Huwebes, Marso 21, 2013

Tired But Inspired

Time and time again, I have managed to remind myself that the personal rules I’ve set for myself exist for a reason. My two previous romantic relationships have stood as proof of that. Now that all of that is done (or done-ish. Duntdunt dunnn...), I am happy to say that I am now back on the right track by simply sticking to my own standards of right and wrong.

With that piece of information in mind, and the fact that this is shaping up to be a lengthier than usual post as it is, I’ll save the rants for another time.

The Session After.

With my latest romantic pursuit well within the confines of the past, the Big Man, his friend and myself had a little post drama drinking session at my place. The highlight of that night was a discussing about (surprise, surprise) superheroes. That particular conversation is actually what prompted me to embrace the non-compromising nature of my set rules once more.

Incidentally, that was also a night that I realized that it’s time to put the Big Man on the bench in terms of upcoming projects, at least until he gets his affairs (so to speak) in order. I have not seen or spoken to him since that night, but what I saw that night was a man that’s still distracted. It was the same way that he was distracted during the time that we were working together with the Make Up Artist, or the same kind of distraction I saw when he was working on the yet to be released music video, at least during the pre-production stage. I pondered this before, I think, but I never truly understood why anyone would allow someone else to have such a level of control of him or herself, but that’s how it is, at least of the time being. I think I’ve preached enough for him to know my stand on things. It’s really up to him at this point how this whole things plays out. If he wants to hang out, I’ll hang out, but I can’t work with anyone whose focus isn’t as clear as it could be.

As we wrapped up that drinking session, he and I, along with his extremely emotionally needy friend, went out for breakfast, and not surprisingly, we ran into the Tapa King. (The breakfast place is just in their street and the Tapa King, being perpetually unemployed as he is, apparently had nothing better to do at 4 AM than to walk around.) Me, I love the food at that place, so regardless of his annoying presence, I was going to scarf down. It still boggles me how he can act as if nothing happened, even though the Big Man and I were clearly unwelcoming. In fact, I wonder how people can just walk around without addressing issues. It’s getting to a point where it’s becoming disrespectful, as this person obviously doesn’t take me, the Big Man, and everyone else with any level of seriousness. The fact that everyone’s avoiding him like he was covered head to toe in shit isn’t exactly a subtle hint, but more of a deafening declaration of “dude, stay the fuck away”. I refuse to believe that anyone is that dense to not get that message loudly and clearly. 

Lending a Hand.

With the exception of that night, the majority of the past two weeks were spent with the people at the Think Tank. The Fat Man from our previous team has been one of my closer work friends during my two year stay at the Tank, which is ironic given that he was one of the first people I ever had a conflict with. Still, we’ve become friends over the years, and despite the fact that on that particular night, after a long day of working, I still couldn’t say no when he asked for assistance on behalf of his sister.

His sister needed to a video edited for work, and I figured it was a better use of a film diploma than any of my so-called artistic pursuits from the past year. So, we stayed up all night, did the video, ate voraciously (I still maintain that this is the group that really got me into enjoying food.), and basically laughed all night. I’ve always been more effective when working with people I like, and the end result of that (aside from a couple of nights of bro-time) was a box of cupcakes his sister had offered to bake for this girl that I’ve had more than platonic feelings for for more or less two years. That particular point is discussed in the next section.
The Adorable Dilemma.

Long story, but here’s the concentrated version. I started working at the Think Tank, I found her adorable, but I was dating one of the Angels. Besides, it never escalated to anything more serious than “that girl is super cute”, so I kinda ignored it. Then, my problems with the mind reached its peak, resulting in the dissolution of the relationship with the Angel, and me taking some time off from work to work out the crazy. It didn’t help that the office was being renovated and Adorbs didn’t really come to work for a couple of months, and I was preparing for my first Hong Kong competition as well as helping out the Big Man with this project.

When I came back from Hong Kong to the Think Tank on a more regular basis, I developed a thing for the girl I call my Erin Hannon and went after her, which didn’t lead to anything as I ended up with a different girl. That relationship ended after a few months later, as I was getting really busy with the TV job, the full time job, and the preparation for another Hong Kong competition.

When I came back, I ended up noticing the girl again, but until anything solid could materialize, December happened, along with the music video and the Tiny Dancer. That’s both done now.

Currently, I am struggling with how I might tell her about these feelings I have without coming off as unconvincing, considering she was around for everything that happened above. I’m pretty sure my reputation when it comes to women is nowhere near “respectable”, despite the complicated cases that surrounded each of my previous relationships. Being rejected is one thing, but being rejected even before I was given a proper sporting chance to prove myself worthy kinda eats a massive amount of dick.

So, that’s the current storyline. And yes, I do realize I tend to fall for women rather quickly. There’s no need to point that out.

Another Friday at Marbles.

I spent the first Friday night this post will be discussing with two people at Marbles, though the two seemed to take shifts in hanging out with me. The first half of the night was spent with my Erin Hannon, and we talked about all the drama surrounding our respective romantic pasts and presents (or lack thereof). The second half was spent with the fellow former teacher, and that’s always fun.

The night was the usual drinks and rowdiness, sprinkled with a few serious talks. As I mentioned in my last post; this is balance, and it is helping.

Listening to the Soundtrack.

Saturday came and I went North to check out the Motor City Soundtrack concert with another friend from the Think Tank. It was a great show, but the said friend from work had to go home immediately afterwards. And there I was, hoping to make a night out of it. I think it’s a generational thing. I know, the music should’ve been enough, and for most people it is. But when I was younger, you can’t end a night of great music, specially if each of the songs reminding you of a specific portion of your life, without creating new memories.

Hell, I remember back in 2005, just 30 minutes away from where the concert was, I attended a music festival that began with me hanging about with my MTV friends, and ending with me with a bunch of strangers, catching a perverted security guard, personally stopping one of the drummers from the numerous bands from beating up said guard, and ending the night the night with a stolen kiss from the girl of my (then) dreams before she headed home with her date. And yeah, all that happened in one night. That was not the first, nor was it the last legendary night I’d have, but it’s the kinda of night my present life seems to be missing more and more frequently.

Still, in the words of Motion City Soundtrack, I’m living “a life less ordinary”, and I’m more than content about that. Besides, I managed to end the week with another drinking session with the girl and a few others, so you know... woohoo.

Playing Professor Once More.

The week following that was relatively low key, with only the appearance of a few key former teammates providing a relative highlight. Midweek though, I was asked to speak at a symposium about the benefits of media as tools for education.  Since it’s been a while since I’ve spoken to students in such a capacity, and my difficulty with saying the word “no”, off I went to PUP with the hopes to enlighten. Of course, it would have helped if I actually slept the night before the talk. But, it was a job that I had to do and, like countless times before, I soldiered on to provide what was at best, an average performance.

This marks the third time I’ve ever done work as a speaker for something, and as with every time, I feel truly blessed. Being able to share what I’ve learned over the past decade or so, working for various types of companies and basically just living through some insane shit is one of the most rewarding things I can ever do. The best thing about the day, I realized as I took the long bus ride back to the South to drink with the fellow former teacher from the office, is the fact that I can firmly say that I DON’T miss teaching anymore.

It’s been a long time hand up of mine, given the circumstances in which I’d left the academe and the life I led after, is that I was always working towards one day returning to the classroom. Now, I realize that, as passionate as I was about teaching several years ago, that’s not me anymore. It takes a special amount of caring, an amount I no longer have, to be effective at that. That was the early 20s ideal me, and the ideal me hasn’t been around since early 2009.

The Current Climate.

I don’t see myself slowing down professionally anytime soon, what with the Uber Geek’s music video and another shitty movie on the horizon (not to mention the one job I have that regularly pays the bills), but my personal life is somewhat in the shitter. What with harboring feelings for the unattainable, the missing friends and the missing nights, and, perhaps triggered by me no longer longing to teach, the slow and sure return of the dark and crazy shit that I’ve learned to live miserably with.

All in all, it’s good, I guess. Hey, at least it’s not boring.

“Tell me that you're alright,

Yeah everything is alright.

Oh please tell me that you're alright,

Yeah everything is alright.

Give me a reason to end this discussion,

To break with tradition.
To fold and divide.

Cause I hate the ocean, theme parks and airplanes,

Talking with strangers, waiting in line..

I'm through with these pills that make me sit still.

"Are you feeling fine?"
Yes, I feel just fine.” – Motion City Soundtrack, “Everything is Alright”

Martes, Marso 5, 2013

Anger Bang The World

Very few people can attest to this, given my usually jovial nature, but I am a really, constantly, angry man. It’s not that I get ticked off easily, mind you, but like I said, I am constantly pissed off. The reason I bring this up is that a lot of events, not just from the past few weeks, but so far this year, that I’ve encountered people that have complained about my rage. And that’s what bugs me. Not the fact that they point this out and not just because it’s wrong, but because the people who have been pointing out are mostly the ones that have given me just cause to be angry. Let’s be straight here. Yes, I am angry almost all of the time, but I’ve had the good sense to not direct it on anyone specific unless given reason to. All I’m saying is, before you blame anything on me having a short fuse, I strongly suggest that you look yourself in the mirror and think about how you messed up. Because yes, you, even in your perceived infinite wisdom, fucks things up for other people.

But that’s not this week’s rant. My rant is about people who do fuck up and give half assed apologies. I’m going to keep this short because I’m fairly certain I wrote about this before. If you apologize to someone, don’t bother giving any lame excuse. I don’t care what you were feeling when you made the decision to make me mad. I don’t care how hard things were for you during that crucial moment. I don’t give a flying fuck if one of your favorite shows were cancelled. You were wrong. That’s all I need to hear from you. And once we’ve established that, do something to show that you are really sorry. I don’t know how, but a gesture that illustrates your sincerity is needed. Don’t just promise to not do it again. That’s fucking retarded. What makes you so special or important that you get extra points for doing something that you were supposed to do in the first place and just failed to gather the level of maturity or consideration to do so? Nothing. That’s what.

Going back to my original point, yeah, I’m always angry, so I have no problem being angry at people who can’t fix what they broke. I’m not expecting people to always do right; I expect them to avoid doing things that are wrong. And if it does occur, own up and make up. It’s not that hard, especially if you have the ability to get over yourself.

Rant over. Drama time.

The Tranquility of Friday Nights.

After everything that’s happened in January and early February, I’ve had an opportunity for a nice, quiet routine. As I said in my last post, the utterly mundane nature of having just one job might be what I need for some time. After a while, though, it started getting to me. And then I remembered what kept me going during my 20s, even through the shittiest jobs with the shittiest of people: the simple act of hitting the bars on a Friday night.

In all my years as a working man, I would still consider those times when SosoJeff, his wife, B, and whoever else joined us used to hit the Grill every Friday to be the best years of my professional life. And shit would happen constantly. From people getting into fight with bouncers, to someone (mostly me) getting drunk and getting flirty, to all the other crap we went through and laughed about, those years, those nights made me feel more happy than even a good night of hitting the mic. Hell, I can’t even listen to “We Are Young” without it stinging a little because for years, that song would have rung true every single Friday.

I would have been happy if this was the most interesting thing that
 happened the past two weeks.
These days, or at least, ever since 2009, those things changed. Now, don’t get me wrong, the big Man and the rest of the boys are a good hang, and we have a ton of adventures under our belt, but it’s usually not my kind of scene they’re into. The Big Man in particular, would much prefer the fantasy he’s created with the kind of clubs he goes to. Not knocking that, cause I live out my own delusions of grandeur during my nights out.

So it goes without saying that when my Erin Hannon invited people for what was supposedly her last hurrah as a full time part of the Think Tank, I was pumped, more so for selfish reasons. And when she backed out at the last minute, that’s when I realized the value of those Friday nights. So, not to be dissuaded from my needs, I dragged a few people from the office, the ones I’ve been hanging out with a lot recently, and had our own night out. While it was nowhere near the level of a typical 2005-2007 Friday, I was good enough. From cats in the bathroom, to unstoppable hiccups, to me sneaking some longing looks to the utterly adorbs, it was more than adequate. It was enough to last me a week of something resembling joy.

Blatant Reminders.

Towards the end of the month, I was content with just doing my thing at the Think Tank until another Friday rolled around, but I received a text from the Tiny Dancer, asking for company in the form of a drinking buddy. I obliged for two major reasons: first, regardless of the case, I’m a strong believer that when a person asks you for something and it’s well within your power to provide it, you have a social obligation to do so; and second, well, I don’t like turning down free booze. I should’ve listened to the alarms that were going off in my head, not to mention the logical arguments an officemate made when she was telling me not to go.

So, once again, Marbles was witness to another one of those nights that would live on in infamy. We had a few beers, and I got drunk, naturally. (Here’s a secret to those who are confused by my actual alcohol tolerance: if we’re hanging out and I get drunk really quickly, it means I’m not having a good time and I’ve embraced the drunkenness.) The Big Man and his “friend” showed up, and eventually, after a quick stop to the Think Tank, we ended up at the gas station, which had also been witness to a lot of memorable nights. (Sadly, I’m hard pressed to come up with an example of a night that was memorable because of good reasons.) It was at this point when things hit the fan. (A little sidenote: Before a certain sitcom made it popular, the whole “nothing good happens after 3 AM” rule was already observed by me and my bar buddies since our college days.) Without divulging too many details, the Tiny Dancer, drunk off her ass, asked if we could get together, and that led to more drama, drama that spilled over the following day that caused a massive effect on my work and my plans for the rest of the month. And I know she might mean well, but god damn, I’ve never been so angry in recent memory.

This whole episode reminded of why the relationship didn’t work out in the first place. It also reminded me that I’m not ready, as I repeatedly mentioned in my last post. It also reminded me how much of “damaged goods” I am if things like this tend to happen to me on a fairly regular basis.

Weirdly enough, the afternoon before all that happened, I woke up feeling good. I felt ready to do things, purse things, that I was previously unprepared for and downright unworthy of. Yeah, we’re back to that.

A New Project.

I ended the workweek with a drink at the Pub, joined by a girl that was actually named Erin. After the completely stressful events from the previous days it was nice to decompress in a bar and just talk about small stuff like writing with a new friend. I went home feeling a tad better than I did the day before that.

In the day that followed, I met with an old friend, the Uber Geek, to discuss a new project that, while it won’t be making me any richer, would give me something of value to focus on, for a change. The Uber Geek has spent the past few years building a life that was ideal to him: normal job during the day, indie pursuits during the night. With two bands and a solo thing going on, he’s immersed himself in his craft the way that I’ve always wanted to but never really had the strength to avoid personal relationships.

Before I went to our meeting, I was deep in thought about what I really wanted to do this year. Yes, the stand up comedy thing is a constant, but writing for TV and making another skinflick didn’t really grab me. (The latter never did.) What with the music video seemingly derailed due to issues with the studio or whoever, the Uber Geek presented me with a nice option. I am going to make the Uber Geek’s first music video. We discussed it, and the guy had a bunch of ideas that were both challenging and apt for the song. This is where my energies deserve to be focused on, I realized right away.

This is going to be fun. The Uber Geek and I have had chances to work together before (the “Binondo Incident” and our collaboration album) but those instances were always marred by external factors. This time, it’s different. I hope.

Look, a rape-stache.
Basically, this is what I needed after the sordid events my personal life has been though: something to actually look forward to this year.

The Quiet Reunion.

Natz finally made his presence known. It was a quiet night of awkward conversation. Still, it was nice to see him, one of the people who’s made the wise decision of selecting me as his best man, again. Considering the relative rarity I get to hang with the Scoobies, ending the semi-stressful two week stretch with one of them is proper.


Now, well, aside from being really angry, I’m mostly disappointed at the odd turnout of my personal affairs. I had fully expected that I could be friends with the ex, you know, for a change, but I guess now’s not the time. That somehow sent me through some sort of funk. But, today’s another day, and here’s hoping that this time next year, everything’s a little more adorable.