Saturday, December 31, 2005

the three strikes to end the year: 2005, you're OUT!

(now wasn't that a really long, unfunny title for a blog entry? no need to email me your affirmation.)

the time: new year's eve
the setting: dinner table
the characters: goosey (g) and blog author (ba)

(i wanted to give an explanation after each mini-story for why these one-liners are funny, but decided to respect your intelligence.)

g: what are we going to drink tonight?
ba: do we have champagne?
g: we have wine with SPARKLERS.

g: i watched a dvd with juancho.
ba: which one?
g: the one with BILL THE CARPENTER.

g: let's taste that bread!
ba: ok, have a piece.
g: what do you call this again? MOCACCIA?

[after laughing loud enough to be heard above the usual new year racket, ba pauses and faces g with a serious look]

ba: mother, please, if you have the slightest bit of self-respect left in you, i urge you to refrain from saying anything else before the stroke of midnight.

she willingly agreed.


here's to a funnier 2006!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

37 years and still going

today is my parents' 37th wedding anniversary. in the car on our way to lunch, we listened to a newly purchased "Christmas With the Rat Pack" (i highly recommend this). my mother was suddenly possessed by the spirit of Christmas present and began to sing along:

through the years we all will be together

if the fates allow

hang a shining star

upon the highest bough

and have yourself

a merry little Christmas ...

... TREE

my mother: a bottomless source of amusement. to her credit, she tried to muffle the last vowel sound in an effort to disguise the error. to my credit, i unhesitatingly pointed an accusing finger and laughed my brain out.

happy anniversary to dad and goosey* – here's to more years of unintentional comedy.

*evolution: mama -> mother -> mother goose -> goose -> goosey.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

where the heart is

i'm finally back home – the land of sticky heat, rude drivers, people with no sense of personal space (and while i'm on the topic, explain to me why a fully grown human would push another entering an airplane with SEATING ASSIGNMENTS), and strangers who are afraid of common courtesy but not of incessant small talk.

i am unbelievably happy to be home. and that, for once, wasn't sarcasm.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

calling a spade a spade

imposter shades
Originally uploaded by odeguzman.

this was one of the stalls at a new york street fair we stumbled upon a few weeks back.

honesty. gotta love it.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

moved by mascots

seeing mickey mouse at the magnificent mile lights festival last saturday was a thrill, to put it simply – partly because it was amazing that we had a good view, in spite of the 4 trillion chicago peeps who were also out that night, and partly because it felt like Christmas already.

but mostly because i get emotional around cuteness. and i don't mean orlandobloom-type cuteness. but then again ...

back to the issue at hand.

i remember when we took juancho (then still speech-free) to the mall so he could see elmo and some other sesame street characters. it was a long wait, but we were patient and stayed for what seemed like a very long time, especially for the one actually CARRYING juanch, who then weighed more than the legal limit of infant weight.

suddenly we saw him. elmo. waving from the third floor.

at that time, i felt an inexplicable but inevitable feeling growing inside my chest (no, it wasn't phlegm), and my tears started flowing.

of course, my younger sister (also an adult, technically) who was right beside me was crying too. "it's elmo!" we whispered reverently, in a tone that should be reserved for the second coming.

(incidentally, juancho cried too, but i suspect it was related to hunger.)

this kind of phenomenon has no explanation. in the same way that you cannot explain why fully grown people converge at a parade to wave wildly and scream at a mascot, as though they were really seeing goofy or donald duck or mickey.

it's crazy. especially because everyone knows the real mickey is in anaheim.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

twice the fun, double the pain

carlo and franco
Originally uploaded by odeguzman.

one of the most enjoyable experiences so far in the US is meeting my twin 6-year-old nephews (sons of a cousin), carlo and franco. to illustrate how sweet these kids are: immediately after we first met, carlo (or maybe it was franco?) waited patiently outside the bathroom door – while i was using the toilet, mind you – with arms outstretched, holding a plate with a lone corndog on it.

the gesture was gross on some level but sweet overall.

after that, franco handed me and my sister mini chocolate bars and showed us where their stash was. "this is where the chocolates are but we can't eat them because we're allergic to peanuts."


one other thing i learned quickly about these twins is they are quite violent. i don't think they mean to be. maybe it's just too much adrenalin stuffed in small bodies? that first day i met them, i received more punches and kicks than i did in the 3 years i've played with juancho (meek 3-year-old nephew. see past entries.).

at one dinner, carlo decided to sit on my lap and use me as his instant exercise machine. he grasped my hands, put each of his legs under mine and swung his so that he was, in effect, kicking my calves with his bare feet to swing my legs. it was almost like a strange marionette show. quite funny, really. that is, up until his left foot slid and his heel landed squarely on my shin.

and that's when i screamed.

"what happened!?" carlo asked.

"you hit my shin!"

he looked concerned and showed his remorse by offering me the chance to take revenge. "hit MY shin! c'mon! hit my shin!!!" and got on his feet to present his sacrificial shin to me.

"i'm not going to hit your shin, carlo," i said.

"no, please! hit my shin! HIT MY SHIN!!!"

franco, who was within hearing distance all that time, purposefully walked over and gave his twin brother's chin a good whack.

and that's when i screamed again. ok, maybe half-screamed, half-laughed.

"franco, his shin! not his CHIN!"

ah, the magic of brotherly love.

when we all calmed down, carlo gave me a truly inspired message:

"you know, if i wore a hard shoe with a really pointy heel, it would have hurt more."

thanks, carlo. i'm counting my blessings.

the cold truth

what i learned about cold weather (and me IN cold weather):

- when you have more than two layers of clothing on (and one is an especially thick jacket), you cannot feel your bag on your shoulder. so you have to check every now and then to see that you actually still have your bag. that is, if your fingers can still feel anything.

- it is tough to match layers. my new preoccupation is staring at my clothes (and my sister's), trying to figure out what can go with what. my auntie thought i was praying the first time she caught me staring at the closet. in the short time i've been in chicago, i've already had two nightmares about clothes.

- it is very convenient (fashion-wise) to live in a country that has no real seasons. it's fun to buy tank tops when everyone else is looking at coats.

- it is not wise to wear lipstick when the collar of your white jacket is flapping against your lips. (to the owner of the white jacket: don't worry. this learning is not based on experience. it just hit me – the collar, the thought AND the wind – while walking home.)

- it's true that you shouldn't scratch your eyes after handling hot peppers. i've washed my hands twice and i still felt the sting after i poked my cornea. (ok, this wasn't about cold weather, but i figure i might as well share the learning while i'm at it! OOOUCH!!!)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

coming to america

i've heard a lot of horror stories about entering the US. i've heard about people being kept in the airport for hours and hours because their intentions for staying in america were questioned. i've heard about visa cancellations at the airport. i've heard about a long trip cut short without reason. so you can imagine why i was a bit worried about this trip.

it didn't help that all the way to the airport, juancho (3-year-old nephew) kept singing "anything can happen" (and dropping "... when you imagine" that's supposed to come after that phrase – it's a barney song, apparently) until it creeped us all out. can you say "prophetic"?

but i was totally unprepared for what happened at our port of entry.

we were finally at the immigrations counter at the san francisco airport. mia and i stepped up to the officer and even before we could say "hello," he met us with:

"you're sisters?"

"yes" (it's irritating how mia and i sound like twins when we say the same thing at the exact same time.)

"and you live in the same house?"


"you're both single?"

at that point, we were trying our best to keep smiling in spite of having violent thought bubbles. mine said, "YES, I'M SINGLE. THANK YOU FOR ASKING ME THE SAME QUESTION EVERY RELATIVE ASKS ME AT EVERY BLASTED REUNION. GET IN LINE."

instead of reacting, though, we just chanted our usual harmonious "yes."

"and just how OLD are you?"

*insert poker-face smiley here*

after that interview, we were sent to another office because mia has to stay in the country for 5 months. while we were trekking to that second interview, juancho's eerie song played in our mind.

at that other interview, my passport was misplaced and found its way to a group of passports of an elderly woman and her young grandchild. the inspector looked at the passports and said, "hey we have 3 generations here! the grandma, the mom (looking at my passport) and the daughter!"

my thought bubble popped.

"i am not a mother!!!"

"no, here – aren't you with this group?"

"no! I AM NOT A MOTHER!" (so much for staying calm)

at that point, they just sent us out before i tried to thoroughly explain my current civil status and before my sister passed out from trying to control her laughter.

note to america: make up your mind about me.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

'star wars' from the mouth of babes

today i spent a good part of my day talking to tracy, the oldest 4-year-old in the world.

right off the bat, i knew i was getting more than i bargained for when one of the first things she asked me was, "can you tell me the story of star wars?"

suddenly, i was back in med school, with the same sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that happened every time i didn't know the answer to what was possibly a simple question. you have to understand: i know no star wars.

(i can hear muffled gasps. forgive me.)

i remember being dragged to the remake (remastering?) of the first – or fourth, as it turns out – star wars movie. i was in between two semifanatics who tried their darnednest to help me through the plot. the whole time, i was actually just debating on who was cuter: han solo or luke.

after that, i tried watching episode v on dvd. I TRIED, OK? TWICE. both times, i fell asleep during the war scenes.

i have to confess that i haven't even seen episode vi. oh but i know that darth vader is the father of luke. i mean, if i didn't, would i have gotten all the 'star wars' references in 'toy story 2'? nooo.

(does 'star wars references' sound wrong to you, too?)

so anyway, back to tracy.

"tracy, did you WATCH star wars? is that a movie for kids?"

"yes," she replied. "i wasn't scared at all!"

"ok, so YOU tell me the story." (i should've been a lawyer.)

"you know anakin?" she started, and went on to relay the saga ...

apparently, according to my new best friend, anakin is NOT anakin anymore. "he used to be from the light side, now he's on the dark side. that means he's bad." and somehow there was a fire, he got burned and had to have all his arms and legs cut off. oh and he lost his face. (tracy emphasized this using gestures, by the way. imagine it: a pretty little girl pretending to cut off her skinny extremities.)

"why did that happen!?" i asked, mortified that she actually saw this on film.

"he got into a fight. with obi wan coyobe."


that was when i knew we had to move on to another field of interest. we played a couple of games of tic-tac-toe, where, i am sorry to say, she beat the *!&%$ out of me.

i knew i should've let her continue with the rest of star wars instead. after all, i wanted to know what happened to that coyobe guy.

(i will end here before i succumb to the urge to insert a 'coyobe ugly' sentence.) (ha! did it.)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

another picture-perfect tale

when i needed to have my physician's license renewed a few months ago, i went completely unprepared and didn't know that i had to be in a collared shirt for the picture.

(by the way, someone needs to explain this to me: what is the significance of the collar? does it contribute to the photogenic potential of a person? what is being ID-ed anyway? my face or my clavicle area? anyway ...)

so i called my mother – her office was a short drive away – and asked if she had an extra collared shirt somewhere in her office. none, she said, but promised to ask her secretary, who was just about to go to work. a brilliant idea, i thought.

when i got to my mother's office, she was on the phone with her secretary, giving her explicit instructions to bring a selection of her "biggest collared shirts" – which prompted me to ask:

"ma ... isn't she bigger than me?"

"no," the woman-who-bore-me said, "she's a small girl."

so we waited a bit for the secretary's grand entrance. when she arrived, my first thought was, "i'm not bigger than her!"

and the secretary's first words were: "you're not bigger than me!"

and, of course, the more pressing question here is:

"just how big does my mother think i am!?"

i mean, i've accepted long ago that my family's genetic code doesn't have the gene that allows a human to compliment other humans, but this is RIDICULOUS.


fast forward to a couple of days ago. i brought out the picture-from-the-pits-of-picture-hell at dinner and my family passed it around to "appreciate" it one more time.

when it was my mother's turn, she looked at the pic, momentarily scrunched up her face to repress a snicker, and passed it back to me, saying, "it's not bad."

my sister's theory was that mother was trying to make up for the whole bring-your-biggest-shirts incident, but who knows? maybe my license pic is one that only a mother could love or, at the very least, gaze at without convulsing.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

the hate-hate affair with pictures

i think the universe is telling me that i should just stay away from situations that have anything to do with my picture. regardless of need or situation, i should just run as fast as i can in the opposite direction.

it's bad enough that i have to carry a horrific photo around for 3 years. so you have to understand that i have some amount of self-loathing going on in my brain at any given time of the day.

yesterday, i had to go to the professional regulation commission office to get my renewed physician's license. the man (boy, really) at the releasing window gave me an old index card to sign. on the card was a picture of me, back when i was a fresh (and i use the term loosely) medical school graduate.

he took one look at the picture, looked at me, looked at the picture again and said (in the vernacular), "you're really young in this pic."

me, quite speechless: "wasn't i?"

which brings me to my next question: just how old DO i look???

come to think of it, i should've seriously thought about this a few months back, when a promo girl in the grocery came up to me with brochures of a new diaper and said, "ma'am, try this on your CHILDREN."

plastic surgery is starting to sound good.

Monday, September 26, 2005

"nothing good's gonna last forever"

so here is my latest fear: i'm afraid that i am getting stupider by the second.

for starters, it seems that my brain and the rest of my body have not been on good terms lately, resulting in me thinking one thing and then expressing something completely different.

for instance, a friend asked me recently about the singer of "touch me in the morning" (as to WHY we were talking about this – well that's a longer, shallower story, which also happens to involve dione warwick) and i replied with a certainty that can put a college professor to shame, "donna summer." i could even hear her singing in my mind: "wasn't it me who said that nothing good's gonna last forever?" (don't ask me why i know this song almost by heart. i was a diva at 8.)

donna summer DID NOT sing that song. it was diana ross. shame on me. and the sad thing is that i KNEW it was diana ross. it was HER VOICE in my head. but my mouth (in this case, "fingers", because i was texting my reply) wanted to say something else.

ok, maybe that wasn't the best example of how my brain is slowly wasting away, but i can't think of a better one right now. see? see? brain atrophy!

is it a sign of aging? i'm only (and props to me for using the word "only") 32!!! so why is it that i can't remember prices of items i purchased just a few days back, or what "assonance" means (was this taught in high school?), or why i scheduled a night flight when i knew that my uncle can't drive in the dark!?

if that last paragraph made any sense to you, be afraid.

meanwhile, i'm going to lock myself up in my room until i start to make sense again. or until i feel hunger pangs. whichever comes first.

Friday, September 23, 2005

and it came to pass

you know how sometimes, when you're in a certain situation, you think about the worst possible thing that can happen to you and then it doesn't happen and you're grateful and you move on with your life and ...

(this has a point. wait for it.)

the past few weeks, i had to go to the dentist twice. the first time, while my dentist (who also happens to be one of my best friends, which makes all the difference in my story) was drilling into my tartar, i was thinking, "what if the drill slides off my tooth and drills into the underside of my tongue?"

you know how sometimes, even without hearing the end of a story, you know how the rest of it goes?

well, there. need i say more?

ok, i will.

it happened during the second visit. the drilling-into-the-underside-of-tongue scenario. the sharp pain was aggravated by the shocked gasps from my two onlookers who wasted no time running out of the room in horror. to make it even worse, my dentist had trouble removing the embedded drill from under my tongue because it was lodged quite well – which makes sense if you think about the physics of screws. in fairness, maybe it took just a few seconds to remove. YOU try boring a hole under your tongue and tell me if 2 seconds doesn't feel like 2 months.

morals of the story:
- do not laugh while a dentist has dangerous machinery in your mouth.
- do not allow other friends to make wisecracks beside you while a dentist has dangerous machinery in your mouth.
- it is very easy to forgive well-meaning dentist friends.
- time heals all wounds ... including those accidentally drilled under your tongue.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

sad? call me.

of course, the obvious question to ask at this point is:

"is she going to wait for 2014 before she blogs again?"

(meanwhile, the obvious question in terms of rock star:inxs is: "is marty casey unbelievable or what?")

there is a reason for not blogging. actually, there are a number of reasons.

1. i am queen busy. (get it? queen BEE-zy? hwe hwe hwe ... ok, calm down. no need to get violent.)
2. i am queen lazy.
3. (most important reason) i have been trying to find a cure for global sadness.

and now, i would like to announce that i've done it. i have the solution to every depressive episode in the world.

three words: driver's license picture.

in an attempt to justify the horror that is my picture, i would like to point out that NO ONE TOLD ME THERE WOULD BE TWO PICTURE-TAKING SESSIONS. so there i was, ready for the first (and i thought 'only') picture. i had blotted out all the extra oil from my face, made sure my hair was in place, thought happy thoughts and gave a subdued-but-pleasantly-content-with-life smile for the digital camera.

after my pic was taken, i wore a headband – it was just after lunch on a hot hot hot day – and waited for the license with all the other drivers, not caring about the amount of perspiration that had begun to leak out of my ultra-open pores.

and then they called my name. again. for a second picture.

all logic flew out the window and i removed my headband in a hurry, thinking that i looked better without hair accessories. if there's anything i regret most in my life, this decision would have to be it. it completely beats 'entering med school' and 'eating an entire (smallish) ball of gouda 5 minutes before sleeping' (a recent impulse – don't ask) hands down.

when i finally got the laminated card, i had to pinch my nose so i wouldn't explode in laughter. happiness is not appreciated in philippine government offices, if you haven't noticed. so i held my nose for about a block, walking towards my sister, who was waiting inside our parked car. complete strangers were running away from me, thinking i was holding my nose because i stank.

to put it kindly, i looked like a convicted felon in the &#!%^$#% picture. my hair was all over the place, i was sweaty, and i had a sullen look, the kind of look foreign celebrities have when they are taken in for driving under the influence. 'assault victim' also comes to mind. or maybe 'meth addict'. your choice. any would be apt.

i have a reputation for having the worst expression in pictures, but this is insane. more accurately, i LOOKED insane.

i'd like to blame the guy who was handling the camera. i'd like to, but did he really care that i needed to bear with the hellish picture for 3 years (when my card expires)? did he really care that i have redefined the word 'disheveled'? did he really care that i would be forced to become the perfect driver just so i would be spared of having to show my license to some poor policeman who would lose all composure upon viewing my picture!?!?

he didn't.

so there's nothing i can do but wait for 2008. and maybe scan and send the picture (labeled 'antidepressant') to all practicing psychiatrists. nobel prize, here i come.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

scared of the point

due to her newly launched business, my sister now sews the whole day. yes, she S-E-W-S. she attaches beads to plain shirts and resells them for a higher price because the shirts now have "manual labor" written all over them. manual labor, i immediately found out, comes in the shape of flowers, fruits or strange-looking animals.

i have to admit the shirts look pretty good, considering my sister never really liked sewing – or pretended not to.

(i'd like to point out my use of "–", the en dash that i was never able to use for blog entries because i didn't know where it was on the keyboard. in word [the program], i used to select it from the symbol list or just type in a hyphen, a space, a random character, and autocorrect would transform it into the longer en dash. this, of course, does not work in html-based [oooh] blog entries, so it was always "--" or some other mark, such as ":" or "^" or "$." recently however, i accidentally found the highly useful combination of keys to produce that blasted dash. which makes me ask the same question i asked myself when i discovered that if you refrigerate an open bag of chips, they stay crisp: "why don't i know these things?")

(there's a good chance i'll get a scathing comment from a friend about the previous paragraph: "i don't get it.")


another important fact to introduce at this point of my rambling is that many things scare me. and i won't give you the full list right now (although i suspect i may have revealed some fears in previous blog entries already. thank goodness it's not easy to access my blog archives) because, you guessed it, it will lull you to sleep.

recently, however, my sister uttered the scariest sentence i have ever heard in a while. we were in front of the tv – she was sewing, i was on a break from working – when she said, with the seriousness of an actress in a bad horror flick:

"i wonder where my other needle is."

if you don't understand why that musing is scary, then you're probably not afraid of being stabbed while plopping on a seemingly safe sofa ... or bed. after that incident, i've had to run my hands across the surface of anything i've had to sit on in ... my ... own ... house.

to this day, the missing needle is still missing but we are all still intact and no blood has been shed. yet.

i'm going to suggest my sister take up knitting instead. or, at the very least, invest in a pincushion.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

why they are still together

there used to be a time when my friends, after noticing a lull in conversation, would ask me to tell them about my "parents at mcdonalds" anecdote. they never got sick of this, even after i had probably repeated the story 427 times to the same group. being the dutiful (gullible) friend that i was, i always obliged:

many, many years ago, when my sisters and i were all still students, my whole family went to mcdonalds for breakfast. my parents were at the counter deciding on what to order.

dad to cashier: one order of fries please.

cashier: ok, what kind? (don't ask me why she said 'kind' instead of 'size')

dad: french.

when my mom heard this, she burst out laughing, "french! hahahah! french!!!" she then composed herself, turned to the cashier and said,

"one brown hash."


fast forward to around 10 years later, at the dinner table:

i was thoughtfully eating spaghetti while my dad and mom were having another riveting conversation. apparently, they had just seen ghost again on cable.

dad: i really don't like the guy in THE GHOST.

(two things: [1] this wasn't a cross-reference to the others -- my father doesn't know that movie. [2] when suppressing the urge to laugh, trying to control food -- that is already partially in your esophagus -- from migrating to your nose is no easy feat.)

in the interest of family harmony, i did not chuckle audibly. i let it go, for once. that is, until ...

ma: ah, you mean PETER swayze?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA. (no, really, that's how i sounded. or maybe more like, "BWAHAHHAHAHAaaa ... patrick! ... HAHAHAH")

the real secret to a lasting marriage: find a partner who is as blooper-prone as you.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

the 92,656th entry about mr nephew aka center of my universe

juancho: let's go to bangkok, tita eng!

tita eng aka me: ok!

juancho: when are we going?

me: (attempting to sing the first few words of "the way you look tonight" before realizing that a 3-year-old boy would not get the joke/reference) "sooomeday ... "

juancho: no, not SOMEDAY ...

he then paused, took a deep breath and started singing...


juancho treated me to the entire sesame street theme song while i was busy trying to keep from exploding in laughter. in spite of the fact that i did not understand 98% of his version's lyrics, i learned a valuable lesson that day --

when a kid asks you to take him to another country, just say no.

Monday, June 27, 2005

the prevalent, pregnant pause

anyone who has watched at least two episodes (or two seconds) of csi: miami has probably noticed the distinct speaking style of horatio caine. most people absolutely hate it, but i happen to think that horatio is adorable -- maybe not i'd-like-to-marry-him-someday adorable but more like in-my-next-life-you-can-be-my-father adorable. i can't help it, this guy just grew on me. blame it on a csi: miami marathon i watched for 4 hours (and blame that on my cable-obsession).

anyway, what's different about horatio's speaking pattern is that he abuses the power of the pause -- a pause that usually comes after the first few words of his concluding sentences. if you've lived under a rock and need illumination, here are some choice samples of horatio-speak:

"we ... we have a murder on our hands."
"you ... need to find more evidence."
"my hair ... makes me look like i'm related to conan o'brien."

today i realized (and really, i should be alarmed at how this realization made my day), while watching unwrapped ("unwrapping secrets behind america's favorite foods!") that marc summers (host of aforementioned show, not related to suzanne or donna. sorry, couldn't help that) likes pausing somewhere towards the end of his sentences. for instance:

"their ice cream is still pretty much made ... the old-fashioned way."
"it's still one of america's favorite candies ... today."

what's with all the pauses? is there a pandemic of respiratory distress that makes tv personalities lose their breath in the middle of short sentences? yes, of course, it's for emphasis and all that, but really, a few times is probably enough. how hard can it be to figure out which part of the sentence is important? but then again, csi: miami and unwrapped are two of my favorite shows, so maybe there's magic behind all that pausing.

and maybe ... i really need to find a new ... hobby.

Friday, June 17, 2005

the cuteness runneth over

yet another juancho-the-3-year-old-nephew anecdote:

juancho's mom: juanch, you're too cute!

juancho: no! i'm not too cute!

mom: so what are you?

juancho: i'm just right.

i tell you, if i had received just a tenth of this kind of attention during my formative years, things would be a lot different today.

then again, from the bottomless pit of self-deprecation springeth a truckload of strange thoughts (proof: see archives on left) so i can't really complain.

well, i CAN, but i won't.

and yes, juanchy, you are too cute.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

where's the party?

i can't believe i missed my blog's birthday.

on june 9, 2004, while i was staring at my office pc hoping against hope that a project would write itself, i decided to start a blog to entertain myself (and maybe a few bored friends).

it's been a year and (hang on, need my fingers to count) 5 days since that first entry. whoopee.

here's to laughter and seeing the silly in everything.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

it doesn't ad up

what's happening to the print ads?

apparently, it's not a requirement anymore (was it ever?) to have the actual product on the ad.

imagine that you hibernated for 10 years in some media-deprived island. (you may or may not imagine someone on the island with you. this is not a psychological test. the "island" is not your "heart" or anything of that sort. and don't pretend you haven't taken one of those tests.) next, imagine that you decided to return to the city and the first thing you see is a billboard for MANGO and all that's beside the logo is the gaunt face of a woman who looks like she needs to eat . . . well . . . a mango. assuming that you did not conclude that MANGO sold underweight women (or maybe just their heads), would you know that the ad is for a store that sells "fashion for the young, urban woman" (tagline not from stock knowledge, mind you. i checked the site)?

my current favorite ad-of-such-nature is the GOLDTOE SOCKS ad on the side of the Market! Market! (note the effort at assuring correct capitalization and punctuation) mall at bonifacio global city. on the huge ad is the face -- just the face -- of a smiling man . . . a very happy man . . . a very happy thirtysomething man . . .

and, from the looks of things, a very happy thirtysomething man who had just swallowed his lovely GOLDTOE SOCKS.

there is no other explanation. the world makes sense again.

Friday, June 03, 2005

5 months after resigning

what i miss about my old office:

1. laughing every day. i had tons of work, sure, but there was always room for an all-out belly laugh from time to time.

2. broadband.

3. seeing more than four people -- some of which were ("are", allegedly) good friends -- on a daily basis.

4. the option to eat out every day. i like food. so sue me.

5. broadband.

6. corporate attire. i miss fussing over clothes and makeup.

7. air-conditioning that made you doubt if you were still in manila. or, as i used to call it, "air-conditioning that could make hell freeze over." (i remember making a mental note to blog about that aircon. so much for mental notes.)

8. broadband.

interestingly, these are not enough to propel me back into the ol' corporate lifestyle. i don't know what will. all the people who find out i work from home say they want to have my life. minus the acne, i presume.

Monday, May 30, 2005

i have no words

Originally uploaded by odeguzman.
spotted this during my last tagaytay trip.

(would've posted this earlier had i been more patient in figuring out how to upload pictures using a mac. tonight, i wasted an hour of my semiprecious time just so i could share this . . . eherm . . . meaty pic.)

Friday, May 27, 2005

taking it slow

i've figured out what's wrong with me (or maybe it's an asset? let me know).

i'm fascinated by slo-o-o-ow events. these include, but are not limited to:

- color-coded defragmentation of PCs (i used lie in bed watching the monitor flicker until the wee small hours of the morning.)

- a candle burning to the end of its wick (much difficult now that gargantuan candles are in style. sadly, most of the newer candles are considered purely decorative. see that wick, guys??? use it.)

- download bars filling up (this is considered a slow event thanks to my archaic dialup connection)

these days, i've been tempted to watch the semi-dead plants in lanai-3 spring back to life while i hose them down. i may or may not have a green thumb so i'm testing the waters (pun so happily intended).

forgive me for not warning you that this entry, along with 99% of this blog, has no point.

Monday, May 23, 2005

about a ball

why have i not blogged for weeks? my brain has officially turned into fruit puree.

who have i become? i am orange and i am addicted to super dx ball.

what is super dx ball? (and what's with all these questions?) super dx ball, simply put, is a glorified version of the old arcade game involving a ball (no way), bricks (tiles? blocks?) and a paddle you can move from left to right.

after hours and hours of playing super dx ball, one begins to learn a few vital things about oneself and about life in general. these are, in no particular order:

1. i like activities that do not involve a higher level of thinking. this will explain my previous love affair with loony labyrinth (the greatest pinball game ever).

2. it is very satisfying to see multicolored bricks explode.

3. one of the biggest advantages of laptops is being able to play in front of the tv (see #4 for related learning).

4. our brains are so highly evolved that even if we are deeply focused on a cursed arcade game, we can still understand a full hour of one tree hill, but not THAT highly evolved that we can still follow csi (if you haven't turned on the tv in 2 years, that should give you an idea of what kind of shows those are).

5. sometimes, we really DON'T learn from mistakes.

6. I AM breathtakingly S.T.U.P.I.D. (this realization usually comes after a particularly idiotic move, such as rushing to meet the special block that kills you, or moving to the left when you want to go right.)

back to the game.

Monday, May 09, 2005

the king of wistful thinking

went to the grocery with juancho and his parents last week (he turned 3 today! why did he grow up??? why??? why???). on the way to the store, he was showing me his "go-se-wee wist", which was actually a blank sheet of paper that juancho hung on to as if his life depended on it.

we placed him in one of those kiddie carts, the kind that was part-car and part-shopping cart, and every so often, juancho would get out of his "car" (while it was in motion, mind you. note to self: a few years from now, let nephew pursue career as stuntman), look at his wist and put random items in the cart. apparently, juancho needed:

- a small carton of juice ("that's not a good brand, juanch.");
- a small bag of chips ahoy;
- lighter fluid (you can imagine his mom's reaction to that one);
- a bag of corn chips; and
- a huge bucket of assorted biscuits (ok, this one he only TRIED to carry. it was bigger than juanch).

of course we dutifully put every item back on the shelf when the little shopper wasn't looking (i admit, i tried to leave the chips ahoy but his mom discovered it anyway).

we decided to eat out afterwards, and juancho thought it would be a good idea to bring his wist to the restaurant. unfortunately, he forgot all about it when we left.

a few minutes after we left the parking space, juancho started shouting, "MOM!!! i forgot my wist!!!"

"you can make another one, juanch."

"no, mom! i need my wist! we have to go back! let's go back!"

"you can have tatay's list, juanch"

"no no no! i need my wist! i weft it on the table!"

"it was dirty, juanch. remember we spilled sauce on it?"

"it's not dowty, mom! i forgot my wist!" (friends, if you have never seen a hysterical 3-year-old then you don't know what it's like to be trapped inside a car with one. let me just say that it is an amusing/frustrating/deafening experience.)

and so it went on and on and on (and on) until my sister ("mom") successfully diverted her son's attention and they started discussing how to make confetti for juancho's upcoming party. the forgotten list was forgotten.

all throughout the ruckus, i had been busy humming ambrosia's "biggest part of me" in my head (didn't want to contribute to the noise pollution). in between a dialogue break, i suddenly felt the urge to sing part of the song out loud:

"make a LIST, baby!"

. . . which, of course, was followed by juancho's:


this, of course, prompted a "gee thaaanks" from juancho's parents. it will be a long (loooong) time before i get invited to future grocery trips.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

speaking of fish . . .

i love it when tv shows cover their arses by making sure the "do not try this at home" line is either said (more than once) or clearly sprawled on screen. but sometimes it just makes me feel stupid.

for instance, if the clip is about a diver who holds a bleeding carcass in shark-infested waters to test if the carnivorous fish will take a bite out of the human as well, . . . DO I NEED TO BE TOLD THAT I SHOULD NOT TRY IT AT HOME?

here's another thought: what kind of lunatic has a pond full of sharks AT HOME?

maybe they should consider revising the line to "do not try this at home or elsewhere, you dim-witted viewer you."

Friday, April 22, 2005

if you blog it, it will come

everyone has strange dreams. the trick is remembering them so you can bring them up at opportune times. like in the middle of a badminton game, or when a date starts talking about taxes (will report as soon as i've tried at least one of those options).

if you ask me (and no one has, so far), a dream is an amalgam of random thoughts and visual and auditory input from your past, intertwined together by a plot that can be so completely otherworldly that you wake up feeling like an indie scriptwriter on drugs. this is why i don't believe that you should overinterpret dreams. if i did, i'd probably have asked someone to chop the trees in the backyard (i used to dream the trees wanted to kidnap me) or stopped from drinking milk completely (i dreamed* people came back as milk in their second life). my point: dreams don't always point to a deeply rooted problem. maybe your brain just needs a hobby.

one of my favorite dream plots belongs to christine, one of my best friends currently in hong kong. in that novelesque dream, she and a group of children were being chased by dinosaurs who wanted to eat them. apparently, there was a lot of red tape involved in carnivorous activities in her dream world because before a dinosaur could eat someone, he or she had to FILL OUT A FORM (significant pause). and because the children were too young to fill out the forms themselves, the adults helped the kids with the paperwork . . . so they could all be eaten alive.

i've since then decreased contact with christine.

(am kidding, of course. when the time comes, i'd like someone like her to help me fill out my pre-death forms.)

last night, i dreamed that i was on a small road with four or five pedestrian lanes. or maybe they were just white lines running across the street. in any case, i felt compelled to do something about all the whiteness. so i grabbed a pint of peach paint (don't ask me where i got it or why it's peach) and a wide paintbrush, and proceeded to make the white lines peach. it was after midnight so there were no cars and the few people that could've been witness to my vandalism didn't really care. they were probably living out their own dreams at the time.

anyway, i finished the paint job and felt guilty as hell immediately after. i sensed that the police were after me (i love how senses are heightened in dreams) so i threw the can on one side of the road and the paintbrush on the opposite side. then i ran and ran (all that running is solid proof that it was all just in my mind) until it dawned on me that the CSI can lift my prints off the can (note to self: just choose two out of the three CSIs. horatio will not mind). so i ran back and sneakily retrieved the can and brush. then i started running again.

there is nothing like the feeling of waking up and realizing that the past few hours of your life were not part of the real world.

*sometimes i feel that 'dreamed' is incorrect -- my first choice is always 'dreamt' -- but fantine clears it up for me (gay test #3) (for your convenience, here's test 1 and 2)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

that's that

it's official: i am not going to have a column. not soon, anyway.

so i've decided to post what was supposed to be the first article in the columnthatdidnotcometopass. considering how the whole column scenario turned out, this piece is eerily spot on.

the good news is i meant every word. life is still sickeningly wonderful to me.


By Orange de Guzman

Is it becoming increasingly harder to have happy endings?

Just recently, I was watching the Discovery channel with Juancho, my 2-year-old nephew and his father. Since Juancho was old enough to see, his parents have been trying to protect him from inappropriate TV shows. After all, he still has the rest of his life to watch "The World’s Most Dangerous Animals Volume II." Anyway, that day, we chanced upon some feature on underwater creatures (or so we thought) and Juancho was beside himself with excitement when a clown fish showed up on screen.

“Look everybody! It’s Nemo!” (I have come to terms with the fact that my nephew talks like a cartoon character or, worse, one of those Barney kids.)

My brother-in-law and I happily agreed and we continued to watch the other ocean creatures with him. Without warning (or maybe the narrator was leading to it, but Juancho’s commentary was more interesting), the documentary showed black and white footages of warships in active battle.

“What’s happening?” my nephew asked, quite alarmed. The two adults in the room simultaneously let out a shout of horror and scrambled to change the channel. YOU try explaining the concept of war to a toddler.

Fortunately, the National Geographic channel had a special on reptiles. We were all intently watching some kind of lizard balancing on a narrow tree branch, when we heard the voiceover calmly saying: “. . . and the home of a tribe of CANNIBALS” and the video shifted to a group of half-naked men shrieking and dancing wildly around a fire. What next!? Can’t a 2-year-old safely watch adult documentaries without being interrupted by carnage anymore? We resignedly put the overused "Barney Live in New York!" CD in the player. I had a sinking feeling Barney was behind the documentary conspiracy.

It’s not just a TV phenomenon, unfortunately. Many real-life stories, no matter how trivial or significant, seem to go downhill.

Sam, one of my girlfriends, thought she was having the best day ever. She had to go to the Makati LTO office to retrieve her driver’s license, which was confiscated after she absentmindedly took an illegal U-turn while having a riveting chat with an interesting person (me).

As she was wearing her best corporate attire, accessorized with Oakley sunglasses on her head and a dazzling smile on her face, it was no surprise that she made a distinctive entrance. All eyes were on her and every one seemed to be giving her the red-carpet treatment.

“Miss, pasok na kayo dito! Papasukin nyo na si miss!”

“Saang commercial ka lumabas?”

“Kawawa ka naman. Mga pulis talaga, o! Tawagin nyo nga ang bisor!”

After much adulation and commiseration, someone finally retrieved her license. Much to Sam’s surprise, they didn’t give it to her straight away.

The person in charge stared at her license picture for what seemed like forever. “Nasaan ang authorization letter mo?”

A bit startled, Sam asked why she needed one when it was her own license.

“Sino ba itong nasa license?”

“Ako po!”

“Hindi,” the puzzled officer insisted, “kapatid mo ba ‘to?”

“Ako nga yan!”

A police officer then intervened: “Paki-check nga yan.”

Eventually, Sam’s license was passed from person to person, and each one painstakingly looked at the photo then back at the live Sam. Finally, after much discussion and careful consideration, the LTO gang reached a conclusion:

“Ahh. Hindi siya PHOTOGENIC!!!”

To Sam’s dismay, this proclamation was repeated thrice. Loudly. She sheepishly got her license back, dismounted from cloud nine, and dejectedly returned to her non-supermodel-ish office job.

Surprisingly though, I believe in good endings. I used to be a miserable, cynical person myself because . . . well maybe I just needed a hobby. I should’ve known though that I was going to snap out of that dark phase when I got to adulthood. Although I never admitted it, I probably had a strange inner upbeat person waiting to burst out (to the curious: no, that’s not my euphemism for pregnancy).

To prove that suspicion, I have to share one particularly regrettable adolescent experience reeking of (misdirected) positivism.

When I was 12 or 13, I had the chance to run for chairman of our grade school student council. We had three existing political parties, the names of which I have conveniently forgotten, to lessen the impact of the stupidity I will reveal shortly. In a flash of (totally absurd) inspiration, I proclaimed during one party meeting that I wanted to change our otherwise boring and meaningless party name. I wanted to be different – a real pacesetter and innovator! I wanted to infect people with my healthy, out-of-the-box attitude towards life and school government! So I changed our party name to: The Optimistic Party.

Let me pause a while to let you digest that and let the raucous laughter subside a bit.

I wish there were some excuse I could give for poor word choice, but honestly, I was too old to blame naïveté and too young to blame alcohol or a neurodegenerative disease. Looking back, my only culprit was a temporary departure from reality, making me believe that it was a clever move to change an established, nondescript party name. To add to my shame, I had to go to every classroom explaining the change of name and what the four-syllable adjective meant, as though my young listeners were interested in anything other than our homemade bookmark giveaways with optimistic bee drawings.

Needless to say, our party lost the election. On the bright side – and there’s always one – my family has a backup story to bring up when they feel the need to humiliate me. The point is it’s not beyond me to be a silver-lining kind of person (another important point I have to stress here is that nothing rhymes with “silver” or “orange”).

Let’s face it: sometimes having a perennially cheerful outlook is a waste of energy. You just don’t know when life decides to turn around and spit at your smiling face. Here’s the thing though: it’s ultimately better to be (dare I say it?) happy because – say it with me – life is just too (insert optional expletive here) short. It’s perfectly alright to laugh now and hope for brighter days ahead. Maybe, just maybe, the purple dinosaur with the psychotic frozen smile is on to something.

Oh and “purple” doesn’t rhyme with anything either. Just so you know.

Monday, April 11, 2005

i blame sesame street

i have many, many irrational fears. to list them all would be asking for trouble (translation: i do NOT want to have mysterious gifts sent to my house).

there is one particular fear, however, that i'd almost forgotten . . . if not for a local cooking show i saw this weekend. to give you an idea of what my fear is -- the cook on the show was kneading dough to make donuts (doughnuts, if you will) and put the dough lump in the middle of a greased basin . . .

(no, i'm not afraid of greased basins.)

do you know what happens to yeast-filled dough that has been left to rest?


i first saw this phenomenon on sesame street when i was around 7 years old, and i haven't been the same since. must i explain the dread and panic that filled my tiny heart when i realized that dough, an inanimate object, can triple in size if you don't touch it!?!

if i were any wiser in my younger years, i would've stopped watching sesame street completely. who cares if it taught me how to read even before i entered school? that show was the source of many other childhood fears (which, i now realize, are really just variations of one general fear):

-- a fear that inanimate objects would eat me. this is why i hated sitting on a particular white chair we used to have. it always looked like it was hungry.

-- a fear of cotton. i used to be afraid it would attack my finger. i think this fear can be traced to the talking cloud that used to appear in prairie dawn's plays.

-- a fear of trees. i particularly disliked the "this is your life" sequences with guy smiley: a talking tree usually made an appearance in those segments. i also blame "the wizard of oz" (or was that an outtake?), what with the moving trees and all. up until high school, i had nightmares about our backyard trees invading my room.

-- a fear of talking food. there was an old mayonnaise commercial i absolutely hated. it had a talking ham sandwich. interestingly, my dad hated it too. maybe fears are genetically encoded.

Monday, April 04, 2005

the giant pancake and friends

back when i was young and foolish (yesterday), i thought putting a child to sleep was easy. or maybe just a bit harder than opening a refrigerator with your elbow and just a bit easier than trying to unscrew a bottle with hands covered in lotion.

when nephew juancho was a baby, it was so much simpler. all i had to do was sway for a few minutes while cradling him and humming a few verses of a lullaby.

confession: i hummed because i did not know the lyrics of ANY lullaby. justification for my ignorance disguised as a senseless challenge: recite a full verse of your favorite lullaby. important note: "crusin'" by gwyneth and huey does not count.

but now that he's almost 3 years old, putting juancho to sleep has been a challenge, to say the least. one effective but highly stressful method is what i like to call the "don't give in to the child's demands until he cries himself to sleep in your arms", accidentally discovered last december, when i didn't allow juancho to watch a THIRD barney vcd. we made peace when he woke up from that nap.

recently however, i have been using a new method. i now put him to sleep by telling him a customized-on-the spot story.

to keep him interested, i ask juancho about which characters to include and what they're supposed to do in the story (which makes me wonder if he even needs me to tell the tale). for instance, i'd ask, "this is a story about a gingerbread boy named . . . ?" and juancho will think for a second and reply with "gingerbread boy!!!" (which he pronounces as "dinderbed boy")

my most recent creation was about a giant pancake ("puncake"), a cockroach ("cockoowoats"), charlie the pig, spike the dog and juancho. as my nephew wasn't particularly sleepy that night, that particular fable turned into a classic epic, which included all the moral lessons you can think of. due to the story's unprecedented length, i was able to incorporate segments about properly asking for help when you need it, rescuing friends in trouble, welcoming new friends into a clique, thanking God for blessings, sharing and -- my favorite story chapter -- eating when you are hungry.

the real challenge that night was fighting the urge to give the story an honest-to-goodness twist, just to show what would've happened in the real world. that is, a real world where food items and animals maintained healthy friendships.

to illustrate, here's the actual story:

"i'm hungry," said charlie the pig. "so am i," said spike the dog. juancho said he was going to make sandwiches for all of them, and asked each friend what he wanted to eat. "i'm going to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich," said the cockroach.

. . . and so on. here's what would've really happened in a "real" alternate universe.

"i'm hungry," said charlie the pig. "so am i," said spike the dog. then everyone looked at the giant pancake and a wonderful realization slowly dawned on them . . .

the moral lessons of this blog entry:

1. do not let a 2-year-old choose your lead characters.

2. it is better to keep strange plots in your head than to make a nephew dysfunctional.

3. the longer the blog entry, the more important the real work you are trying to avoid.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

losing face in formalwear

it was december 2004. i was in a hotel room with friends, getting ready for a best friend's wedding (sans dermot mulroney). i loved the gown i had to wear that day -- it had a heavy, flowing, dried-blood-red skirt (note to self: rethink the use of "flowing" and "blood" in same adjective chain) with enough cloth to make three smaller dresses. i wore my (very) high-heeled slip-ons and marched out the door.

i had to go down a flight of stairs to get to the lobby, which was then occupied by a considerable number of hotel guests and staff. as someone who has dealt with many other flights of stairs in many other high-heeled slip-ons (but, admittedly, not many floor-length skirts), i felt quite confident with each step, making sure that the big-top tent (aka gown) was clearly out of the way. truth be told, i slightly enjoyed the fact that the lobby people were looking at us, the entourage, as we inched our way down.

the problem with graceful, accident-free events is that they are practically fiction. give me an inch of confidence, i'll give you a light-year of disaster.

true to form, as i was taking my third to the last step, my right shoe -- obviously pissed that we were running late but still moving in slow motion -- flew out from under the gown and landed squarely on the lobby floor.

in retrospect, i should've followed suit and leaped to my death of humiliation (although the parachute aka gown would've probably saved me). in reality, i merely let out a signature belly laugh, avoided eye contact with my amused audience, and hobbled the rest of the way down to where the cursed slip-on awaited.

next time (and let there be no "next time"), i should just leave the evil shoe. it worked for cinderella, i hear.

Monday, March 28, 2005

oh and another thing . . .

aside from these items, here's something else that disturbs me:

when i create a message, my phone automatically capitalizes the words "they're" and "we're".

i don't know why it does that but i do know that it irritates the living heck out of me. i text the way i blog: complete words/sentences with proper punctuation and no capitalization. i CANNOT send a message that looks like "yes, They're already there but We're still at home" (although in haste, i've probably let a few similar messages slide).

when i meet God (capitalized, take note), i will ask Him about the amount of time i wasted replacing capital Ts and Ws with their lowercase versions.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

please, for the love of all that is predictable, don't say it

a few weeks ago, in a startling display of analogy-making and prolonged-adolescence frustration, younger-sister-gross asked me:

"you know how you hate it when people ask you 'where's apple/red?' after they find out your name is orange? well i hate it when people see the mole on my upper lip and say 'AY! you have a mole on your lip! just like lorna t!'"

fighting the urge to pretend that i was sleeping, i replied, "you just need good comebacks."

and being the wise older sister that i was (am), i gave her around 5 retorts she can save for future use (unfortunately, most of them lose their edge when translated into english or are just downright cruel so i refuse to document them here).

this one is my favorite:

"AY! you have a mole on your lip! just like lorna t!"
"i have a mole??? WHAT MOLE!?!"

my advice to people compelled to react to strange names/lip moles: we've heard it all. zip it.

of course, if you think your wisecrack is really REALLY original, then by all means, go ahead and let 'er rip. if i find your attempt genuinely, tearjerkingly funny -- or if you just happen to be kevin bacon* -- i will marry you.


Friday, March 18, 2005

flawless logic

last thursday, dr niceguy, dr niceguy's girl, dr seuss and i watched dr singer (am in a pseudonym mood) star in the opera Orpheus and Eurydice.

the plot (obviously from the net, not from actually listening to the opera):

Orpheus was the son of Calliope, the muse of epic poetry. When his wife, Eurydice, was bitten by a serpent and died, Orpheus was overwhelmed with grief. Orpheus then followed her to the kingdom of death, and managed to soften Hades heart with his beautiful music. Hades agreed to let Eurydice go, if Orpheus promised not to look at her until they had reached daylight. When they were almost there, Orpheus thought he could no longer hear his wife's footsteps, and looked back, only to see the screaming Eurydice being pulled back into the underworld.

so for most of the time his dead wife was on stage with him, the singing protagonist (aka orpheus aka dr singer) was not looking at her -- which of course prompted me to turn to dr seuss and whisper:

"what if that were you? if you had a wife and she died and you could bring her back but only under the condition that you couldn't look at her (inhale), would you?"

dr seuss, without missing a beat, replied, "in the first place, i don't speak by singing."

i should've known better than to ask the man who refuses to watch "babe" because pigs don't talk in real life.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

wise cracks

i think my facial skin has officially resigned from being a body part.

my face has so many dry patches right now, i'm practically waiting for the day little bits of my face fall off, exposing my oral cavity and nasal sinuses.

the second biggest problem with dry facial skin (the biggest problem: having to throw my modeling career out the window) is having severely cracked lips. these days, i can't eat a burger properly because each pre-bite makes me cry from the pain of having to open wide. i don't sneeze too loud, and my laugh sounds like "BWAHA . . . OOOOUCH!!! HU HU HUUUU . . . HEE HEE HEE." (so that's why the prim and proper folk laugh with a "hee hee" -- you can make this sound when your lips are puckered tight. you can also make a "hng hng" sound, but it makes you sound like a suffocating donkey.)

OF COURSE i've tried to solve my woes -- am just waiting for all the moisturizers to kick in. for my lips, i've tried everything : lip balm, petroleum jelly, baby oil, garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil, the black stuff that leaks from under the car . . . to no avail.

one evening, as i was thoughtfully applying petroleum jelly on the cracked corners of my mouth, i saw youngersistermia watching me. she then asked,

"aren't you disturbed that you're using the same jar of petroleum jelly that we use for our feet?"

"aren't your feet clean when you moisturize them???" i asked incredulously.

"yes, but they're still FEET."

i've been asking my lips if they're sure they want to share a moisturizing regimen with feet (mine and my sister's), but all i'm getting is a "hng hng."

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

my name is orange and i'm addicted to enumeration

things that never fail to disturb me:

1. nine out of 10 times, national book store salesladies use a 1-km stretch of scotch tape to attach a receipt (usually shorter than 1 km) to the plastic bag with your purchased items inside.

when i was younger, i used to think they used obscene amounts of tape because they wanted to show the world that they COULD; they were working in a STORE that sold TAPE. now that i'm old and wise, i know they do it because the sound of tape whizzing out of the dispenser is riveting.

2. some drivers headed towards a major one-way street -- for instance, when there's no other way to go but right -- still feel compelled to use their signal lights.

is there a law that we should do that? if the signal lights of the car in front of me do not blink, i will not say to myself, "oh no!!! he's NOT turning right! he is going to brave the onslaught of unhelmeted cyclists, SUVs and 10-wheelers and go straight into the island!"

what's even more disturbing to me is that *i* always have the moral dilemma at every such corner. should i signal that i'm turning right so the driver behind me will breathe a sigh of relief that i have no suicidal tendences?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

wish i knew then . . .

life realizations that came a bit too late:

1. after 5 years of working as a medical writer/editor, i have just recently discovered (now that i have resigned from my old company) that you can use the 'find and replace' function of microsoft word to change all double spaces to single spaces (useful when editing articles from writers who do not subscribe to the single-space-after-fullstop convention).

i could kick myself for not trying this way back when i was neck-deep in impossible deadlines, when any timesaver would've been most welcome. (between you and me, i can't really kick myself. but i can accidentally whack my shins with a badminton racket.)

2. following the same vein, i was recently introduced to a new friend i will lovingly add to my current solid clique of best friends (composed of google,, cable tv and a favorite pillow). i stumbled upon, which turned out to be a more comprehensive site for idioms (or idiots -- your choice) than this other site i used to rely on. also, without, i never would have known that 'ader' is the dutch word for 'vein.'

it's definitely an extremely useful tool for insecure editors like . . . some people i know (need to protect my reputation. clients could be reading this! trust no one! they're out to get us! run! hide!!!)

(note to self: it's definitely time for a new hobby.)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

bad emotional investments

another problem with this whole new freelancing lifestyle is the freedom to watch the live satellite feed of american idol at 4 pm. my work habits are shot.

i should stop writing this entry NOW. really.

because if i start to go on about how i have reserved a part of my heart for anwar, constantine, mario vasKWEZ (why do they say it that way?), afrogirl, farmgirl, (kindly ignore the fact that i don't know the girls' names) etc, etc, . . . or if i reveal how much i wanted to cry after anwar sang his version of moon river . . . or if i discuss how i'm starting to yearn for simon's approval of my life . . . or if expose my internal debate on whether i should finally admit that i think ryan seacrest is hot . . . i'm afraid i'd have no self-respect left by the end of this entry.

i figure i'll end up using the column (aka current life stressor) to totally trample on my dignity anyway so i should save demoralizing stories for future use.

Friday, February 18, 2005

the willing sacrificial lamb

over dinner --

older sister: topi, bakit walang lasa yung manok?

topi: ah tinatanggal ko na talaga yung balat kasi nandyan lahat ng cholesterol.

older sister: ok ah! so nasan na yung balat?

topi: kinain ko.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

a picture montage is worth a thousand words, or at least eight ("It's not going to be a medical column.") Posted by Hello

parent update: they're getting the drift

this afternoon, i printed a photo-quality copy of my column pic options (thanks LLB) and put it on the chair near the pc.

my parents entered the room and spotted the montage (which i will post in a bit).

dad: what's this for?

me: for the column.

dad: why does it look this way?

me: because . . .

dad: it's not serious!

me: well, . . .

dad: your column is not going to be serious?

ma: your column is not going to be serious?

me: mmm . . .

dad: (crossing out "buy copies of manila bulletin with eng's column" in his mental to-do list) ahhhh

ma: (thinking "does this mean she's never going to practice?") ahhhh

i think they got it now. where's the champagne?!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

my parents in serious denial

one thing that i should probably have clarified with my parents when i told them i was going to have a column in an actual publication is that it wasn't going to be a medical column.

how does one explain that one's column will be about . . . nothing?

just yesterday, at the dinner table, my mother asked me, "so is your column going to be limited to health articles?"

"mmmhhh. it's not a health column, ma."

"what? so what will it be about?" my mother asked, with trepidation in her voice.

"it's just supposed to be funny," i whispered while scrambling away from the person who, 31 years ago, had to carry me in her womb for 9 months.

maybe i should use a pseudonym.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

the depths of distraction

i'm sure i am not the first person to discover this truth:

you are most productive while procrastinating your more important, more pressing work.

i've blogged about this twice (but can't find the other entry, which explains the single link) but still couldn't help documenting my most recent fits of productivity while trying to finish a blasted (read: boring) article.

just last week, i stopped in the middle of typing a ridiculously dull sentence and proceeded to:

- put away the christmas gifts that were haphazardly stashed in a corner of my room (luckily, did not find fruitcake or live pets in the pile);

- remove the contents of the luggage i used a month ago, and discovered a dirty t-shirt stuffed into one of the secret compartments of my state-of-the-art bag;

- explore all my old shoeboxes, confirming that i really do have way too many pairs of black shoes and one too many (two) pairs of formal gold shoes (note to self: do not throw out gold shoes before deciding if you want to be that kind of person); and

- use 'pledge' on every available surface in the room, hoping against hope that having a dust-free, shiny room would inspire me to focus more on writing than on an instant room makeover.

maybe ms. younger sister is right. i should get a life. preferably one that does not involve emotional attachment to fictional tv characters or an inexplicable attraction to reality shows.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

the doctor is sick

(yes, i'm sick all right. i called myself a doctor. the horror!) (and i rhyme, too!!!)

realization of the day: i must've been sickeningly healthy (i like that phrase) for 2 to 3 years now because i don't remember the last time i had colds. the only illnesses that have frequented my body are tension headaches and migraines. not exactly the most comfortable afflictions, but they usually go away in a day or two (or three if the cosmos is punishing me for watching too many episodes of that train-wreck of a show, "the fifth wheel") (maybe i shouldn't have admitted that).

the virus i have is the stereotypical kind represented in movies, the kind that makes your nose explode every 2 seconds, making you an instant wet-tissue generator. and it's not like i can be meg-ryan-nursing-a-cold-in-you've-got-mail cute while spreading my germs anywhere within a 5-foot radius.

(need to mention this: my sisters, who were unfortunate enough to be born with allergic rhinitis*, use white t-shirts instead of tissue. allegedly, t-shirts are kinder to nose skin. of course, this practice gives the phrase "wet t-shirt" a whole new dimension. translation: it is NOT sexy to stumble onto/pick up a damp, germ-laden shirt.)

here's the real point of this entry (and you thought there wasn't going to be any, tsk tsk): i have a question --

are ears supposed to whistle when one is blowing one's nose? (and when they do, is it supposed to sound like a stanza of "i've never been to me"?)

because i don't remember that ever happening, and i was wondering if i can list it as a "special skill" in my CV ("can whistle sentimental videoke favorite through ears during respiratory infections").

*For the layperson: allergic rhinitis = a perennially runny nose (i've probably lost all credibility as a doctor already, so feel free to confirm this yourself. i promise not to feel bad.)

Thursday, January 27, 2005

why 'topi' is a good punchline

"Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words, or your reader will be sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words or he will certainly misunderstand them." -- John Ruskin

or, as a wise jeep mudguard once put it, "Just be a simple."

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

dugong* in the ugong

this would've been a catchy column title**, except for a few things:

1. although i am overweight in some societies, i don't think i can pass for a oddly shaped sea creature. besides, i hate the water (to swim in, not to clean myself).

2. i don't live in ugong. technically, i live in maybunga. i don't know much about the technical aspects of writing (don't tell my editor), but i have a feeling i should stay as far away as possible from column titles with the word "maybunga" in them.

(hmm. just received an sms with the word "ugong" in it. it's a sign. time to pack up and swim to a new residence.)

*i like saying "dugong."

**whattabout "tagos ng dugong"?

Monday, January 24, 2005

the world as i know it

is it me, or is this a weird name for a tv show:

"Earth: The World's Most Dangerous Planet"

because i grew up believing that world = earth.

so my mind is interpreting that title as: "Earth: The Earth's Most Dangerous Planet" which just doesn't make sense at all.

i have lost sleep over this. every now and then, i think about that title and believe that something is wrong with the world. how can i even comfortably use that phrase now?!

the good thing is american idol has started again.

(this is possibly my stupidest entry yet) (kindly refrain from searching through the archives and suggesting other contenders)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

intellectual pursuits in a rural setting

(i could start a thesis with a title like that)

had to go to bulacan, birthplace of my parents, last week to attend the last rites of one of my grandfathers (maybe the last one to depart?). the actual ceremony was just over an hour long, so the rest of the day, my sister (the fruit*, not the gross) and i needed something to while the time away -- a challenge when you're surrounded by almost-strangers who still see us as the two little girls from way back, but now with slightly different labels. well at least one of us has a different label.

"oh it's the pretty one! (looking at fruit A) and it's the doctor! (looking at fruit me)"

but i digress (and try to feel sorry for myself but i'm too old for that kind of crap.)

anyhoo . . .

fruit A had a small rubix cube in her mommy bag. if you think working on all sides is challenging, try to do it while the cube is still partially hidden in the bag (somehow, playing with a colorful 80s toy at a funeral seems rude). we took turns at working on the cube, with the noncube bearer working on the daily crossword instead.

let's just say i liked the crossword more. having a messed up rubix cube in one's hand makes one think that maybe, just maybe, all those years of high school, college and medical school were all for naught.

i mean if a good education can't help you solve the *&!^# cube, then what will?

THIS will. or maybe THIS.

(how did i live without the internet, i want to know) (that's the actual title of the song from 'con-air') (i know you're humming)

now where's that fruit's bag?

*her name is apple. get it? apple? fruit? yknow? whoohoo.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

really, it explains a lot

today, over a fried-fish, fried-rice lunch, i found out that my parents are distant relatives.

as to how distant is distant, i don't want to know. not that anyone can explain. according to my dad's precise explanation, they're related because they came from the same TOWN.

spare me the details. besides, if i never hear another rambling discourse from officemate #2 (aka topi, who unsurprisingly knows all about my family tree), it will be too soon.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

rising from the ashes

i want to get a pet phoenix.

only because i've thought of a great name for it.

FELIX . . . felix the phoenix. (obviously, it's pronounced: fee-liks) (unless you want to say feh-liks da feh-niks)

when i told my friend, the UP professor*, about it, he wanted to suggest a less wholesome (but equally catchy) name, but it wasn't quite appropriate to discuss lewd monikers in the middle of a mcdonald's breakfast crowd.

*incidentally, pasig raver was once a student of this UP professor. i don't know and don't want to know what goes on in those UP classrooms.

Friday, January 07, 2005

breaking news

i can finally catch up on current events now that i have more time on my hands. in case YOU need to be updated, i will share an important bit of info from the Philippine Daily Inquirer:



HANFORD, a leading undergarment brand, congratulated Cesar Montano on the success of the movie "Panaghoy Sa Suba," which he also directed, in the ongoing 2004 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

Montano, the leading endorser of Hanford products for the past four years, won the Best Director award during the MMFF awards night held Wednesday.

i hope to see the day my underwear honors me in a national publication.

Monday, January 03, 2005

maybe i should've kissed it first

ha! i remembered! i promised to blog about why the lanai story is important. but now it seems trivial and silly.

(this is why you should blog the moment you feel like blogging. memories and linked emotions fade fast, quite unlike irritating, nonsensical pop hits with repetitive lyrics.)

on second thought, the trivial and silly are all i write about.

and so . . .

it was one cold evening in december. i was deeply engrossed in whatever it was i was watching (so engrossed, in fact, that i cannot remember what the show was) but needed a glass of water (gas a yater, according to juanch) downstairs.

as i approached the top of the stairs, i saw . . . something.

it was brown and spotted and it looked very much like a FROG.

mind you, i am not deathly afraid of frogs -- unlike certain friends, who will be indebted to me for preserving their honor by not naming them -- but there was just something creepy about having a frog INSIDE THE HOUSE.

i wasn't wearing my glasses, so i wasn't too sure about my first guess. it was either a frog or a pile of crap so you can imagine why i really needed to check. with the grace and lightness of a prima ballerina with massive thighs, i leaped across the room to grab them. the glasses, not the thighs.

i tiptoed back, armed with clear vision and a trembling heart, and stared at the suspect.

i confirmed it. it was a motionless but live frog that blended amazingly well with the wooden floor.

my mind raced: how the hell did it get in??? the third lanai, of course! there must've been a hole somewhere (this is when you can say, "ah! so that's why the lanai story is important." you can choose to leave out the "ah" bit). how in the world am i supposed to catch it??? a pail. dirty clothes. a shoebox. a shoe. a pillow. the potted plant. what will i do if it jumps on me??? die.

so i did what any med-school graduate would've done to solve the problem. i used my mobile phone to call my dad who was in his room on the first floor. i would've just screamed but i was afraid the earless frog would hear me.

"there is a frog here!" was my half-whispered, half-wailed cry of help that was supposed to provoke sympathy and immediate action, not an incredulous, "how can you be afraid of a frog?!"

thankfully, my father went up the stairs (smirking), casually grabbed the trespassing amphibian using just a tiny plastic bag, and threw prince charming out the front door (i assume).

and that, boys and girls, is why your phone battery should always be fully charged.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

a work-related entry after a long holiday

checked mail after my bangkok trip (which i will blog about in the next few days, of course. "of course" -- famous last words) (oh and yes, i'm alive. was nowhere near phuket):

the good news is i got a job offer from jobsdb (they've been sending me offers regularly. i think i applied over a year ago, just to keep my possibilities open, not because i knew i was resigning by end 2004).

the bad news is they offered me my old job.

that was my first hearty laugh of 2005. at least i know i was really qualified for the job i left behind. har har har (sniff).

happy new year to my dear orange express*. i have a feeling it's going to be an amazing year ahead.

*we, the unemployed, have to talk to inanimate objects/web sites just to practice our conversation skills.