Friday, January 30, 2009

1990s, for a night

I took half a day off yesterday to attend Aldus Santos' book launch for Repeat While Fading at SaGuijo. <3

Half day, for me, actually meant half the PM off, as my last lesson ended at 7.40pm. I met Jenny at Magallanes at 8:30pm and following tips from nice people over there at Plurk, we found our way.

(To those who want to know how to commute to SaGuijo, this is what we did: We met at the southbound side of Magallanes, walked to the corner, took a PRC jeep to Bagtikan, got off, asked the security guard where SaGuijo was walked to Guijo St., and followed the music.)

It was nice to be out on a weekday night again. It was also nice to be around people from college. I've been missing UP lately (finally!), or maybe I've been missing who I was back then.

Whatever--I went on a serious senti trip when I watched True Faith perform, and when, upon the urging of Paul and Lorie's friend Joy, we had three of the former Eheads (unfortunately, Buddy wasn't around) and Medwin Marfil sign Aldus' book.

At some point, I felt very much like my "uncool" 17-year-old-self again, but I went all out and asked Bobby Balingit and Repeat While Fading editor, dearest Paul Catiang, to sign my copy too. <3

On a semi-related note, I am seriously thinking about going back to UP for some writing classes.

But first, my DLSU thesis.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My beautiful mess

I've been working on my room since Christmas break. I've been painting walls and ceilings, and, being new at this, it's taking me so long. That, and the fact that I'm a weekend warrior. It's such a fulfilling task, though, and now I know I can DIY too!

I wish I knew how to make shelves and other furniture, but unfortunately, it's not one of the skills I've been blessed with. I'd really love to find a good flea market for such, though.

Last weekend, I finally decided to paint my work area. This was a daunting task, not because of the painting (I've improved immensely), but because I had to empty the big shelf my father made for me. My books are everywhere!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Year of the Ox for those born in the Year of the Snake.

Kung hei fat choi! I'm keeping this for posterity's sake.

If you weren't born in the Year of the Snake, click here to read your own horoscope. You can also click on the second link below.

*Keeping my fingers crossed*

Chinese New Year Horoscope: Forecast for the Snake
Provided by
The Coming Year: The Year of the Earth Ox could be one of your best ever, dear Snake. Your special brand of charm will prove very popular this year, and you should have no trouble winning over potential employers, clients and lovers. You'll even be able to negotiate workable compromises with your enemies. If you don't take financial risks, you will turn a profit in 2009. Although you'll be very busy with work, you'll have a welcome opportunity to kick back and relax in late summer. Take this golden opportunity to shed your skin. You'll emerge refreshed, energized and ready for new projects.

Don't be surprised if you discover a hidden talent this fall -- this gift will put you in contact with a variety of new people this autumn. Old, outmoded friends will fall by the wayside. You simply can't make time for people who no longer meet your emotional needs, and fortunately you'll be able to part ways peacefully. During an Ox year, everybody feels overextended. Treat 2009 as an opportunity to bring your life up to date. As far as your health is concerned, beware of overindulging in rich food and intoxicating drinks. Aerobic exercise like running and swimming will strengthen your heart and improve your circulation.

Love: As far as romance is concerned, 2009 may be one of your best years yet. If you haven't had a serious relationship for a while, that will change between April and June. Keep your ears open for a sensual love interest with a great voice -- this person will engage you in the stimulating debates you love so well. Getting married in an Earth Ox year bodes well for sinewy Snakes; go ahead and take the plunge!

In the event you're already married, devote extra care and attention to your spouse. Go on regular dates together, and be sure to plan one special vacation with your beloved. Leave the kids at home -- the Year of the Earth Ox demands plenty of "adults only" time.

Finances: Slow and steady wins the race as far as finances are concerned this year. Your money problems will ease as 2009 progresses, it's just a matter of being patient. Fortunately, you Snakes are willing to bide your time for the sake of success. If you're thinking of changing jobs, wait until October or November when a friend could tip you off to a very lucrative career opportunity. You'll do especially well in the area of art and design, and you're one of the few signs that could do well in the stock market.

The Year of the Earth Ox favors investments in nuclear energy, high tech securities and education. You could launch a successful business with a well-connected friend, but if you do, you may make some secret enemies. Be very careful of whom you trust with your bank account and personal information ... jealousy can cause people to do some pretty underhanded things.

Yearly Horoscope for Snake

For your sign, click here.

Snake Ratings
79% (10 favorable and 2 neutral months)
The Snake has an incredibly favorable year ahead. The year of the Ox provides many opportunities for the Snake to fulfill long awaited career goals and achieve more than he/she ever imagined. Your wisdom and patience are tools that prove successful in all aspects of your life. Relationships could be taken to new heights and deep and meaningful friendships are acquired. This year proves to be one of action, the year that all of your planning and waiting pay off for you. The later months prove to be especially successful, tying a year of arduous work into an extremely blissful culmination.

Snake Career

Your wisdom proves to be most resourceful this year, particularly in your career endeavors. Colleagues will admire your input and your opinion will be well respected among business circles. Your work will take you to new levels in your career, as you may see a promotion or a position change that offers you a direction that is more suitable to your skills. March, April and May are strong months for a career change or an upswing in your current position. Be prepared for an outstanding year in your work and don't be surprised if everything you do results in success.

Snake Relationships

The Snake's social life will bring a high amount of satisfaction to you this year, as will your family life. Though you tend to be more of a loner, this year will provide occasions that may bring you out of your shell. You have always been a good listener and you will benefit from being more assertive in social situations. More to the point, you may be thrown into a position to be more assertive, rather than volunteering. Your quick thinking will prove to be most useful. Single Snakes may find the romantic relationship they seek, as romance is favored.

Snake Health

The Snake will not suffer any more than minor health issues, but you may want to watch what you eat and make it a point to exercise more often, as these may be areas that you tend to neglect. Your busy work schedule and social endeavors may make it difficult to maintain a regular schedule of exercise, but you can find time here and there to do something active. This will help your heart and may relive stress from a long work week.

Snake Wealth

The Snake will do well with your conservative approach to spending. You have always been disciplined in your finances and this year proves to be no different. If you maintain your frugal manner, you will find that you have accumulated enough by the end of the year to make a large purchase that you have been planning for a long time. If you are in doubt about a particular endeavor, don't hesitate to receive a second opinion before committing.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dear Universe/God: #7

Okay, so I've been asking for some lovin' and, as always, you are quick to reply. I just have to learn that it's not always in the form I want it to come in.

But you know me, I'm a crazy, but recovering control freak.

Thank you for the following:

1. The singer Dulce's text message thanking me for my review of Hairspray last November. Not only did it send me into starstruck mode, it also pulled me back to that fateful November evening that left me scarred and affirmed that something beautiful can still grow from it. Time is all it takes.
2. Weng from Gospel Komiks asking me to write another comic strip and thanking me for sharing my gift. :-) I hope to do more of this sharing. As Jabez prays, keep enlarging my territory, pretty please.
3. Mamu's texts and phone calls.
4. Pizza and doggie ball from Ivan.
5. Last Thurday's Corn and cheese and tuna sandwiches (in whole wheat ciabatta) from my officemate Sheila.
6. And the orange from Donna!
7. The good (and not so expected, because I'm usually paranoid that way) performance appraisal. (As they say in American Idol, "I'm going to Hollywood!")
8. Keona's unexpected visit.
9. The beautiful read that is Eat, Pray, Love.
10. Pre-loved books from Yvette that I bought at the office garage sale.
11. Weekend at the Alabang Town Center with family, extended family, and friends. Mwah!

Okay, so I'm taking archiving seriously now

When I started my career as a writer, I promised myself I'd take note of everything I wrote. I did this fanatically, keeping even press releases I wrote for the many products I got acquainted with as a marketing writer for The Philippine STAR. Of course, I had no idea my "portfolio" would mutate into an unmanageable mess of articles on whatever, from banks to beauty products to burgers to, really, whatever.

When I left The Philippine STAR three wonderful years later, I made sure to keep copies of my files, apart from hard copies of the articles. But little did I know my writing would scatter itself into wherever, as I'd eventually try my hand at freelance writing. Sometimes, I google my name and find links to pieces I never even remember writing.

The only kind of archiving I practice is that I save all my sent files in my Yahoo and Gmail accounts. (Sifting through them gets interesting when I come across passionately-typed emails to boys I loved).

So now, I've decided to, once again, use a blog to keep the articles I write for Cebu's The Freeman's entertainment section, where I have a column that usually appears twice a week. Check it out (and ignore the typos; those are my column pieces before they passed through my editor's eyes):

Channel Surfing for Freeman

I'm still copy-pasting everything from June 2007, but it's up to date since 2009.

Now, I'll have to figure out how to archive the rest of my writing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

To all the boys I loved before--or, that McDo commercial

So I may be the last in the Philippines to see this ad, but better late than never! People weren't kidding when they said this brings back a lot of memories. It's so 1990s. Gen X has grown up, indeed.

That thing with the fries, I did that too. :-)

I am a Type 2

I took the Enneagram test here, after seeing other bloggers on my contact list take it too.

The Helper (the Two)

Helpers are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people's needs.

How to Get Along with Me

* Tell me that you appreciate me. Be specific.
* Share fun times with me.
* Take an interest in my problems, though I will probably try to focus on yours.
* Let me know that I am important and special to you.
* Be gentle if you decide to criticize me.

In Intimate Relationships
* Reassure me that I am intersting to you.
* Reassure me often that you love me.
* Tell me I'm attractive and that you're glad to be seen with me.

What I Like About Being a Two

* being able to relate easily to people and to make friends
* knowing what people need and being able to make their lives better
* being generous, caring, and warm
* being sensitive to and perceptive about others' feelings
* being enthusiastic and fun-loving, and having a good sense of humor

What's Hard About Being a Two

* not being able to say no
* having low self-esteem
* feeling drained from overdoing for others
* not doing things I really like to do for myself for fear of being selfish
* criticizing myself for not feeling as loving as I think I should
* being upset that others don't tune in to me as much as I tume in to them
* working so hard to be tactful and considerate that I suppress my real feelings

Twos as Children Often

* are very sensitive to disapproval and criticism
* try hard to please their parents by being helpful and understanding
* are outwardly compliant
* are popular or try to be popular with other children
* act coy, precocious, or dramatic in order to get attention
* are clowns and jokers (the more extroverted Twos), or quiet and shy (the more introverted Twos)

Twos as Parents

* are good listeners, love their children unconditionally, and are warm and encouraging (or suffer guilt if they aren't)
* are often playful with their children
* wonder: "Am I doing it right?" "Am I giving enough?" "Have I caused irreparable damage?"
* can become fiercely protective

Thursday, January 22, 2009

First book of the year: Eat, Pray, Love--or first, I cry

I first heard about Eat, Pray, Love from the Oprah Show. I was hesitant about reading it, as I still have a pile of guaranteed feel-good reads to make a dent on, but when I found a copy for a little over a hundred bucks at Booksale, I quickly grabbed it. I picked it up after New Year, and I found it to be such a delicious, beautiful read.

Gilbert, thirty-something and recently divorced, travels from Italy to India to Indonesia in pursuit of pleasure, piety, and the balance between the two. In Italy she eats, in India she prays, and in Indonesia she finds love.

I'm still in the Italy part, but already I'm wondering where I am really in her book. I think I'm at where she was, before she found the guts to make her journey.

Bleh. But it's good to cry.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The New Year meme, for 2008

I don't think I've answered this before. I got this from Cherie's blog.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
I went out of the country.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I stayed true to the theme for 2008.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No. But many got preggers.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Nobody, thank God.

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
TMTM (Too many to mention)
A sense of urgency. A master's degree. A million bucks. True love.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory?
Dates start getting muddled when you reach 30. LOL.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

9. What was your biggest failure?
I never fail. Life just changes its course.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I just lost my sense of safety--but slowly getting it back!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Plane tickets

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Mine! LOL

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Ray's, but he's being a friend now

14. Where did most of your money go?
Food (always food) and travel

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Work, believe it or not

16. What song/album will always remind you of 2008?
Big Girls Don't Cry (LOL) and As the Deer

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
1. happier or sadder? I'm always happier.
2. thinner or fatter? Fatter, unfortunately.
3. richer or poorer? Richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Writing and reading

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Eating and spending money on food

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
For 2008? Doing some last minute shopping, last minute cooking.
For 2009? I don't know. Cuddling with someone, hopefully. :P

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
I don't think I spent a lot of time on the phone this year.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I kept the status quo for the most part.

23. How many one night stands in this last year?
Let me see... um, zero.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. I don't believe in hate. Indifference is better.

26. What was the best book(s) you read?
I didn't do a lot of reading in 2008. :-(

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Classical music, in general.

28. What did you want and get?
Extra jobs

29. What did you want and not get?
A master's degree

30. What were your favourite films of this year?
Mamma Mia!

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was at work. Ordered pizza. I turned, as my German student said, "twenty-eleven."

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Getting my master's degree.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
sit-down-on-a-chair-all day-comfortable
Oh, and I did say I would start wearing dresses, and I did!

34. What kept you sane?
The question, "What would love do?"

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Still Pierce Brosnan

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
There were two, actually: PGMA's pardoning Erap; Cory's apology
To them, I say: You had no right!

37. Who did you miss?

38. Who was the best new person you met?
(Did I make new friends? Shucks, I can't remember.)

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Love is your True North.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
And what a beautiful mess this is.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy 2009!

But first, my gosh, I have ignored this blog for far too long! Work took me away to pretty dark places.


My long vacation was well-spent, in terms of family bonding and, er, family bonding. I also did something I never did before: paint my (love) bedroom!

The colors are (not a picture of a thousand sunsets) G-144 and H-144. I forget the fancy-schmancy names Davies Paints had for them, but G-144 is a cross between pink and lavender, while H-144 is, well, a cross between dark pink and violet.

Being a total newbie and utterly obsessive-compulsive about this, I'm not yet done. I have yet to even touch my work area, which I will paint with the Sun & Roof shade of Nile Green.

I have some goals again for this year. I'm still thinking them over, but I'll be writing about them soon.

I also have a new baby girl: a black Labrador half-breed from Sherwil. I named her Midnight, because she arrived while we were watching Mamma Mia! on DVD the day after Christmas!

It's actually short for "Gimme, Gimme a Man after Midnight."

I want to write some more, but work beckons, so back to regular programming--Life of a Thirty-something Working Girl, Scene 139,837,933,827,344.