Monday, October 30, 2006

Yearning for Nothing

Please click on this link for the online interview.

I would have preferred posting lyrics from Bob Marley, particularly Waiting in Vain (reggae is my Manilow complex these days), but I realize the man is better listened to than read. Interestingly, though, John Lennon is a better read than he is listened to, particularly during his LSD-influenced work with the Beatles and his Primal Therapy-influenced work.

Dig Lennon's stuff in "Working Class Hero":

As soon as you're born they make you feel small,
By giving you no time instead of it all,
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school,
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool,
Till you're so f**king crazy you can't follow their rules,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.

When they've tortured and scared you for twenty-odd years,
Then they expect you to pick a career,
When you can't really function you're so full of fear,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV,
And you think you're so clever and classless and free,
But you're still f**king peasants as far as I can see,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.

There's room at the top they are telling you still,
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill,
If you want to be like the folks on the hill,
A working class hero is something to be.
A working class hero is something to be.

If you want to be a hero well just follow me,
If you want to be a hero well just follow me.

The angst is so palpable it's practically vicious. I wouldn't care for his vocal work in this piece - he cooked his voice smoking too much pot and getting "enlightened" by Yoko Ono, but man, the lyrics! They're still relevant now as they were thirty-odd years ago.

It's getting to be one of those days, really, when you wish there's something else, but then, there's . . . NOTHING. It's fun to be yearning for nothing. There's nothing much to be added to your life, and the rest of your life, well, time is bound to take them away anyhow.

Is that Zen or are all my noodles cooked? Hmmm...

And oh yes, a resource site finally stumbled onto my blog and asked me for an "interview" to which I gladly complied. Glad to know somebody else reads my blog.

Later... not too much, though. Oh well, maybe.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Deep Thoughts

Not that I am capable of any right now.

And oh, Eid Mubarak! Today is a holiday, and yet I am working. Well, for the simple reason work gives me a chance to be on the Net for free. Also, lazing at home is just as wonderful as watching paint dry.

I noticed that the hardest, most boring work is also the most numerous. I am currently compiling the results of our Employee Opinion Survey. I don't have to be a seer to know that the bulk of comments would be focused on salaries and bonuses. No doubt about it, you'll hear it most everywhere. There's never enough for anyone. Not that our company is particularly generous. I'd say it's on the middling road - not a bad employer, but certainly not one of the best ones.

Sigh, there's only so much one can do.

I have been more observant of my mood swings and that ever-present WORRY of not finding someone is, while always palpable, not altogether bad. It purges me of any lies or any self-deceptions about who I am and what I'm about. Also, it is an amazing goad for me to work harder. If it raises the flag on my need to be more physically fit, well and good, so I can gradually putt all of my motivations into one hole. It's not there yet, but I suspect it would be.

So yada, yada, yada. Life goes on, and nothing is lost. Except that I am a prisoner of time.

I've stopped reading the news lately because the "new" in "news" is ever a tableau of sameness. The more things are changing, the more that they remain the same. I even tried to get into a "fight" with a member from one of the e-forums to which I belong, and somehow, it didn't even feel mildly satisfying. First, the man is completely blinded by his own fanaticism (as if I weren't blinded by my anti-GMA sympathies, hehehe), and second, the argument wasn't that even intellectually challenging.

Go figure - a man complaining about others complaining about something worth complaining, saying an e-forum is not the right forum to rant about the sins of government. Either the man has some loose screws or well, he is an amazing political lapdog. I don't know which is which. Still, as my old English teacher used to say, he is "entitled to his own WRONG opinion."

The apathy among Filipino youth is appalling, on the one hand, while the willingness of my generation to be co-opted by the powers-that-be is even more appalling. I don't know if it's in the genes or enforced social conditioning. I admire those who stay, even more, especially if they are salt-of-the-earth types who soldier on even though things are getting tougher and tougher. Of course the pragmatists often leave, but the worst part is that the best "pragmatists" are part and parcel of the explotiative franchise.

It would be nice really to worry about my own kids, worry about the bills and the tuition, worry about their grades and whether they will succeed, whether they are smoking pot or gambling during their free time, whether my son is a bully or a closet sociopath, whether my daughter is making a reputation as a slut or a bitch, waiting for the time bomb when one of them will nonchalantly announce, "(Blank) and I are going to have a baby." Par for the course, par for the course. There are so many tough things out there, having a gifted and well-adjusted child is almost like a miracle.

The parents I'm with take it all in stride, eventually, though most of the times, the worry can render one to become an emotional train wreck. The only fear I see in their eyes is whether they will outlive their children - no parent should be allowed to bury his or her own child, especially if the death was untimely, or worse, violent in nature. Which is now the case with a dead flower girl in the United States. I only have empathy for her family. It is something I wouldn't want to happen to anyone, even those people I don't really like. No force in all this universe would probably hold back my wrath and revenge if that were to happen to me.

So many lives intertwined and all the life I have to live is mine. It makes excellent food for thought - there is so much in your life that you can't control, forces beyond your ken or even your awareness. But it's the life many are living, and seemingly, for a great number of people I know, they are just throwing away the treasure they hold for the illusion of something more. Rushing for the next BIG THING, the next social event, the next big promotion.

Alas, no matter hex-signs or crosses or genuflections I will do to ward off that impending fate, it seems so much, so much harder to avoid.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Something's Gotta Give

I should be writing something else, but heck, whom am I to kiss ass to when writing this blog?

(small disembodied voice: No one, Chief! Just you! No one.)

Sounding smug is the least of my admirable traits, but I'm feeling somewhat smug after the success of "Apat na Sulok ng Pag-Ibig." Of course it isn't my success to glory in; it's the success of the people who worked on it. Indeed it is more about them and probably .01% me. Shoot, if I wasn't standing around doing nothing like a loob in the first place, they would have someone else to manage the production.

So why does feeling smug come natural to me? Because, my dear Watson, we pulled the thing off, and we did quite well too, while we were at it.

Now, this whole picture isn't about a bed of roses. Naturally there are forces that push and pull when it comes to anything that goes under the heading: "ORGANIZED."

So what's the whole thing to do with this link I just provided?

Well, two people don't make a whole lot for a certain conclusion, but I find my ex-colleague Diane's story pretty much mirrored in my life. And, while I carry on with the things that I do, this portion of my life is going on somewhat neglected.

Do I mind? Yes, but only when I start watching some sappy movie. I was caught up in this mood after I watched "The Wedding Date" for the umpteenth time (Debra Messing, I love you!), and naturally the prevalent topic in my brain was a relationship. Then again, that line in the movie "Every woman has the exact love life that she wants" kept coming up. Which: a) made me think that maybe I was turning into a woman, emotionally (not the best of thoughts, I would aver) and b) kept pushing my brain back to all the wonderful opportunities I am not even aware of.

One of my friends kept setting me up with various girls in the hope that we would click. It didn't work out, and while I am very thankful, I know it just won't work that way.

Going through my own romantic history, it wasn't so much any particular effort on my part that got the girls to notice me. Mostly I just tried to be myself, though which side of me they saw I never really asked (hehe, baka mauntog, literally bumping one's head and waking up). The experience of high school was painful and it carried through the rest of my early adult life. I had the right traits of a friend, but these were the unlovable traits, but the particular anima, that active magnetism that draws people in, well, I hardly had that. For the most part, I wasn't bothered by it, it was one of those things that life deals you and you play with the hand that you're holding.

Later on, I discovered that it does. Some forms of success do depend on that kind of anima, and as I've mentioned, I didn't have it in any great quantity. That anima makes for more effective leaders, more results-oriented managers, more believable public relations people, and so on and so forth.

Where's the problem?... naturally I wanted to succeed. I want to succeed.

So now, I sit here trying to make a little extra money that I didn't have precisely because I didn't make use of the opportunities I had as best as I should. Well, that, and because there's only so much room for the kind of jobs I wanted in Manila that would pay for the kind of lifestyle to which I aspired, and would provide more security for me and my family.

So now, I'm involved with an organization that draws upon my talents, and though I'm certain that it's all worth it, the space it fills all the more accentuates what I don't have when I go home for my vacations.

So now, instead of getting excited for a vacation so I could spend more time with a Significant Other or with My Own Family I'm looking forward to getting in a little more work.

Is it all that bad? Not really. But someday, and I hope that day will be long in the making, something's gotta give.

Goodbye, Tag Board (sniff!)

Before I go into any more writing, I've taken the Tag Board down. Something strange happened; I surmise it came from changes with the site owner. But I don't like the change, so until I see the other users work out their own Boards I'll have mine removed.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Post-Birthday Depression

The powers-that-be in the Philippines are calling for a retake of June 2006 nursing board examinations. Students protest the opportunity to prove themselves capable again. D-uh? Sure, it's an inconvenience, but so long as one is not paying to take the exam again, I don't see any problem retaking it. In fact, if I were one of the students retaking it, I should be glad to.

But no, that wasn't what I wanted to say.

The soap opera that makes up Philippine elections took another turn when the complaint against Comelec and the consortium that won the automation scheme (MegaPacific) gets thrown into the wastebasket, against all evidence to the contrary. Now why would we want any form of electoral exercise to take place if we can't even trust our own Comelec?

But no, that wasn't what I wanted to say either.

Our production, "Apat na Sulok ng Pag-Ibig" was a resounding success. I'll post pictures on my Flickr account soon enough.

Really, seriously, I feel condemned by bad luck.

I dropped my phone while I was pressing my shirt this morning and it showcased a crack across its wide screen.

Damn! I knew I should have gotten a Nokia.

Oh well, that's seven years of bad luck for me. When this phone hits the two-year mark, I will sell it for scrap in the Philippines. Maybe my bad luck will leave me then.

But then again, the bad luck of purchasing another expensive phone will haunt me! Hahahahaha!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

End of the Day

It's not really, but I feel like it.

The past two weeks have been quite a blur - so much work to be done, preparations for our latest production (see pic), and in general, just catching up with what life is pitching to me. I hope I'm not just swinging at anything. On the other hand, I'd like to think I'm living a more quality life than most (my body would seem to disagree, and it has every right to complain, poor thing).

Mostly it's as if I am looking forward to something I never really celebrate: my birthday.

I'm 34 years old this Thursday.

I have no illusions as to what this event bodes for me; at the same time I'd like to reflect and say to myself that the bright day of my youth is over. I need not stop thinking young, of course. But still.

Of course, looking the other way, what does the prospect of growing old mean to me? Must I have a plan somewhere that would unfold like magic because I willed it to be so?

Hmmm, that's worth thinking about.

As for the rest of my worries and cares: I reckon everything as complete loss for the sake of what is more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have thrown everything away : I consider it all as mere garbage, so that I may gain Christ, and be completely united with him. (Philippians 3:8)

An old prayer from high school pops up in my mind:

Father, I abandon myself into your hands, do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you. I am ready for all. I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures. I wish no more than this, O Lord. Into your hands I commend my soul. I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve, and with boundless confidence --- for you are my Father.

At the end of this day, this is all I ask. And this all I need.