Sunday, March 30, 2008

A dream

I rarely dreamed about J, even when we were talking everyday. It's strange that I should dream about him now, now that I haven't heard from him in months. Sure, I still think about him more or less everyday, as I still think about most people who were once important to me sporadically. But it has reached the level of, "Hmmm... I wonder how he is. I sure hope he's as okay as I am."

This part of getting over--when you can think of him with genuine, sincere concern minus the twinge of missing him--makes me a little sad because it puts him at the same level as everyone I care about, only slightly less than those I still spend time with. The idea that he's no longer special, or that special, it makes you wonder where all those strong feelings went, and makes you less trustful with the mad, passionate feelings that you equate with love.

But enough about love, for now--I want to write about the dream.

In Thailand, when we were exploring the ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya, Sherwil and Emily climbed up a temple, and I, withering from the heat, opted out and chatted with our driver and guide, Watson, instead. One thing I noticed about the temple ruins was that the broken pieces of statues of Buddha were still reverently kept in a pile. Some of them looked more like smooth rocks than anything.

I asked Watson if there were people who picked up some pieces for souvenirs. Security was lax, so anybody could do this easily. In his broken English, he tried his very best to tell me about one tourist who did. Apparently, back home, this guy kept dreaming of a voice telling him to bring the rock back, and it got so that he did fly back to Thailand to return the piece.

I've been thinking a lot about dreams--and having a lot of vivid ones--since then. I have another story about a dream, this time about my father (it was his death anniversary last March 25), but I'll write about that next time. First, the dream about J.

A few nights ago, I had one of my rare vivid dreams. In it, I accidentally ran into J while traveling. He was with his young wife, who seemed like a nice Eurasian woman. They had just gotten married. I was the same age as I am now; he was older. In fact, he looked like the stereotypical retiree traveling the world.

He was a bit overweight and he looked sick. I talked to his wife, and she said they'd met on a bus, and fell for each other almost instantly. She was in her late twenties, and I had the impression it wasn't love just yet, but that she did care for him, and I found myself hoping it would last. He was sick, and he needed regular medicine, and she took care of this very well.

Suddenly, I felt the urge to give him the scolding I never got to give. I felt the need to demand for his apology--for hurting me, for betraying me, for promises unfulfilled, for his general bad behavior... So I went up to him (and at this point, I think I was naked--and we were in a public place too!) and started shooting off my mouth.

As soon as the words came out of my mouth, however, they sort of dropped, heavy with the ages and ages since they were still relevant. I tried to talk as if everything still mattered, but the more words came out, the more... unnecessary they seemed. Worse, the old man J looked at me with blank eyes first, as if he remembered me enough to know there was something to remember, but he couldn't seem to bring it to memory. At that point, we were people who had a past--and just that.

Everything felt futile, and it was this futility that made me let it go and think, why hold on to things you can not even make a single point about? It was liberating, sad, and, most of all, blank.

I woke up feeling sentimental, yet light. Could it have been my subconscious bidding bye-bye?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Back from vacation

I'm back at work, after a week in sizzling Bangkok. I think I'm sunburnt, and I'm still dog-tired, and I'm really happy to be back home. I had a nice time--but more about the trip when I finally get the pictures.

I hardly had any time to go online for fun. We had free wifi, and I brought along my mom's Asus Eee PC, but I only had time for my real work and for some, er, jobs for Dope Wars in Facebook for my pretend work.

A lot of interesting things happened during the trip. I learned a lot about myself.

I can't wait to go on my next one. Homebody me, finally bitten by the travel bug.

In the meantime, however, send me some Facebook love by clicking here:
I ♥ Dope Wars!

Friday, March 14, 2008

English Trainer Chronicles: "Something"

Scene 1: I'm in Manila, at my work station. Learner is in Europe, in what learner calls a "meeting box," which is like a meeting room, but smaller. We are talking about the lesson, and learner is suddenly quiet.

Me: Hello?
Learner: Something is entering my box!
Me: (Instantly alarmed; imagines all sorts of "somethings.") What?
Learner: A colleague.
Me: Oh... (Laughs) You don't use "something" for people!
Learner: I mean, someone!
Me: (Continues laughing) ...
Learner: He is not saying anything. He must not speak English very well.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Two messages from the universe

One, from a British chatmate in Madrid. Another from a French learner in Switzerland. The British guy, when he told me a story. The French learner, simply because she remembered me.

I felt the *tingles* and just knew they were really meant for me.

"In order to change height one must dump ballast."
The words of Bertrand Piccard, a ballonist who circumnavigated the world and set a record. My learner attended his talk, and she said she thought of me. :)

"Getting over means simply to understand there is nothing more because one side says so."
The Brit said, referring to a friend.


Edit, a few minutes later: I messaged another old friend on YM, and got this from her Multiply blog.

Whee. Whee. (And whee, all the way home.)

Good night!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

English Trainer Chronicles: Nice saves

Last night, I fell asleep with a cross between a smile and a giggle thinking of these exchanges.

Nice save #1:

Me: Would you like to talk about some English song lyrics? Pick a song.
Learner: I don't really hear English lyrics.
Me: You don't hear English lyrics? Remember the difference between hear and listen?
Learner: Yes, I remember. I meant to say I'm deaf.

Nice save #2:

For a lesson on phrasal verbs.

Me: So, tell me about the last time you showed off.
Learner: The last time I showed off was a long time ago.
Me: Go on...
Learner: I was 80.
Me: 80? How old are you now?
Learner: 31.
Me: So, what comes first, 80 or 31?
Learner: I was talking about a past life. I can still remember it. So, in my past life, I was 80, and I had a new cane...

I ♥ my job.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Missing UP

I can still remember how, before college, studying at the University of the Philippines was somewhat of a myth. My mom was teaching chemistry at De La Salle University-- another university close to my heart and my soon-to-be graduate school alma mater, if things go well--but mass media (movies like Moral and songs of the The Eraserheads) really sold me to the idea of going to UP.

Five years in Diliman, however, can take its toll on a suburban girl like me. Manila is no picnic either, but it's just one comfortable bus ride away from my village, so I chose to go to DLSU for my MFA.

But I've been missing UP lately. I think this a feeling that most alumni get every so often, and this is why they keep going back. I wasn't able to go to the Centennial celebrations, and I've backtracked on numerous plans to go there for whatever. It's high time I go back for a visit, I think--and the universe is giving me signs!

To begin with, this article, written by Gilda Cordero Fernando, was published in today's paper: A gourmet’s guide to UP and other concerns.

At my age, I'm more of the Chocolate Kiss and Chateau Verde type, but I miss these two places:
The best barbecue on campus, however, is found in Beach House beside the Main Library. Unfortunately they’re open only for lunch. But there’s Kha’s place in the arcade near the swimming pool. It serves Middle Eastern food. Their specialties are rice biryani and ox brain soup and they have lassi.
Sadly, though, it doesn't mention this hole-in-the-wall Thai eatery I discovered through my orgmate Vincent Coscolluela. I suppose that one's long gone, because when my MFA classmates and I went there a couple of years ago, upon the insistence of Allan Popa, the place was nowhere to be found.

We did manage to have this picture taken, though:

My DLSU friends and circa-DLSU-again me, posing at the AS Steps, a la Moral. It didn't seem cool to do it when I was actually a student! Besides, we didn't have digital cameras back then! Left to right: Candy Villanueva, Razel Estrella, Heizel Mainar, Jonathan Siason, Allan Popa, and me.

Also, yesterday, this pleasant coincidence:

I forgot I had my own, but wearing it would have been too contrived anyway.

More here.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Managing my online presence

Falling in love with Facebook and Twitter has made me go ga-ga over applications again! Of course, right after I signed up for a Twitter account, I learned Google Jaiku!

Nevertheless, I'm unleashing my OC self again, and managing my online presence. Major and minor changes soon.

First on my list: Technorati Profile

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Les amants d'un jour

This came from my French learner, and I am now sharing this with a certain Paul Kurrien in mind. Hihihi.

And for the English version:

Cute dog, by the way.

The lyrics:

Les amants d'un jour
English Version -- translator unknown

Shine another glass make the hours pass
Working every day in a cheap café
Who am I to care for a love affair?
Still I can't forget I can see them yet

They came hand in hand, why can't I forget?
For they'd seen the sign that said "Room to Let"
The sunshine of love was deep in their eyes
So young, oh so young, too young to be wise
They wanted a place a small hideaway
A place of their own if just for one day

The walls were so bare, the carpet so thin,
But they took that room and heaven walked in
And I closed the door and turned to depart
With tears in my eyes and tears in my heart

Shine another glass make the hours pass
Working every day in a cheap café
Who am I to care, one more love affair?
Love is nothing new I have work to do

We found them next day, the way they had planned
So quiet, so cold, but still hand in hand
The sunshine of love was all they possessed
And so in the sunshine we laid them to rest
They sleep by side two children alone
But I'm sure they've found a place of their own

So why must I see the ribbon she wore
The glow on his face as I closed the door
Be still children, still, your shadows may start
The tears in my eyes and tears in my heart

Shine another glass make the hours pass
Working every day in a cheap cafe
Evrything is fine 'till I see that sign
How can I forget -- it says "Room to Let."

(And the sound of glass breaking.)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Flowers and weeds

On my way to work, I decided to walk on the Bellevue Hotel side. Beside it is an empty lot, and these made me smile.

I don't know what they're called, but they sure look pretty.

This makes me think of my childhood. And reminds me of UP.

I uploaded a few more here.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

An almost empty pot of hand cream

One of the small excitements of my life: cleaning out a pot of hand cream (or a jar/bottle of body lotion). It takes me so long to finish an entire jar (think years), it's always an achievement when I reach this point!

If I'm not mistaken, this is only the second pot I've completely used up in my entire life.

Just a tiny little dollop left.

No more! Yay!