Linggo, Hulyo 17, 2011

My Little Neighborhood

Since I've started writing about my weekly adventures here on this website, I've mentioned several times that I have been more detached from the world around me as I ever was. This past week, after having a really shitty weekend, I decided to indulge that detachment by cutting myself off from the rest of the world. Didn't turn out exactly as planned, but it did give me ample time to think about certain aspects in my life that I may not be able to focus on had I followed my traditionally hectic day to day tendencies.

I've come down from the utter wrathfulness of last week's post, since I've had a few pleasant surprises , no unexpected visits and a mighty fine Saturday night. Plus, I come to you a tad more enlightened as I have been a week earlier. All that free time left me with no other options but to seek enlightenment.

Celebrity Crushes. I engaged in a little midweek drinking with an officemate who apparently needed a break from something that was staggering her senses. We didn't get shitfaced, cause I had to go to work, but a causal bottle over nice conversation was a good way to reduce the boredom, especially when it's with someone who has a "problem" similar to mine.

It's a bit weird for most people, but her problem, like I said was similar to mine. Apparently, she has a crippling crush on a celebrity from some reality TV show. It was so bad that it kinda affects her life in more ways than one. Hell, I can relate. I'm the guy who watched two entire seasons of The Office non-stop because of the lovely Ellie Kemper, so I feel her pain.

All in all, it's always refreshing to be out with people I work with. Makes more comfy going to the Think Tank on a daily basis.

Moonlit Nights. After that pleasant evening I went back to work, because money's tight and rent's sorta expensive. (I say sorta because rent is mostly based on perception. The actual effect of rent on my personal finances depend highly on how much money I actually have. Some months, it's chump change, others it's an insurmountable amount to make, the equivalent of a fazillion gajillion pistes.)

I worked all night, I did. Me and another member of the Think Tank tried our best to make do with the time we had to do a smooch as we can.

The full moon was up on one night, and I spent a good portion of the night just staring at it. Looking at how beautiful the Southern skyline is under the moon made me appreciate where I am at this point in my life. While it's true, my current situation has a long ways to go from becoming ideal, I can't help but feel at home, not just at the office, but the general circles I roll in these days. Frankly, I've never felt comfortable anywhere since graduating college, and I've spent many nights watching the moon wondering where I fit in.

On that night last week, i didn't have to wonder much.

Newborn Babies. Friday, after another all nighter at the office, I went to Cavite. On that day, the BIg Man's wife gave birth, and I decided I should be there if ever I could be of use. Plus, hospitals tend to have a special, albeit unpleasant place in my heart.And while I didn't harbor any delusions of my presence creating that big of an impact, I did spend some time in the ICU, and i know how company can be greatly appreciated in those places.

The Big Man and I spent a lot of time tackling about the past, particularly his previous stints as the official bedside companion to a number of sick relatives. (I never did quite figure out why someone with his lack of bedside manner and patience was always the one chosen to fulfill this particular task repeatedly.) It was a nice, quiet, rather self indulgent Friday. (We ate voraciously.) The Critic and the Human Torch even showed up for a bit, each adding his unique dimension to the experience. I left Saturday morning, feeling quite happy for the couple, and wondering how this would impact the lives of everyone involved. And I do mean everyone.

Highschool Moments. When I was at the hospital, I was asked by the Critic as to when I'd be back, and I didn't give a solid answer. All I said was, if I got a better invite, I'd most likely show up for that engagement. I did get an invite the moment I got home, though it wasn't necessarily better. But I resolved to visit some aspect of y past once a week, I thought what better way to end a quiet weekend with a bunch of noisy Cavite people. Yup, I attended another drinking session with my high school classmates.

As always it was classic, especially since one of the guys there started kissing other guys and I had to talk people down in order to avoid a fight. What I like about hanging out with these people is that they're basically strangers to me. I never spoke much with them back in high school, and they view me, I think, the same way they did back then; rather vaguely. They weren't around for all of the things that have happened since we turned our tassels to the other side of the cap back in '98, so I'd like to think that with them, I pretty much have a clean slate.

Plus, the entire group has a heightened sense of self-importance (not necessarily a bad thing, and something I've definitely been used to from a lot of the people I've met in my numerous exploits) that mostly they talk about themselves in a manner that simply dismisses any other possibility of greatness in things and people not involved with them. This allows me to not talk about themselves, so I once again have people that I can merely drink with and not have an intimate relationship with. They can continue glossing over their lives, and I get people that I can text whenever I need to get my drink on. Perfect.

Oh, and I've found a new muse. What can I say? The phrase "giddy as a highshool teenage boy" has never rang truer.

Future Plans. As I've said earlier, I'm a tad more enlightened. Not completely but a tad more. I still haven't decided to accept my mother's offer, but there is an apartment available right beside the Critic's pad that seems like an appealing compromise. (Get your resignation letters ready, boys, you're gonna need when I roll back into town.) I've got six months before I turn 30, and I have three courses of action that I'm seriously deliberating. I've got a couple of other things going, and I've even managed to resolve a few emotional issues along the way. As I mentioned last week, I've dismissed the option of therapy. I like being a little broken. It makes me me. And a return to comedy is underway.

Wish me luck. Or not. No big.

"The interstates and eighteen wheelers

The sketches on the rest stop bathoom stalls
I call her from a hotel pay phone so far from it all
The odometer is hypnotizing
The tires turn the dirt for miles and miles
I wanna see the Nashville skyline
If only for awhile

Cause I heard about the party last night
I heard that there were drugs and fist fights
When all I see are miles of streetlights
That's when I miss home

So I try to forget but I die inside every time I miss it
Cause you're still three shy
Don't you forget it's not a party when we're gone
And if the cops come by
have a drink and tell them this one's for the boys
And I will try to forget that I'm gone" - The Pink Spiders, "Still Three Shy"

Martes, Hulyo 12, 2011

Tightly Wound

I'm just going to go off for an entire post. Seems appropriate.

To sum up my feelings from the last week, I'm just going to go with "I'm pissed". Given my escalating condition, I'm happy to be feeling anything at all, no matter how harsh or extreme those particular feelings might be. I am currently seeing everything from a rather point of view, and I must say, the view looks remarkably corrupted.

I know, it's one of those posts wherein I make minimal sense. Keeping the sense at a minimum seems like a prudent thing to do though. I've said before that there are no good people, just people that are on your side. The thing is, these days, when memories start to fade and the herd needs to be thinned to make way for comfort, no one is on anybody's side.

Throwback to Purgatory. The one good thing that happened to me last week was also something that was somewhat an ending to something that has ended a long fucking time ago. Like wrapping an important subplot to make way for new ones, I had what seemed to be one last day with what remains of the people I've grown to be fond of back in Purgatory.

To those new to these pages (Yes, that would be you, Chad.), I worked in a call center back in 2009, the worst year of my life. I refer to the place as "purgatory", because everyone there, myself included of course, had a mostly okay existence and then that particular life ended. One way or another we all ended up in that place, and since longevity in those companies is rare, everyone knew it was a matter of time before people moved on to a better (heaven) or worse (hell) place.

Being in Purgatory was the highlight of that difficult year for me, meeting individuals that had made me feel far less alone and unconditionally accepted like very few of the people who had come before or after the few oaths i had stayed there. In fact, had not my body broken down, I would probably still be working the phones with my fellow miscreants.

A couple of weeks back, news that one of our own was leaving the country for good. So, despite work and other personal matters, nothing could have stopped me from spending the day with them, whittled their numbers may be. There were only four of us on that day, and that brief lunch was actually more gratifying than most social events I've been involved with over the past six months.

Of course, we didn't just have lunch. Once the guy who was actually leaving the country had left, I had the remaining two join me in the Fortress for drinks and stories. We all met each other precisely two years and two months ago. In that time, couples were formed and broken up, people got promoted and changed drastically for the better or worse, certain individuals have left in pursuit of either new environments or old dreams, one even came out of the closet.

And, as a special treat, they left me a parting memory. Apparently, the boyfriend of one of the girls I was drinking with has been waiting right outside the Fortress' gates for more than hours as we were getting drunker and drunker and laughing our asses off. Inebriation and total disregard for other people that are not us, just like old times.

That day gave me a sense of peace I rarely have, and I will always long for the time wherein I actually find myself in the company of these colorful characters on a regular basis again. Far from perfect, but perhaps the most beautiful collection of people I have been a part of.

Unexpected Visit. One thing that people should know, especially ones that have known me for years, is that if I stayed at home for the entire day, doing nothing and not inviting anyone, then that should indicate I'm not interested in seeing anyone. That's why I don't like unexpected visits. If you are going to be arrogant enough to visit me without an appointment, at the very least, please fucking make it worth my while. I'm not just some dude who sits around waiting for your people to drop by. I do have a strict schedule and even stricter set of principles when it comes to how I spend my time. If you're going to alter that schedule, at least make it memorable and pleasant for me.

But on a night when I was just gearing up for an all nighter at the Think Tank (I missed work due to the Purgatory Farewell bash.) who else shows up but the Gadgeteer and his girlfriend. Of course, I go and entertain the way I usually do… by buying beer and hoping that I at least get some pleasant conversation out of it. What I got was something that came off as a blowoff beer bash, with the Gadgeteer not exactly as cordial as he usually is, and his girlfriend sitting in the corner constantly complaining that they had to go.

Point one, if you had to leave early, you shouldn't have fucking showed up in the first place. It's disruptive, it's presumptuous, and it's flat out annoying. Point two, the Gadgeteer and I had been friends for a decade or so and he haven't seen each other in a while. How about a little fucking respect for everything that's come before, and not just sit there making snarky comments? When your boy was downtrodden, bitching about his ex, and I told him i was unavailable cause I my blood pressure was sky high and showed up nonetheless, did I turn him away?

This is the same vibe I got from one of my older friends, the Godfather of Porn, when he finally had that kid he had always been dreaming of, and I think the whole I'm-pissing-on-everything-else-around-me-attitude-now-that-I'm-kinda-doing-well vibe is a recurring trend to a bunch of people around me these days that I'm seriously curious as to who is giving away these asshole pills and bottles of Instant Bitch Energy Drinks and how come I didn't get any.

Minor Annoyances. With the couple basically throwing me off schedule, I missed my supposed Saturday night movie with Nikki, and my night with The Therapist and Jo F'n Regis to celebrate the former's birthday just so I could catch up with work. Saturday night, and it was raining as hell, and I had nothing to do, but then I remembered The Critic's IM from a few days past, asking me to go to the BIg Man's house for a little drinkathon. I thought, "what the hell, last time was fun".

So I went, and we (The Critic, The Big Man and I) were keeping in close communication until I got to the house and no one was there. Yeah, the other residents were there, but they weren't the ones I traveled all the way in the fucking rain to visit. This is actually a normal occurrence, since they usually go on a booze run at the last minute, but I ended up waiting for more than an hour with nothing to do because the two decided to exchange music knowing full well I was there.

On the surface, it seems like a little thing to rub me to wrong way, but as I've learned early on in my adult life, it's the little things that are the most telling. It wasn't the waiting that kinda ruined my mood, it's lack of effort of letting me know where the fuck the people who invited me there actually were. But I let it slide, despite the fact that I had a gnawing feeling that I was about to have a shitty weekend.

So we drank, we ate, we laughed and talked about comics and other shit. The morning after, I fucking had no drive to do anything.

The Life Expectancy of Clouded Judgments. Sunday, I decided to not work and just go along with the Big Man's supposed interview. See, we are about to engage in a project, wherein he finally gets to wear the big boy pants. I tagged along thinking I might as well do something productive and see the people I was potentially going to work with.

Not surprisingly, the Make Up Artist was there as well, and wouldn't you know it, it was a crazy night. Not crazy as in "Damn, last night was crazy, let's do it again" crazy. More like "holy shit, shoot me now, or better yet, shoot everyone else" kinda crazy. I've been preachy all throughout this post, so I might as well keep it going. Like I told the BIg Man that night, there's drama that's necessary, and then there's drama for drama's sake. The former is something that everyone has to deal with at some point, preferably at the right time and place. The latter, just kinda fucking ruins shit. See, she, had a few job issues that she couldn't stop bitching about, repetitively. Now, I'm not downplaying her problems cause sure that shit is serious for her, but I firmly believe in talking about it in the right place. Not in Marbles. Not when there's only three of you and you're going to be unloading on one person, completely leaving the other dude with nothing to do but drink and no one to talk to, and essentially preventing the person you are unloading to an opportunity to have a good time. Dude, I'm six foot three. The other guy's nearly 300 pounds. We are as far to invisible as anyone can get. You don't take a social gathering and turn it into something that's all about you just cause you have problems, cause everyone has problems, a lot of them probably bigger than yours. Again, there's nothing wrong with a little ranting now and then. Overdoing it, well, that's a different a matter.

I wont pretend to know every detail of her supposed problem. But the fact is, when you bitch about losing your job, make sure you really lost that job. Not waste a perfectly good night out crying about it and then text the following night that you got your job back.

When I started this new blog, I said I was going to be more honest, and in all honesty, I think the guy that's about to wear the big boy pants is a little distracted that some of his courses of action seem rather unsound. Personally, yes, but I think it's starting to affect his professional life as well. Or would affect his professional life. I pray I'm wrong, but if there's one thing I've had experience on, its emotional unstable people in the workplace. Seen it, heard it, been it.

Oh, hell no. Came back to Cavite, to my mother's house, and me and my mother had a little chat on a rainy Monday morning. Apparently, she bought a new house and wants me to live in her old one with my brother. That little talk left me a more than a little confused.

The moment college was done, I had moved out, living with different roommates before finally being able to live on my own in 2009. I had on a few occasions come back to live with them, the most recent of which was last year, when I thought my mother was having problems and I wanted to confirm if it was true or not. Once it was settled, off I went once more.

I found the proposition to live in that house again preposterous, as my brother and I never got along. Back in 2007, we had a huge fight that ended up with me not dropping by for two years.

Her intentions for this particular change still aren't clear to me, though I'm sure everyone with a traditional view on family would have half-assed theories. My mother's own arguments regarding the merits of my moving into that house weren't really convincing enough. She even went as far as to bestow responsibility on me, saying "I know that you can handle yourself on your own. But I'm not sure your brother couldn't. So if you could learn to be the bigger person and make it work…" You know the drill.

I'm not completely devoid of propriety, cause if it was any other person, I would have pointed out how much that shit isn't really problem. Everyone else has been hitting me with the ol' "your mother's getting older, so it might be best to give her what she wants" song and dance, but that's still not a logical reason to subject myself to a surely horrible experience.

But, I said I'll think about it, so I will. We'll see. Man, Baguio seems to be a nice option right now.

Retrospective Point of View. In the middle of writing this, I went to the convenience store to get my favorite energy drink, as it was 3 AM. When I went to the store, I saw my boss from Purgatory there, the one that I've always claimed to be the best boss I've ever had, and the best boss I will ever have. (Seriously, I don't think anyone can measure up.)

It got me thinking. The time I was in Purgatory, I was messed up. I was drunk and high everyday, taking more pills than I can handle, cutting myself, and I've had discussions with certain individuals wherein I've heard that what I was doing was not healthy and immature, dangerous, and some even went as far as to say that it was WRONG.

What I was doing back then was self-destructive, so it was dangerous. Definitely unhealthy. But immature? Wrong? Come on. It was a form of escapism, and the way I see it, being clean somewhat for the longest time now, it was a better alternative than what most people I see are doing to themselves now.

I was unhappy, and I addressed that. I didn't live in denial. I didn't shoot down other people's happiness just cause I didn't have mine. I didn't repress nor regress. I didn't hurt anybody that I love in any form, nor did I neglect anyone else but myself. I didn't take anyone for granted. I didn't lie to myself by thinking I was better when I wasn't, that I didn't have issues or problems when I had a shitload of them. I never pretended to be anyone I wasn't. I never lied, stole, cheated. Never debased or degraded myself. I was unhappy, but I never planned on settling on nothing less than my own standards of happiness. It was something that was happening to me, and when I was done with it, I was done with it.

People have come to define maturity based on outward actions or stature, titles. That when you reach a certain age, you have to be this, or that, or with this person, or own specific things, prioritize certain things. I define maturity with accepting who you are, knowing when you are wrong, fighting, if needed, when you are right, never forgetting to say "thank you" and "I'm sorry" when needed, learning constantly, knowing exactly what to retain and what to discard, keeping an open mind and taking care of what's really valuable. And of course, right or wrong is different from healthy and unhealthy.

I'm still not okay, far from it. Why else would I spend the night blogging? But I'm not worse than most of people I know. A lot of people in my life right now are going through something that they are dealing with in a manner that, in my opinion, is far worse than me getting smashed with people whom I've found a sense of belonging. And the difference is, I knew back then that I was doing all that shit because I was dealing with something. A lot of the people I've been around with, particularly this year, don't even seem to recognize, or even accept that they're dealing with shit, because the thought of them being troubled is a far too uncomfortable thought to deal with.

With that in mind, I've decided to forego therapy. I'd rather not feel anything and deal with anxiety attacks, then undergo the process of counseling and medication just to have someone tell how to be just like everyone else. The way I see it, most of everyone else is more fucked up than I am.

"Man! Cause I don't wanna do that

I want to have a good time and enjoy my Jack
Sit back and watch the women get drunk as hell
So I can wake up in the morning wit a story to tell
I know it's been a lil while since I been out the house!
But now I'm here, you wanna stand around
running your mouth?!
I can't hear nothing you saying or spitting, so wassup!
Can't you see we in the club?! Man shut the fuck up!!" - Ludacris, "Get Back"

Martes, Hulyo 5, 2011

Endless Chatter

One thing I realized is that in all of my 29 years walking God's not quite as green Earth, is that this is the first time I've been distracted by a freaking puppy. It's just there… staring at me while I write. I downright creepy I say.

Nothing much this week in the earth shattering events department, but all the chatter I've engaged in during the past 7 days or so have definitely shined a specifically different light on specifically mundane aspects of my own life. I guess I've just recently reacquainted myself with the importance of major face time, especially after my extended period of locking myself in the Fortress a few weeks back.

Coaching Sessions. Apparently I didn't get fired, but I get benched for a couple of days. It was a little annoying, considering how much money I could've made during those days, but the feeling was passing. I've been always been more of a quality time is more important than money guy, and it makes little sense to change that now.

In order for me to be allowed back on the workforce once again, I had to go through a coaching session, which was more than I expected it to be. I'm no stranger to such corporate procedures, and during my time I've developed a healthy routine for such occasions. I step in, exchange pleasantries, nod at key points while planning my night in my mind, step out when it's done, and contemplate quitting as I drank that same night.

Like I said, this one was different, for several reasons. One, I really do like what I do at the Think Tank. The entire set up has been ideal for my lifestyle. Two, and I actually timed this, the majority of the coaching turned out to be a very interesting life-coaching session. About 15 minutes of the hour I spent there were devoted to actual work policy coaching, and the rest were a general discussion of the psychological and the metaphysical. The people I spoke to agreed that I should embrace a form of routine in my day to day living.


It was all helpful though, and I was glad it all turned out that way. They gave me really good points to ponder, and though I might not give all of those general improvement tips a try, it's comforting to know that there are specific people nearby that are able to supply them. I used to be assessed as someone with a huge problem with authority. I thought that I just had an issue with people "handling" me. After that little talk I realized that I just was never "handled" the proper way, personally and professionally.

Loud voices in an empty bar. After two or three weeks of no-shows, I donned the green coat and made my way to open mic night, hoping to finally get my rhythm back, the rhythm I lost when my "condition" turned for the worse. And for my legendary come back, what would face me? An empty fucking bar. Baby steps I guess. It was a good night though, and I figured out how to get a decent buzz before I hit the stage of that overly priced old folk's home of a bar.

Small talk in another empty bar. After that painful but still amusing experience, I made my way to a restaurant in Makati where a high school classmate of mine was running the joint. We were never really close back then, considering that the only people from high school I spoke more than a few words with are still in my life in one capacity or the other, I still wanted to hear the guy's story, and it was an interesting one.

The guy had plans for his life. Went to a good school, got a degree in one of those boring ass courses that almost ensures a successful life, and he also had a career mapped out for himself. What he didn't expect though was that he would be so enamored with one of the jobs he initially saw as a stepping stone and he just never left. Now, he's fucking managing the place, and has no complaints nor apparent regrets.

The one thing I took away from that was hope. See, I've been a wanderer for most of my adult life, moving from one place, job, and relationship after the next with little or no hesitation. As suggested by my "life coaches" earlier that day, I had to find out what was missing in my life and work towards it. I'm glad my old classmate found that missing piece. I'm also glad he gave me a bucket of beer, on the house. But I'm much gladder that he was able to find his own version of contentment. Hopefully, me and my friends do so as well.

Screw everyone else, though.

Shop talk and new people. Friday night, I hung out with the BIg Man and a former coworker to drink and shoot shit after watching the third Transformers movie. (The movie, by the way, did the seemingly impossible. It made the second one look good.) There were a bunch of new people there, and I can't remember the last time I hung out with new people that weren't in a strip club.

I should do that more often. The meeting new people schtick. Not the strip club bit. But then again, being single, it really wouldn't matter.

The Dreams of a Fool. For some reason the stars may have fallen aligned and I actually didn't have anything to do on a Saturday night. I had a few options available, but none of them was appealing enough for me to actually deal with the traffic and all that. So I decided on having Pizza night at the Fortress. The reason for my splurging is that I joined this office activity wherein we are going to do something similar to reality TV's the BIggest Loser. We all weigh in, and after a specific period of time, we see how much weight we;ve lost. The biggest loser wins the pot.

In an attempt to cheat I ate like a fucking pig, hoping to put on enough pounds that would give me a bigger weigh in that I could easily shave off, in theory providing me with an advantage. That somehow didn't work, as I went to have my official weight checked, I was actually 6 pounds lighter than I was a couple of months ago. After all those nights of drinking, laying around, eating junk food and still I lose 6 pounds? That's… highly unsettling.

But, I digress. During pizza night, I was there, enjoying the cheesy and meaty goodness of cholesterol and carbs as I read comics and watch a few old stand up comedy videos, there was a knock on my door that pretty much ruined it. I don't get too many visitors, as there have been only seven people in my life who have been at the fortress, and most of them I knew were preoccupied that night. I open the door, and who do I see? My ex's brother, asking to drink with me. (The last couple of sentences sounded a bit Dr. Seuss-y, don't you think?)

For the first time in my life, I turned out a drink after four shots, as he would not shut up about his dreams of becoming a movie star. Hey, I get where he's coming from, but knowing him as I do, and knowing what his current situation in life and what I perceive should be his priorities, I just couldn't get this pipe dream of his.

But of course, I'll try to help him out. Social responsibility and all that. I grew up watching comics, what can I say? Let's d our duty and feed the monster.

Loud Music, Hard Liqour. Sunday night, I had a very disturbing dream. It was so disturbing in fact, that I've been a funk all Monday. The bum sickness was so bad that I even planned on drinking alone, but since it was the 4th of July, the Big Man didn't have work and we got our drinks and songs on at Marbles. I love empty videoke bars. The service is a lot faster and you have the entire room all to yourself. I fucking sang my ass off. It was not enough to belay any unwanted feelings. So we went to his house and got even more wasted, and spent the night deconstructing our respective psyches like only old friends are able to.

I'm a little bit more steady now than I was, and I think the conversations with the different people helped.I have a better idea of what I want to do now, and how I'm going to go about doing those things, and about that disturbing dream, I think I may have fallen in love again. It's no big deal. Happens once a year. I can handle this now.

"I've been waiting for a long time

For this moment to come
I'm destined
For all
Downtown lights will be shining
On me like a diamond
Ring out under the midnight hour
No one can touch me now
And I can't turn my back
It's too late ready or not at all

I'm so much closer than
I have ever known...
Wake up

Dawning of a new era
Calling...don't let it catch you falling
Ready or not at all
So close enough to taste it
Almost...I can embrace this
Feeling....on the tip of my tongue

I'm so much closer than
I have ever known...
Wake up
Better thank your lucky stars....

I've been waiting for a long time
For this moment to come
I'm destined for anything at all

Colour me stupid
Good luck
You're gonna need it
Where I'm going if I get there...
At all.... " - Green Day, "Waiting"