Random Ramblings

“Published” on July 13, 2012 on facebook.com

I have no idea why I’m putting something into writing material when nothing of particular interest has happened recently. This is why I don’t dare put up a blog. It would be updated maybe at a month’s frequency, less than the number of times the working men and women around us get to be rewarded and put food on their families’ table. But I’ve been reading blogs during my free time here in the office, and it somehow makes me want to do the same. Maybe one step at a time…

I’m using my adoration of OPAPP and the people that make it run as motivation to bolt myself up from the comforts of my sleep every 5:30 in the morning. The bolt technique was taught to me by my girlfriend. It works wonders and combats the mysterious intensity of the morning bed gravity. My new alarm tone also helps.

It’s a real “crisis” getting up in the morning, so an upbeat alarm tone with a troubling ambiance goes well with the annoying vibration.

I don’t really like to complain about the house, since I’m rarely even there these days, and I love all the people there to death, even our housekeeper, Ate Josie. But I have to come out with this and say that I’m sort of getting tired of the breakfast I find on the table. I can’t blame her; it’s all that can be produced out of the refrigerator that passes off as ‘breakfast’ – hotdogs, eggs, eggplants, tocino, or the usual Lukban longganisa that my older brother buys. Occasionally there would be fried fish, but it doesn’t really change anything. In fact, there’s been fried fish on the morning table for 4 days and counting.

Catherine has been telling me how she has wanted tortang talong. In contrast, I’ve been telling her how much I miss the breakfast she prepares – she’ll open a pack of frozen corn, carrots and peas, cut up some Tender Juicy hotdogs into small discs, smother the pan with butter and then fry it all up with rice. There’s also a side of unsliced hotdogs. (Oh, the memories!) Yes, I had to specify the hotdog brand. You see, we buy Beefies. Beefies are cheap. Beefies aren’t half bad. But Beefies just aren’t as juicy as TJs. I don’t think there’s any local hotdog brand out there better than a TJ. None that I know of, anyway.

The hotdog they serve at Joey’s at the corner of Liberty Ave, and 14th Ave. in Cubao however, is a different kind. It’s far from a TJ, tastes nothing like a TJ, but the flavor when you bite into it is scrumptious. Sometimes I think they inject raw meat juices into the hotdog, because the fluid that squeezes out with every bite is astounding. I think it’s a CDO brand hotdog, but I can’t quite put a finger on it. I have put that to the test in the future when I earn my own money. (I just read the paragraph over and there are unintentional sexual innuendos, don’t mind them. We’re talking about food. Real food)

I and Catherine are opposites like that and in several different aspects of life, but that’s probably why we get along so well. We once watched a movie with the two of us holding different cookie jars. She likes butter cookies; I preferred the one with chocolate chips. I know I’m not the only one hankering for chocolate chipped cookies when given the chance. If only those chocolate chip cookies bigger than my hand from Starbucks weren’t so expensive, I’d buy a hundred of those and die happy, smiling in my coffin.

I’m not sure if it’s the lack of spontaneity in the cuisine I encounter or I’m just gradually losing my once-gargantuan appetite. I’m leaning towards the latter since I do notice myself no longer devouring with mucho gusto the free lunch that the office provides us Interns with. Dinner hasn’t been as appealing. I don’t really like buying food outside since I’m not in favor of spending money on something unless I really really want it, or it’s a part of my staple needs. I spend P89 on my fare everyday (I wonder if gas prices are cheaper); so that leaves me with P111 to spend for the rest of the day. The everyday fried fish breakfast I’m staring at back in the house has forced me to spend P37 on a pair of pancakes from Jollibee (remaining finances: P74). There was corned beef this morning, though, so I had a hearty breakfast for the first time in a couple of days. I hope it gets more exciting.

It must be the morning coffee.

I also get hungry in school (who doesn’t?). And if ever I’m in the office for the entire day, the man bringing the 3:30merienda always has a mouthwatering variety of snacks in his basket: turon, banana cue, maruya, ginataan, nilagang mais, fish crackers, karioka etc etc. All wonderful choices, so I spend a good P40 on his treats (P34 left). Then there’s the dokito I find on my way home, P20 on that (P14 left). It just smells so good, it’s hard not to pass by and get some fried chicken to munch on while I sit in the tricycle terminal. I am guilty of gluttony.

I think I just made myself sound redundant by stating a loss in my appetite then proceeding to enumerate my food expenditures. Now I’m getting hungry again. As I’m writing this, the guy next to me is offering French fries like candy. Oh the humanity of it!

At least I get to eat. On the jeep ride home, there’s always someone rummaging the pile of garbage along the streets near Nepa Q-Mart looking for something to get them through the day. Though eating my food won’t fill their stomachs, at least I get to motivate myself yet again to eat.

After the complaining I did 2 weeks back about the afternoon blaze, the weather decided to shut me up by pulling in the cumulonimbus clouds. The skies have been sweating profusely for days now, seemingly mocking me about my hard-to-please ass.  Now I can’t complain about the rain desecrating the sanctity of my shoes (I’m very careful about getting my pair of Green Valleys splattered with dirty rain), getting my head wet or inducing a day-long cold spell since I’d look nothing more than a whiner. Ah well, can’t please everybody; I guess it applies to the weather, too. 25 degrees Celsius isn’t too bad. And my pair of Chancellors seems to be well-geared against rain; it got drenched in rain but my socks inside remained dry. Why don’t I see commercials of this wonderful pair of shoes?

A torrent of rainfall came in last night. I was inside a jeep when the downpour started, thankfully. The jeep was nearly full, but with weather conditions like that, giving a fuck about what other people thought wasn’t an option. I took off my shoes (my precious Green Valleys) in the jeep and changed into my slippers. My cellphone was tucked inside my bag, okay. I didn’t have an umbrella, so I took off the towel planted in my back and used it to cover my head. My pants haven’t been washed properly for a couple of months now anyway. And I came home with dry shoes.

The fatigue continues to wear me down. Bubbly as I may seem in the office, once I step out of the Ground Floor double door and start trudging down to SM, the exhaustion starts to kick in. I’ve nearly fallen asleep on the bus to Cubao several times already. Had it not been for my newfound paranoia for rogues in public transports, I’d be snoozing all the way to Fairview. Now I don’t trust anybody in the bus, be it the driver, conductor or passengers. I get off the bus still shifting back and forth between consciousness and the land of dreams. I take advantage of every vacant time I have between my Tuesday and Wednesday classes to get some rest. My body’s begging for it and I must answer. It’s my body, my vessel. Also, my Thursday schedule has no vacant periods other than lunch time. So yeah, it’s hell.

The recent ban of buses from passing through the quicker lanes (Flyover, Ilalim) does give me more time to rest in the bus, although it doesn’t help in getting me to school early. I don’t like taking the MRT. It’s even farther than the bus terminal, I have to climb their stairs which are equivalent to three floors in the office, the people in the train cars all look suspicious, and what little remains of the train’s airconditioning is negated by the commuters’ sweat and body heat. It’s not fun at all, and I don’t get to sit down. In my opinion, the speed just isn’t worth it when my destination is only 2 stations away.

It wasn’t all bad, though. It’s never all bad.

Catherine, God bless her, lent me her Nokia 5230 to use until I get my own phone (which will take a while…and I mean a long while). It’s a touch screen phone which isn’t mine, so I’m taking extra super-duper hyper mega ultra-care of it lest I be pushed into another robber’s trap. Compared to my old phones, this one is a freaking Mona Lisa. I also bought a new SIM. And I’ve finally done one of my little dreams about owning a poly-tone phone so I could put Chrono Trigger’s Fanfare theme as the ring tone (Catherine doesn’t call much, sadly. Using a message tone would drain this phone’s short battery). She also lent me her egg speakers to use in the office since my iPod earphones are too short to be conducive for productivity and spinal health.

I proceeded to load up on Jazz music (The Rippingtons, specifically) for a more pleasing atmosphere in the unit. I’m on the lookout for more to expand my playlist; any artist will do. I’m starting to feel the serenity that most Jazz compositions bring (time to doodle around with my brother’s iPod). The other units on the other hand, when I do repairs, listen to constant repeats of Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe. I admit it’s catchy, but there are times that I feel good music is ruined when it becomes mainstream. There’s a reason there’s a saying that goes, “Never put your favorite song as an alarm tone.” Maybe (just maybe) it’ll become less annoying to my ears when it fades into memory. (Good Lord, now it’s playing in my head. Shit)

I leveled up on my driving experience. I am now Vacation-level Driver. 2 weeks ago, my grand-uncle (not sure how to call the sibling of a grandparent) passed away and was to be buried in Bataan. The day right before the burial, my uncle stumbled right outside his house (while walking) and injured himself. He really wanted to go, so he contacted me that night to ask if I could back him up for the trip. I said yes, naturally – I like driving, and it was going to be my first long drive.

The morning of the trip, my grandfather approached me and commanded, “Duane, Dennis is the back-up driver, not you.” Yipee! My uncle drove until the first stop-over at a plaza along NLEX then I drove the rest of the way: to Bataan, to the church, to the cemetery, to the house of a relative, to the market, and back to Manila. Along the expressway that night, we even encountered this intense downpour (again) of the clouds above, so I was driving at night, with very little visibility, in the expressway. My uncle turned the hazard lights on; more lessons from the masters. I managed to heckle them for a picture of me while driving, too. Fuck yes. My grandmother remarked that the next level of driving would the (usually) annual climb to Baguio during the holidays. I’ll take a picture of myself for that, too.

Dat scenery.

Another wave of thanks to Tito Dennis and Tito Lerna for the opportunity to extend my chauffering services to you. And the photograph.

Yeah, I’m bad at this. I’ll probably get back to writing something worthwhile once something worthwhile has actually happened. For the meantime, I’ll be rambling on Facebook from time to time. Sleep-Work-School-Sleep is an exciting life cycle.

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