And by girls I don’t mean the wifey and the kiddo, my usual weekend dates. For a change, the past weekend was spent with girl friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in years — a funny thing since we live in the same city and basically go to the same coffee shops, supermarkets and payment centers.
Saturday, rainy as fuck, I was at Eastwood for the long overdue meetup with friends I met through the now defunct Multiply. Adelaide-based T___ was in town and wanted to hook up before she flies back home. Four of us made it, plus partners. Coffee at Starbucks to beat the cold and then lunch at Italianni’s. Jokes and stories galore — and the wildest first-person account I’ve heard about vibrators courtesy of M__. It was a whole afternoon of fun and warm camaraderie that we all hoped would be replicated soon.
Then the next day, Sunday, was my alma matter’s homecoming. There was a parade in the morning that I failed to join because of house chores and also the rain. Then a program in the afternoon at Ynares Center. Speeches and dance presentations by batches. Also a raffle. It was nice seeing my old class/batch-mates again. “Man, it’s been over 20 years” and all that. Program over, I joined our batch’s all-girl dance group to Calleza Bar and Grill for drinks. Stayed there longer than I had intended. Guess I got carried away by the vibe.
Indeed, fun weekend.
Playlist: Volbeat – Rock the Rebel/Metal the Devil; Danzig – Danzig
Thanks to social media, Valentine’s has become more commercial that it used to be. Whether that’s bad or good depends on one’s love life status, I guess, but I’ve never seen so many roses and teddy bears and red heart-shaped whatnot waved to my face as was yesterday on my way to work. Even LRT-2 had some kind of Valentine’s gimmick going on. And don’t get me started on Facebook posts. They almost made me diabetic.
Anyway, it was almost midnight when the wifey and I got to celebrate V-Day, no thanks to heavy traffic. It was a simple celebration: no resto, no movie, not even a coffee shop rendezvous. Just the two of us at home, with Carlo Rossi and a bag of Tostitos — our version of Ethan Hawke’s famous 90s movie line “You, me and five bucks.” Why spend more?
Meanwhile, my life continues to revolve around family, comics, movies, music and TV series. On fine weekend mornings I bike, and once again I’m trying to quit smoking. The other day I tried drawing again. When I can, I sleep early and wake up late. In short, life’s sweet for the meantime.
Playlist: Van Halen – Balance; Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Friday. Midnight. Somewhere in Makati. A bit tipsy in the company of new friends — all hip, all well dressed, all smart-trendy in their own way.
Actually, I was only there to pick up my wife.
My wife. She said for this year she wants to level up on her social skills. Go out, meet new people, enjoy new things. Well, why not?
So Friday night after work she said she’s going out with friends and asked me if I could pick her up. I told her to meet me at McDonald’s along Paseo de Roxas, our usual meeting place, at 11 p.m. I pictured myself having a quiet time reading comics and nursing a cappuccino while waiting for her. I liked the picture. I like tranquility.
But then she said she’s having too much fun to split at 11 so would I consider joining them instead since her friends were interested to meet me anyway.
She gave their whereabouts: Discovery Primea.
A fucking hotel? Talk about level up.
So I went, and there they were, some gals and some dudes, swigging wine and beer and munching home-cooked steak — wow! — all griping about the hotel’s no smoking policy. Loose conversation here and there: about vaping, the BPO industry, Bato dela Rosa. Ice-cold Red Horse hissed when I popped open the tab. How cool, I thought, being here and all.
Ah, this leveling up business. Bring it on!
Playlist: Soul Asylum – Let Your Dim Light Shine
One thing I like about 2016 is that Hardwired… to Self-Destruct happened. It’s Metallica saying fuck you to naysayers, in a time when all but the most loyal of fans have given up on them for churning out mediocre metal. Horns up for my sister-in-law, in town from Singapore, for this awesome pasalubong slash birthday gift.
Speaking of my birthday: I may have inadvertently given the impression that my special day sucked with my bitter-sounding previous entry. I will set the record straight now and say that it didn’t. It may not be perfect, but it was neither a disaster. And truth be known, I preferred a quiet celebration than a big party which would only leave me with a big hangover the next day. At 38, I no longer treat hangover as some sort of a badge rightfully earned for surviving a night of merry drunken mayhem. Now, it’s just a bummer.
Meanwhile, long time no blog. Was busy with house and work shit, and was therefore often too exhausted to write. It happens, and it sucks when it does, and these cold mornings we’re having aren’t really helping kick slumbering brain cells into action.
Playlist: Buffalo Tom – Skins; Pearl Jam – Vitalogy
Tired. Groggy. Sleepy. The morning after.
But at least I’m not hungover. At 37 I’m too old for hangovers, especially the debilitating kind that I stupidly wore like a badge of courage in my younger years. These days I appreciate nothing more than clearheadedness 24/7.
Anyway, the party. It was fun, as these things go. I ate, got roped into joining a parlor game, lost, laughed at other people who got roped into joining parlor games. I gave and received gifts, won a minor prize in the raffle (always a minor prize, goddamn it!), ate and laughed some more, and generally had a good time.
And then it was past midnight and I had to go home. It was not an easy commute.
So, yeah. Tired. Groggy. Sleepy. I’m in for a long shift. I wish it’s Friday already.
Playlist: Grandaddy – Just like the Fambly Cat; Suicidal Tendencies – The Art of Rebellion
Some people are born to party. Sadly (or not), I’m not one of them. Parties make me uncomfortable, perhaps because in the spirit of camaraderie I’ve to act like I’m enjoying them even though in truth I’d rather be somewhere else (the mosh pit of a Slayer concert, for example). Still, like death and taxes and Air Supply music, parties are something one can’t always avoid, especially if he still considers himself a part of the human race, and especially during the holidays.
We’re having our office Christmas party later tonight. Preparations are in full swing as I type this. There’s excitement in the air. People just couldn’t wait to punch out and head to the venue, a swanky pizza place along Tomas Morato. There’ll be food and gifts and parlor games, I’m told, but no beer, which is a bummer. But there will be a raffle and I might get lucky. Not counting on it, though. But free pizza is always good…
Playlist: Slayer – Diabolus in Musica; Stone Temple Pilots – Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop; Electric Wizard – Witchcult Today
… found me at Patio de Manila on Roxas Boulevard accepting an award on behalf of the Company. It was my section that won anyway (Hall of Fame, baby), so I’ve no excuse not to be there, even though what I really wanted to do that night was to stay at home and avoid the Christmas rush raging outside.
Anyway, it was an okay night, all things considered, despite the heavy traffic and the awkward moments and the fact that I had to climb up on stage and speak — speak! — in front of a crowd that included Gabby Concepcion, Gladys Guevarra, the comedian Boobsie, and two TV reporters — one a hotshot veteran, the other a pretty newbie (I took pleasure in saying I shared the table with the latter). Thank God Liza Soberano wasn’t able to make it. I would’ve fainted the moment they gave me the microphone for the obligatory “short message” if I knew she was part of the audience. I’m helplessly shy like that, yo.
So I accepted the award, uttered a sentence or two of gratitude, posed for the camera, and got off the stage relieved as hell that I did not fuck up. Outside, later, enjoying a smoke, three tattooed usherettes had their pictures taken with me. Okay, I thought. So this is how it feels like to be someone.
Fuck that. Some shit over the weekend:
- Watched Episode 7 of Gotham Season 3
- Only one movie: Money Monster
- Biked for 5.5 kms (errand)
- Started reading Preacher Book 6
- Bought and assembled a storage cabinet for my comics/graphic novels
And then it’s Monday again, and I feel hardly rested, and there are parties galore this week, and lots of Christmas stuff to do, and I got extra cash… it’s exciting, really. And yet what I really want to do is sleep 10 hours straight.
Playlist: Warrant – Dog Eat Dog
First of all, the photo is not mine. I lifted it up from some website, because that’s what lazy bastards like me do on the Internet.
Antipolo town fiesta today. There were parades, programs, and concerts. Lots of people were on streets making traffic more horrendous than usual. For the occasion, dozens of pigs were Oplan Tokhang’d so that revelers can gorge themselves with lechon and lechon paksiw as if heart attack was a hoax. Everybody was happy. Food and drinks and music were in abundance. The outside world did not exist. Nobody gave a shit about the death penalty, “yellows,” and Loida Nicolas-Lewis.
Back in high school I would spend this day with friends jumping from one friend’s house to another enjoying the free meals. We would start at about lunchtime; by merienda time we would be already so full we could communicate only by snorts and grunts. By nighttime we would trudge toward the town plaza to watch the free concert. One time we saw Wolfgang there, back when Basti Artadi and co. were still starting out and have yet to make a name for themselves. Those were good worry-free nights.
This year, I spent the Antipolo town fiesta the same way I spent it in the past 16 years or so: by going to work and pretending I don’t fucking miss the experience.
Playlist: Love Battery – Far Gone; Alice in Chains – Jar of Flies; Metallica – Hardwired… to Self-Destruct
So earlier today, about the same time folks were losing their shit over the sneaky way ex-President Marcos was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, I was having my own mini-nervous breakdown at the Universal Records CD/DVD sale in Quezon Avenue as I browse over the titles. Ugh, they were the same shit as before, and very few of them looked interesting even for P20. I dragged my ass out of the house early for that? Still bought five CDs, though, but only because I may need their jewel cases to replace broken ones in the future. And I also didn’t want to feel like my trip there was a waste of time.
Five days down, three more to go of my 1-10 p.m. shift. It’s been hell, considering the kind of news we had this week, capped by the Marcos burial this afternoon. Boy did that really stir the hornet’s nest, so to speak. As I type this, way past 1 in the morning on a Saturday, with rain falling outside, thousands were still at the EDSA People Power Monument protesting the treachery. I got friends there, and I wish them safety. I also wish I’ve the energy to join them. But like I said, it’s been a helluva exhausting week. I need sleep badly.
Which is exactly what I’m about to do now…
Playlist: Metallica – Hardwired… to Self-Destruct; Hum – Downward is Heavenward
Now that All Souls’ Day is out of the picture, I expect preps for the Christmas season to be in full swing. Starting today, malls at Araneta Center — or Cubao, if you want to be old-school about it — will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. instead of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. I welcome the adjustment, as this would allow me time to wander around the mall and relax after my shift. This also means I could still check out that salesgirl with the nice legs at Von Dutch before going home. Malls and pretty legs to bust the workday murk, why not?
Right. Tomorrow they’re gonna light up the Makati CBD for Christmas. Got to make plans now with the family to check out the light show at the Ayala Triangle. Always impressive, the past years we checked it out. Meanwhile, I expect the giant Christmas tree outside Araneta Coliseum to follow suit. All those lights twinkling merrily in the night, with music and the smell of food, and laughter everywhere, and 13th month cash to throw away, Jesus, what’s not to love about the holidays?
Playlist: Furns – Only Through Your Eyes