Lunes, Hunyo 27, 2011

Right Where We Started

I'm feeling a little weird right now, simply because whatever funk I'm used to having has somehow subsided for the time being. While it would be a hell of a stretch to assume that I have undergone some form of recovery, I'm not rejecting the idea that I may well be on my way. Everything, of course, is up to what happens soon. I mean, I had myself a great weekend to cap off a relatively pleasant week, despite the shitty possibilities that loom.

I guess these days I'm making do with the fact that life isn't boring. It may not be good, it may not necessarily be bad, but it is definitely not boring.

The Quiet Start of the Week. After the whole fiasco without he Big Man's 30th birthday I decided to spend a couple of days low key. It was a good couple of days of decompression, and with that lovely weather, I honestly could not ask for more. (No sarcasm there, I love storms. It's too bad for the people in areas who get their shit fucked up because of it, but I can't help it.) I spent those days indoors, hovering around the usual social networking sites rolling my eyes at the usual narcissistic tweets and status updates of everyone who, thanks to the dawning of the Internet age, are under the impression that people actually gave a fuck whether or not they liked a particular movie or what they had for breakfast. (Green Lantern sucked.)

Seriously, check out your wall or what have you sometimes with complete disregard for whoever it is that post their… umm… posts. Look at all the updates objectively and as they are. It's like listening to traffic. It's nice.

I think I got sidetracked here. Yeah… started the week by hanging out at home.

The Return to the Think Tank. Due to the frequency of my sucky attacks, I was not able to come to work for like two weeks. Well, last week I finally did it. I went back to the Think Tank and it was actually pleasant. I loved the vibe the stormy weather brought forth. It was so nice that I even stayed to work overnight.That, and the weather made going home an even bigger hassle.

The following day, I had lunch with a fellow employee and discussed things some outside of work business, and I believe I've actually made a friend. Also, there was an audition I was supposed to go to, but the weather also prevented that, so I spent the rest of my Friday night just dicking around at home. It was nice to just listen to the raindrops fall as I began to float away towards slumber. I guess a peaceful night's sleep is only a weekly thing now.

The Root of the Problem. The following day, Saturday, I was well rested and ready to go to work with a huge ass smile on my face. But before I hit the office, I volunteered to help out another officemate and decided to donate blood. My reasons were twofold. One, I wanted to help out someone who was nice to me from the moment I started working at the Tank, and two, what better way to retrace my steps than to walk around the halls of the hospital that I was confined in for two weeks back during my first heart attack? Sadly, I wasn't able to donate blood since all the exposure to the rain made me sick. After a few moments of solemn contemplation, off to work I went.

I got there, smiled and waved at the few employees who, like me, had nothing better to do on a Saturday than just toil. I sat down in front of my office computer, checked my email, and boom… the other shoe drops like a motherfucker.

It's my fault, really. i've been half-assing it lately, and it caught up with me. Long story short, I might get fired next week. That, plus the little detail that my rent money got stolen from my pocket just a few days prior poses a rather unpleasant scenario that I'd hate to think could only happen to me in such a manner.

I guess the energy I got from going tot hat hospital put me in another one of those "no day but today" moods, so I headed out to drink with Jeff, not knowing that the videogames and domestic drinking would lead to perhaps the best weekend I've had all year.

The Super Weekend. A little background for those who just got here, Jeff and Lea are friends of mine from college. Well, to be accurate, they became friends of mine right after they graduated. Jeff and I had nothing common, aside from a passion for wrestling, video games, getting drunk, and generally being seen as assholes by the general public. Once they graduated along with the Gadgeteer, Jeff and I sorta gravitated towards each other, since he had very few friends he could drink with, and I, due to a recent break up, was not hanging out in Hidalgo street and a vast majority of people I knew had already moved on to the real world. His then girlfriend and now wife Lea usually joined us, and after a whole slew of adventures, trials and tribulations, we managed to become fixtures in each other's lives. Together, we conquered Marbles, made The Big Grill our own, discovered a special spot in Tagaytay, and made Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights the nights when anything was possible. It was no surprise I was the Bestman at their wedding.

Once they got married, of course, certain things changed. For a few years we still all hung out on a semi-regular basis, but eventually we drifted apart. We lost touch for a couple of years, and just met up January of this year, when we learned that we all basically live in one area again.

The past weekend, Jeff and I were just trying out fatalies for the new Mortal Kombat game until we were a little drunk. We had to go and pick up Lea (all of my great weekends involve at least a minimal amount of DUI.) Once there, I was not going to let the night end with another quiet domestic drinking session where Lea plays housewife and me and jeff act like overgrown kids. It was time to go old school. I summoned Nikki from the Scoobies, and then we drank at some bar from BF (seriously, a lot of the bars there are overrated) and I drank so much my heart did that thing again. I was also overjoyed to see Lea drunk again after two or three years. It was amazing.

We all retreated back to the happy couple's house and I shared a room with Nikki wherein we had a long talk (for my standards) about what happened with my latest romantic pursuit, my plans for the future, generally shooting the shit in amasser that we rarely get to do.

The following day, we decided to have a little more fun, so after breakfast with the couple, Nikki and I went to Shelly's.

The Super Weekend, part 2. We went to Shelly's house and dragged her and her kid along for anise quiet time at the mall. It was in 2005 when the three of us were all single at the same time, and after six or so years, there we were, older, a little wider, and definitely a whole lot wiser. One funny moment I particularly like was when Shelly suddenly came to a realizations to whether or not the problem lay with the three of us, cause we were the common denominators in our collective romantic failings.

Of course we weren't the problem. My friends are perfect.

We ate too much Italian food and periodically chased around Shelly's son (who probably is the only child I know that isn't scared of me) in a nice, quiet Sunday. After Shelly left, Nikki and I had another drink before going home to Cavite, along with another one of those conversations that only people like she and I would be able to truly get.

The Scoobies have been and most likely will always be a big part of my life. After my classmates graduated and I had distances myself from my boys, it was the who accepted my into their ranks unconditionally. Even after I pursued Nikki and got rejected, I was never treated any differently in the aftermath. (Nikki's rejection of me still to his day is my favorite rejection. Hell, I;ve been rejected before, but she had the courtesy to do it in Marbles, in front of a bucket of beer. That, my friends, is how you let a person down gently. Take notes.)

The last time I had a "super weekend" it was when the Big Man and I hit 3 separate drinking sessions in one night without three different groups of people in my life. This weekend meant a lot more to me because of the rarity of these sorts of nights, what with everyone being all "growed up" and shit.

The Denouement. I still haven't hit the stage again, and I may be unemployed the next time I write in this blog, but I'm strangely okay with all of that. I remember being at the hospital, and making a personal vow to retain the people that visited me as I lay there, no matter what happens. I remember all those times with Jeff and Lea and all my days with the Scoobies, and I feel empowered. Cause I've been through far worse crap before, and I've always landed on my feet. the Scoobies, Jeff and Lea, the Big Man, everyone in my life right now, for several years now, have played the role of my audience. They've laughed, and they've sympathized, and most importantly, they're always there. They all make up this grand story.

I'm the guy who'd date your sister, who'd get high and pass out at a Starbucks. I'm the guy who'd miss work so you can bitch about your ex or your wife, or your husband. I'm the guy who'd date the girl that everyone hates. I'm the guy who'd come up with the stupidest but most fun ways to waste an entire weekend. I'm the guy whose house you threw up in. I'm the guy who'd make sure you don't spend too much at a strip club. I'm the guy who'll never get a tattoo just in case someone needs blood. Over the past decade I've been one of those people they make urban legends about, and I'm proud of that. I'm not the ideal guy, nor the ideal friend. I'm just the guy who operates under a different set of rules and principles, and sometimes I'm the kind of guy that certain people need at certain specific times. I remember who I am now, thanks to these people.

Too fucking bad I can't put any of that shit on my resume.

"I was thinking that I might fly today
Just to disprove all the things you say
It doesn't take a talent to be mean
Your words can crush things that are unseen
So please be careful with me, I'm sensitive
And I'd like to stay that way." - Jewel, "I'm Sensitive"

Martes, Hunyo 21, 2011

Old People

I fucking love eggs. Seriously. when I was young, I used to eat eggs every single day along with almost every other meal. I couldn't help it. Even at a young age I was fascinated with its fragile nature. How, if not properly cared for, a single mistake would turn your eggs into something that's less than ideal. I'm actually cooking/eating a couple of sunny side ups in between paragraphs here, and I honestly spent more than the appropriate number of minutes just admiring the yolks.

I don't know, man. I haven't been to work for a couple of weeks now, and I'm far more than demotivated. I'm far more concerned with my place in the world these days. I feel far more disconnected with everything, and so far, my only consolation is my ability to make perfect fried eggs.

Body pains and heart aches with a little rum. MInutes after I had finished uploading my last post, I went over to The BIg Man's house for, it seemed to me at that night, an ordinary drinking session. The Critic was there, and so was the Make Up Artist, and so I figured it would not be as bad, since those are two people that I don't interact with normally.

I really should stop underestimating my weekends.

We started off without he usual shit, having beats about things that are important and amusing only to us, (Like what would the best course of action be if it suddenly rained boobs.) and then it escalated to a very intense session of poor man's parker, where the Critic, the Big Man, and I took turns trying to swing from the top of the gate in the most, shall we say, graceful manner. Let's just say we were feeling the effects of repeated slamming our bodies on a solid tele for the next few days. But of course, the laughter would last for far, far longer.

All that in itself would have been a sufficient Sunday reminiscent of the old HIdalgo street days, but of course, more shit had to go on. The Make Up Artist was having man trouble. Her supposed man was at the bar with some other girl. She had the ingenious plan of going there with one of us pretending to be her new boyfriend. With the BIg Man married as he is, and the Critic with his seemingly fucked up reasoning that I never bothered to listen to, so I went to the bar with her to play the part. So I did. With all those drinks in me, how could I not? It was because of those drinks, that I kept playing the role even after we've done what we needed to do.

Yeah, two accidental "girlfriends" in the pen of two weeks. I must be doing something terribly, terribly wrong.

TV Tribulations. Battered, bruised, and completely sleepless, I continued working with The Salesman on this TV project of his. So far, working for someone as driven as he is is something that is relatively new to me. Most of the worked with either just constantly cruised or were complete buffoons. This is an interesting professional relationship. I hope it works.

Of old men and even older times. In the middle of the week, I was disturbed from my usual depressed stupor with a phone from someone I did not expect. It was the younger sister of an ex of mine, who happened to be one of the BIg Man's classmates from college (the ex, not the sister). So, after a brief meeting with the Salesman, it was off to Manila to yet another night of drinking. I was actually expecting an important gathering based on the serious tone of the phone call the sisters gave, but it was a just another house party. I met new people, had a few laughs, and everything was going well until the old guy started with this old man routine that I'm sure everyone who's been around a person of a matured state is familiar with.

Now, in my life, I've been around people of varying ages and mental conditions, from emotionally disturbed teens to bat shit insane geriatrics, but nothing quite affects me than an old person who has made some seriously bad decisions in his life that have knocked him off his imagined perch and is desperately trying to reclaim it by convincing everyone who bothers to listen that he was, at some point, important.

The glory days are over, dude. So instead of looking back on it and ruining other people's good time doing so, just try to do more great things. Looking back wont bring any of that shit back. Write a book or something.

Ironically, it wasn't going to be the only night this week wherein my good night gets ruined by other people's less than ideal qualities.

Parental Guidance. The night after that, the BIg Man and I drank once more, but this time it wasn't our idea. His mother wanted to get her drink on, and it unintentionally became my week's "retracing my steps" night, as we talked about how her son and I were in high school, and how they were as kids. Even the Big Man's wife was up and we talked about the old Manila adventures when I was far less troubled, the Big Man was far less monied, and his wife was far less… umm… wifey.

We even took a special trip down memory lane at another part of life when the mother then flat out declared that she'd be happier if her daughter, the BIg Man's sister, another one of of my exes, ended up with me instead of the Quiet Man. And that, my friends, was like 32 flavors of awkward.

Still, it was very enlightening. Long nights like these keep me from having my attacks, but at some point i am going to have to find some other way to avoid the discomfort of my little brain issues. Probably something that doesn't involve those kinds of conversations.

Blind dates and revelations. I had a relatively quiet Saturday when I went on my very first (sorta) blind date courtesy of the Friendly Almost Neighbor. I've taken a bunch of huge steps lately, and this is one of the bigger ones. Considering my utter dislike of people, spending an afternoon with a stranger isn't something I would normally participate in, but come on, lunch with a chemical engineer was something I could not pass up.

I was nice. I had a bucket of beer and had my first decent night's sleep in god knows how long, and even learned a thing or two.

The BIg 3 and Oh. Monday night, and straight on to Tuesday morning, The Big Man, The Tapa King, and Mr. Guerrero and I had ourselves a supposedly enjoyable night to celebrate the Big Man's 30th. Now, usually, I have a personal holiday every June 21st, but since this is someone's 30th, a pivotal moment for everyone who actually values life and not just lives like a lump of coal, I decided to just do a double celebration of Broken Promises Day next year.

We started out at Marbles, and we were doing well. But Mr. Guerrero was kinda douchey about the whole thing, so we went to a different bar. Once midnight hit, and the Big Man officially turned 30, the cigars were lit and the music was loud and we were all having an awesome time. That was all until shit hit the fan. The Make Up Artist was there and introduced me to the guy she was trying to make jealous. The BIg Man, due to several reasons, freaked out a little.Then, the girl who seems to think she was my girlfriend was also there and bugging me the fuck out by texting me nonstop. Apparently, everyone seems to have forgotten that we were supposed to be having a good time.

So, I left. It was the only way to keep the party going. This may sound pretentious and even a little over the top, but it is my firm belief that in every social circle, everyone plays at least one specific role. While these days, I mostly act as the voice of reason among my friends from Hidalgo street, particularly after Ol' Football Head and the Godfather of Porn left, but my original role has and probably will always be the guy who keeps the good times rolling. If I was having a party and the presence of one person is ruining it, whether or not it is that person's fault per se, then that person should leave. Hell, if I had that type of person around on my 30th, and the dude doesn't leave, I'm going to throw the fucker out. A good night, in my opinion, trumps everything. So, I left. Was I happy about it? No. But it was what was necessary.

At least it was memorable.

Perfect Eggs No More. I imagine life is far more complicated than eggs.After everything that's happened this week, I don't even know what path I could possibly take. All these nights have reminded me how important my upcoming 30th is, and how little time left I have. So, let's start this one more time. The comedy, the romance, the birthday and all the small details.

"There's a hole in your logic,

You who know all the answers, (Oh-oh-oh-oh)
You can sigh and say magic, (Oo-oo-oo-oo)
And expect me to buy it

Goodbye Mr. A,
You promised you would love us, but you knew too much,
Goodbye Mr. A,
You had all the answers but no human touch,
Your life is subtraction,
Your number is up,
Your love is a fraction,
It's not adding up" - The Hoosiers, "Goodbye, Mr. A"

Linggo, Hunyo 12, 2011

No New Information

While my previous week was what one would consider as "action packed"… the lack of forward movement bothered me. Sort of. And it wasn't because the opportunities weren't there, I actually have a new task I'm working on, it's just that there isn't any drive to, you know, do anything.

I'm a tad bothered, not because nothing went down, but because I'm quite alright with a stolid week. Fuck. I really am turning into an old man.I really need a new girlfriend soon. Having one allows me the external motivation. That or not drinking. Yeah… we all know where I'm leaning towards.

Oh, interesting fact. Last week I fried bacon in butter. Let me repeat that. BACON. IN BUTTER. Amazing? Hell, yes.

Awkward Moments in Beautiful Places. The Big Man and I, both suffering from the usual stresses of day to day living, decided to blow off a tremendous amount of steam (as well as the Big Man's hard earned money) by hitting both Tagaytay and Marbles on the same night, with a couple of familiar faces. (One of them was only vaguely familiar.)

First, it was Tagaytay, where the Big Man, myself, and the Make Up Artist had two pitchers of Tequila Sunrise and a shitload of Red Horse and I was just staring at the beautiful night sky while wearing my ultra-cool Doraemon hat without a care in the world. (Anyone with that much alcohol in their system would not have a care in the world.) Then, I noticed that our other companion was not her jolly self when I first met her (sometime in the past few weeks). So when went to the bathroom, I asked them what was up her ass. Their response was surprising, and led to much more drinking. Apparently, in one of my drunken adventures over the past few weeks, this other girl was under the impression that she was my new girlfriend, an event I completely had no memory about.

And before we move on, yes, I do realize that there are instances wherein I make bad decisions. Then again, anyone who hooks up with a drunk person is equally inept when it comes to decision making, so let's just call this a tie. I'm pretty certain lines haven't been crossed and I dismissed it as just another drunken incident to tell my non-existent grand-kids. (Though, considering how life has been like since graduating, I wouldn't be surprised if they actually do exist.)

To cheer everyone up, we decided to go and find a place to sing in. After killing our drinks, and believe me we were all out of it, the Big Man drove from Tagaytay to Marbles in thirty fucking minutes. I shit you not, sir. Yes, it was midnight, and there were very few vehicles on the road, but regardless, you don't go from Tagaytay to Las PInas in 30 mins driving like a sane person.

Monday night, the videoke section was empty, and we kicked it old school there. Of course, we just had to have a couple of mind erasers to set the mood. Whatever awkwardness was forgotten and any bad decisions were washed away by a good night.

Long story short, that is why I missed going to the company outing. That, and I had to take care of the financial repercussions of getting paid late. But it was mostly because I slept through the day.

Team-Up? I normally don't like working with friends, with the exception of the BIg Mana and the rest of Coffeehouse Dreams. The reason for this isn't the same reason most of the idiots out there like to preach. I prefer working with people I don't know because I prefer working alone, something that you can't do when working on anything with a friend. The people from Coffeehouse Dreams are a huge exception because I actually like working with most them, and am able to tolerate the rest.

But, when the Salesman asked for some face time on a Tuesday night, asked for assistance on a project he's working on, and I wasn't able to say no. Though I never wanted to be involved in TV ever again, that shit seems to keep pulling me back. Seriously though, a friend of mine needs help, I help. I just hope things work out well. What I like about working with the Salesman is that there's always tequila whenever we have our meetings. Tuesday night's meeting started out with brainstorming at the mall and ended up with a political discussion at 3 AM.

Friday night's meeting involved weird Korean food the he cooked, rhum, and yes, more tequila. So far, the professional relationship seems to have a bright future.

Birthday Bash! I've known Jo F'n Regis for quite some time now, so when his birthday rolled around, there was very little I needed to do to celebrate: video games, The Hangover part II and, as part of the newly established annual tradition, cigars and beer. When the Therapist got out of work, that little party just got better with the addition of pork in the mix. Great fucking night.

Oh my. In six months I'll be turning thirty. I need to plan shit.

Another Birthday Bash! My latest attempts to retrace my steps was through Scoobytown as I dropped by to Marvi's daughter's 7th birthday. Seven years. It seems like it was just yesterday that Marvi was carrying that kid in her tummy while we were wearing togas. (Marvi got in a fight that day. Or almost got in a fight, if I hadn't stopped her.)

The rest of the Scoobies weren't able to attend, but hanging out with Marvi (and listening to her talk about the recent fights that she's been involved in) was a good thing. Like last week, on my day in the park with Jo F'n Regis and The Therapist, drinking with Marvi took me back to a better time, a better place, when I was among better people.

"Stop there and let me correct it
I wanna live a life from a new perspective
You come along because I love your face
And I'll admire your expensive taste
And who cares divine intervention
I wanna be praised from a new perspective
But leaving now would be a good idea
So catch me up on getting out of here" - Panic at the Disco, "New Perspective"

More lyrics:

Miyerkules, Hunyo 8, 2011

Bar Talk

No matter how frequently things change, even if those changes seem like a complete overhaul of what you're used to, I think the key is recognizing constants. The past two weeks, I've been put in new situations that all seem familiar, in places that have contributed more than a lot to the general state of my current life.

After my latest relationship fizzled out, I have chosen to avoid including people without any recognizable or legitimate baggage in my circle. The rationale behind this is that by surrounding myself with people who are fighting equally taxing or even greater battles than what I am going through, then the feeling of isolation would not be as present as it usually is. So far, it seems to have been working. As I have also stated in my last post, I was going to retrace my steps a bit, and yeah, I've done quite a bit of that as well.

Prudence? I locked down a job that would guarantee a level of financial stability for me, while still allowing me to pursue certain passions, over the foreseeable future. However, with my condition escalating to a point that my attacks occur at random times, I had to forego such a security. So, I'll be staying in the Think Tank, which isn't a bad thing, I guess. At least the scheduling allows me to take it easy when necessary. Of course, this'll make certain aspects of my life far more difficult in the coming months, but I guess the easy way out has never been an option that was available to me.

The Big Man's Method of Therapy. What I've come to appreciate lately is how the Big Man (whether intentional or not) has pretty much stepped up in supporting me throughout these really trying times in perhaps the best way he could: by abandoning his diet and risking other potential hassles with certain parties by taking me to a bunch of bars. There were singing, there blackouts, and basically it's all been a great fucking time. It's reminiscent of the days wherein things were deadly serious but we didn't have much to save our respective sanities save our nights out. We've had a bunch of adventures the past couple of weeks, I just couldn't remember all of it.

Some Things Never Change… a Selfish Reminder from the Past. I had another attack, and this time it occurred on a Friday afternoon… when all I wanted to do was see Kung Fu Panda 2. I needed someone to bare my soul to, so I go and send that familiar text message, my trademark Call to Arms. I had three replies. One was from the Salesman, who was with his girl and I didn't want to step on that. One was from one of the Part-Timers, people who I partied with during my last phone monkey stint. She sounded interested in getting drunk and stupid, but then the final reply came in. It was from someone I used to be really close with, and she was asking for help. So, despite my condition, I found it hard to refuse someone who was asking for help, even though I haven't had a second of sleep from the previous night thanks to my condition. So I accompanied her to Makati, a place she's not very familiar with. She promised that after this errand she had to run, we'd hang out somewhere and talk and basically help me deal with the attack.

So I take her to where she needed to be, and I had no problem waiting for her to finish her tasks. However, after an hour or so of sitting there in a shitty coffee shop as she was doing her thing, I receive a text from her asking me to accompany her home (which was a billion kilometers away) and to just hang out at her place. That really pissed me off, considering we agreed upon hanging out at my bar afterwards. Add to the fact that she had been complaining non-stop the entire night. I didn't even get a real fucking thank you. I don't know if I'm overreacting, but come on, man. It was quite an uncool thing to do, especially to someone who a couple of months ago she called and said she had changed and wanted to make up for pretty much treating me badly three or so years back. So I left. I knew she could find her way home at that point.

Lucky for me, the Friendly Almost-Neighbor was nearby and she accompanied me back South, even providing me with the necessary friendly conversation that I needed to get through the night. We parted ways at the mall, where she went straight home and I went back to my original plan of watching some computer generated martial arts action.

I told the Friendly Almost-Neighbor that she was the only pleasant thing to come out of my night, and if it wasn't for her, I might have spent another sleepless night. As for that friend of mine that basically treated me like I was her personal assistant, her, and by association, her boyfriend, are no longer considered as people I could rely on. I don't want to sound like a whiny bitch about all of it, but I'd like to think I've done more than enough for her and her boy. If it was one of those one way things, well… I'm not really in any shape to deal with shit like that. While most of my relationships have been like that, now is not the time.

Fifteen Minutes. The night of my comedic TV debut, the Big Man and I were at one of these bars that have contributed much to our history. That Saturday night is nothing less but another milestone, as we brought his long lost brother with us and allowed him to experience new and exciting things (with our trustworthy adult supervision guiding him, of course). The huge amount of texts I received from people who were glued to the tube that night was perhaps the only annoying thing I had to deal with that night, so in my assessment, we all had a pretty nice night.

The fallout of that performance is that now, a bunch of people who I don't know feel that it's okay to randomly approach me and ask stupid shit. It's not cool when you've spent the majority of your life ignoring the majority of people around. I can't wait until my fifteen minutes are up. Seriously, strangers, leave me the fuck alone.

Weddings and Other Family Matters. The night after that particular adventure, I had to fulfill my duty to my relatives by attending my cousin's wedding in Manila. In all honesty, unless I had a specific function to perform, I hate going to weddings. I think it's way too focused on the bride and groom, which is alright, but if you're going to be inviting people afterwards to party, you should at least, you know, make it worth their while. So I was there, in Manila, a place that I've had tons of history in, dressed inappropriately for a formal affair, and as expected, I was bored out of my freaking' mind. But I promised to show up, and I did.

Highlight of the night would have to be when my mother insisted that she and her "friend" drive me home just so she'd know where I actually hang my hat these days. During the drive, the guy, sober as a person could possibly be, starts giving me advice about how to live and tells me stories about how he was younger he was a lot like me and all that shit. It was… well, it was hilarious. What does one say in such a situation? Normally I'd be my usual flippant self, but this is the guy my mother hangs out with, and they were nice enough to spare me from commuting from crime central to addict haven. Plus, he offered to hit the town with me one of these days so we could have a surrogate father-son talk. Yikes. But, if he wants to attempt to bond as he drinks me under the table, why the fuck not? I'm a firm believer of potential.

Acting Like an Asshole. Despite my shenanigans, I've always considered myself as someone who's more controlled and disciplined than my peers, bit on one Tuesday night the Big Man and I once again embarked on another one of those nights (no homo) that leave a nice smile on my face but a slightly bad taste in my mouth. I've broken character for a few weeks now, I think since the night when I shot that TV thing, and while I thoroughly have a good time with what I do, I've been breaking the rules that I have strictly followed. Of course, I didn't do things that were worse than some of the things I've seen and heard recently and not quite recently, but I have been having trouble when it comes to personal definition.

And then, in the middle of all the alcohol and singing and other stuff, I remembered the Salesman's words to me that night my apartment got flooded. We were talking about my recent relationship and how I decided to not pursue any new romantic connections anymore, cause 13 failed ones, I said, were more than enough. He said something like, "don't stop at the 13th. You deserve to be happy. You'll be alright. Go after the 14th, or the 15th… or even go back to your first, or second… though of course I'm hoping the 14th gets the job done."

Recalling those words, spoken to me in a bar, while I was, once again, in a bar, got me thinking. And yeah, I'm ready. I'm wanna go through that shit again. And I believe all it takes is one good night to change things.

Of course, that particular night wasn't the night. It was far from romantic. For me, at least.

Comedy Reboot and a Ringside View of Shitty Relationships. From the first time since I started doing it, I've lost the fire to do comedy.Don't get me wrong, it's still the one ting that I want to do, but I've been missing gigs, and whenever I hit the stage, I don't even give a fuck anymore. I decided to restart everything. Write entirely new jokes, and rediscover why I liked it in the first place.

The Salesman, who set up the new venue for the weekly comedy night, was equally frustrated. More so when we hit San Mig and he and his girl started digging into old issues. It was an interesting night… and the contrast between this and how I've been spending my nights lately, but it was enlightening.

A Turning Point, for Better or for Worse. A couple of nights later, it was the Big Man's turn to show me another downside of relationships. The Think Tank kinda screwed with my paycheck, and he kinda walked out of the house without grabbing cash. Of course, that wouldn't stop us, so it's off to the local gas station for drinks and the usual recount of a really bad situation.

The stormy night provided a proper setting for our conversation. I always used to say that their relationship symbolized hope on my part, cause as long as they were doing well I knew there was a slim chance for someone like me to find something similar. That doesn't exist now, so all bets are off.

Roots. As part of my campaign to retrace my steps, I attended one of those high school reunions that they've been throwing with frequency ever since our beloved adviser passed away last year. There I was, drinking with people that I mostly didn't bother getting to know during a point in my life wherein I got to see them on a daily basis. I can't believe I was spawned from this place, where men are strong and silent, women are tough and beautiful, and then there's me.

I have to say, that night gave me a whole new perspective and who I was and who I am right now. I'm not completely as concerned about who I will be anymore. All I know is that that my life has always been the same… long nights, and laughter. It reminded me why loved comedy, why choosing the right girl has always been a big deal, why i prided myself in being different, and why I'm glad I made the decisions I've made. I love who I am, and I'm happy that the people I've encountered through the years see me in different lights, but all similarly special. I'm glad to say that while I may have decided to remove two people from circle, I seem to have added at least a dozen more.

Peace. I'd like to end this post with the Sunday I spent continuing my retracing. I somehow ended up in Tahanan Village with The Therapist and Jo F'n Regis. I was broke, I was sober, but I was happy. I thought about it, and I realized that the last time I was truly happy was the days I spent here in 2004. I was young, had just graduated, had a budding relationship and the real world hadn't reared its ugly head towards my direction yet. I had potential. We all did.

I'm feeling that same potential now. Times are dark though, not just for me, but for everyone around me. I look around me, and I see that they can make it. Not sure about me, but i never really cared. It's going to be fun, kids. More or less.

"This time I finally see
The reason why, I can't do this alone,
It took some time and concentration,
To believe it, this I know

I need to build my faith sometimes,
But I am so comfortable in line,
I'm up, there's no more time,
To try to mess with this design" - FM Static, "Take Me As I Am"

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