Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
We got home really late last night.
We had a lot of fun in LA last weekend and with these frequent trips we’ve been doing, I must say that long car rides, though they still take a lot from me, no longer drive me as nuts as they used to. It’s not because I’m not used to it. It’s just that I would rather be on my two feet (or on the bed) than sitting still on a moving vehicle for what seems like forever. But yes, Saturday was really fun. We spent the morning beach-combing at Huntington beach with my hubby’s cousin, Ian. Had a few easy cocktails (some Absolut Ruby Red mixed with Cranberry, and a slice of lemon --- yumm!) and just walked around lazily passing surfers, joggers and sunbathers. I missed Boracay all of a sudden. Our afternoon was spent at Station 13 at the State Beach. We chaperoned my stepdaughter at her band's picnic. It was really awesome. We were around kids and other parents just eating, talking and sitting out on the sun on our picnic mats. Alyssa made me my first real smores from the bonfire (not that I haven’t tried it before, but would pre-made grocery-sold smores really count?) I really liked it, most especially because Aldred pulled me out of the crowd to watch the sunset.
Then we had a quiet evening celebrating Al’s cousin-in-law’s birthday at their place, just bonding over bottles of Snapple (yes, Snapple!), while listening to IZ in the background singing my favorite songs. The original plan was to spend Sunday at Universal Studios (since they said they will be tearing down Back to the Future soon…as if it matters, but might as well, right?)…then it shifted to a short trip to Disneyland…then last minute over sunday brunch at Denny’s, Al decided to bring us to Sunset Blvd. instead, and do a mini-tour of Downtown LA, perhaps eat some Pink’s hotdogs. We would postpone Uni and Disney to some other time when we can spend more time there. That sounded really good since I don’t think they will be closing down anytime soon anyways, hahaha. As we were heading to Sunset though, we got word that Peewee (another cousin of Al) is in town on his first international flight as a licensed PAL pilot. We took a grand detour to reunite with family instead. I was really happy to see him again. It was all worth it even if we just ended up in a mall before heading back upnorth.
The drive back last night was tiring. As if the repetitive lines on the freeway weren't hypnotizing enough, Al was listening to this audio CD of Stephen Pressfield's book, "Gates of Fire" (have you seen “300” – The Battle of Thermopylae?)-- while I, a self-proclaimed bookworm, was busy head-banging my way in and out of consciousness.
What can you expect? This morning, must I say, it’s another one of those terrible Monday mornings for my head. I was sleepy and didn’t want to wake up for work. When my friend Monica saw me, she knew right away (from how I looked, I guess!) that I had another one of those busy blurry weekends that I tend to complain about. She surprised me with a cup of coffee at my desk, five minutes before I went on my coffee break. Sure this was another busy, blurry weekend, leaving me lagging behind chores and other things (FOR PETE'S SAKE, THERE ARE STILL NO VALID EXCUSES FOR UNWASHED DISHES OR A DIRTY FLOOR!) I painfully discovered here in America , crazy social obligations, errands and schedules packed like sardines will toss you around like a tennis ball if you don't rule over them. Tita Ces is right. Here, life will dictate you if you don’t try your best to dictate it. I’m not sure which one works for me at this point though since, looking back, I see that we also managed to pull out a great degree of fun somehow. Either way is okay I guess, although Al and I have decided to slow down pretty soon. Maybe after September. But that is the same thing that we said about August. Or July. *SIGH* For Labor Day weekend, he and I might play hookie, not from work, but from everyone else. And I ain't telling...
Life will dictate you if you don’t try your best to dictate it. Hmmm. Sounds logical. Well, I have learned to see that either way makes me happy, for now. Sometimes it's futile to go against the flow. It's really a case to case thing and I just choose to dance the dance for now instead of fret and be miserable. It could be really tiring, but this day to day life here can still be a piece of cake. Eating it can be my cup of tea. Or coffee for me.
Friday, August 24, 2007
TGIF! Aside from it being a Friday…I got paid today!
It’s slow at work today, so I get a chance to write something. I tried to cut my bangs in my cube yesterday when things got too slow (if you think I’m joking, then you really don't know me that much yet) I realized my bangs have gotten too long that it was tugging on one side of my hairline, making it look like an ugly thinning out patch...so cut I did! Now my bangs are so thick, puffy but light that they stand on their own and make me look like I just got up from bed, and it’s 2:26 pm!) Today, there’s nothing left for me to cut and I’m sure my co-worker won’t appreciate it if I start styling her hair --though sometimes, I catch myself mentally trying to do so. So I’m writing instead. I’m actually emailing this from my work email to my yahoo ad, since our security firewall blocks Friendster like it’s one of those wanted psycho serial killers. What a bummer. I’ll just upload it tonight. One passionate blogger could be that desperate, y'know! And hopefully embellish it with pictures too (if this one comes out with pictures, that means I actually had time in between evening chores and hubby-related affairs--tv, basically). It’s been a while since I’ve done that. Not that I am one of those desperately-needing-to-blog-everytime-online-journal-junkies, well, yeah, maybe I am, sort of…whatever! I would usually write to make something out of an experience. But today, these are just random bouncing thoughts to pass the time, and hopefully it takes me somewhere. Or at least just to record some irrelevant stuff in my journal, which, who knows may be worth something someday. Call me a hopeless sentimental. I just like to keep record of my biographical thingamajigs. Yeah right, like I would be famous someday. Like a special little spot will be cordoned in a museum for me one day. Alright, guilty! That’s actually one of the dreams that my subconscious secretly desires. Well, just in case this happens, curators will not have a hard time gathering and authenticating my mementos. I have two memory chests back home that has a lot of it, and I mean, it is one organized lot! Let me recall…my first notebook when I was first starting how to write and draw, my favorite toys…a fisher price dollhouse (which is a duplex now after it was split into two following a child-induced seismic calamity), a stinky pillow in the shape of Minnie Mouse’s head, which I creatively drawn eyebrows and teeth on with a Pilot pentel pen, a small piano with technicolored keys, etc. I also have my ballet and other performance costumes, except for the ballet shoes---where did they go? Then there are my sketch pads, slumbooks, year-by-year journals and moldy filo-faxes, my Trapper Keepers, some test papers (with nice scores ofcourse, the rest have been conveniently burned or used as confetti), my cheerleader uniforms (including some pom-pom samples, which, I believe are disintegrating by now). Or even a small t-shirt with “Clarisse” printed out on the front back in those days when I was a Size 0 (I was probably 5 yrs old then, hahaha). Wow, this is launching me into an impromptu trip down memory lane. Let’s not go there today. But well, I really don’t know why I like keeping these things. I'm not really attached to them. I just like to be organized with them. Maybe to have something to brag about around my lucky descendants someday? ("ano ka, cheerleader po ang LOLA mo!!!") Or well, maybe to show my hubby how special I am? (I don’t really need to, actually…he believes in me more than I believe in myself, or sometimes, even more than what I am really capable of doing. Like there was one time in an official event, his proud a$$ volunteered me on-the-spot to do something geeky just because someone else couldn’t get the presentation’s software to run ("go wifey, show them what you’ve got!") and for the life of me, I didn’t have any clue what to do!
Maybe I file away my tangible and intangible memories systematically so these could be reminders for myself of the many things that I have experienced and to thank God, my parents, and everyone I have crossed paths with for paving the way for me. Maybe it is also a reminder for me now, to keep working on this journey as positively as I can, add up to the memory chest and squeeze in a million more brand new experiences everyday. After all, I am a special and beautiful work in progress, and that is how it always will be.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
THURSDAY AFTERNOON AT WORK. My boss peeped into my cube and saw my pair of dumbells sitting together at the edge of my desk, partially obstructing the view of jars and jars of diet supplements and diet powder (which actually feels like toothpaste without the mint and tastes like white cement when mixed with iced tea...I'm beginning to suspect that they actually work by cementing off one's gut). She curiously picked them up, and ask what they were doing there (aside from attempting some weird and awkward arm raises with my 2-lb weights...LOL --- I love you, Judy). I didn't know what to say, they have been sitting there for weeks now and all I really accomplished was to stare at them during my coffee breaks or use them as holders for my microwaved sausage biscuits. I intended to bring them on my walks by the ocean during my lunch breaks, but I keep forgetting. Yeah, yeah. I did not want to lose my "fitness-buff" facade (which desperately covers my couch-potato-I'd rather-be-sleeping-lazy-a$$-alter-ego) so I quickly said my future plan, in the present tense..."Oh, I use them when I go on walks...and during my breaks here when I have nothing to do" (Dear Lord, please forgive me for lying, and please don't punish me with more weight). I complained to my boss that I sit all day, and that I'm getting the deskjob hips, and that my favorite Seven jeans don't fit, and that I gained what seems to be like twenty pounds since I started working. I rattled on that I am perpetually cooped up in my cube and I never get to be on my feet anymore and that dimples are beginning to show up where they are not wanted.
FRIDAY MORNING. I arrived at work, people were loitering on the hallways. I found out that the phones conked out, the internet was not working, and we were seemingly detached from the rest of the world, ergo, we will be useless for the day, or until SBC finds out what was wrong with the cables a few blocks down. It was like a scene from the Twilight Zone. I overheard that we were going to be sent home (the possibility of going back to bed already sent my soul careening in a wreckless astral travel back to the house) until the managers had a "eureka!" moment...with lightbulbs still flashing on their heads, they said "We need help at the back", that meant the warehouse. Bam! There goes the bed...and the hot pink shawl I draped over my top that day, and the chandelier earrings that matched the shawl. We all marched into the warehouse.
I rolled up my sleeves, I mean, I took off the shawl and started manually labelling jars of nutritional supplements (we have machines, but we have two products that come in oversized jars that just don't fit), I did a lot...labelling, sealing, putting them back in boxes, carrying the boxes back to the palette, the whole shebang. I wanted to learn how to manuever the carts, but they didn't let me because I was wearing hot pink flipflops that matched my shawl...and chandelier earrings. I never had the chance to sit down, except for coffee breaks and lunch break. The mexican warehouse supervisor came up to me and said "if the job is too hard for your hands, just let me know, I can give you a lighter one". (Just because I wear chandelier earrings doesn't mean I am going to release my own version of Paris Hilton's The Simple Life!!!). I bravely declined his offer and soldiered on. I have always dreamed of doing some manual labor, some blue collared work that I never ever had.
This is it. Sure it was fun, but as seconds turned to minutes and minutes turned to hours, I was sore all over. I was stinking, I was dirty, I was tired, and I had a throbbing, itchy but ouchy papercut. A new kind of appreciation for these people is born. It made me want to autograph each bottle I labeled, knowing that in a few days, it will go to an end customer. It made me appreciate each invisible guy behind every tub of margarine, every bottle of shampoo, every jar of mayonnaise (especially back in those days when automation in the production line was still unheard of). It made me appreciate my husband even more, a tech at BMW, who proudly refers to himself as a grease monkey but manages to spoil me rotten with his pay, and give in to my every whim and fancy --I'm not really a spoiled abusive brat but I can be a pampered baby! (I won't attempt anymore to keep him awake or plot on keeping his eyes open by supporting them with toothpicks while he is dozing off after a hard day's work.)
I felt weird eating with my colleagues who thought of having pizza delivered as some kind of reward for working our butts off at the "back" (how come the mexicans don't have pizza everyday? they sweat it back there everyday).
I had a lot of fun though. And I surely wouldn't mind doing it over and over again. I was able to rest my brain and I was finally able to flex all those sleeping muscles. (No wonder the warehouse gals are bombshells...and we at Customer Support, are tanks and submarines). We had a little teambuilding synthesis of the whole experience...you'd hear words like, "We should do this more often....or....it was an awakening for us...or...this will make us tolerate warehouse mistakes more patiently..yada...yada...yada..." The best part was, when my boss, with nothing but sincerity in her tone said "Wow, you were standing all day, Clarisse. Wasn't that a good workout? You got what you wanted!"