Monday, February 23, 2004

I came, I saw, I cried a river...

My husband and I watched "The Last Samurai" a couple of weeks back. A friend in Manila had warned me to bring tissue paper as, knowing me, he said, I'd be having them in buckets! And so I did.

I think, any other actor could have played Lt. Algren. Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Keifer Sutherland, to name a few...and the story would still be as moving, as beautiful and as memorable. It was the Japanese-ness of it all that was amazing. The life of the Samurai and the discipline and pride that they have. The futility of fighting against change...even if it means losing the culture and the way of life you and your ancestors have been practising for thousands of years.

So there I was, in the cinema, snuffling and my head, I felt, was growing larger and larger as more tears fell. My eyelids getting swollen so my vision was getting smaller. My husband was getting more embarrassed as my sniffs got louder. I was thinking, he should be used to me being like this by now! but I guess not.

My highschool Yahoogroups have been discussing the movie a while back, talking about katana blades and samurais. One guy posted, "The Samurai Shogun shouldn't have died on his back. It is a great dishonour for samurais to die lying on their backs." to which another poster replied, "Yeah but Algren is American, he doesn't know about such things as dying on your back and honour for the samurais."

I now think, and want to post but just stopped myself because the discussion has gone on to new matters like our coming reunion...yeah, quite true that Algren didn't know such things but having lived with them, in their vilalge for an ample amount of time, he should have at least learned about it and thus gave the general a better 'death pose'.

So I'm posting is here for no one and everyone to read because I'm too chicken to open up that issue in my yahoogroups. Oh well.

Work to Eat, Eat to Live, Live to Ride, Ride to Work!
My husband's birthday is coming. I wanted to give him a new cell phone but my budget couldn't make the cut. I've solicited for extra dosh from my brother AND sister in law(s) but they've already bought him a gift and so now I must come up with enough money to get him that blasted phone. We have this agreement that other occasions just merit simple tokens (read that: cheap!) but birthdays will get you the works. I've been financially challenged lately and although it is always embarrassing to talk about money, I guess people must start somewhere. I need to come up with an instant money-making scheme that would turn in big bucks. So here are a few quickie options:

- shabu vending (illegal and harmful to customers)
- pyramid scam (a scam's a scam so no go)
- rob a bank (high risk, too much involved)
- sell my daughter (I'd have to make another one)

The rest, I'd have to slave through long working hours, no pay and no assurances of success. I'm probably going to stay poor all my life. Unless I sell my husband and make money whilst eliminating the need to get him a birthday present! Hmmmmmm......Happy 32nd Birthday, Obey!
Over the weekend, my next-door neighbour died. She was Australian and taught English. Because she lived alone, she was reluctant to call for help when she felt she was having a heart attack. Earlier that day, she had already gone to the hospital and complained about chest pains. The doctor who examined her said she had a clogged artery but nothing serious. She was told to come back after a week for a minor operation. The a 3am, Friday, she had a stroke. She waited until six in the morning to call neighbours and friends to take her to the hospital. She died at 8:30 the same day. Her name was Larraine Stanley. She was only 55. I will always remember her as the active, friendly and sweet neighbour who would show us her recent purchases, at bargain prices!...and chat about school life, her family and stuff about life and living. She always had activity books and toys for little children so that kids love visiting her. Wherever she may be, I know she is in a much better place. I just feel sad about the sudden-ness of it all. Even if we know, at the back of our minds, that death is an inevitable destination of our journey, I still cry when someone I know, especially someone close dies. I guess it was I who wasn't ready to say goodbye. I wonder if I ever will be. I miss her already.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

It will be a long weekend for us here desert folks as the Islamic New Year is this Saturday and we get an extra day off. That means no blogging for three days...will I survive? I'm getting withdrawals symptoms already. Geez...I should have my own internet connection up at home set up. More next week!
Our school cafeteria is funny. Well it's actually not, it's more annoying than funny but I'm just trying to be agreeable. You see, they charge me differently each day. Sometimes a lunch meal would cost 6 dirhams, sometimes 8 or 10...sometimes it's even more! But I seem to be getting the same amount of food and mostly the same kinds. A colleague gets charged 6 dirhams no matter what she orders and students get charged more! I'm sure there's some sort of conspiracy going on and a certain standard used to evaluate how much a plate of rice and fish costs, but I can't seem to get the pattern.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

It will be quite along weekend for us in these parts of the desert as the Islamic Hijra New Year will be on 21st February giving us Thrusday, Friday and Saturday off. Our working week is Saturday through Wednesday and Thursdays and Fridays are weekends. Perhaps I'd take an entire day to be by myself and recharge my spirits. It is difficult to take leave nowadays with a daughter in mind. I always feel guilty leaving her to her child-minder. It appears as if I'm a bad mother, going off somewhere and enjoying myself instead of minding and caring for my own daughter. The tug-of-war between the choice of having a few hours of peace and quite and being there for your child is often confusing and leaves me in a state of depression. Do men have the same feelings? I know my husband hates leaving us behind. He works in a nearby city a couple of hours away, and only gets to see us on his days off. As he is away, he sometimes goes out for drinks with the boys and I wonder if he feels as guilty as I when I'm out alone shopping or with friends without our daughter. Do women really worry more than men do? Why do we do that? Do hormones have anything to do with it? Is it because we both have the 'x' and the 'y' and guys are lacking because they only have the exes? Oh dear, more stuff to ponder on.
Amber, that's my daughter is growing up right before my eyes. She appears to be a joker. Once you laugh at something she does, she's going to keep on doing it - milk it for all the laughs it's worth and do it some more. I may have a future 'actress/celebrity' in front of me...but that's dreaming way too far into the future. I sometimes wonder whether I'm going to screw parenting and ruin my own daughter. Being so paranoid that I'd send her running to a shrink with maternal angsts and complexes. I hope to God that THAT wouldn't be the case.

Monday, February 16, 2004

My daughter is 14 months old. She's a funny little creature. Yesterday we went to church and we usually bring some crackers and juice along with her milk just in case she gets hungry. She can say 'crack-koh' for crackers and any other biscuit. She likes Skyflakes for which I'm thankful as they aren't salty nor sweet. Yesterday, she asked for some crack-koh during mass and of course, there were several other kids in the kid's prayer room that I had to share her crackers to about seven other children. Tips to moms: always bring a spare! lots of 'em. She, unlike other kids who feel shy, isn't scared of strangers and would normally just go up to ask for some other kid's food from their mothers. It is embarassing in our Filipino culture to ever ask for anything from anyone. So I often blush when she does this and compensate by giving away food to other kids.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

I'm arguing with batchmates, in a monologue kind of manner - me being the only argumentative type on a combatitve stance - about how we want our high school reunion to be. Oh dear, the agony of meeting up semi-bloated people whom you haven't seen in the last 16 years seems less appealing than perhaps meeting really bloated people whom you haven't seen in the last 17 years!

Reunions are soooo passe. I suggested a beach outing or a casual do. I think we are all prisoners. Why does a reunion have to be in a posh hotel where everyone comes all dressed up pretending to be successful, popular and condescendingly patronise their less fortunate batchmates? Because that's how reunions are?!?! Because it's like the JS Prom and the Homecoming Ball?!?! Well we should all break out of prison - the mental and social constraints that turns us into boring conformist - and do a really nice, memorable, affordable reunion where we go and meet up with old pals, even though everyone looks like they've swalowed some air save for a lucky few who've stayed slim all these years and just have a great time!

Although there IS the fact that not everyone is thrilled to see everyone else and I bet, not everyone would like to attend their high school reunion. For starters, if you are down on your luck with the shirt on your back threatening to unravel from constant use, you'd rather worry about where to get the next meal than whether you'd wear wing-tipped shoes with your blue suit. Who would want to feel like a loser in front of post pubescent schoolmates? Especially when you already are that! You wouldn't want that elusive sliver of success be dangled in your face when you can barely make it through the day. And even if your peers are really nice people who may offer to help, you won't attend just so you could be the charity work of the day. You'd rather disappear from the scene all together and let the rest continue to wonder about what's become of you.

Let me clarify the word 'pantot'. This came from 'isa pang thought' (one more thought). Back in my university days we heavily used this word to butt in on discussions and give "IMHO" on certain topics and issues.

My head is full of pantots. I can no longer hold them together. Besides, getting older makes it harder to remember them. Perhaps they are worth sharing, perhaps I should just cut off my fingers and shut the feck up...

Is that gurgling sound my empty stomach or was that my mind churning? Anyroad, whoever invented these nouns to name sounds. given the correct lilt, "pantot" is even a sound that nearly reminds me of taho and kuchinta.

I better have lunch first.
Thanks to U, Prof U for this blogger site. Now I'm a blogger me-self! I'm still trying to be friendly at and sharing ideas with my fellow alumni in Yahoo Groups and minding my own website in Geocities and yet, the need to blog can only be completely sated by a blog site. Whew.

Entries in this blog could be anything and everything...and maybe even nothing. But read on at your own risk.