Monday, July 17, 2006

Car Trouble 101

Today, as we were entering the North Wing parking of SM Mall Of Asia, a car rammed us from the back thereby, causing several scratches in the fiber glass part of my brother's 2001 RAV4. Now I know that the damage can be ignored and I know that my brother would probably not have it repaired but how the accident happened is something I cannot turn a blind eye to. Let me expound. We were in line so we can get into the building while a black Honda car was trying to cut the line. My brother was already ahead of him but he was insistent in cutting the line. He should have braked already but did not and so, inevitably, he hit the left rear of our vehicle. My brother alighted the RAV4 a few seconds after we got rammed. The other driver who is in his early or late forties, am not sure, chose not to alight. He waited for my brother to knock on his window. I supposed he wanted to pretend that his car never touched our vehicle. He did not even want to check if damage has been done to his vehicle. When finally he alighted his car, he insisted that it was neither of us at fault. Another interpretation of what he was saying is that it was my brother's fault because his car backed up. Hello! My brother's car is automatic. This provoked me. Real bad.

If there is anything I hate the most, it's liars. I hate that he was lying to us, not admitting that he was in the wrong. That he really was cutting the line, which explains his very awkward position in traffic. He refused to accept logical reasoning and I was hopelessly trying to explain to him. I was really nearing hysterical. In retrospect, I regret the way I treated him. It was un-Christian of me. I am sorry but I am only human and very vulnerable to losing my patience. I do not have patience for people who like to pretend that there are no laws of Physics that we mere mortals have to follow whether we choose to or not. I hate having mimicked the way he spoke because I was getting frustrated that he seemed to not understand what I was saying. It was indeed racist of me to mimic his poor Filipino. I hate talking to foreigners who cannot speak fluent Filipino or fluent English. If you can't speak either language, get the hell out of our country. Okay, that was just inhospitable but I just do not like it that he is in our country and yet he has the balls to lie about what has transpired. After a few minutes of discussion, he finally admitted that it was his fault, if we really wanted it that way, he said. He was willing to pay for the damages for 500 bucks. What?! I do not think we can have it repaired for a measly 500 bucks. I explained to him that there is a Toyoto Manila Bay five minutes away from us and if he truly believes that the damage is not as big as we think it is then we can easily prove that by going to Toyota Manila Bay. He insisted that we go to a place that he knows that repairs car. I told him that we cannot possibly agree to that because that will just inconvenience us further. He was insisting that we do that. Seeing that this will not be settled any time soon. I asked one of the guards to call the police. We were lucky because the police got into the accident area soon and they saw that we were rammed from behind and so it was not our fault clearly. It was the other car's fault. He told us that if we cannot settle the matter then and there, we will go to the Task Enforcers Group Office to discuss the matter. There will have to be trials and it will be a long arduous process thus, inconveniencing both parties. We still argued some more until he still would not settle and so my brother and I decided to just go to the TEG office. Then he settled. He gave my brother 2000 bucks for the damages. I originally asked for 3000 bucks which was the estimate for the damages done on my friend's car similar to what we had. It took us several minutes to settle this. It was exhausting and I hated it.

We could have had a normal conversation if he only chose not to lie but I guess that's the reflex of anyone in the wrong, be defensive. I know I should have been more patient and more civil. I guess, my quick temper got the better of me, as it always does whenever I get into an accident. I feel bad about how I treated the man, especially since he was older than I was. I was being self-righteous and I am sorry for that. However, I also know that this experience would teach him better. I hope it will. I just do not like how he behaved in traffic and how he behaved after he inconvenienced someone. The least he could have been was to be apologetic but instead he pinned the blame on us. I was really shaking earlier, not because I was scared, but because I was so mad. I was angry that he has reached that age and he thought he could manipulate us and the events that have transpired. He thought he could really brainwash us into believing that we were in the wrong. Sorry mister, but that is no way to treat the youth of today. If you think that you are talking to clueless people, you're not. Next time, just admit you're wrong to save yourself from a long painful discussion. Next time, I will also learn to just call the police and be civil about it after all, I did not get anything out of it but a tanned skin and probably a couple of wrinkles.

Oh well... You live, you learn.

Friday, July 14, 2006

If there were a pageant for procrastination, I'd be one of the contenders hehe... I just like to take things in my pace. No rush. The scenery is nice when you don't rush. Well... most of the time it is. It is currently 4:21 in the morning and I am yet to accomplish the things I had hoped I would today yet tomorrow is another day err... today is another day. Before I officially end yesterday, since I end the day by sleeping at the end of it -- oh just indulge me, just one more post.

For the simple things you do that makes ordinary days super, I want to thank you. Thanks for carrying my stuff when we walk around the mall.
For having my best interest at heart even when you have to overlook yours is something I cannot thank you for but I have it on my tab so I never forget I owe you. Did you know that you make me feel so beautiful when you gaze at me the way you do? If you did not, I want to thank you anyway.
For each time you have gone out of your way just so you can make me happy I want you to know I am grateful.
There are a million more things to thank you for like reaching for my hand when I need you to, or when you need to or for no reason at all gives me the assurance that you need me. For putting your arms around me, for always having a ready smile for me and for having the soothing tone always regardless of whatever mood I am in are all priceless.
I may not write everything down but I have everything in my heart. I just wanted to think of all these things before I went to bed so in case my mind forgets, I'll have this blog to look back to and when I do, I'll have gratitude in my heart.

Work In Progress

I just realized tonight that I have not been giving my best in my Aikido classes. I always come to class unprepared. I do not practice outside class time and most of all, I do not review my lessons. I have not even mastered my vocabulary. My teacher would say Japanese words and I am still clueless. I have become the type of student I do not like. If I were my own teacher which, figuratively, is true, I would scold me. As such, I resolve to study outside class. I would take down notes now, outside class though, I do not want to look like a nerd in our dojo. I don't understand why we're not encouraged to take down notes... I'm not kinesthetic... I'm visual!

I also noticed about myself, it takes me years to really apply something. Take for example skating. My mom enrolled me at a roller rink when I was four. I was not learning at all, I just kept on falling so I stopped my lessons. I was able to glide when I was nine- five years after my lesson. I learned how to swim when I was eleven. I had a ten-day learn-to-swim program. I was able to swim after but not as instructed. I only got to swim properly ten years later. I was enrolled to learn how to play the piano when I was five, I am still a work in progress but I can read notes better now than when I was five. It was only when I turned 17 that I actually showed interest in learning how to play. I was never interested in the piano when I was five. I was so bored then but I went because I thought I had to. I did not know how to dance, at least not until I was 19. I did not even know how to feel the beat and timing was very difficult for me. I'd like to think I can now dance better. I could not sing a single song from a videoke machine without someone guiding me back when I was 19... I'm still not the best singer there is but at least now I can sing on my own. :)

Maybe it will take me more than five years to be able to get good at Aikido but I know someday I'll get it. :)

Oh yeah, there is something I never did learn- volleyball but then again, who cares? :D

If the Price i$ Right

Everybody has a price, what's yours? -Pirates of the Caribbean

In the world we live in, there are times when we are given a price for something. A comfortable life for your loved ones for the time you spend away from them. A good promotion for every year you spend working instead of living life. A low grade for every moment you spend having a good time instead of studying. The comfort in being in a familiar shore for the price of never knowing what is beyond the horizon. The list just goes on and on. It makes me wonder if, in paying the price, we do get what we have bargained for. Everything has a price, it just a matter of knowing what it really is worth.

Will the same apply to a person? Does everyone really have a price? Can we really exchange our very selves, our integrity, dignity, for a price? If so, what price is high enough?

I know it was just a movie, but, I like to get my money's worth by trying to digest what can be digested from a 150 PhP ticket.

#0000 or #FFFF

I like Pirates of the Caribbean because it is so much like the real world. I extend my aplogies to purists out there but what I like about the film is that characters in it are not black or white. What is good or bad, who is good or bad are blurred in the film. One minute everybody is against a character, the next, everybody is on the side of the character in question.

In real life people who are self-righteous would like to label the right and the wrong, however, not everything can fall neatly under the right or wrong category. For the aforementioned reason, we have debates, lots of them useless debates that in the end resolves nothing. There are cases though where debates are unnecessary, thanks to a baseline called law. Sometimes though, I feel that the law is too harsh that it loses its meaning and purpose.

Jesus never said do the right thing, He asked us to do the loving thing. When wa always use the law to judge right from wrong, we can sometimes lose sight of what is loving and what is not, forgoing the welfare of the person in question.

In life we pass judgement on others, and others pass judgement on us. It's sad because people tend to be black or white when they do. We are more complex than black or white. We'd have a much broader spectrum if we had more compassion in our hearts.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Passing of a Storm

"When I am weak then I am strong"

Paul said this in his letter to the Corinthians. I could not understand him better as I listened to this with my boyfriend beside me. We had a fight the night before. Not really a fight. More of me throwing a tantrum. I was depressed, I think I was PMS-ing and took it out on my poor, innocent boyfriend. I was bored to death yesterday and in retrospect, I now know that I shouldn't have been bored because I have so many productive things that I could have done but did not. Instead, I chose to sulk and feel bad and wish that my boyfriend was by my side. To clarify, we had a movie date last Thursday and another movie date last Friday. Still, I could not get enough of him and I wanted to see him yesterday but I did not tell him I wanted to see him. I did not want to admit to myself that I was being needy and clingy because I just don't want to be like that. Most of the time, I am not like that... well except when my hormones choose to wage a war against my sanity. Obviously, yesterday my sanity lost the war and kaboom my victim of a boyfriend had to deal with his crazy girlfriend. Thank goodness I have such an understanding and mature boyfriend, he talked some sense into me after three hours, maybe more. I was asking for a Sabbatical from the relationship because I was being too needy and clingy and to cure this, I need to detach myself from the object of my "addiction", I told him. This is how I became a non-softdrink drinker. I was getting so fat from all the softdrink I was taking so I stopped completely and I haven't taken a bottle for more than nine years now. I used to not eat fries too... but since he became my boyfriend, I occassionally give in but I still know my limits. I used to not eat chocolates too because I got so addicted to them too before. That is how I handle things. I get rid of bad habits by depriving myself. Call me an extremist, maybe I am. I was not asking for a breakup. I would never want that, I simply did not want to miss him so much that it hurt. I don't want to be too needy because that is just bad. Why am I being so clingy? Because a part of me is anticipating the work that he has to do next week. He will not be going home for five days for a system upgrade. He will be staying at a hotel with his officemates so that nobody will need to go home anymore. Everybody will be on duty all the time. In short, next week, he won't have much time for me and it hurt me that he did not even drop by last Saturday to see me when he knows he won't have time for me next week. I could not take it anymore, so I broke the silence and told him about how I felt.

Thus began our long and arduous task of resolving the matter. He spent hours convincing me that getting rid of him for one month will not solve the problem. He assured me that it will just make things worse. In retrospect, he might be correct. Here is what I suggested. We both take a sabbatical. I do my stuff for one month, alone. He does his stuff for one month alone. No calls, not text messages, no seeing each other for one month. Right now, I am grateful that he really held on last night. I am also grateful that he was able to talk some sense to me. I felt the Lord guiding us both last night. It was just a really bad episode of PMS. Today I am great. I am happy as I could ever be. Perhaps his calling me up before six in the morning helped. He called me up so we can jog at the oval in the Rizal Memorial Stadium. I was touched that he woke up really early so we can jog. It was my first time in the oval and it was really fun jogging there. My right foot hurts a bit as I type right now but it was really fun to be able to work out with my baby. We heard mass at the Shrine of Jesus, The Way, The Truth and The Life in Macapagal and then we walked to the Mall of Asia to eat at the Pancake House. I had my fill of French Toast and Country Sausages. He knows that's my comfort food whenever I am sad hehe...

Thank you for being strong during a weak time in our relationship. I thank the Lord for being there when I was misunderstanding you. I am glad that though I was being unreasonable, I am glad that with all the things said and done, we got out of this storm unscathed and our relationship still intact and stronger than ever. I want you to know that I am very grateful that I have you in my life. Never would I want to lose you. Thank you for having the patience to listen to my rants. You have no idea how much I appreciate you. Thank you for accepting me as I am. Please know that I will do my very best to not let that kind of episode ever get in our way again. I love you baby. Thank you for not losing your patience, thank you for not hurling hurtful words at me when you had every excuse to do so. Thanks for not screaming in my ear, for not hanging up on me. Thank you for holding on. Most importantly, thank you for letting me know how much this relationship means to you.

Though we had a tough storm the other night. I am glad we walked out of it still standing tall. Now I know there might be strong winds, and we may yield and bend every now and then, after the storm we will stand tall.

In Summary

Within the past few days I have:

  • Gone to Subic and...:

    • Swam in open water with my boyfriend and his badminton friends

    • Stayed at a nice company house courtesy of my beau's badminton friend

    • Binged on Tostitos and salsa (This is my latest addiction)

    • Ate at an "Original" Razon's in Pampanga (We loved their puto and of course their specialty, palabok and halo-halo)

    • Saw The Eye all over again with screaming smashers

    • Sang 'til the wee hours in the morning

    • Sang some more the following day until we were ready to hit the road again

    • All in all I had a smashing good time with my boyfriend and his friends

  • Gone to a Wedding and...

    • Got to be a secondary sponsor

    • Suck all the breath in my body so I can fit in my tube top

    • Freaked out for fear of being late for the march

    • Was a total nervous wreck until my number

    • Sang with a live band

    • Had a great time after my number laughing my heart out

    • Rode with two co-faculty and my bf to Laguna and back

    • Sang, sang and sang some more

    • Went malling after we got back to Manila (at this rate we do not take vitamins yet)

  • Worked a whole lot and crammed even more...

    • Finished the Review of Related Lit of POS Taggers

    • Reported about a POS Tagger my partner and I like

    • Reported on Machine Translation

    • Finished the Review of Related Lit of Corpus Builders

  • Watched movies with my boyfriend and...

    • Saw United 93 with my bf and we both hated it (By far the most horrible film ever written). Especially if you have seen Loose Change

    • Saw The Lake House and loved it. I am going to read Persuasion by Janet Austen, it seems like a good read. I am also going to watch Il Mare (Is this how it should be spelled?) The Korean film where the movie is based because I loved it! Never mind that Keanu is gay or that Jessica Zafra says that Sandra Bullock has only two states in this film, perky and Prozac. I love how it highlights patience in love. True love should be patient. Darn. That is something I need to work on. I highly recommend this film. Not a heartbreaker. I was able to predict some parts but the ending was such a nice surprise.

    • Saw Failure to Launch with my beau and it was a cute and funny film as promised in the trailer. The plot was not as I expected it. I did not expect a Hitch-type of character there but it was all good.

    • Saw The Inside Man and loved it as well. Really good film. I was at the edge of my seat all the while.

    • Saw Superman Returns and loved the new Superman guy who happens to be kind of cute. I don't know why I kept on guessing if they changed something about Superman like did he evolve to something or are they going to change his weakness. It's like for a while I forgot that what I was watching is just really an adaptation from a comic book. The movie is still for kids and so most parts remain the same. That and a little twist in the end. Lex I think is not at all that bad in that film because he did not kill anyone, at least not directly. Maybe I have seen too many heartless villains.

    • Fell asleep while watching X-Men 3. Gee, I don't know why this always happens, I have nothing against them in fact, I love the X-Men cartoons... Maybe I just don't like how they were portrayed in the film or maybe I was just tired... yeah right!

    • Saw Da Vinci Code and enjoyed it but not as much as I enjoyed the page turner book

    • Enjoyed each and every film with my boyfriend. It feels nice to be able to watch a movie with my head resting on his strong shoulders. It's nice to have arms wrapped around me when it's cold, hands to hold when the film is crushing me inside and eyes to gaze at during mushy moments.

  • Threw a tantrum...

    • Stayed on the phone for hours

    • Argued endlessly with me beau

    • Realized how blessed I am to have an understanding and loving boyfriend

    • Admired my boyfriend's ability to understand my quirks and topaks

    • Woken up by my boyfriend who woke up extra early so we can see each other on a Sunday

    • Jogged around the oval of Rizal Stadium at 6 in the morning

    • Heard mass with my beau at 9 in the morning

    • Had breakfast at my fave breakfast place, Pancake House

    • Completely enjoyed my Sunday morning with the man I truly love! The man who chooses to understand me when it is easier to judge me.