Reflections You Need Not Concern Yourself With (But I’m Sharing With You Anyway)

I hope that halaya doesn’t take offense that I’m more of a flan person.It’s nothing personal really. Unless you consider preferences personal. Oh wait, they are.

You know those times when you feel like everything is unreal and that you are being taped, and you can almost hear the canned audience laughter? No? I’m pretty sure my life is a hilarious sitcom. Too bad I don’t star in it. If my life is a series then I’m Ted Mosby’s red telephone booth.

There are weekends when you’re too broke to go out or too tired to dress up or just generally not in the mood to be with people. That’s when you’re confronted by the lifelong question, why are you alone? So then you try to fix your closet and rearrange your room in the hopes to lose the ill thoughts. Then as you lie in your bed tired from the unexpected clean-up, there it creeps again: you are alone while everybody else, couples that is, are dry humping on the dance floor, cuddling or snuggling in bed. But do not give in to despair for in today’s world there are ways to make you feel less alone. All you have to do is go online, order a cheeseburger meal from McDonald’s and a caramel sundae. Because at this day and age, no one is ever truly alone as long as there’s McDonald’s delivery. Don’t forget to tip the delivery guy. He knows where you live.

image

If you know me in real life or you’ve been reading this blog for some time, you pretty much have an idea now that my middle name is Awkward. Seriously. It’s like if awkwardness is an Olympic sport, I’d be decorated with medals now. And one of the best places to be awkward is on elevators, especially when there’s another person trapped with you for a couple of seconds. Sometimes I know that I’m just oozing with awkwardness that it either flatters or freaks the other person. I tolerate and forgive those who freak out. Very understandable given my unsure way of standing and/or leaning on the wall and my nervous finger hovering at the emergency button while furtively stealing glances at the other passenger. But to those who are feeling flattered, perhaps thinking I am about to ask for their number, well, don’t flatter yourself too much. I am naturally awkward irrespective of places and people. Nope, nothing special about you. By the way, can anyone tell me what happened to elevator music?

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Evert: XXVI on the 26th

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Truth be told, he wasn’t always weird like that. Just like everyone else, he started as a seemingly normal baby.

bath time

bath time

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Normal right?
Has a normal big sister too.

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And a seemingly regular family.

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Then he grew up. So did his sister.

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And my, have they grown.

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Then he got a Mini Me.

Sven: His father's son

Sven: His father’s son

A blessing and a little version of himself.

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So you think he’d stop being weird, right?

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Well, sometimes he does.

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Cheers to my favorite brother in the world. The only one I’ve got anyway.

My frenemy but truly my bestest friend ever.
The chef and butler.
The entertainer.
The babyiest of babies, but second only to Sventypoo.

I love you to the moon and back.

Celebrate life and continue to be grateful for all the blessings you have.
I pray for your guidance and for you to realize your dreams soon.

Always choose to be happy.
And when all else fails, just sing Total Eclipse of the Heart.

Happy birthday! Many happy returns of the day.

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Looking Back At My “Fictional” Attempts

Photo source: kidsinthekichen.blogspot.com

Photo source: kidsinthekichen.blogspot.com

I don’t tell you this often enough but I’m really grateful for your taking the time to read my stories. Cheesy but I can’t thank you enough. And it just warms my heart that some of you may be numbers on my blog stats and unknown faces from halfway across the world but I’ve already shared a lot about my inner thoughts and quirks.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Today, I was rereading my old posts and decided I want to re-post some of my favorite fictional stories. If you haven’t read them, here’s your chance. If you have, please tell me what you think about them.

 

The first one is called Purple and Red. It’s about a woman with an intense need for affiliation and a low self-esteem. It also hints physical abuse.

Maybe you locked yourself in your room grieving the silence of the phone. Did he forget your birthday or was it anniversary? You wanted to paint your bedroom red but you are waiting for his approval. So now it’s still the lifeless gray that matches your gloom.

You may read the full story here.

 

The second one is the love of a witch and a prince called Witching Hours.

The prince had a recurring nightmare of riding his horse on the forest and running after a woman in a billowing red skirt. But before he could catch her, he gets thrown off the horse.

For the full story, just click here.

 

The third is about a rainy morning and the memories that pour with the drops on the window pane.

And on rainy mornings, I stay in bed and look out the window and wonder if you still look up at the sky and ask why she’s crying.

The full story is  here.

 

 

Again, thank you so much, everyone.

PS. Enjoy the rest of your day.

The Special Kind of Hell Called Friend Zone

Photo source: blogs.studentlife.utoronto.ca

Photo source: blogs.studentlife.utoronto.ca

In popular culture, the “friend zone” refers to a platonic relationship wherein one person wishes to enter into a romantic or sexual relationship, while the other does not. It is generally considered to be an undesirable situation by the lovelorn person. Once the friend zone is established, it is said to be difficult to move beyond that point in a relationship.

That was brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Wikipedia

My take on it is it’s another version of unrequited love. Plain, simple and painful. I think. When I think of friend zone, I think of David Todd and Severus Snape. David Todd is the husband of Mabel Todd who had an affair with Austin Dickinson, more famously known as Emily Dickinson’s brother. You see, Mr. Todd gave his blessing on the affair. Several accounts have been written about this. I choose to believe that he decided to go into friend zone rather than be bitter about his wife’s straying. Of course, he later on carried on with affairs of his own, with his wife’s approval.

On the other hand, Harry Potter fans are well aware of Professor Snape’s enduring love for Lily, Harry’s mother who, of course, married the love of her life, Harry’s dad. In fact, I dare say, Snape is the poster child of friend zone.

Photo source: quickmeme.com

Photo source: quickmeme.com

Also, let’s not forget, Jules from My Best Friend’s Wedding. I saw this film when I was in high school and it just broke my heart. How can we live in a world where the lovely Julia Roberts with the perfect curly hair did not end up marrying her best friend, the dashing Dermot Mulroney? We are in a seriously f**ed up place. If Jules could not get her perfect guy, what hope is there for us lesser mortals?

Photo source: madeofhumor.com

Photo source: madeofhumor.com

There are many reasons cited for people thrown in the friend zone. Some of those cited are unequal level of attraction. Sexual attraction of one party not enough to cross the friendship line. For many, it is simply the fear of losing a true friend.

I don’t have firsthand experience of friend zone but I have a few thoughts on why some people find themselves in this hell. I repeat, these are my own speculations, so don’t shoot me.

1. You are not taking enough Vitamin C.

2. You like a person who is 2 points more attractive than you. The rule is you only have a shot with people who are 2 points more or less attractive than you. If you are a 6, try not to fall for someone higher than an 8 or prepare to be friend zoned or downright rejected.

Photo source: jwoww.com

Photo source: jwoww.com

3. You can’t figure this out:
Consider the ellipse (x² / 4) + (y² / 1) = 1
What is the equation describing this ellipse after it has been rotated thirty degrees counterclockwise?

4. You don’t replace the toothpaste cap.

5. You don’t floss often enough.

6. You can’t cook a decent pasta. In fact you don’t know the perfect recipe for boiling water.

7. Your name is Jar Jar Binks.

Photo source: 90s411.com

Photo source: 90s411.com

8. You have let your object of affection see your messy room.

9. You take too many bathroom photos.

10. You think this list is legit.

Photo source: sverigecolin.blogspot.com

Photo source: sverigecolin.blogspot.com

Half Of A Dream Kind Of Job

On April 10 just before midnight, I officially threw myself into the sea of job hunters. No, I did not quit my job nor am I dissatisfied with it. I was merely testing the waters as others might say. Plus it has been more than a year that I had been checking this certain company’s job openings, hoping for a vacancy that I’d be qualified for. And then last week, it finally happened. My excitement while updating my resume and carefully crafting my cover letter was accompanied by the guilt of some form of disloyalty to my current job.

This would sound defensive but the reason I want to work for this company is the desire to contribute more than just paying taxes. RepRisk is a “provider of dynamic business intelligence on environmental, social and governance risks for an unlimited universe of companies and projects. Its mission is to help clients achieve long-term success through transparency and risk management.” That’s a direct quote from their site. Basically, they have this database, which has a list of corrupt companies, especially those with environmental violations. They also have other tools that companies may utilize to ensure transparency and risk management. If you know me, you’d understand why I want to work with them.

On April 12th, I got a reply from Mr. Peter Ing, who just happens to be the Financial Data Provider & Sales Channel Manager in Zurich. Of course, you could just imagine my excitement when I saw I had an email from him. But my face fell as soon as I read its content.

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I was truly disappointed with the pay scale. For a company such as theirs, I was hoping for a higher figure. The offer’s ceiling is even lower than my current company’s offer back in 2009. As my friend, Red, had said (he also applied with RepRisk), “I’m not sure how they got the figure but it was really cheap.”

I didn’t know how to reply to Mr. Ing’s email so I didn’t. I figure I could wait until Monday to send a reply. Or better, maybe he won’t notice my lack of response from the sea of applicants. But no such luck because at 9:19 a.m. of the 15th, I saw a new email from him.

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So now I really had to reply. Not only would it be disrectful and unprofessional not to, I was also afraid to be blacklisted from the company. The problem was how to tell him I would not be pursuing the application because the pay is cheap, without me looking so financially motivated. But then again, me as a member of the labor force and yet also on a job hunt has indirectly tagged me as financially motivated. I settled with this short response.

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What I really wanted to tell Mr. Ing was this:

Even if I had not pointed it out, I’m pretty sure it was apparent that I’ve decided not to pursue my application because of the pay scale. I believe it was not commensurate to my skill set and experience. I really would like to join your company and could imagine a fulfilling career furthering the company’s advocacy in transparency in the corporate world, though that may sound like an oxymoron. I could imagine the job fulfilling my desire to do more for the community yet I have to be honest that I also believe in financial stability. I would not want to sacrifice that.

Nevertheless, thank you for considering my application. I hope you find a suitable candidate for the position. If not, you can always raise your offer and maybe we can talk again.

Why It’s Not Safe To Talk About Music On The First Date

He was introduced by a family friend. An overall good guy with a clean cut, engineering grad who just passed the board. I was a sophomore in college and kind of wondering if he was going to be my first boyfriend. Although he was a nice guy, we were not exempted from the awkwardness of a first date. I didn’t know the rules and I was hoping to wing it. Huge mistake.

Him: Do you like music?
Me: Yes. Do you?

I was somewhat disappointed with the question because I thought it is a given that everyone loves music. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t. That should make it a fact, not a hasty generalization. True? But then again maybe he’s too nice to be presumptuous.

Me: What kind do you like?
Him: Alternative.

Alternative in essense is the opposite of mainstream. Alternative was, and probably is, cool. Honestly, now, I believe alternative, just like any other genre, was created by the music industry moguls to create a new market. The one to sell Nirvana, The Verve, Suede, Blur records to. (Did I mix alternative rock and Britpop?) Of course, when moguls create a new genre, they will be sure to sell everything that goes with it: the apparel, the lifestyle (may or may not include illegal substances), ideas (may or may not be limited to sex, abortion, marriage, divorce, dating, suicide) Clearly, you can now see how clueless I am in this or how huge the genre is.

Since I was in college when this date happened, needless to say, I was impressed when he said he liked alternative music.

Me: Who’s your favorite artist?
Him: Westlife.

Aside from music, I also like sarcasm. He was funny! Because I was nervous during this time, I didn’t laugh. But I did grin, which genuinely confused him.

Him: You don’t like them?

Sh*t just got real. He was serious. He truly liked Westlife. I remember Westlife when I was in high school because Swear It Again was on the radio a lot. But back then, I was a Hanson fan because, hey, they write their own songs and play instruments. I would go as far as say that the only thing that kept Hanson from being alternative was that they were hugely popular plus they had indiscernible lyrics. Mmm Bop?

Me: No. I’m more Nirvana and Sigur Ros.

College was the peak of my pretentiousness. But back then I didn’t call myself pretentious because I believe that if I have faith in these artists’ music, then I’d soon enough imbibe a life that is full of art, depth and meaning. Yes, I was a whole load of bull crap. I actually tried to read Umberto Eco!

Needless to say, there was no second date. He now lives in the Emirates with his wife and two kids while I am still a walking dating disaster. Also, a friend just pointed out to me that I now have a terrible taste in music. Truth be told, that doesn’t bother me at all. My playlist now includes Britney’s From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart because she really sounded cute then. And I play Maroon 5’s One More Night while I take a shower.

For the life of me, I ccouldn’t understand why I wanted to be cool or deep or poetic. I certainly didn’t look the part. Maybe it’s a prerequisite of growing up. Being pretentious is so not cool. Not that I’m saying I’ve stopped being pretentious just because I now admit to listening to pop music. I’m looking at you Twihards.

Soundtracking

When I was 16 and a college freshman, predictably, my favorite song was The Freshmen by The Verve Pipe. The song did not talk about living in a dorm, homesickness or studying your ass off for mediocre grades but still…

For the life of me I cannot remember
What made us think that we were wise and
We’d never compromise
For the life of me I cannot believe
We’d ever die for these sins
We were merely freshmen

On my 18th birthday, my friend, Job, sang Easy Tonight by Five For Fighting. It’s a dark song that talks about the pain of losing someone. Some say it is about death, specifically, suicide. An odd choice for my birthday at the very least. In fairness to him, he did not expect to be an acoustic performer that night.

You were dark.
As dark as night.
You were wrong.
Yeah, you were right.

When I was 20 and desperately working on my undergrad thesis, I kept All Apologies on a loop. Nothing could spell out the fledgling self-esteem of an overextended college student than this song.

What else should I be? All apologies
What else could I say? Everyone is gay
What else could I write? I don’t have the right
What else should I be? All apologies

You can watch the video here.

When I was 23, a friend told me that he thinks of me whenever he hears Rise by Samantha James. I am most flattered that he incorrectly associates me with empowered women.

Open your mind and see
We have everything we need
Dream or reality
Fulfill its destiny

You can listen to the song here.

When I get married, I want Better Days by Goo Goo Dolls to be my wedding song. It doesn’t have to be played though as I walk down the aisle.

I wish everyone was loved tonight
And somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days

And last but not the least, I want my funeral song to be Beautiful Day by U2 because I intend for it to be a beautiful day.

It was a beautiful day. Don’t let it get away
Beautiful day.

Touch me. Take me to that other place.
Reach me. I know I’m not a hopeless case

What you don’t have you don’t need it now
What you don’t know you can feel it somehow

Music video here.

Vision Board

I’m kind of late to the party but today, I successfully completed my vision board. As About.com has said, a vision board is a collage of images of things you want in your life. The idea behind the vision board came from the Law of Attraction, which is very similar to self-fulfilling prophecy. LoA in its simplest sense claims that the more you think about something, the more it will become real or will materialize. There are lots of references online if you are interested about Law of Attraction.

In five to seven years time, these are the goals I want to achieve. So here’s my board.

vision board

Left to Right:

1. Community Involvement
I would want to be more involved in the community. I believe there is a diferrent sense of fulfillment from sharing your time and skills to advocacies.

2. Self Love
I want to love me more. I want to stop berating myself for what I’m not.

3. Post-grad in Europe
I have two images for this: the scholarshipportal.eu and the one of Erasmus Mundus. I want to take my masters abroad. Since I don’t have a rich family to pay my tuition, the only way I could afford it is if I get one from either of those two.

4. My Own House
I’m sure I don’t have to elaborate on this.

5. Committed Relationship
Paging all the forces that be to help me work on this one.

6. Travel (Switzerland, Greece and Spain)
The photo with the blue sea is taken at Santorini while the seemingly pastoral view is from Switzerland.

7. Writing
I want to write more, not just blogs. I want to write film reviews, short stories, news features, obituaries, et cetera.

8. Teaching
When I was little, I dreamed of becoming a teacher. I did teach for more than two years, and I want to do it again.

9. Mantra
I want this to be my daily affirmation.

10. Good Health
I want to work more on improving my health and I want to be fit.

Forget The Men. Pick A Guy. 2 of 2

This is a continuation of Forget The Men. Pick A Guy. This is the list of what men are like.

Photo source: quickmeme.com

Photo source: quickmeme.com

Men tend to tell you what to do. Most of them are control freaks. This is both good and bad.

They check your tires before your big trip.

They say, “Call me when you get there” because they want to make sure you got there safe.

A man remembers to tell you the doctor’s office called.

Men won’t go into therapy to better understand their crazy selves.

A man takes revenge. You would never want to hurt his woman nor his children.

Men assume guys are boys who haven’t manned up yet.

Men don’t want to talk to women about their feelings of inadequacy.

Men have keys. They have the codes to alarms.

And I wanna add:

A man is often quiet that you wonder what goes on in his head and if he ever listens to you. (He does, unless you’re nagging him then he just shuts down.)

A man usually is absorbed in his work and chores. You would not want to interrupt him when he’s working.

A man rarely talks about his feelings. Sometimes never. But his silence speaks volumes, and you can see in his eyes the answers you are looking for. (Yes, I’m a hopeless romantic.)

A man rarely shows affection in public. No hugging and kissing in grocery aisles. But he wraps his arms around you when you sleep.

Most men dress horribly, at best, neutral like jeans and sneakers or perpetually in boring shirt and dress shoes.

A man will not watch The Notebook with you. He likes The Fast and the Furious. (Totally fine by me.)

Jon Hamm and Armie Hammer are men.

Original article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/fashion/20love.html?pagewanted=all

Forget The Men. Pick A Guy. 1 of 2

This is an article written by Cathleen Calbert back in September of 2009. My friend posted this on Facebook, and we got into a discussion on our preferences: do we want a man or a guy? She wants a guy whereas I like a man. The author married a guy, and it seems that the mature choice is a guy. But then maybe you’re like me hopelessly dreaming for a man.

The article is long and instead of reposting it, I’m breaking it out into a list. And this would be two parts because the list is, again, somewhat long.

We’re gonna start with the Guy.

Photo source: thefrisky.com

Photo source: thefrisky.com

Guys are often in between things like jobs and houses, which means they’re more likely to stay up with you all night, drinking wine and playing gin rummy.

They’ll rub your belly. They’ll lick chocolate off it.

They’ll like your cute little dog.

When going on a trip, guys say, “Love you, have fun,” because they can’t imagine anything bad happening to you.

Guys can wallow in confusion. They can decide to leave their brides on one side of the country as they head to the other.

Guys can sweetly stick. Yes, they’ll walk past whole bags of garbage without seeing them, they’ll play their guitar while the dog snags an entire meatloaf from the counter and eats it, but they’ll say, “Hi, sweetie,” when you walk in the door, laden with groceries.

They’ll go into therapy to better understand their crazy selves.

Photo source: inquistr.com

Photo source: inquistr.com

Guys wear the kind of clothes they wore as boys even when their hair silvers: cool jeans and baseball jackets coupled with stupid T-shirts boasting faded logos from exotic locales.

Guys are boys who didn’t grow up to be men.

Guys are capable of swooning over a new writer they’ve just discovered, or of speaking passionately about some idea.

A guy is a possibility.

Original article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/fashion/20love.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0