It's good to be focusing on a singular thing again. While I have been extremely busy with everything I'vegotten myself into personally and professionally, the whole Hong Kong thing has given me the one thing that I always need but don't consistently have: something to look forward to.
It's one of the pitfalls of having little or no reservations about pursuing anything you want; at some point you're going to feel like you've done everything worth doing. I don't mind it that much, especially since I've designed my life in a manner where I get everything done by the time I'm thirty.
I try not to dwell on what comes after. I'll face all of that once I'm done with this latest passion project, as usual.
The Passport. After several years of urging from various members of my extended life, I finally found a reason to get my passport renewed. Back then, I dismissed the notion of having one, thinking its absence would be another good reason to remain in the country. While I have a tendency to move around a lot, I don't really like traveling. In fact, I hate it. I used to even hate going on vacation. For me, if you feel the need to get away from it all, then there's something terribly wrong with your current station in life. I guess that's why I moved around so much (houses, groups of friends, relationships, jobs). I've been looking for a place and a set of circumstances that's ideal for me. It's a little too early to tell, but if things continue as they are right now, I might have found it.
Watching the hordes of people patiently standing in line, getting their documentation ready, obtaining the key to allow them passage to other places that are faraway from here, I have more than a little trouble understanding what they feel. Then again, I'm sure the majority of them would fail to understand why I'd participate in an endeavor that's far away, and with a high possibility of failure, on a trip that I definitely am not able to afford.
Purgatory, 2009 Style. The contest is a very big deal for me, but it's still not enough for me to take any measure I can that would ensure I get the funding I need. I selected very specific people that I would approach for assistance in this matter, the symbolism being that I'd be going there physically alone, but spiritually without he support of the best people I've ever been lucky enough to be associated with. Of course, it was the Scoobies that were the first on my list. Coming in second were the people from Purgatory.
My decision a few months back to reconnect with specific people in my past every week has been an enriching one, and I think it has been leading up to this year's quest. a few months ago, I reunited with some of the Purgatory people, but a couple of weeks back, on a Friday morning, that was when I truly felt their spirit.
I had initially decided to ask one person from the group to help me out, but she brought a couple of other faces along with her. Being able to shout the word "TARA!" again on the streets of Northgate at 5 in the morning, hear it resonate against those glass windows, felt really good. That familiar call resulted in us, sitting in a circle, faced with two buckets of beer and we drowned ourselves in early morning laughter and inebriation. It was 2009 all over again, without the shitty circumstances.
Man, two years went by too fast. There were updates, as usual. Last time, the biggest news was that one of them finally came out the closet. This time, one of our esteemed brethren got thrown in jail. Another got dumped by her boyfriend, despite their plans of getting married. Another was still depressed over being cheated on. My lack of funds to get to Hong Kong did not seem to matter, regardless of my personal desire. These are real people with real problems, and after being exposed mostly to First World problems for the most part of last year and early this year, I'm reminded of my I hold these individuals in high regard.
I had a great morning filled with memories with good people (even The Boss showed up, and that's always a treat) and a promise of assistance along with it. Whatever happens, I'm not going to let these people go.
The 3 and Oh with The Scoobies. I've already mentioned the Scoobies earlier, and I had a really great time with them as well. It was the same day I met with the people from Purgatory, or to be accurate, it was several hours after. It was Marvi's 30th birthday, and that would have made the night special enough. Marvi seemed to have spared no expense, and that I completely understand, being one who is less than half a year away from becoming 30 myself.
Beer, music, and the usual Scooby shenanigans all make for a good night. Marvi's emotional response to Shelly's lovelife, Nikki's comments that were obviously laced with bitterness, the gratuitous picture taking, hell, even Weng and Natz' absence have become an unofficial tradition. They seemed enthusiastic about helping me out with the whole Hong Kong thing, so much so that they had me perform in front a drunken crowd in the hopes of raising funds. I don't know if it worked, but it was admittedly fun.
It's a testament to how highly I think about the Scoobies that I let them get away with things that no other person in my life, past or present, regardless of relationship status, have never gotten away with. Marvi is the only person that can "scold" me that I actually listen to and surprisingly follow. Nikki is the only person who has bossed me around that didn't get a dose of the "Professor Cruz Special". Natz can say, and have said, the stupidest shit, and I let it fly without an insult. Shelly's the only person who has ever told me (during the time when she was dating this dude who tried to pick a fight with me) to be patient and I did it without arguing. Weng is… well, I don't see enough of Weng for her to actually do stuff that I normally don't like, so I'm going to move on. I've had jobs, bosses, friends and girlfriends that I've walked away from for doing the same things the Scoobies have done. The same way the 90s gave me my Hidalgo Boys, this decade of my life has produced the Scoobies, and they're family now.
There's no way I'm turning 30 without them.
Another Weekend, Another Strip Club Run. Speaking of the Boys, it seems that every time I post about them these days, it always includes another tale of a strip club visit. It's funny, a few weeks ago, the Big man and I were really broke but determined to drink, and we showed his newfound little brother how we rolled back in the day, when we were both unemployed and far from the "distinguished professionals" that we are. (I couldn't even write that with a straight face.)
A couple of weekends ago, we showed that same brother, without he help of Mr. Guerrero and another face from our past, how to have fund in a strip club on a very limited budget. It involved a contest to see which one was slicker. Mr. Guerrero, a strip club veteran who once unintentionally fucked his cousin, and the other guy (I haven't got enough info on him yet to give him a nickname) who once allowed the Human Torch to sleep with a girl that he liked and then got irked when he found out that the Torch couldn't umm… "flame on" on that night. He carries that subtle anger with him this day.
That, plus a little high speed drunk driving, equals the newfound little brother's introductory class to Weekends 101, a course I've been teaching to noobs since 1999.
Kebab Comedy Night. Amidst all the chaos and fundraising drama, I also had to still perform to keep my limited on stage skills sharp. Marvi's birthday party was a good ay to shake off stage rust, and the Kebab Bob comedy night allowed me to get into full swing. It was a so-so night, but I did enjoy the extended geek talk afterwards with my fellow comedians.
Am I ready for Hong Kong? Financially, no. Performance-wise, not really. Do I care? Fuck no.
Trouble at the Little Side Project. Of course, it hasn't been all shits and giggles for the past two weeks. The Big Man's little project is edging perilously close to failure due to several factors. He has expressed several times over the course of the past two weeks a desire to pack up, if not for a lack of options.
One good thing he's displayed throughout the ordeal is that he allowed me to one of the few things I do best. Ever since he asked to join his team, I've been observing potential as well as recurring problems in all aspects of job. I kept silent about it when he declined my offer to talk about it after the team's first and potentially only night out. Me, I only work as hard as whoever is leading me, and when I made that offer, he not only declined, but even offered that if I really wanted to talk about it, I should come by his house. We're friends and all, but there's a line there that should not be crossed. I mean, come on. He asked me to join the team. My findings would, in all honesty, benefit him and not me, as the success of his project is more deeply ingrained in his life and not really mine. Besides, it's his project. If he wasn't concerned, I shouldn't be.
A few weeks later, lack of results and the presentation of new problems finally shook him enough to actually embrace the job. In turn, I think, he also remembered why I was on the team in the first place. So I did my thing. If the project would be a bust, then it would go down swinging. Seeing the BIg Man actually devote time by showing up at the Fortress in the afternoon showed me that he was serious. To be frank, and at the risk of ticking him off cause I know he reads this, we didn't really need to meet. I had the whole thing laid out in my head already. I just needed to see if he really was serious about stepping up. See, it's not that he's bad at what he does, it's just that he has a tendency to be complacent, even with things that supposedly matters to him.
There is no assurance that what I cooked up will succeed, but I think it's important that the Big Man sees the urgency enough to act upon it. In doing so, the rest of the team should, and perhaps would, be stepping up their game as well. On a sidenote, if it does work, all I ask is for the due credit. Not for ego or anything else, it's just important to me to be able to operate in a work where the people around are aware of what I can be capable of to avoid nasty situations. Much like in college or in some of the jobs I had, people may crack jokes about how I'm a walking beer barrel and such, but they know that when it comes down to the essentials, I can deliver. I can't work well when surrounded by doubt.
I do hope the project achieves a measure of success, if only to maintain a particular status quo I've come to appreciate over the past couple of years. Plus, as I may have mentioned before, it's the first time the Big Man actually involved himself in something he actually wants (aside from his marriage) and when a friend commits himself to something he or she truly wants, regardless of whether you agree with it or not, it is your duty to support that.
God knows my friends have supported every single stupid act I've committed since I was 16.
Swimming Around the Think Tank. I have gone on record before that for the first time ever, I have found a job and a company that is ideal for me. Flexible schedule, sensible people, ideal location, and I get paid depending on how much I work. I have spent more and more time in the Think Tank and spoken with more people who work there in the recent weeks, and I admit to a growing affection for the most of them. From people with problems with their lovers, to the little issues between co-workers, and the fact that I'm in a position to be a completely impartial observer to most of that due to my relatively irregular appearances, I may have truly found a place where I'd be more than happy to render my services for years to come. (That's a claim I've never made before.)
I do hope I don't get fired. (Another claim I've never made before.)
The BIg Move. I have begun moving back to my mother's house. The BIg Man assisted me, with the Makeup Artist in tow, and the whole experience of gathering my things (most of them) and moving back to my supposedly original home felt a tad weird at first. I couldn't help but think about all the places I've lived in over the past 15 years. (I've been moving back and forth since before I graduated high school.) From the elaborate house that I grew up in, to the simple two bedroom nook I shared with my father, to "party central" where I spent most of my college years, to one of my mother's houses, to the Critic's place, Jeorge's, the Big Man's, the tiny apartment with Pmay that was frequented by SosoJeff and his wife, then back to the Critic's, then the first Fortress, and then the latest one… each place symbolizes a specific period in my life and bore witness to some of the best and worst moments in my personal history.
Now, I'm here. I don't expect great things, but I'm guessing that a real home usually tends to be boring. And the truth is, I've been aching for some nice boredom for quite a while now.
State of the My Own Private Nation. Right now, all I care about is going to the contest. If I could make at least one member of that audience laugh, I'd be happy. The past two weeks have been somewhat a preview of things to come, and like I said, I'd focus on that after the competition. One thing is for sure, though. Once I hit 30, it all ends. One way or another, the guy that everyone knows and probably loves even on a minimal level will be gone. It's going to be a new decade, a new era, and yes, I still have a schedule to keep. Those things I'll discuss soon.
Those who are reading this, well, donate to my cause, you cheap bastard! Fuck pandas! Send a comedian to Hong Kong! It's the stylish cause of the day!
Just kidding. About the stylishness of my cause, not about the pandas. Fuck 'em.