Saturday, February 9, 2008

Be aggressive! Be, be aggressive!

I make sure that every other Saturday, the day after payday, is my “me” day. (Don’t you just love rhymes?) Generally, it's when I deposit my paycheck, go to Wal-Mart, and most importantly, get my nails done. Going to the nail salon is probably the most important luxury I get to guiltlessly bless myself with because of the obvious fact that I can’t do it on myself anymore—just one of the jerks of working every single day. I happen to have a very dry set of hands and toes because of excessive hand washing and the no-open-toe footwear rule as a teacher (although I tend to bend that rule when I’m working in the baby room). So thank God I found two of the best nail technicians in the world; Sheryl (who’s my manicurist) and Linda (my pedicurist). But let’s get past the dry skin and nails problem since I’m sure we all have that taken care of. I have been going to Signature Nails for about five months now and Sheryl has always been my girl even before Linda became my next go-to person. But since my resident pedicurist is relatively new, I’m going to tell you about Sheryl.

She’s Vietnamese (I’m sure y’all guessed that right), a nail technician, as mentioned, and has been living in the United States for most of her life. She also has a double Bachelor’s degree. Yes, a double Bachelor’s degree from University of Dallas and University of Texas at Arlington, no less. It’s pretty outstanding, eh? Well, yeah, super outstanding. Actually, it’s beyond outstanding, considering the fact that she’s doing my nails on a periodical basis. It’s quite a shame. I am honestly embarrassed to be paying her $5 tips for every manicure session we have. Because, truth be told, she could be in a laboratory right now, figuring out a way to cure STD, and, not to mention, earning bazillions of greens every year. So I became inquisitive with her—unhesitatingly, I might add. I asked her, “What the hell are you doing here?” I can’t remember exactly what she replied to that, but to get you to the bottom of it, she exclaimed that it’s mainly because of her thick, nasally, won’t-go-away Vietnamese accent.

How pathetic, right? So I began to rant to her face.

“Sheryl, you can’t be doing my nails forever.” She can only give me that "you’re right" grin that’s lightly concealed by her face mask. I started nagging her, like my mom does to me, about her rights as a citizen, and that she deserves to do more than just cleaning out cuticles. But I failed to make her realize something. Perhaps, after years of trying to prove her place, she just gave up on it—which is sad and utterly unjust.

Again, how does a Biology and Information Technology graduate end up in a saggy white uniform with a bottle of acetone? It’s simple. Racism, my friends. Racism, bigotry, prejudice, whathaveyous. Old, white, and narrow-minded people spearhead the corporate and medical fields in this country, which doesn’t make it any more surprising that they’d neglect a thick accented Asian girl an opportunity for a newly graduated blonde bombshell (who, for all we know, failed Math—twice!). That’s why I’ve always been very assertive when it comes to guarding my own color. It seems to be a hard task, but it doesn’t become second nature anymore when you feel like somebody is putting you down just so they can act a certain way to feed their dinosaur-sized egos. Sheryl, on the other hand, doesn't have the guts to do that. For one, she feels like her race owes a lot to this country, and two, that she doesn’t deserve her achievements after all. Very much the wrong mind set. But who am I to push her to do something that she’s not yet ready to confront?

It’s always a pleasure to have Sheryl do my nails. But even if she’s the best manicurist in the world, I still hope that one day she wakes up and decides that being Vietnamese, being Asian at that is no longer a hindrance for her to live her dreams.

But for the mean time, enjoy my big fat nails. You too, Linda! ;-)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Working like a dog.

I have worked unforgivable hours for my current job. I never thought I had this workaholic in me! I mean, money is a magnet. But I didn’t expect it to be this magnetic. I underestimated my capabilities when it comes to getting paid. I also have been complaining. My mom and I just had a minor bitch fight yesterday over some undone chores. Ok, I was probably wrong for shutting her down after a 12-hour shift. But her memory kind of spaced out when she forgot that I work every day of the week for about 6-7 hours a day (with no breaks), plus school, and that I only caught 2 hours (TWO hours!) of sleep the previous night for a paper. My mother’s getting old, I get that. But sometimes, I just feel the need to buttheads with her, as often as she wants to burst my the-world-revolves-around-me bubble.

I, for very forgivable reasons, have thought of quitting my job. First things first, my job is very noble. It’s probably one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. But being a teacher takes its toll. Especially if you’re a Kindergarten teacher at noon, a toddler teacher by 3pm, and an infant caretaker come 5. Being a teacher slash floater is not the easiest shit in the world. Don’t get me wrong. I adore those kids like they’re my own. It’s just that, for a couple of months, I experienced working in just one classroom, with the same eight babies, everyday. And being back to the floating arena is not what I had hoped for when I gave up my position for a friend who needs the hours more than I do. [Even if it’s wrong, I sometimes wish I hadn’t told her about my wondrous job. But that’s a sin and I don’t need any more of that.]

How can you resist a smile like Blake's?

But to my consolation, I get the luxury of rewarding my own hardwork with no guilt involved. I get a couple of martinis every weekend, a good serving of fine dining, and some shopping here and there. It’s kind of a blessing to be earning and only paying one bill (and that, my friends, is the cable). So I share. And it’s not just your ordinary “share”. I basically pampered my family on Christmas that I almost (just almost) forgot about myself—which, as you know, is a rarity. I gifted my mom this patch plaid duffel bag from Dooney and Bourke; my bestfriend got a black satchel from her favorite store; and the boys (aka dad and bro) got a pair of tickets for a Dallas Mavericks home game (AND, it’s even against the team they favor most from the opposite conference). Oh my goodness. I know! How special of a daughter, sister, best friend am I?? All together now… SO special! But even if they trapped me in great debt, giving as much as receiving is ultimately the most amazing reward I could ever give myself. I know, right? I’m not so much of a selfish, histrionic, narcissistic bitch after all.

Me and mi hermano after a one-sided Mavs win.

If I was too much of a bitch, to begin with, I wouldn’t stick to a job that requires changing diapers, reading a story, playing hot potato, singing ABCs, and potty training (oh it’s my favorite!). I have been in Primrose for almost 4 months now and although it sucks the patience out of my system, I still kick ass whenever I tell my friends that I am a teacher while being a student.

I know the NBA tickets were supposed to be the boys' presents only, but my birthday was around the corner too that I just had to give myself a good view of Dirk Nowitzki too. [My mother thinks he’s hot, I’d like to prove otherwise. But he’s a good baller. Very good.]

Monday, December 24, 2007

Just so you know...

I haven't forgotten about you. In fact, I have been excessively thinking of ways on how to get back on this thing before it forgets about me. Well. I'm still breathing. Healthy and alive. So the pregnancy and death rumors are now safely bound to trash. Ok, I totally made that up. But my excuse is absolutely valid. I now have a job (that I dangerously enjoy), I underwent major full-time-student-ness (by taking 18 credits at once!!), and I insanely morphed both activities and inserted them into my daily lifestyle. Hence the lack of social life. Even this virtual social life.

But I'm back. For good, as I pray. I finally managed to buy a new laptop to take with me wherever winds lead me and that shall help me update this thing in a regular manner as I used to. And before I go any further, I just want to make my apologies. I know it's not a big deal for most of you, but true friends have contacted me over time, and I truly appreciate the thoughts and wishes. You guys rock my face off.

Since the last time we've talked, many things have changed. I have been a success story for the most part, although finding the right job for me became such a task. Mind you, I have had three jobs since my two-week stint at Carino's. I accepted a sales job at my college's bookstore during the remainder of that summer, and while it was convenient to work at a familiar setting, the load of work plus the very unsatisfying pay just couldn't cut it for me. Can you imagine me stacking bottles of Pepsi products on three different refrigerators on a regular basis? I didn't think so. But I was bored, fat, and broke that I stuck through it for four desperate months. During those four months too, I was hired by Kohl's as an associate for the Junior's department. Whoever said working in retail was the easiest job on earth, must be seriously decapitated.

So after merely three paychecks, I quit. Both jobs. But hey, at least I experienced something I've always wanted to do... work two jobs at one time. Looks like I may never try the adventure again. Then enter this teaching job in my neighborhood of Valley Ranch. First of all, I had no idea why on earth I decided to apply for it. Because one, I have no teaching degree, and two, kids and I aren't always the perfect pair. But I thought it would never really hurt me to try, so I did. The same week of my interview, I was also offered a job at an Irving library for an assistant position which pays no less than $13/hr. I was appalled at myself for rejecting that. Who wouldn't be when I could guiltlessly buy a Gucci with a whopping paycheck? (note: I don't pay no bills.) But anyhow, I made a rather selfless decision to work with nrkids that pays a few dollars less of what I could have gotten as a librarian. After all, kids and I started to click like macaroni and cheese.

I'll tell you more about this one in the future. I just wanted to update you about the basics of my life. Like losing quite a few pounds, spending most of my time either at work or inside my car (I can now drive on freeways!! WORD.), and still not having a lovelife (which I'm actually thankful for). How about you? Have you missed me? Did I miss anything out here? I know I missed Kat's pregnancy announcement (Congrats, Katkat!) and Alternati's website warming, but is there anything else? Fill me in.

With that, I leave you with warm Christmas wishes. I hope you enjoy the holiday, I know I will.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Told you. Tennis isn't sopoforic.

This palpable void in Roger Federer's resumé is temporarily eclipsed as he marches his way back to the GOAT (greatest of all time—I know, awful abbreviation) conversations. Fifth set, one all, 15-40. I grabbed the rosary randomly sitting beside me, gripped onto it, and started muttering invented prayers to help this forthcoming miracle surface before my eyes. Two smart serves, they were gone. Fifth set, two all, 15-40. I grabbed the prayer book randomly sitting beside me, gripped onto it, and started skimming the pages to look for a suitable prayer for one Spanish David to beat his Swiss Goliath. But forced prayers don't work all the time. The Mighty Fed reemerged and those chances never visited again.

Very stylish, Roger. But it's not the smartest idea to walk after your geared up opponent.

But what a match!! Unquestionably, an instant classic. So instant that it was on ESPN Classic just nearly 36 hours after its completion! What's more interesting about this match, or this rivalry, is the discernible contrast between the two. Roger came out in archaic fashion while Rafa paraded his bicep-bearing dernier cri. Each has his own homecourt; Paris' red clay for the Spaniard, green grass of London for the Swiss. On court, Rafa habitually roars and motions an uppercut with a loud "si" (yes!) or "vamos" (come on!) after each intense rally. While Federer, five years senior of his rival, is counted to be the coolest-headed competitor there is in sports—which is why his verbal discharge yesterday over technology was pretty disconcerting. The match not only had a decent share of drama but it also showcased the best tennis these two played from any of their collection of grand slam confrontations. It's just borderline disappointing that Rafa had to ultimately appear fatigued after hauling Federer to a fifth set. Nevertheless, another remarkable encounter between these two, and I can't be anymore lucky to witness one of the most astounding matches Wimbledon has ever staged.

Congrats to TMF for completing the Borg chase, and hats off to Nadal for fronting an almost shatterproof challenge against the world's greatest player. I hope the loss doesn't dislodge Rafa's focus because with all the ruckus he endured for the past two weeks, this tournament deservingly belonged to him as much as it did Federer. Now that inevitable question arises again... Will Rafa win Wimbledon before Roger wins Roland Garros? I certainly don't have the analytical percipience of Bud Collins, but after what Nadal has shown on Centre Court yesterday, it's almost a coarse disrespect to say he won't. Because if he almost toppled Fed's chances of winning while having to play for the seventh consecutive day and with a nagging knee injury, then one could only foresee his superiority if he competed as healthy and as well-rested as Federer was. Even Roger agrees and I quote, "I think he deserves a title here." But don't get it twisted. While I'm all for Rafalito winning Wimbledon one day, my hopes of a grand slam for The Mighty Fed—although I'm already getting satiated by his consistency in finals—is still very much incontrovertible. Will he win the biggie on clay before Rafa mows his ass on grass? Let's just say, yesterday's probability is now quite unlikely.

Great rivalries include inimitable streaks, golden memorabilias, and very tight manhugs.

Now we're off to the North American hardcourts where Rafa suffers the most. But with his exorbitant display on grass this year, especially at yesterday's final, he is not that far from being in the ranks of potential Feder-threats for the US Open crown. If a player of Andy Roddick's caliber—which isn't really saying much—can strip a set off Federer in the finals, then Nadal's flaws shouldn't be that badly exposed. As an obsessive tennis fan, I adore both Nadal and Federer, and there's nothing more gratifying than for this rivalry to produce more of these nail-biting, spine-tingling, and mind-blowing matches in future times. It's just sad that I'm redundantly pouring my heart out to this very same topic and you, my beautiful friends, are still not into it!! I'm telling you. Jump in before it's too late! Look at me, I'm witnessing history here!! Plus, with all the bonus yummy guys out there everyday.. Ugh, trust me.. You'll thank me later.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Indy Shebang..

So yesterday was supposed to be this country's anniversary of independence. Forget about what they celebrate, I'm just all about the food and the Kobayashi vs. Chestnut showdown! This time last year, I was busy photographing middle-aged nurses who are having a great time in the kitchen with an array of Filipino dishes on the table and loadsome of BBQs to chow down, while the youngsters (and I mean, those bratty little kids) enjoy our backyard pool despite the uncooperative weather. While this year, I found myself alone in the kitchen frying sausages with our cable provider anti-festively cutting the connection (thence, no hotdog eating contest telecast for me). And the worst part? The sun was shining bright outside and rain forecasts were uncharacteristically set aside.

Trust me, those tasted good! After all, they should me smoked, right? LOL.

Pardon my cooking frying skills, or lack thereof. That's one of the main reasons why I stopped pursuing being the next Paula Dean. But anyway, after that meaty breakfast that my mother and brother later feasted on, I was left with nothing but the internet, obsessive video-uploading at Multiply, and the crappy TV antenna to entertain myself with. I couldn't cook up an appetite to make more BBQ'd stuff just to make the day worthwhile, so I just spent the rest of my day chatting up with old friends from the Philippines.

This made me realize how ridiculous I am when I, a Filipino, forgot about my very own independence day a month ago. So with that, I want to segway to Alternati's question #4 in my "Interview Me" post (below). I was being vague for the only reason that there's just a bundle of things I miss about home that I wouldn't have enough space and energy to list them all for you. But since I now feel like I owe Mother Philippines an apology, here's a special 10 things edition about what I truly miss about my native.

1. My friends.
Because it totally sucks how half of my social life now tends to revolve around Friendster.

2. The village bakeries and "sari-sari" stores.
Here, whenever we run out of eggs, we always have to waste about ten drops of gasoline just to get to Kroger or Tom Thumb. Whereas back home, there's always Manang Rose's mini mart to buy or even utang eggs, salt, rice, etc.

3. Taho, halo-halo and sago't gulaman stands.
Diane and I, back in our childhood, would always call each other whenever we feel like buying taho (even during the hot summer) or going to this little burger joint by the church. And it was not just another burger stand, it probably had one of the best burgers I've ever had, plus, they also had halo-halo and sago't gulaman. While here? You can only get halo-halo from Chowking which is about 3-4 states away from here, and hamburgers, though generally cheap, are (per my brother) like heart attack on a platter. :))

4. The summer leagues.
My subdivision had a lame summer league—although John and Camille Prats (you know, those kids from Ang TV!) became regulars there over the years. I always hopped to the next village because that's where my friends were and the cutest guys played. Trust me, there's never a better place to catch the hottest sweating guy than on the courts. Y'all know that.

5. The party scene.
What I like best about the party scene back home is that it's waaaay more subtle than the wild stuff here in America. In Manila, it's normal to have a good time without having to shove one maniac's face to the bouncer because of excessive flirtation. Here? It's not an ordinary night without some horny guy feeling you up like he's never touched a woman in his life!!

6. Divisoria/Tiangge
The place for the cheapest dasters on earth!! And yes.. I wear dasters.

7. Bubble Gang
For some reason, I absolutely enjoyed that show. Especially Michael V.. Haha, I adoooore him!

8. Tagaytay and Baguio.
Tagaytay and Baguio both have the temperature I want for my wedding. Not too hot, not too cold. In Dallas, you get the best of winter and summer that you can barely feel any difference during spring and fall!

9. Tropical Hut Hamburger
Why the hell you never established a branch in America?? Are you blacklisted or something??

10. And lastly, cursing in Tagalog.
I don't get to do that anymore because I only get to utilize my native tongue when I'm at home. I mean, you just have to conceal the foulmouth when you're around the family, right? So just imagine how often I want to pull the malutong na P.I.M. whenever I encounter some bitch around here. Like, seriously. A bitch, go to hell, or fuck you is never more hurtful than that or a gago or tarando. Am I right, Talamasca? :-P

So there.. I've paid my dues. And if that's not enough, my family finally got The Filipino Channel, and I'm afraid, I might be hearing more of Kris Aquino now than ever before. Punyeta!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

People, I am alive.

As an obsessed blogger... don't you just find it extremely annoying when you feel like you have a lot of things to write about and yet you couldn't figure out a way to convey it, much less, find not one second to start on it? I know. Hiatuses are lame. And I'm pathetic. But trust me, the reasons are valid, and no, it does not include another vaginal hemorrhage.

Who knew Humanities or Fine Arts Appreciation can make up so much of my time that I would even dare to forget about blogging? I had to visit the Dallas Arts Museum twice, listen to some Jazz music while excruciatingly resisting sleepiness, compare Ethan Hawke's modern take on Hamlet against Mel Gibson's (duh, no brainer!), AND watch Troy.. Troy, of all movies on earth!! Thank God, Brad Pitt was butt naked there a couple of times or I would have strangled my professor to death for putting me through all these torture. But fear not, 'cause the end of this treacherous course is drawing near and I simply can't wait.

Now, since I know I've left you hanging for quite sometime, how about some surveys to lighten you up? Oh come on, don't act like you don't want it.

10 things I want to do before I die

"Steer clear from the sappy and redundant. " from Vayie.

1. Visit Mindanao. Just for the heck of it.
2. Go on a safari in South Africa with my loudest friend, Michelle.
3. Try out for The Price Is Right, granted it goes on.
4. I wanna give birth, although that remains debatable.
5. Watch a huge sporting event that does that traditional (and idiotic) Mexican wave.
6. Get a Master's degree from a Top 10 university. See? I also have dreams!
7. Be a vegan... or at least, try.
8. Party in Croatia with one of my closest girlfriends, Petra.
9. Spend New Year's in Times Square. And yesss, even do the lame countdown.
10. Be awarded for something. Whatever that earns me a gold statuette.

"Interview me"

Grilling courtesy of Alternati.

1. If you were stranded in a desert island and were only allowed to bring one friend, one movie, one picture of an athlete, one DVD set of one season of one TV show, one hair/skin product and an eternal supply of one brand of chocolate... What would you bring and why? (Yes, the island has a working home theater and a fridge. hah!)
I will bring the only person I never have awkward moments with, and the one person I can count on whenever I'm starving: my brother. His kitchen skills are out of this world that I'm pretty confident that if we ever get deserted somewhere the aliens only know, he would sharply find a way to make a monkey's ass taste like the traditional beef stew. Plus, we have our own language (aka very twisted humor) that we'd be perfect for that major psycho-bonding. ... Movie? Dang, there's a lot of choices! But I think I'll go with Pulp Fiction. It's one of those movies I can never get tired of watching, and it's got that perfect Quentin combination of bloody action and sadistic comedy. Exactly what I need to scare off potential conquerors. ... As for the picture, which is a random stuff to bring in an island, haha, I guess I'll go with Tommy Robredo's backhand (click at your own risk). Mainly because that shot's hotness longevity can definitely withstand an extended stay in that island. ... I really wanted to go for Grey's Anatomy on the next one, but I'm afraid I might end up sucking my head in a puke bag just in case I ran out of tears to cry. So let's just bring Project Runway's Season Two. Santino Rice is just CLASSIC! ... And as for the beauty product, I assume sunscreen is the most sensible choice. 'Cause if I'm going to die in an island, I and my skin deserve to die beautifully. Am I right, ladies? ... Lastly, I'd love to have a lifetime supply of Twix. It's not necessarily my favorite, but it's actually not too sweet, and I easily get tired of sweet things (and that include boyfriends).

2. If you could have dinner with any four notable personalities in the world (two living and two who have bitten the dust) , who would they be, what would you guys eat and what would y'all talk about?
I would bring Nancy Grace, Mark Cuban, Lady Diana, and Eddie Guerrero to The Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX where we'll enjoy a few beers and the best beef briskets this state has to offer. We would be gleefully chatting about President Bush, Wimbledon's two-man show, The Great Khali, how boring the Spurs are, and a lot more. I would specifically interrogate them with questions that still hover my head up to this point. Such as Lady D's intuition of Prince Charles' infidelity, Cuban's disinterest in Steve Nash, Eddie's true feelings about a particular controversial storyline, and Nancy Grace's secret marriage and pregnancy (because she's a verbal monster, and I can't believe somebody dared to marry her).

3. What do you miss most, and least about the Philippines?
Ugh, there's A TON!! But to crop it to the obvious... I miss the food. I don't miss the traffic.

4. Describe in detail your ideal job. (The laws of logic, economy and physics can be disregarded in answering this question... :P )
Believe it or not, I want to work a 9-5 job. Sitting on a desk infront of the computer, with a colorful corkboard, pictures of my dogs/friends/etc., a cup of latte every 30 minutes, gossiping from neighborhood cubicles, and a workplace that doesn't require sweating. That's pretty much ideal to me. But working on field wouldn't be that bad either, especially if it allows me to snuggle with the cutest athletes, celebrities, starlets in the world.

5. How many Kai(s) does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Let's see... One to do the screwing, one to assist me with the screws, another one to hold the ladder for stability, and three more to stand by the side, with their arms folded, eyebrows raised, and furiously envying my big butt that I can not lie. :))

Now, now... if you want to get your own butt on the hot seat...
  • Leave me a comment saying “Interview me.” (And leave your email.)
  • I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
  • You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
  • You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  • When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
HAH, I'm done!!! YESSS! Haha, I know, it's incredibly ludicrous how updating my own blog now takes an enormous type of time and effort. But I promise, we will go back to the way we were. Until next time, my friends. Enjoy the weekend!