Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm back on Facebook

I've reactivated my account. I've been been squeezed, hugged, flirted with, and sexypoked. But I'm officially hooked on Scrabulous and (fluff)Friends (please pet my Wuv, although gifts would be nice too--she's partial to high-calorie stuff like cupcakes).

I'm still streamlining. The way I see it now, Facebook isn't a redundancy because it serves another purpose altogether. Now, I maintain the following:

1. Friendster - for the contacts
2. Multiply - for the videos, pictures, and the social interaction
3. Facebook - for play!

Add me!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

January habit

Beginning this year, and true to my theme for 2008, I'm starting a new habit every month. I've read that you only need to do something for 21 days straight to make it a habit, so, at the rate of one habit a month, I'd have 12 new habits by the time 2009 rolls in.

January was for logging my food intake and expenses. I've been doing it for 26 days now.

I first started logging my food intake when I had a weight management trainer at Fitness First. It was part of the process. Having to write down every morsel I ate was frustrating, embarrassing, and very helpful. I observed that I do have stretches of time where I go on a fast-food binge with a couldn't-care-less attitude. I also realized I was an emotional eater.

I stopped logging my food intake for a while when the training was done, but now I'm back to doing it. It's still frustrating, embarrassing, and very helpful. I still observe that I go on fastfood binges--and that I'm still an emotional eater.

I'd tried logging all my expenses before, but I probably wasn't as into it as I am now, because I'd give up after less than a week. But turning 30 made me face the fact that I'm not at all financially independent, nor am I financially responsible--even if I've always made it a point to spend less than I earn, and I do manage to save.

Now, it's my goal to be financially smart. Logging every centavo I spend has shown me that a bulk of my expenses go to--surprise, surprise--food. Unhealthy food, at that! A chunk of it also goes to transportation expenses. I don't have a car, but sometimes, I take the taxi to work. I seriously wish I could go to work on a bike! But it's just too unsafe here.

I made it a point to merely observe this month. Of course, writing my food intake and expenses down made me more careful, but I didn't exert any real effort on controlling them.

At the end of the month, I plan to evaluate my expenses for the whole of January, compute my net worth, and then start a budget, savings, and investment plan for February.

As for the food intake, I don't think I'm the type that will enjoy counting calories, so I'll have to figure out a way to get around this. I'm thinking that I'll just generally avoid processed food, refined sugar, visible fat, and refined carbohydrates.

I've found two useful applications that can help me with this. In Blogspot, I've included a graph from bellygraph.com and a graph from joesgoals.com. Both sites are really useful in helping me visualize my goals.

Wish me luck! White light!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger (1979-2008)

You really never know. Or maybe you do, but you just don't pay enough attention:

“I stressed out a little too much,” Mr. Ledger said.

He tends to do that. He is here in London filming the latest episode of the “Batman” franchise, “The Dark Knight.” (Mr. Bale, as it happens, plays Batman; Mr. Ledger plays the Joker.) It is a physically and mentally draining role — his Joker is a “psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy” he said cheerfully — and, as often happens when he throws himself into a part, he is not sleeping much.

“Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night,” he said. “I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.” One night he took an Ambien, which failed to work. He took a second one and fell into a stupor, only to wake up an hour later, his mind still racing.

Even as he spoke, Mr. Ledger was hard-pressed to keep still. He got up and poured more coffee. He stepped outside into the courtyard and smoked a cigarette. He shook his hair out from under its hood, put a rubber band around it, took out the rubber band, put on a hat, took off the hat, put the hood back up. He went outside and had another cigarette. Polite and charming, he nonetheless gave off the sense that the last thing he wanted to do was delve deep into himself for public consumption. “It can be a little distressing to have to overintellectualize yourself,” is how he put it, a little apologetically.

From The New York Times.

What a pity, really.

Monday, January 21, 2008

MFA Saturday

We were supposed to have a Christmas lunch, but due to unforeseen circumstances, the date was bumped up to January 19 and what was a Christmas lunch became a New Year lunch. Following tradition, we still had a theme: "polka chic."

After lunch, we went to Quiapo to look for the "optical alley." It's on Paterno Street, if you care to know. Ana scored some cheap but classy eyeglass frames.

It was a good day to be in Quiapo. It had been drizzling, so the air was clean and cool. We tried street food in Plaza Miranda (fried calamares for P3.00 a piece and corn on the cob). I also managed to score a keychain screwdriver set, perfect for my glasses.

It wasn't a good day to take cabs though. We had to take two jeeps (one to Liwasang Bonifacio, another to Vito Cruz) to find a better place to hail a taxi. Then it was Makati for us.

We didn't take too many photos this time. Allan and Louie, who both didn't have polka-dotted anythings,  came wearing checkered shirts. They left early, so they missed the photo-ops. :)



Candy: "Sir, ang stiff niyo dito. Mag-pose naman po kayo."



Doc Bau: "O sige, ayan."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Seven years ago

Inspired by this blog.



I was at EDSA Dos from start to finish, from when it was an unplanned convergence of frustrated, anonymous people who had listened or watched live as their own senators betrayed their trust, to when the big names came to take the lead and the credit.

I would have made it all the way to MalacaƱang on the last day, if Sherwil and I hadn't been at the tail-end of the crowd that managed to clog all the roads.

For what seemed like hours, we sat down on the concrete somewhere near the University Belt, waiting for the crowd to budge. No go. It was frustrating.
We'd been at Ortigas since five in the afternoon the day before, and we had marched across San Juan, etc. to find ourselves stuck somewhere in Manila.

It was hot, my feet were aching, and--call me prudish--but a nearby poster of a (fake) whorish, half-naked Tessie Aquino-Oreta with cuss words was really starting to get on my nerves.

Impatient for news--the hard-core activists had taken charge of our part of the crowd, and while I was appreciative of the order, I didn't agree with some of the inciting things they were shouting and it seemed like they had no idea either what was going on real-time--Sherwil and I decided to abandon the march to the presidential palace and look for the nearest television.

And so it was that we celebrated Erap's resignation with Coke, pizza and fried chicken at an almost-empty, air-conditioned Shakey's. While we munched on our grub, we also watched then-VP Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo being sworn in. It was the first time I'd seen here there. I was so happy.

I have other memories too. I remember Rosanna Roces shouting, "Putang ina mo Erap!" I remember seeing then-Sen. Robert Jaworski arriving and being attacked by a rallyist. We cheered as he left.

I remember seeing Bong Revilla arrive, and thinking, wow, he must know something I don't for betraying a bossom bud. I remember thinking the same way as Nora Aunor herself addressed the crowd.

I remember the APO Hiking Society and other EDSA artists performing, and feeling like I was part of a beautiful part of history, and that I, at 24, was making a change.

I also remember scolding someone when he got pissed off at someone who was squeezing through. I said something like, "Hey, we're in a peace rally." Everyone else was being so nice, even if there was barely a room to stand in and yet people were still coming and going. We wanted something good; getting your toes crushed was a small price to pay.

One night, I watched as a small Gardenia truck went up the Ortigas flyover and threw some sandwiches to the crowd below. On another night, Sherwil and I went to report on her mountaineer father, who was camped out on the Ortigas flyover with the Ayala Mountaineers. One early morning, I saw people serving free porridge.

I remember Robinson's Galleria open to the rallyists. I remember one late evening where almost everyone in it was wearing black, and Chavit Singson walked from one end to another, floor to floor. I cheered him along with the others, but I was also thinking, "Wow, from almost-convict to hero."

Those were four beautiful days, but they weren't easy. The rallying crowd would disperse early morning, so it didn't really disturb the working crowd, and there were always people to clean the mess. But we sacrificed work, sleep, and safety. Because we wanted to change things.

And we did. For a couple of days, months, or years--depending on how one sees it.

I spent four days getting my toes stepped on, squeezing through crowds, sniffing other people's body odors, eating whatever food we could buy from where we had planted ourselves, walking through city after city under the noonday sun, screaming my voice hoarse, staying up 24 hours...

And with one sweep of the pen, six years later, President GMA, who wasn't even there till the end, trashed the only thing left from that revolt in the name of politics, dashing all good memories I have of it.

She wasn't even there.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Flutterby

It was around 1am and I was heading home from a long evening at work when this caught my eye. I often walk with my eyes on the ground--more because of my myopia than anything--and I'm quite used to seeing coins, clutter, and endless cigarette butts. When I saw this, I did a double-take and thought to myself, "Wait--was that what I thought it was?"

It was indeed!


That's a shadow of me taking the picture.

I had to squat to take a decent picture of it. It took several tries, and by the time I had one picture I was happy with, the Northgate Cyberzone guard on duty had approached me, thinking I had lost something.

Au contraire. :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

This year's theme: love

It's a couple of days late, but here's my theme for 2008. I've summed it up into one simple, not so surprising word: love.

So I will do all things with love, both work and play.

First of, I will love myself. I don't mean I will just be all feel-goody about myself, I mean I will put myself on top of the list, so I can better share myself with others, as a (future) lover, friend, family member, and writer.

I will follow my favorite saint, Therese of Lisieux, and perform little acts of love and kindness. Perhaps big things or big projects aren't for me just yet--but nothing is really big or small, if done with love. 


My first official act of love for the year: I am supporting Louie support our beautiful, beautiful friend Jenny move on to ALC after graduating from FLEX with flying colors. (We're still raising funds; if you want to help, message me!)


Glowing Jen after FLEX
I will do all things with love, from the smallest to the biggest. This way, to borrow a term from my classmate Razel, I will be able to create my own beautiful space.

I will inspire love in others, by being an example of it myself. Tall order, because loving isn't always easy, even if it's always right.

And so, to 2008, with love!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year!

For 2008, I'm not making any resolutions; I'm setting a theme. I already have an idea what it is, but I'll write more about it this weekend.