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Friday, September 18, 2009

Hybrid Rainbows

Can you feel that hybrid rainbow?

Even we who were not chosen until yesterday
Are waiting for tomorrow?
- Furi Kuri, Little Busters


I slept dreamlessly, and woke up at around 11:30 am. Synthetically, it was already the afternoon for me, as I had been up at 12:30 the day before. I showered, shaved, changed out of my clothes from the night before into a polo shirt, shorts and a pair of driving shoes. I did some light laundry, brought out my old fountain pen and I made a checklist of things that I had to do that day.

After all, it was my free day before the weekend.

Do laundry,
Prepare food,
Eat

While I was writing the list on the back of an old envelope which used contained the bill from my dentist, I was intensely focused on staying awake, as anymore napping after a disruptive sleep schedule like last night would totally ruin my sleep pattern.

Nothing much happened in the subsequent 3 hours.

Light laundry, prepared some pasta on the stove and sat in silence.

~ My roommate and I agreed on some pizza, so we had some Pizza Shuttle. Mine had some mushrooms on it~ I felt no guilt making the pasta, as it sits longer in the fridge (up until a certain point of course!) it tastes better.

That evening, I fell asleep on freshly laundered sheets. Again, I slept dreamlessly, and awakened the next day, feeling absolutely wonderful and guiltless.

Leftover pizza for breakfast, iced tea to wash it down and I headed off to work, nattily dressed and well coiffed.

After work, I went to Target and got some groceries as well as a birthday card for my friend that I had a falling out with the other day.

I choose to move forward.

The silence will not crush me.





Thursday, September 17, 2009

That Shelters Us

It is only 10:15am but it already feels like 5:30 pm for me…

The sky above the gas station tells me that it is a gorgeous day: azure with white tufts here and there; the sun shining white and hot. The sky above Tinley Park was so beautiful that one would think that it almost looked like it was made out of Acrylic. The sky had a shiny texture that one experiences with a lack of sleep and a head full of thoughts.

To my right is a slender Chinese woman negotiating with the gas cap of her Rav4.

To my left is a black Durango trying to get into the pump in front of my car.

~ and there I was, right in the middle of it all, getting my car ready for my voyage home ~

I decide to fill my tank up all the way, and I choose not to get a receipt. As I pull out, an older man in a late model Buick is crossing the intersection onto the highway.

I accelerate and maintain a comfortable 75mph. The radio plays some random song from Of Montreal and I scan left to right looking at the buildings and the grass that I pass by, 10 miles per hour over the speed limit.

Of course there are lots of houses, businesses, strange buildings with company logos that I have not heard about and other architectural accoutrements that decorated the landscape like a malevolent necklace ~ oh so sharp and stark ~

I continue down the highway, and in about 20 minutes the Chicago skyline is in my sights. I see the Sears/Willis towers pierce the sky that from Tinley Park to about 10 miles south of downtown Chicago morphed from something beautiful to something slightly less attractive. The azure has turned into something a few pantones darker and the white tufts morphed into corrugated dragons. The sight from my car was almost Quixotic. The Sears/Willis tower was fighting huge clouds that drifted by, certainly slower than the 75mph that I was going.

Suddenly, there is this palpable surge of wind that is quickly followed by a silver BMW 7 series. It would not have been so noticeable if I had any sleep the night before, and if I were not in such a small car. It got off the exit faster than it had arrived. Now cruising at a more aggressive 78mph, I moved over to the left lane and recalled the events that had happened that morning.

~ That morning, at 12:56:32 am, I woke up in a cold sweat and insomnia that was fueled by guilt. Outside, the sky was as just about as black and as coarse as my disheveled bed head.

~I was hesitating underneath the caress of my comforter.

Should I go and do it and risk getting into a car accident?

Should I not go for it and die in obscurity?

Old jeans,

Slip on shoes, no socks of course,

A black shirt

Velour Track Jacket

Wallet

Keyfob

Blackberry

A package for a friend

All the things that I brought for that trip underneath the sheltering sky.

~ I drove away from my friend’s dormitory defeated. I tried entering the building nicely, but I was politely denied entry despite my perceived urgency. The sky as I was driving away from his school was phantasmagorical. Purple, red and yellow. The sun was also inconveniently placed in the right corner of my eye, which made the second part of my voyage difficult. The sky, was discouraging, enveloping all the street signs in a harsh white light. The little visor that pops from the roof of the car gives me the interesting choice of getting lost or risking corneal damage. I thought that since I was driving under the influence of a double shot Mc Donald’s Iced Latte and the faint aroma of poor dental hygiene, I decided that getting there earlier was better than being blind.

The neighborhood where my friend lived looked beautiful in the sunlight. It was about an hour before my trip back to Milwaukee and it seemed like every blade of grass was facing me, and that every flower on the lawn, including the weeds were well saturated with the colors flowers come in.

~The blue Toyota in the driveway was the sign that my plan B had succeeded. I took a deep breath, zipped up my jacket and silenced my phone, and

I pressed the doorbell twice. Once for my friend’s family so that they may know that I was there, and another time to signal to myself that after whatever would happen after would change my life forever.

My friend’s dad and dog answered the door. We exchanged some pleasantries with a hint of concerned suspicion. Shortly after, my friend’s mother emerged from the doorway, and suggested that we took a walk around the neighborhood. We eventually stopped at some benches at the nearby park

For about two hours, we spoke about the things that one with my disposition would find uncomfortable talking about ~ but after driving 300 miles from where I was that evening to my friend’s house, I thought that it would be foolish not to be open to the experience. There I was, getting what I had deserved.

Normally, conversations of that level of profundity would have left me completely drained of energy. For some strange reason, I felt as though a great weight was lifted off my shoulders, being able to pour such raw emotion and understand more about myself.

My friend’s mother and I walked arm in arm around the neighborhood – I was a bit scared because I don't normally like touching people while I am talking, and in that situation I was the antagonist, talking to the bulwark. Her “firm” gentleness, that reminded me of my orthopedic pillow (soft and huggable, but scientifically so).

Yes

No

Maybe

Forever

Never

Damage

Sorry

No Reset Button

Protect

Deep

Recapture

Perhaps

In

A

Long

Time

If Ever.

I was being slowly led to my car. I tried walking a bit slower to prolong the conversation, but I knew that she had to start her day, and I needed to finish mine. I gave her the package that I was supposed to give my friend and she gave me her number and e-mail.

After a medium-length good bye, I realized that I would never be returning to the neighborhood where my friend lived in. I took my time, at a leisurely 20mph, saying goodbye to all the weeds the grew in between the cracks on the sidewalk. The little songs on the pavement bade me farewell as a bittersweet gust of wind hastened my departure.

My gas tank reminded me to visit a gas station where I saw the Chinese woman, Black Durango and looked up at the blue sheltering sky.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Random dream

I had this random dream that my Mini Cooper was encased in ice...


I miss my car so much!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Living in Manila

Sorry guys but I have not had time to grab an Aloha Burger because I am trying to watch my weight - since I am going to a really nice beach this weekend! As everybody knows, its perpetual beach weather here in the Philippines, except when it rains. In fact, a day ago, there was so much rain in the city that some parts of Metro Manila were chest-deep in dirty flood water! A friend of mine even mentioned that there were soiled diapers floating down the streets! Sewage is one of the things this developed city still has to conquer.


Last week was all about staying out of the heat and bright sunlight. I realized that the sun does shine a lot brighter here than in the midwest - strong enough to cause signs and buildings to bleach. Brightly colored buildings turn into strange pastel colors in a few years because of the sun. I am so used to wearing dark colors in the Midwest but I had to switch to lighter colors here in Manila because of the heat!


Some Pictures:


I had dinner with my good pal Jed a few weeks ago at Lusso in Greenbelt 5. I tried out the Foie Gras Burger that was much-publicized online. For only Php 595 or about $13, you can have your foie gras and eat it too! Very delicious and I would definitely come back again. The owner of the restaurant is Margarita Fores, who went to the same school as my mom in NYC! They had lots of other nice looking things on the menu there too. I shared the Truffle Salt Fries with my friend. (I look so tired I know!)
The facade of my high school. So many memories! As you can see, that's me in the reflection taking a photo with my new Nokia N97. The iPhone was old and beat up and I did not like it's features. The Nokia N97 can do more than the iPhone. The only complaint I have about it is that it is huge!

The infamous durian fruit. Its really tiny but it's smell/odor travels far! In some hotels, esp. in Thailand, this fruit is banned because it really stinks! Smells like Limburger cheese with onions and some sickeningly sweet flower. At home, we open it up, freeze it and add it to salads and ice cream. Once frozen, it does not smell so much. It is known as the King of Fruits in the Philippines because it's smell betrays how deliciously sweet and rich it is. I grew up with Durian-flavored ice cream!




Some of our Malls in the Philippines are really unique! I went here a few days ago to see what new stores opened up in Manila. We have the same old things that you would not find in the USA like Marks and Spencer, Zara and TopMan, as well a few high-fashion-fashion things that you would think only existed in New York! I was really surprised that there was a store that sold Hermes with hand made leather goods that start at $7,000!!! Shopping here in the Philippines is an interesting affair. Prices are a lot cheaper than the USA except for certain things:

Cars: Lexus IS PHP 4,000,000 or $50,000 (basic features!)
Electronics: Macbook PHP 70,000 or $1,500 (Low end!!!)

and we have a 12% Value-Added-Tax since nobody likes paying income taxes come April every year... Oh well...

Otherwise,

Things here in Manila are going great! I really miss my car back in the USA (I take as well as all my friends, but my friends here in Manila as well as family deserve my attention too! ^_^


Friday, August 14, 2009

Voyage!

Some Photos:

My bed at Excel Narita

HUGE KOI!!!!
GROWL!!!! GONNA BE LATE + WEARING THE SAME CLOTHES FOR 24++ hours makes Phil Grouchy

Japanese Washlet! (This one's for my friend Jack Koepke!)
BYEBYE CHICAGO!


Wow what an adventure going home to Manila


I was supposed to leave at 12:50 at O'Hare but because of mechanical difficulties made the plane leave at 4:00pm! I ended up finding a spot that had two sockets so that I could charge my phone and my laptop ^_^


The wait at the airport was not so bad. I was in the updated terminal of O'Hare and I was able to get a lot of things done there. They had $6 wifi for 24 hours and there were some places to eat and browse magazines. At boarding time, JAL was gracious enough to give it's passengers some snacks and drinks because of the delay. They also mentioned that we might have to stay over in Japan for a day because our late departure would mean that the plane in Tokyo that I had to catch for Manila would be delayed.


The flight to Tokyo from chicago was pretty uneventful. The AVOD selection was okay, I ended up watching some movie about Taiwanese Gangsters.



I got to Narita at around 7:30 and the people there were quick to give me my hotel voucher and some buffet passes. They held my luggage at customs since they were going to send them on the next flight to manila that departed at 9:00am the next day.


I cleared customs and I was super close to taking the JR line to Tokyo and spend the night wandering the city when I realized that I had 1000 yen on me and not a sen more. I decided to take the shuttle to the hotel and get settled.


I checked in, headed to the traditional Japanese sauna and soaked 18 hours of air travel away... ahhh ^_^


After the soak, I went to the buffet and had all the Ebi Tempura and Takoyaki I could enjoy. I smuggled a bunch of cute Taiyaki out of the buffet and checked out the hotel shop for some essentials.


At the shop, I got a small sachet of laundry soap, some drinks and a really interesting Manga that featured mini coopers. 僕のミニクパ (Me and my mini cooper) I was really glad that they accepted Visa otherwise I would have suffered...


I returned to my room, changed into the Yukata and headed over to the laundry room and washed all the clothes that I was wearing. I got them to dry in the bathroom and I slept pretty soundly...


I got up at about 4:00am thanks to the Jetlag and spent the time watching news on Japanese tv while holding a hairdryer to the clothes that I had washed the night before.


Breakfast was traditional japanese buffet. I really enjoyed the tasty rice and the natto!


Got to Narita at 7:45 and did some おみやげshopping and waited for my plane which left for Manila at 9:30.


Got home at 2:30, showered and went to Club Mwah with some family to celebrate a triumphant return!



Sunday, July 5, 2009

I got a job!

Peeps, if I have not told you already, I got a (the) job with QuadGraphics! I start in "late September"!


How exciting, I promise to talk about it soon enough!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

IM BACK!!!

Its been a while, I know. Due to popular demand, I will be resurrecting this blog, for the umpteenth time.


But now that I am a graduate and I have a good job, I have not excuse that I have things to do!

Thank you for your love and support, its time to document a new time of my life!