Huwebes, Mayo 30, 2013

Balancing Act

And here I thought I’d be blogging on a more regular basis. But, the past three weeks have been characteristically busy, but I’m happy to say that life is more easily organized now that I’m down to basically three or four spheres. The past three weeks, I’ve helped organized a damn wedding, went to the beach at 2 AM, saw a million movies, read poetry and promoted myself VP of Mean Affairs.

No rants this time. I haven’t been feeling ranty in a while.

The Road to The Wedding of The Year.

Last year, Lloyd, a friend of mine since grade school, mentioned he’d be getting married this year, and he wanted me to not only be one of the groomsmen, but also host the reception. Since I have experience in both areas, and Lloyd has always been one of the most decent guys I’ve met (a rarity considering we are all products of a Catholic school that produced some of the greatest assholes of our generation).  Plus, he was getting married at our school, and I thought that was going to be quite a kick.

So, I met with him and another old friend, plus his bride to be, expecting to just be handed the program and just wing the thing. Apparently, I was not only slated to host the thing, I had to come up with the program as well, which meant two things: 1.) I had to work with a person I haven’t spoken to in years, and 2.) Lloyd was a dick. The meeting turned into a drinking session, and had some pretty wild moments, but when all that cleared, the nagging question was “will I be able to pull this off?” Not alone.

It's like "The Hangover", only less funny and not very interesting.
It was that time again. Call to arms, suiting up, doing what we do best. So the following weeks have been a whirlwind of phonecalls, meetings and planning sessions with the Big Man (who’ll be my number two on this particular job once more), The Artist Formerly Known as The Spirit (who’s providing the music, as well as playing the role of the annoying wildcard), Lorena (who’s doing logistics), the Bride and Groom and the still missing bestman.

Over the course of the past couple of weeks, we’ve dealt with missing rings, wardrobe issues, and The Spirit’s bullshit, but I have to admit, I am having the time of my life. How can I not? It’s us, the Coffeehouse boys, doing our thing in our hometown, for one of our oldest friends. This is the kind of shit people make movies about.

As far as I’m concerned, despite the numerous gatherings in the past, this is the actual high school reunion. Strangely though, I have a nagging feeling that this would be one of our, if not the, last time this group comes together. Time will tell on that one. But right now, all I care about is giving the only apt wedding gift I could give: a hassle free wedding day.


Cool kids hang out in hardware stores.
What with the wedding business, the TV thing and the Think Tank, I normally would have gotten into one of my moods and craved for my usual alcohol-powered moments of enlightenment. Incidentally enough, I didn’t need it thanks to a friend from the office who happens to be my polar opposite.

The past three weeks have been movies and conversation with the Little Latter Day Saint, a girl from the office who didn’t drink, smoke, stay out late, and all of the other shit that has been the norm for my life since 1998, but surprisingly enough, we have an amazing time whenever we’re together. She even managed to help me get through the recent rejection I went through and the baggage that comes with it. She’s my pseudo-girlfriend, whatever the hell is, and it works. I’m sane, and she’s really sweet. I’m at a happiness level rarely seen, and she has me blushing again. Haven’t done that in a while.

And to think, all this started because I was too scared to watch Evil Dead alone.

Other Office Affairs.

When I’m not out doing random freelance shit or hanging out with the Anti-Thesis, I’m at the Think Tank, which for two years now has provided a solid state of stability. Sorta. But there have been drastic changes from the past year, from the boss resigning, to the team dismantling, to the whole part time status hoopla, and then came another game changer. The Office Fat Guy quit. (That’s a term of endearment.)

While I’m friendly to almost of everyone at work, over the years, this guy has been one of the shockingly few people I can consider a friend. We’ve been through a lot, relatively, and him leaving does alter the status quo a bit. So, in honor of his last day, I decided to do something special, and ensure it was memorable. So, I gathered people who normally wouldn’t be in the same room together, we drank and I inducted him to Think Tank Hall of Fame with a laundry list of his “achievements” from work. A nice time was had by all. I hope. While I am happy for him pursuing something more, it’s going to be different back at the Tank now.

Miscellaneous Adventures.

An award from me isn't even worth the paper it's printed on.
While the past few weeks have been full of work and stuff, I still managed to find the time to get myself in a few adventures. There was one wherein the Big Man and I went to the beach at 2 AM, with only a hundred bucks between us and gas was low. (Long story.) That was fun. We also brought The Spirit to some place where we could cock block him again. (I don’t remember much from that night, since I’ve been up for two days straight.) I had coffee with the director of the show, which was nice, if I hadn’t been up for two days straight again and carrying three bricks of Heroclix. But, it was nice talking shop with one of the greats.

It’s just good to know that even with the usual torrent of jobs to do, I still get the chance to fuck around.

Balance Once More.

I don’t want to jinx it, but I’m in a good place now. Career (if one can call it that) is going well, I’m professionally and personally fulfilled, and I’m still having more fun than the average person. I’m sure at some point some crisis would come along and upset this balance, or my own personal and mental issues ruin it for me, but all in all, I’m good. Let’s keep this going.

Huwebes, Mayo 9, 2013

A Fool for April


It’s been more than a month since I posted on this blog, and if there are still any of my handful of readers left out there, I’m sure they’ve been wondering, at least in passing as to what has transpired during the past month or so.

The last time I wrote here, I had just been rejected by a girl for whom I’ve carried a torch for over the course of the past two years, more or less, an I was called to return to active duty to the TV writing job I took a break from. The weeks after that were busy. Not busier than normal, as I have been doing a million things at once since I graduated college, but more of a focused busy... the kind that prevents one from ranting away online. In fact, the only reason I’m able to write now is this is one rare day off wherein I’m not bone tired and catching up on sleep.

Now, let me update you, dear, possibly bored reader, as to what’s been cracking.

The Gang, The Beach, and a Dude named Dude.

When I was called back in to write for the TV show, I was really pumped, but a little suspicious as to the reason why was being called back. This was especially true given the fact that when they called me, they also immediately assigned me to write sketches for the summer episode, a fairly huge deal for them. So, I did my thing, got positive feedback, and went on with other aspects of my life, thinking that it was still highly possible that they won’t be needing me after.

A day or two later, I again received a call, and I was told that I was to attend the shoot of the
There's something existential about a picture of a camera.
summer episode, which happened to in Bataan and would last for three days. Normally it wouldn’t be a big deal, but given that they’ve asked me to join the shoot the day before the departure, all other aspects of my life had to take a backseat. I laughed to myself after the call, as this was the kind of thing that made me let go of all of my TV jobs in the past. But, since I don’t have much of a personal life that the industry can destroy these days, I didn’t mind. And, if I was coming back, I might as well come back in such a very important time.

The whole experience was quite the three days. I shared a van with two of the Ads and a couple of crewmen. From right there, I knew how different things were run in a huge network like that. I’m an indy guy, and I’ll always consider myself as one, so a convoy of a cast and crew totaling up to the hundreds, production trucks loaded with equipment, catering and the rest of the whole shebang was a tad overwhelming for me. I was also riding with a dude literally named Dude, who worked as an AD/PM and had a lot of great road stories. They were all veterans, pros and some easily the best in the business, and to be a part of all that, well, I can only imagine it was the same as when Duke was recruited as part of the Joes, or when Wally West finally got bumped up to join the JLA.

While a lot of people assumed that being a writer on the set was some form of vacation for me, the three days were surprisingly tiring, even though I was just the guy that was writing the jokes and wasn’t doing any of the heavy lifitng. (It was another difference I had to deal with, since I’m used to be the one doing everything behind the camera and at times in front of it.) There were some light moments, like drinking with some members of the cast and crew during the after shoot swimming.

One thing that sticks out was being able to see how the guys from this popular sketch, ADD, that has been running for more than a decade now do their thing. These three guys are legends in the field, and seeing them workout an entire segment moments before shooting it was just unbelievable. Geniuses, those three, and the fact that it was one of them that asked me to come back is both an honor and a shitload of pressure.

So that happened, and once the shooting wrapped and we were back in Manila, I was back into the comedy thing for real, attending the weekly brainstorming sessions again and churning out scripts, and I’m happy. Last year, I think I took the gig for granted, and I got burnt out easily, especially after that thing with the client for the commercial spoof. But now, I’m good, and again I’m loving every second of it.

Plus, after a year of trying, I finally have a regular segment to my name. During one of the meetings, the director turns to me and says that he has this image of an annoying woman in his head, and he wanted me to write a sketch with that old woman and call her “Aling Mary.” At first I was a little miffed at the thought, since I can’t really do female characters very well, and then they started talking about government offices and I decided to make the character a government employee. She became an outlet for all my rants and complaints not just about government offices but also the food service industry, drivers for public transport and the general, annoying, incompetent population that I have come to hate over the years. The actor playing the character is the show’s top guy, and when I saw how he took to the character and he added certain nuances, and well, let’s just say that the result was phenomenal. While this was an amalgamation of the director’s vague idea, my anger, and the actor’s talent, I’d like to think that I have made my own little mark there. I just hope the audience learns to like the rude bitch.

All in all, I’m happy and proud to be once again back with the gang.

The ‘Tank, the New Team, and Other Related Shit.

Back in the day job, things were sorta moving in a mostly interesting way. See, around six months ago, me and a number of employees were placed on part time status. I was ecstatic, considering my tendency to look for other jobs while being still gainfully employed. The trade off was, of course, the lack of an actual team. While I had a lot of fun during the days wherein I was a part of the Breakfast Club, that eventually fizzled out, with some people leaving (not entirely on good terms in at least one case), others moving on to other teams, and some who just decided that maybe shoving their heads in their asses actually made them cooler.

Team name: "Team We Sorta Work Here Too"
In the past few weeks though, there has been some attempt to make the team somewhat of a unit. A lot of things led up to this, but on my part, it was mostly because I wanted to make someone who was undergoing problems I too have gone through in the past be a bit happier. Nothing huge has happened, but the fact that the pat timers are talking to each other and joking around is a good sign. I, personally, am glad to be a part of something different within the Tank.

On a less professional note, there’s this girl in the office, one that I’ve hung out with once or twice, professed having feelings for me. Of course, I can’t reciprocate, given the feelings that I still harbor for the girl who rejected me a month ago. In some odd way, this girl’s confession made me feel stronger about the adorbs one. Being put in the same situation she was in (the whole rejecting someone at work thing) shortly after being rejected myself made me admire how the adorbs one handled the whole thing. Just saying. One of these days, I’ll wear her down.       

Aside from all that, life goes on in the Tank. With the exception of my team and a few individuals, it’s still full of people who believe that they are hotter, smarter, and more interesting than they actually are. It’s just one of the many reasons I stay there for as long as I have: material.

The “Everything Else”.

I still find time to hang out with the boys, thought it’s getting a bit old having to wait for them to get things together. Though there was one promising night wherein they actually went to Marbles, so that’s cool.

Everyone’s mostly the same, and I actually met the Critic’s girlfriend. Finally. She was alright. She looked normal. Didn’t have crazy eyes. The rest of the gang, like I said, are the same. The Big Man, if all is to be believed, is playing things straight and just doing his thing at work and shit. The younger guys are still doing their thing, though I think Jonic’s been chasing skirts a lot.
Who laughs like that?
But then again, that’s his business. The Scoobies are consistent, and I even hung out with Hannah once. Everything’s good with the regular people in my life.

As for me, what with all of the things going on, I am good. The only shitty thing in my life right now is the whole unrequited love drama, but it’s bearable. Everything else is working out. I’ve decided to not make another movie as of yet, cause I really want to concentrate on the two major parts of my life right now, and Hong Kong season is closing in. I’m having trouble with my usual anxiety, mostly because I’ve made it a point to be online 24/7 once more, something I’ve stopped doing since 2009, given the unpredictable needs of the TV show. It’s made my life easier, but you know, being exposed to a sea of people like that gets to you. Again, material for comedy.

So, to recap, I’m writing comedy again, happy about it for the first time, enjoying my stay at the Think Tank, but with only with one foot outside the door, still in love, still friendzoned, still doesn’t matter, everyone’s okay still and due to work, I’m no longer a hermit.

It was a surprisingly good month.