Monday, August 25, 2008


I didn't say you stole that money. It's funny how putting stress on different words in that sentence could completely change the meaning. Back in Chase, I was told that I had good stress and intonation in my speech and I used it to make people laugh. English is a stress-timed language, my trainer said and this would set me apart from my wave mates.

A year later, I find myself in her shoes talking about stress. Syllable stress (or-ganization!), word stress(I have a pen!), it all means the same thing: stress. I don't really know what this has to do with what I'm about to talk about but I guess it's nice to start with a story from work since work's what brought me here in the first place.

After the most stressful couple of weeks in my life, I've survived two demos, four classes, and a concussion. I didn't really elaborate on it but I mentioned in a multiply album that I fell down the stairs and landed on my head. Yes, I'm still alive, thank you very much.

I'd be lying if I said it ends there. Looking at the mirror, I see that the days have not been kind. The months I spent taking care of myself all went out the window with a couple of neuron-charged days. I see my forehead with the coffins of pimples laid to rest. The bags under my eyes could carry a ton of drugs past customs. Again, I'd be lying if I said it ends there.

These days, I'm lucky if I'm not dead tired when I get home. Amidst shuffling between classes and all the junk I find time for, I scratched my head and a clump of hair fell out. Chemo moment. I brushed it off and told myself that a couple of strands isn't a lot to miss. This evening while getting my haircut, the guy said I should see a derma as I had a couple of bald spots in odd places. It's funny how you can be so secure about your life one moment and be scared shitless the next. I spaced out when I heard "alopecia" and focused on trying to keep a straight face.

Maybe it is just stress but I'm really getting paranoid. Inside the bathroom, I stared suspiciously at the bottles of shampoo. "Are you to blame?" I asked. They stared back with the innocence of a large Chuzzle about to be popped. In my room, I held the container of wax in the dim light. "I've used you for years. Are you to blame?" On my way down the stairs, I watched the four concrete steps that could've been my demise days ago. Was my hair falling because of the shock?

The guy who cut my hair asked if I was under a lot of stress lately. "I'm not stressed", I lied. I just had a couple of things on my mind, I said. I thought about my demos and modules and the stuff I needed to do. Last Monday I had a headache (probably because I fell) and I had to ignore it because I was presenting the voiced th. I thought about getting my hands on some money (spent wisely, I think) and how I needed to find time to get the microwave oven I promised my folks. I thought about my Sun bill and how it's been months since I last paid and how I really should find some time to get it cut.

So am I stressed? Maybe.

I don't even know anymore. I'm kinda getting scared. I took a picture of my head and confirmed my fears. There's a spot. I see it. It's there. Oh goodness me, it's there. Pass the finasteride, please.

Friday, August 8, 2008

hey... piburtdey... teyey!!!

It's official. I'm 22. (BUT) In about 4 hours, I'm due to present a vowel sound in front of our boss aka the only American in the department. I don't know why that should make any difference but to me it does. The last time he saw me do this was when I applied for the position and that was months ago.

So with all this pressure, I've been unable to fully enjoy my birthday. Last night was spent rehearsing in front of anything that would listen- cats, dogs, mice, cockroaches and when I decided to call it a day (or night), I twisted and turned in bed. Nervous much?

It's funny how my online accounts have followed suit. They've forgotten my birthday too! I checked my mail when I woke up and saw that the ages haven't changed. They usually do at around 12 since I've properly input the timezone and country. Anyway, it seems my birthday has to take the back seat first. Today's only celebration will be if they all drop their jaws properly.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

pre-birthday thoughts (turn around)

I heard that the song "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is a duet. You need a guy to sing "turn around" and a girl to sing everything else. I'm not really sure what it has to do with anything I'm about to say but it goes well with the picture I chose for this post (plus my phone's broken so I couldn't take any new ones).

Once again, I find my life completely devoid of bloggable content. Instead of blogging, I've left useless comments on other people's blogs, hoping for some interaction. In lieu of writing, I ran through my blog's archives. But then I remembered. I'm turning 22 tomorrow. I should be happy. I should have pages and pages to write!!!

People always say that my birthday this year is very lucky. Somehow, I find that a little difficult to believe because (1) I don't believe in luck, and (2) 8-8-8 has never happened before so what makes them so sure?

Instead, I have feelings of apathy towards said date. I suppose I'm a little better off than last year when I held on to 20's zero for dear life but after a year of being 21, I suppose it would be silly to curse time for changing the last digit yet again.

Excuse me, Lina from Jobstreet just sent me a birthday greeting. (reads email, hmm.. spam)

(Well anyway) Birthdays are a time usually spent reflecting on what you've done this year and what you wish to accomplish by next year. The good thing about being a blogger is that, much like keeping a diary, you can use your blog like a history book.

This time last year, I wrote "so, i'm 21. ugh, i feel older already. my skin feels leathery." I continued with "birthdays are just a painful reminder of how we are all so moribund. gawd, i can't believe i feel so old." Looking at that post now, I cringe a little. It reeks of vanity, pretentiousness (second quote case in point. who says moribund?) and it's an obvious ploy to get the obligatory "you're not old!!!" (said in a sonnically high pitched voice). Superfriends to the rescue:

Lee: so anong tawag mo sa akin? you're still young!
Achi: Sandali lang, nakakainis ka ha! Anong you feel so old? Eh ako yung panganay, at ikaw yung bunso! Aba aba aba. ;>
RG: kapalmuks talaga nito. feel so old? hintayin mong mag-40 ka.

I couldn't believe what I was reading. Was I really that shallow? Which led me to further investigation. Are all my birthday posts this inane?

In 2006, I talked about how my mom gave me a pink (inedible) pineapple for my birthday. I also talked about how I loved the tea lattes in Coffee Bean.

In 2005, I wrote "i watched 13 going on 30 and i realized i knew who my jennifer garner was. question is, am i ready to be someone's mark ruffalo? eeww... goosebumps..." Before anything else, can I just say YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!! (regains composure) Reading it now, I still get goosebumps (but obviously for completely different reasons). Aside from the cheesy chick flick reference, I added "i'm sad. it's my birthday. well, not officially. i was born at 4:00 and it's 3:11 PM on the 9th so it's technically still my birthday. I miss the usual people who would greet me on my birthday." Again, the words vain and shallow come to mind. I want to find my 20 year old self and smack some sense into him. A time machine would be an excellent birthday gift (ahem ahem)

In the spirit of turning around, I figured this year, I should do things a little differently. Instead of focusing on what's wrong in my life (and how incredibly sad it is that I'm gaining another year), let me take some time to pat my back and think about where I wanted to go last year and where I am this year. Ladies and gentlemen, last year's life goals (original post):

"Start thinking of poss career expansion"
I talked about possible career expansion a couple of posts back and I'm happy to report that I've been successful in that department. I left the job that made me unhappy, sought out a future (jumping headfirst and blindfolded) and found happiness and as if that wasn't enough, I took it to the next level and got promoted. So far, all career gambles have paid off.

"Start praying / lean on things that matter"
I've gone back to church after months of turning away. I haven't gone back to sunday school. That'll take more time, of course but at least I no longer have the same feelings I had about God and religion. I feel that the time I spent away from Him made me see why I was with Him in the first place and why I needed to go back.

"Stop thinking about what'll get me through the day and start thinking about what'll bring me to my future."
I've learned to let go of things which I did not have any control over. I no longer have delusions of grandeur. I now know that despite your best efforts some people will never change. If you're one of the people who can, consider yourself lucky (as I do now). Now if I can honestly say I've moved on from the car crash that was my life I'd be this much better. (audience in unison: may ganon?) It's just like Butch Walker says. Take tomorrow one day at a time.

Turn around...