Tuesday, May 29, 2007

15 seen below

In the dentist's chair

My lower teeth are in a quandary. There are braces there, but my teeth have no space to migrate. The original plan was for me to get a pre-molar removed so today, my mind was conditioned for a tooth extraction.

The worst part of a tooth extraction is when the dentist injects the anesthesia. The cold feeling of a syringe feels awkward inside the gum, but there's also this weird sensation of the medicine flowing in. After that, it's pretty cool when half my face is numb. I also like the part where the tooth is actually pulled out. It's a real treat to hear the action inside my mouth. My dentist uses this pliers-looking thing to grab hold of the tooth, then it's all grunt work from there. Dentists have wicked-cool gadgets and exceptional upper body strength.

The first thing I hear is a crunching sound. That's when my dentist is loosening the tooth, carefully yanking it from side to side. Then, there's this louder krrrrsssshhh sound when it finally gives. It's also oddly satisfying to see how big the tooth really is. I have two perfectly functional teeth wrapped in tissue paper on my dresser. I would have had a third for my boni collection, if not for my dentist's last-minute decision to just install a spring between two brakcets and wait for the teeth to make space. I was slightly disappointed at the turn of events, I was really looking forward to taking home a tooth. The bright side is that my eating habits remain unhampered. Hurray!

There was another lady in the clinic this afternoon, and she sure found my mouth interesting. Enjoying her attention, I even volunteered information about the status of my dental health. When I sat in the dentist's chair, I thought my encounter with her was over. Instead, I had two women poking around my mouth, talking about the severity of my condition. From the conversation happening overhead, I could tell that she and my dentist were old college friends. They had nicknames for each other and kept beginning sentences with "Maalala mo nung..." The most intriguing bit was when they were talking about anesthesiology class and my dentist said, "Ay, ako binayaran ko yung in-injection ko."

"Ah talaga? Kami noon, wala kaming nakita," the lady replied wistfully. What do you think this means? Are there penniless blokes out there who would let dentistry students practice injecting anesthesia into their mouths for a pretty price? It's a little bit like donating blood, but scarier.

The fish bowl in my dentist's waiting room is gone. Its two occupants have left this earthly plane for Fish Heaven. Upon entering her office after a three-day trip to Manila, my dentist came upon the heady scent of death and decay. Her fish had gone belly up. They were good fish, but were stuck living in a bowl that had seen better days. Let's all take moment of silence.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

10 seen below

I can't spend another minute at home

After a week of being sick, I went out yesterday for a day of debauchery with Lei and Maika. We saw Pirates of the Carribean 3 with another friend of ours and her son, who had been looking forward to Jack Sparrow's antics since he saw the trailer in Spiderman 3 (He got bored with Peter Parker and Mary-Jane Watson's dramatic scenes and wanted to know how long before Jack came on).

I finally understand why women get wet at the sight of Orlando Bloom. He's come so far from the bow-toting, almost-gay interpretation of Legolas in Lord of the Rings. I didn't notice him then because I was too busy raving about Viggo Mortensen. In Pirates 3, though, Orlando is gritty and rugged and his chest is always visible. What girl can say no to that?

The moment Will Turner gets hoisted out of that vat in Singapore, I was his. Everytime he would come on screen all damp and grimy, Maika and I would be reduced to giggle fits. And that's saying something. We are not the giggly type. Thing is, he was damp and grimy for three-fourths of that film. And there was this part with the thing and the guy and the ohmigod!. There was a collective gasp from all three of us. Lei was on the brink of tears. We were aghast. How could that happen to someone so beautiful?

I realize Imelda Marcos keeps cropping up in my blog. Paolo made a comment about her on this post and I mentioned her again here. Now I'm going to talk about her again: she was in Pirates 3. I was astonished to see her there, bedecked in all her finery. There was too much powder, if you ask me. You'll see her there, I'm telling you. You'll be wondering if a Filipino really was involved in making this movie. Lei even talks about the humor being a little bit pinoy.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy watching Pirates. I didn't have very high expectations for this film, it being a sequel and all. However, this is one case where I don't mind putting my foot in my mouth. Aaar, you scoundrels! Scallawags, the lot of you! Aaaar! When you've seen it, let's talk details.

After the movie, we hooked up with our friend Emil and went straight to a videoke place. We spent the best of three hours singing songs that only existed in our elementary and high school psyches. Ah, but once a Spice Girl fan, always a Spice Girl fan. Lei shot some videos (there were pictures too, oh god) and boldly used one of them to black mail you into voting us in as two of the top ten emerging influential bloggers of 2007 (Incidentally, I'm still working on my list. Will be putting it up sometime this week, hopefully. If you guys have any recommendations or are not averse to pimping your own blog, post a comment and I'll see what I can do).

I had the best day to mark the end of sickness and boredom. We went home, hoarse and exhausted and happy. There's nothing like singing a pop song to brighten your day. Still had the dizzies but Kelly Clarkson and Hilary Duff fixed that. Goodbye vertigo. (I always thought Vertigo was a great name for a song. Really, U2 is too cool for their own good).

Friday, May 25, 2007

15 seen below

What to do when…

…you’re alone, starved and have accidentally walked into an Expensive Italian Restaurant.

Imagine yourself on Valentine’s Day alone, but blissfully oblivious of your status. You’re happy to be single even on this day, of all days. You’re ready to spend the day wandering aimlessly in a huge mall, left only to your own thoughts. You’re only visiting so you don’t really know your way around. That’s the whole point, though, because you want to get lost. You have all the time in the world.

You meander your way through alien corridors, unaware of time passing. You pause once in a while to browse in a bookstore or admire a beaded necklace in a window. Sometimes, you encounter googly-eyed high school couples making their way to their favorite perch. You giggle in spite of yourself. You’ve been in high school too. Now, you marvel at how one-hour lunches always seemed to be enough for quality socialization. It’s what you’re thinking as you watch these teenage pairs slightly hurry to their romantic destinations. Somehow, you all know that they’re still going to make it to their first afternoon class.

Then you realize your own hunger. You’d been walking for hours and you hadn’t had a bite in a while. An hour ago, you cleverly decided to keep an eye out for a good place to eat. There were the usual mundane choices like the convenient fast food restaurant, where you can never get your money’s worth (because that’s the price of convenience) or the food court, where you would be at risk of getting caught under a smelly man’s armpit. You quickly veto these options. Today you’re a tourist – you might as well live it up. You suddenly feel a craving for Italian food. The thought of pasta and fresh garlic bread sends gastronomic tremors down your spine. You remember a glittering sign somewhere near the interior design stores. It was an Italian Restaurant. You retrace your steps and arrive at the door.

By the entrance, you notice a small podium you didn’t see the first time you passed. A concierge appears, just in time to assist a woman with a tight-assed smile. You take a closer look at the restaurant. Outside there are flower boxes resting on artfully welded metal stands, meant to imitate those on a Tuscan sidewalk. Inside, there are sepia photographs supposed to take you out of the mall and into a Roman holiday. The waiters and waitresses are dressed elegantly in black and white, their uniforms probably taking after a classic Armani look. The customers already seated are Rich Folk. You can tell by their lazy drawl and half-lidded eyes. You are actually looking at an Expensive Italian Restaurant, but your hunger and low blood sugar have slowed your mental processes. You don't realize the significance of your observations and you walk in.

The doorman and servers all look at you in puzzlement, but smoothly recover. They show you in and ask for how many. You tell them “for one,” and they find you a seat. It’s at a cramped little table squeezed in next to a flower box divider, mercilessly in full view of the other diners. Your server introduces herself and hands you a menu. You cannot refuse their attention because all you can think about is nursing your hunger. You open the menu. Ridiculous prices jump out of the page, taunting you. All food items are in the triple digits. Panicked and starved, you scan the list for something more reasonable. You get to the last page and find no beacon of hope. The ambient heat becomes stifling and already you are beginning to have second thoughts.

What do you do?

Get up and WALK AWAY. Leave that place. Forget your damned pride. Just get outta there. Who cares what they’ll think of you? Put on your best sheepish smile, nonchalantly shrug your shoulders, and for the love of god, get your butt out of that chair. Never mind the condescending looks and bemused stares. You have more personality than them. Embarrassment lasts for as long as you let it. You know you can afford a meal at the Expensive Italian Restaurant, but you can spend your money on better things. There are books to buy, presents to find. Think of the children!

Who wants a 360-peso baked ziti when you can get a heartier 90-peso serving at a Cheap Italian Restaurant? Use the last reserve of strength to get to a Cheap Italian Restaurant. Use your hunger as motivation. You owe it to your stomach to find a more satisfying meal. The kind where you won't want to puke out every bite because you know you would never spend that much on one dish. You need to find food you'll actually enjoy swallowing.

The only bright side you get eating in the Expensive Italian Restaurant is that when you burp four hours later, you still taste the baked ziti.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

4 seen below

Who knew?

Last year when my family and I were on our way home from a trip to Sagada, I managed to take this photo of an intriguing street sign.

I wonder what sort of things people get to see up there. It's "enthralling," mind you. Who can pass that up?

The mountain is given a short, rather formal description here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

6 seen below

In recovery

I'm still off from work due to my mysterious viral infection. Recuperating at home has never been this exhausting. I have two, very energetic brothers to take care of. This is their version of rough-housing. One tied and slightly maniacal, the other safely out of biting range...

Luckily, I can restrain one of them with a leash. Last week, he got sick because of some funky thing he ingested in the backyard. Whatever he ate got him spewing out from both ends. He went on antibiotics for five days and stayed in the vet's clinic overnight. It was very taxing emotionally. Since then, my parents have ordained that we keep him within the confines of the gate. Hence the leash. Poor guy. He's been bored out of his mind. So this morning, I opened the gate to let him explore the meager perimeter his leash would allow him. He ended up mauling my mother's unsuspecting plants. Here are the spoils of war...

My other brother makes life harder another way. He insists on giving me a blow by blow account of our canine sibling's latest transgressions. Which is a lot considering he's gone wild from boredom. My little brother seems to think that already seeing the events unfold before my own eyes isn't enough. He has to narrate it for me. Just knowing that I have another mound of poop to clean up is stressful enough, but having it pointed out again and again...oh god, please just shoot me now.

When he's not busy announcing that Rako has climbed unto the dining table or has pooped in places he isn't supposed to, he is content lounging next to the brand new race track he got for his birthday...

After lunch, we had to let Rako in because it started to rain. He was too rough so we tied him up by the window. This is him experiencing Acceptance...

This is me trying to drown out their noise. He took this photo. Jake, not Rako...

Monday, May 21, 2007

1 seen below

Watching a replay of history

I waited and waited but stupid Star Sports wouldn't show the Masters Hamburg final. They kept showing MotoGP and football. Good grief, there's football everyday. Couldn't I have just that one match? I called it a night and disappeared into the dark oblivion of my room. At around midnight, I woke up and decided to see if I would be rewarded a replay. I was. The waiting was oh-so-worth-it.

Roger Federer (SUI) def Rafael Nadal (ESP) 2-6 6-2 6-0

Federer rallied from a set down to win the third clay court title of the season, snapping Nadal's 81-match winning streak on clay. I stayed home from work today as I have been infected by some bug. (I can watch another replay!) That's the clinical diagnosis. But I suspect it might be because the impact of Federer beating Nadal on a clay court is too immense for my puny mortal mind to comprehend.

In the decider, it looked as if Roger was up to a shaky start. Nadal was on his heels, but he found his rhythm and all that had been missing in the last five tournaments had returned. He was serving well, his forehand was point-blank, and his movements were cat-like. He kept getting around the ball to deliver punching forehands. In the final game on Nadal's serve, you could see that Federer had entered a balance. His shoulders were relaxed and open, it was like he was dancing. Ah...it was magical. Federer bageled Nadal on the latter's favorite court. Talk about getting out of a rut.

The thank-you post

This wonderful new blog lay-out is all thanks to Lei's savvy HTML tweaking skills. It should also be mentioned that Lei has been nominated by fruityoaty as one of the ten emerging influential bloggers of 2007. Could it be her winning personality or her brilliance at modifying HTML templates? I dunno, folks, but one or the other, she deserves all our love. Teehee, thanks Lei! I know you'll feel my love even more when you get a slice of this crisp freshly-baked Nestle cake...*drool*

Sunday, May 20, 2007

1 seen below

Oh brother

One day when I was about 11, my mother asked me how I would feel about a baby brother or sister. We were lying down and I remember the ceiling start to swim in my view. The idea of a sibling was foreign to me, and I was not reacting well. I was getting nauseous.

Then when I was 12, my mother and father announced they were pregnant. This time, I was prepared. I was conditioning myself for life with a sibling. I had to learn the concept of...*ugh*...sharing.

It was eight years ago to this day that my brother Jake was born. The transition wasn't so bad. I tell my friends and anyone who I catch listening that I'm too mature to engage in squabbles with a toddler. This isn't true, of course. My brother and I are experts at Sibling Wars. We would burn down the house if we could. But we love each other, and it is with this blog entry and three shiny, new Hot Wheels cars that I say HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAKE!

Months ago, I blogged about my favorite Jake anecdote, which involved the misadventures of an amateur tooth fairy. I wrote it in two parts and this is the second bit.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

6 seen below

An ode to my students

My post drought can be explained by my inability to come up with anything creative after pouring all of my cerebral efforts into being patient with eight 11-year old Korean kids. By the time I get home, my brain has turned to mush and sleep is the only antidote.

One of my favorite students will be leaving tomorrow. It brings me great sadness as his loopiness is what got me through the eighth hour of the day. A couple of days ago, he and I ended up with a bump on the head and a swollen lip respectively. We were having a tickling match and just as he put his head forward, I was going in for an attack of my own. *Ka-pow* The effects were instantaneous. Our deranged laughter was replaced by groans of agony. I'm not sure who had a harder time of it. He hit his head on teeth with braces and I got my poor teeth slammed against a hard head. That kept us from doing anything radical for the rest of the class. I shall truly miss our violence and threats of death.

Remember that kid who wrote faster because of my singing? I found out later on that he really just found my singing apalling. An ego was deflated, to say the least. He was taken out of my schedule and is currently spared my atrocious vocal stylings.

The children in the school I teach in come from mostly urban families. They have lots of money, live in apartments in the city, and have had very little contact with bugs. Their first few days living in the Philippines are spent complaining about mosquitoes and shrieking about cockroaches hunkering along peacefully five meters away. I imagine the living conditions in a third-world country come to them as a shock. You could also call it an enlightening experience. They get used to all the bugs eventually and retaliate with mosquito-bite ointment and physical violence. Fear leads to suffering. Suffering leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Yoda was wise. Their fear brings them to cruel heights, burying ants in clay and waiting in gleeful anticipation for the ant's violent demise. Imagine your nose getting plugged with clay. They also capture the noble baka-baka with the notion of keeping him as a pet. The poor dung beetle walks along with multicolored string tired around its head and thorax, miserable in captivity. In a Korean kid's room, the possibility of finding yummy detritus is slim. The beetle is starved and weak, but has to remain interesting lest it find one of its legs across the table. For these kids, I wish them a fate where they get reincarnated as ants in a Korean school.

My blog is in the process of being beautified. That sounded a little bit like my high school principal on a day before some eminent DECS official was supposed to come to our school. "Let's beautify our surroundings!" Anyway, please pardon the mess. And I'm sorry that all your links are missing. They'll all be back soon. I've got Lei helping me out with the HTML. Thanks Lei!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

7 seen below

Six weird things about me

And to indulge JJ:

The Rules: Each player of this game starts with six weird things about themselves. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own six weird things as well as state the rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose six people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

1. When I’m bored or stressed, I start singing “Dear Lie” by TLC or “Didn’t know I was looking for love” by Everything but the Girl. Lately, I seem to be favoring “Didn’t know I was looking for love.” Not that I’ve actually found love. Ha!

2. I own an ungodly number of shoes, but only wear sneakers. I have so many pairs of shoes that I may be developing an Imelda Marcos complex. I love shoes. Despite the abundance of footwear, I only alternate between my white Keds and blue Chucks.

3. I’m really vain about my hair. When I was a freshman in high school, my two best friends staged an intervention. They made up a story about this girl who they had seen endlessly fidgeting with her hair. She kept running her fingers through her hair, combing it. If she didn’t have her trusty Hair Doctor around, she’d borrow someone else’s. She was shameless, they said. Nakakainis, they complained. They were pretty clever about it. They didn’t hurt my feelings but their little charade did the trick. I stopped messing with my hair. Now, I keep my hair obsession to myself. Mostly.

4. I’m psychosomatic. My neurosis peaks when I’m not doing anything productive. It got pretty bad during summer or sembreaks. When I was a kid, I got bitten by an ant. I kept asking people if ants had rabies. I was terrified I might die of an ant bite. More about this here.

5. I imagine my demise to be caused by slippery stairs. When I go down stairs, I imagine slipping, falling backward and hitting that soft unprotected part in the back of the head on the edge of a step. I see myself instantly dying. They say that hitting that hollow where the brain stem meets the spinal cord is fatal.

6. Books and movies make me cry harder than real life. Last night I saw Cheaper by the Dozen on cable, and started crying when Steve Martin finds one of his kids on the train bound for their hometown. Beans his frog had just died.

I pass this on to:
Nixie (perhaps when she gets back from Cotabato)
Pulang Chico

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

2 seen below

How'd I manage to type this post?

Do you know the sound Courage the Cowardly Dog makes when he's stressed out? The whine he makes when Muriel is being carried off on the shoulders of some hairy denizen of the night into a dark damp tunnel? Yea...that one. Rako makes that sound when I growl at him. I'm a hairy denizen of the night.

Now off to something completely unrelated: Maika has finally put up a blog. Check out don't think twice and give her some love.

I will be back when the lure of sleep isn't so distracting.

Monday, May 7, 2007

1 seen below

In dreams

Just been to Neil Gaiman's blog. Check out The Dream Project. Very cool. The artists who contribute are trying to make their dreams materialize in the waking world. They're mapping out their dreams, obviously valuing the messages they get in their sleep. Interesting. My blasted Internet connection is too slow for me to do a comprehensive tour. Must check it out with broadband. I did manage to see Neil's Train and it gave me goosebumps. Anything that gives a person goosebumps is worth your time.

I read this book where a tribe called the Travelers trains a young man with an exceptionally good memory to became the village Chronicler. He remembers the tribe's history for everybody. The Dream Project remembers people's dreams. Ooh.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

2 seen below

The End of Posts?

I've forgotten how hard it is to endlessly nag kids to capitalize and punctuate their sentences for eight hours on end.

My last kid of the day has this weird tendency to write faster when I sing (Er. I hum a little when I wait for my kids to finish their exercises). I thought at first he was doing it so I could check his work and consequently shut up. I asked him about it and he said that he just really writes faster when he hears someone sing. He whimpers a little bit when I burst into song. It's like he suffers because his hand can't keep up with his OCD.

For many months, my excursions to the bathroom had a hint of danger. There is a breathless thrill that comes with the risk of getting caught in the act. Every time I'd perch my behind on the toilet, my senses would magically sharpen. They would become attuned to the activity going on outside. The sound of approaching footsteps would further heighten my already acute perception. At this point, I would yell: "There's somebody in here!" Alas, all that is over. Our bathroom door now has a doorknob. My acquired skill is doomed to dormancy.

I currently divide my time between my Korean wards and my canine pooper. All he does is dole out globs of brownie surprise. I'm being pessimistic about how often I'll be able to put up new stuff on the blog since events in the real world are keeping me unnaturally busy. I'm thinking I could spread my bane on the Web by posting comments all over the place. And also so you guys know that even if my own posts have dwindled, I'm still reading your stuff.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...