Friday, March 23, 2007

a chronicle on friendship

Back in 1993, as a college freshman at the University of San Carlos, I met a bunch of girls whom I shared one full semester of fun. It would have been a lot more wonderful had we, under circumstances beyond our control, stayed together in one school and enjoyed 3 more years of college together. But incredibly, we spent five amazing months as barkada, and it was one of the most meaningful friendships I’ve ever had.

Typically bubbly sixteen and seventeen year olds back then, we shared many unforgettable and happy times - shopping trips, movies, Friday night dinners, joyrides, sleepovers, attending one P.E. class, hanging out, endless talks and laughter. I loved every moment of it because they are the nicest girls I’ve met in my whole life- cheerful, nonjudgmental, persuasive, beautiful inside and out, and totally honest and confident. And so even after so many years of not seeing each other, they’re always on my mind and I wish all the time that one day, we’ll see each other again.

Claire, is the most exuberant of the bunch. She’s always in a happy mode and had this very infectious laugh. She’s sweet, thoughtful and caring, too. Ching, is very demure and the most ladylike among us. She is generous and doesn’t make anyone uncomfortable at all times. Anna Leah, is the most assertive and the most independent. She’s very nice, too, and she always has fun stories to tell. Keith (her real name is Mirabelle), is our no-nonsense girl. She’s active and she had pretty nice ideas to share, too. I love them to bits.

The last time I saw Claire was that summer in 1994 before I moved to XU. And then I saw Anna Leah for the last time in 1996 when they visited XU on a class trip. She brought me a card from Claire, telling me about the birth of her daughter Anya and that she misses me a lot. I saw Ching, too, when she came to XU one time but we lost touch pretty much after that. Keith was the person I never saw again after our “freshman-year-is-over” dinner. But I remember all of them so vividly and I will always wonder about them.

Last year, Ching and I were able to connect again online and it was one of the most exciting things. My hopes were high again, finding them seems like not a hopeless case, after all. And so I knew that Claire is now based in Manila and works for PAL, and Anna Leah is in Belgium. Just yesterday, Anna Leah had a chance to chat online and we were squealing like school girls again! It’s such a joy to find and connect with old friends once more. Sadly, nobody knew about Keith’s whereabouts now. But I’m still hopeful that she’s out there somewhere, and she’d stumble upon us online one day.

Five months is not too long a time for togetherness, but we squeezed a lot of memories in those months. We’ve had too many deep, substantial conversations and more hilarious and childish exchanges, too. We never fought with each other, but shared the sadness of the other. We teased each other mercilessly, but we are jealously cozy with each other, too. Sometimes I wonder what could’ve happened had I not moved to XU, or Claire had not chosen to attend another school, or Keith had not switched to another course. Would we endure BS Psychology together, and find jobs under the same discipline? Would we take vacations together? Would we influence each other in our relationship and career choices?

I guess, I’d reserve these questions to answer when we meet each other again one day. It would be so much fun talking to them again…

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sleepy and grumpy

I’ve received a second comment in two days that I look so sleepy. I suspect it’s just a mellower way of saying to me: “you look like hell”. It’s alarming! I’ve not been sleeping so well these past few weeks at all. Sleepiness is like a huge word emblazoned across my shirt, or an ubiquitous tag dangling from me, for that matter.

Yesterday, I felt so sleepy at 3:00 in the afternoon, and I couldn’t take it anymore that I had to lock the door in my office and rest my head on sheafs of papers and closed my eyes. I had to take extra precautions (hence, the locked doors) because I don’t wanna be caught sleeping at work in the middle of the afternoon. The nap was 18 minutes long. I’d be doomed if anyone from work read this, hehe.

I’m mostly to be blamed for all this fuss over sleepiness. We sleep really late, and I get troubles getting to sleep- naturally I’d wake up sluggish in the morning. With puffy eyes to match. And then the whole day, it’s like a vicious cycle of sleepy-active state. And the hubby wouldn’t buy the RLS (restless legs syndrome) thingy.

I’ve googled remedies for daylight sleepiness yesterday and one article suggested that eating chocolates will keep you awake. But it would mean you’d get fat because of consuming all those sinful chocolates. I’d rather feel sleepy, I guess, than to be a fatty. Hahaha.

Anyway, I guess I’d just have to sleep early and wake up early, too. And hopefully, I could find viable (and quick) remedies for daytime sleepiness. Any suggestions?

Friday, March 16, 2007

thank God I have a Friday wish!

It’s a rotten, rotten day today. It’s raining nonstop and the temperature has dipped low once again. Can’t say thank God it’s Friday……….. tsk, tsk.

We’re planning to get off from work really early today. But not to chase some leisurely Friday pastime but to run some very important errands. This is life, I guess. I feel like we’re constantly running out of time. Right now, I am thinking of a long, restful sleep and that I don’t have to wake up early tomorrow. And also, I want one of those aromatherapy oil burner/warmer, and have bergamot oil burning late into the evening.

But there’s dinner to fix, and a million other things to do when you get home. Can I just plop on the sofa pillows, and maybe listen to the rainfall tapping into the glass windows, soothed by the scented oils?

I could do that. I must, I must!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Dolled up

Last night, I got a message from my mom asking me if she could give away the toys that I have been keeping all these years. She was in the final stages of packing to move to her new home, and all my other things when I was single has to be displaced somehow. When she mentioned “toys”, the instant object that came into my mind is my rag doll collection. At some point in my teens (and early twenties), I have collected these adorable, pudgy rag dolls.

I have the smallest and the biggest rag doll in my stash. And like a true corny sentimentalist, I have a name for each of them. It’s a sad thing that it never occurred to me to photograph each of them (I have a feeling this would be a little too much, hehe). Some of them are bought, and a lot of them are given by my friends, who never hesitated in indulging me a bit in my habit.

And so I was a little alarmed when she sent me that message. But no, she’s not giving my rag dolls away, she assured me. What she meant were my other tiny stuffed animals I’ve also collected on the side. I’m a sporadic collector (pairs of brightly painted ceramic soup bowls, pig figurines, Readers Digest condensed books, etc.), but aside from the rag dolls and old issues (60s, 70s) of National Geographic magazines, I’ve only managed to collect few items of those before the pursuit went pffft.

My rag doll collection has a special spot in my heart. I’ve dreamt of bestowing the whole coterie to my daughter(s) when they come of age. I think it’s a very girly thing. That’s why I love the dolls very much. Actually, I can only recall a few names right now- Fate, Angelica Pickles, Chrissy, Cindy, Li’l. I’m sure the others are corny names, too ;)

Mom asked me also what’s she gonna do with a whole box of cards and letters that I have. We’re talking about those ancient snail mails from friends, pre-email/e-card days. I have quite a bulk of those, and I told mom to just keep in a box somewhere. I wanna go through each of them one day, and remember all the wistful memories. The rediscovery of this unexpected collection will be phenomenal. I can’t wait!

My rag doll troupe, I hope, will kindle the same fiery enthusiasm in another young girl’s eyes someday soon.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Our so-called nightlife

The only “nightlife” we could call lately are the Saturday night dinners at our friends’ house. Darko and Janet like to have us at their place from time to time, for dinner, drinks, a movie, and occasional shisha smoking. Last Saturday, we were at their place again.

Dinners at the Lazics’ are usually quiet and relaxed. And mostly filled with interesting exchanges of stories about cultural pecularities (we came from three different continents, that’s why). Funny examples: a puto is something yummy we eat in the Philippines, but in Latin America, it’s far from being an appetizing food (a swear word: faggot). And we’re curious to learn the bad words in each other’s countries. Anyway, these nights can be a lot of fun sometimes.

I downed a couple of margaritas before dinner last Saturday, does that make me a boozehound? Hehehe. Darko made his ‘specialty’ homemade pizza again. Bowtie pasta and turkey meatballs completed our dinner that night. Plus of course, free-flowing margarita which Darko was too happy to fuel us up with. Who says quiet dinners mean booze is a no-show?

We brought the movie that night, and we were kind of excited to see The Departed. With its recent Oscar Best Picture win, and a stellar cast, and explosive acting nominations for its actors, I expected a riveting, really rabble-rousing. But I swear, it was so boring my head wanted to explode! I don’t understand why it won. I thought Crash was a little tame and too self-righteous to win an Oscar last year, but at least it didn’t lull me to sleep. Sure, Leonardo di Caprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson were first-rate in their roles, but- oh, my God. It drove me insane! I read somebody’s review about how superior was Alec Baldwin’s role/acting. But all I can say is, huh??!

It was a major disappointment, really. We could’ve picked Tenacious D, or Barnyard. Maybe it would have been worth it. All the wonderful food for dinner and the delightful margarita got ruined by the bad movie.

Moral lesson: next time, don’t watch a supposed critically-acclaimed, dramatic, artistic movie in somebody else’s home. Watch it at the comfort of your home when it’s not too embarrassing to fall asleep on the couch. Hehehe!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A lesson in History

Many years ago (well, not too many), I used to watch this tiny, orange-haired odd little guy and I loved him so! Now I wonder what happened to the show. I just had to post this video clip, one of my favorite episodes of all time. I miss Dexter!


I am a new convert to hummus, this Middle Eastern mush which is as flavorful as can be. I never liked chickpeas, but this chickpea-based paste, I discovered, is a different thing. It took me almost three decades before I came to appreciate this stuff. Well, I was a notoriously picky eater when I was a child - never liked hotdogs, didn’t eat watermelons, hated radishes, and pushed aside any salad on the table.

But as I grew older, I came to like all those things and can pig out on them whenever. Many of the food I used to dislike have become my favorites now. Take for instance Japanese food, I swear I would never eat it, but now I am happy as the day is long in a Japanese restaurant. I can’t get enough of sushi! And there’s food I was uneasy and too naïve to try (Indian, Ethiopian, etc.) before, but I learned now that being bold and adventurous has its rewards.

I guess I was just too timid to try new flavors and tastes, and familiar, “safe” food are comfort to me. I was always on the safe side when I was young (like many carbonara-and-iced-tea adherents of my generation). Familiarity is delicious. I think when you grow older, you shed those inhibitions off and you’re more willing to risk your taste buds.

Some of the more exotic food are acquired taste. An occasion ago, you may not like something but the next thing you know, you find yourself digging into that dish. Right now, the hubby and I are totally hummus-ified. After several ho-hum previous encounters with it, one afternoon going home from work, we suddenly had a craving, so we got this tub of Zesty Garlic hummus from Whole Foods. And so we were happy.

So there’s hope for never-tried-before entrees to become your plat du jour. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have the taste for paklay and lengua (hehehe). And there’s equal hope to my number one disliked vegetable- the squash. Maybe I’ll eat it. Who knows?!