years from now? How would I look like by that time? In what condition would I be? Would I be financially stable by then? And a lot more questions I could possibly think of.

A decade back then, when I reached my early twenties I said to myself that I’d be happy to reach the age of 50. I used to fear the thought of getting old and helpless, I just don’t want myself to be in that situation.

But as I grew older, started to work and soon got married, I’ve come to appreciate life even more. Now the age goal has to be extended—as if I can do something about it. Every now and then, I would daydream about a laid-back, idyllic farm setting, my wife and I just lazily sitting outside while we watch the golden sun set over the horizon. Children and/or English bulldogs running around are always included, of course.

Sometimes though, these hopes of living longer would be snapped out each time that I would get sick. I’m often so paranoid that a little bit of headache would send me thinking of my mortality. Only the paranoid survive, right? Thankfully, I recovered and got medications for my “new” migraine. Now I can once again start dreaming of happy thoughts.

Whatever will be, will be or Que sera sera, as nanay would often sing. So true. Whether I like it or not, I’m indeed getting older. And one obvious fact would be the number of white hairs my wife has been plucking so eagerly from my head. On some days I would ask her to leave it alone as I would feel proud having those and see them in the mirror peeking out of the black ones which are still the majority for now. Until when it would be fully covered in white locks, I can only guess.

God willing, I will appreciate it a lot if the time comes that I would be 73 yet still be able to walk, to enjoy each day and still be together with my loving wife. And so, until that time comes, I’ll let my favorite daydreams continue.

Born in 1974?

Life is full of ups and downs. The trick is to enjoy the ups and have courage during the downs – Author Unknown

November 30, 2006 was one of the most exciting times of my life. And the week prior was just as eventful.

I have been writing my birthday as Nov 30, 1973. I just know the date. Lately, though, while processing my Transcript of Records from where I got my Bachelor’s Degree, I had a frustrating and confusing time at the registrar’s office. I learned that they’re reading—or rather interpreting—my birth year on the photocopy as 1972 instead of 1973.

Ti abi. How could this happen? I’ve been using 1973 in my passports, government issued IDs, and licenses, gun license included (I don’t know if it would have helped convincing them if I brought this one along). But it all fell on deaf ears. I was short of choking someone’s neck that day. Good thing, my good side prevailed (play Psycho movie music here).

I left school that day wondering if I would be turning 33 or 34 this year. So yesterday, I anxiously went to claim my birth certificate from our local NSO (National Statistics Office). And there it was, legibly typed written on my birth date space, is nineteen seventy-three. 1, 9, 7, and 3. I’m indeed a certified 33-year-old man.  Never before have I appreciated my age.

***

November 29th

Driving from Starbucks Shangri-La Makati, by the wee hours of the morning, I was made to decide which way would take me home. Going right of the intersection leads to the Skyway ramp while left is a road that looks a lot faster via Coastal Road. So left road it is.

It was wrong decision—I entered a one way street. Upon exiting the lane, I was apprehended by a policeman. His back-up also arrived and both implied that I could get an easier way out of my traffic violation. “Birthday mo na pala bukas…ang layo mo pa,” the apprehending officer said as he takes a look at my driver’s license. He obviously wants me to bribe.

I was in another dilemma. Part of me was anxious to get over it and be home but I’ve been a firm believer that bribing makes one become part of the problem rather than the solution. So I got my ticket and left the policemen with nothing but my driver’s license. I drove away disappointed but proud of what I did. It will cost me more, but at least I made my stand.

***

November 28th

This day was unique for the T3 folks—my wife’s group. Instead of the usual Japanese buffet at Saisaki, this time they turned Chinese. We had dinner at Tong Yang Hot Pot in SM Megamall and surprisingly, majority of the guys are newbie to this sort of dining.

Nevertheless, they enjoyed preparing their own hotpot and grilled foods. There were oysters, dimsums, tuna, salmon, chicken innards, and veggies just to name a few. The men’s favorite was of course present—free flowing San Miguel beer for only P50 ($1). (And if you’re wondering, yes I followed the one bottle per hour rule for drivers like me.)

My wife went creative too. She got me a cake delivered by the waiter right to our table as a repertoire of birthday songs played over the whole restaurant. And it was all for me, for my advanced birthday party.

After the belly busting dinner, a bowling match followed and to cap the night we went to Nipa Hut bar in Pasig where we met up with a couple of ex-Intellites. We also had a couple of sisigs and gambas. And what could be more perfect match to those killers than beers. Yes. Beers. One bottle per hour again. Hik.

***

November 27th

The longest day. Wifey and I together with friends played at Lotus Badminton Center Inc. for almost six hours with rest and lunch included. (If I remember it right, we started playing badminton three years ago and fairly enough, we have improved our game.)

We left the court by past 3 p.m. On our way to SM Dasmarinas I was pondering on pampering ourselves with much needed body massage and hot oil treatment and that’s when our car broke down.

Luckily I was able to park it at the mall and did the troubleshooting right there. It was a busted alternator again (I replaced it approximately six months ago). I had no other choice but to buy a 2nd hand part that cost the same as the painting my wife was planning to buy. Ti abi.

I went home tired and dirty instead of refreshed and shiny.

***

November 26th

As a Sunday routine, I bought my copy of the Philstar (www.philstar.com). I was surprised upon reading that one of my favorite writer Max Soliven (also this paper’s Publisher) passed away last Friday, November 24th, while on his way home from Japan. Sanamagan.

I’ve admired him for his articles in By the Way. He wrote with courage and charisma and his style of writing almost never fails to amaze me. Well, that’s life I guess. Although I know that the list of writers with such caliber as Max are now dwindling in numbers, I just do hope that someone will come at par with the way he does. Wherever you are, may you rest in peace.

It’s my 33th Bday…or is it 34th?

Life is full of ups and downs. The trick is to enjoy the ups and have courage during the downs – Author Unknown

Nov 30 2006 was one of the most exciting times of my life. And the week prior was just as eventful.

Since I’ve got to learn to write my birthday, I’ve been writing it as Nov 30, 1973. Lately though, while I was processing my Transcript of Records from where I got my Bachelor’s Degree, I had a frustrating and confusing time at the Registrar’s office. I learned that they’re reading or interpreting my birth certificate’s photocopy as showing 1972 instead of 1973. Ti abi. How could this happen? I argued. I’ve been using 1973 in my passports, government issued ID’s, licenses, including gun license (I don’t know if it would have helped in convincing them if I brought this one along). But it all fell on deaf ears. I was short of choking someone’s neck that day. Good thing, my good side prevailed (Psycho thriller movie music playing).

I left school that day with a confused mind, wondering if I would be turning 33 or 34 this year.

So yesterday, I anxiously went to claim my birth certificate from our NSO (National Statistics Office). And there it was. 1973. Legibly typed written on my birth date space. I’m a certified 33-year-old man, indeed. Never before have I appreciated my age.

November 29th. Coming from Starbucks near Shangri-La Makati, by the wee hours of the morning, I drove and made my way to SLEX on our way home. At one intersection in Pasay Road, going East, I was made to decide which way would took me to where I should be. I have the right, which is Skyway ramp. I have the left, which looks like a direct way to where I am going.

So left road it is. Wrong decision. Upon exciting that lane, I was apprehended by what appears to be a policeman and was asking for my license and who likewise radioed for back up. The back up came and was implying that I could get an easier way out of it. Now this is where another dilemma occurred. To bribe or not to bribe. I was anxious to go home and get over with it. But I’ve been a firm believer that bribing someone, in this case a policeman, is making one a part of the problem and not a part of the solution. So I chose the path less taken – i.e. I got my ticket and left the policemen with nothing but my driver’s license. I drove away disappointed but proud of what I did. That would cost me more, but at least I stand up to my belief.

November 28th. This day was unique for the T3 folks. That’s what I call my wife’s group. Instead of the usual Japanese buffet at Saisaki, this time, they’re turning Chinese (sort of). We had dinner at Tong Yang Hot Pot in SM Megamall. Majority of the guys are newbie to this sort of dining. Nevertheless, they enjoyed preparing their own hotpot and grilled foods coming from a variety of selections from the counter. There were oysters, dimsums, tuna bellies, chicken innards, tuna, salmons and veggies just to name a few. And the boys’ favorite was of course not missing – free flowing beer for P50 ($1). And surprisingly, it was San Miguel beer. I was at first thinking that it was home-brewed. And if you’re wondering, yes I followed the 1 bottle per hour rule for a driver like me.

Other than the beer-deal surprise, my wife went creative too. She got me a cake, delivered right into our table by the waiter while a repertoire of birthday songs played over the whole restaurant. And that was all for me. What a wonderful way to have an advance birthday party.

Right after that belly busting dinner, a bowling match followed. Yes, bowling. Good thing I didn’t got confused if I was picking a bowling ball or some else’s round stomach.

To cap the night we went to Nipa Hut bar in Pasig where we met up with a couple of ex-intellites, had some chitchats. We also had a couple of killer sisigs and killer gambas. And what could be more perfect match to those killers than beers. Yes. Beers. 1 bottle per hour again. Hik.

November 27th. The longest day. At least for a badminton game, we have ever played. We played and stayed at Lotus Badminton Center Inc. for almost 6 hours (rest and lunch included). If I remember it right, we started playing badminton since 3 years ago. Fairly enough, we have improved our game (in my opinion). We left the court by past 3 pm.

While on our way to the mall and pondering on pampering ourselves with much needed body massages and hot oil treatments, our car broke down. Luckily I was able to park it at the mall and did the troubleshooting right there. It was a busted alternator (again, since I replaced it approximately 6 months ago). I have no other choice but to buy a 2nd hand part that cost the same as the painting my wife was planning to buy. Ti abi. Good thing she hasn’t bought it yet.

I went home tired and dirty instead of refreshed and shiny.

November 26th. As a Sunday routine, I bought my copy of the Philstar (www.philstar.com). I was surprised upon reading that one of my favorite writer Max Soliven (also this paper’s Publisher) passed away last Friday, November 24th. While on his way home from Japan. Sanamagan.

I’ve admired him for his articles in By the Way. He wrote with courage and charisma and his style of writing almost never fails to amaze me. Well, that’s life I guess. Although I know that the list of writers with such caliber as Max are now dwindling in numbers, I just do hope that someone will come at par with the way he does.

Wherever you are, may you rest in peace.