Tuesday, August 31

A Pleasantly Manic Monday

I’ve heard of manic Mondays. But my Mondays? Mondays have always been THE day for me. It’s as if everybody swore to boycott Fridays and make up triple time on Mondays. By lunch time, I was wishing that I was a bubble, about to pop and disappear without a trace.

Still, I was plugging away at work emails when the phone rang:  "This is your reminder call."  Almost forgot, condo board association meeting at 7 pm!

Good thing I worked from home. A few seconds later, there I was, all bubbly; as if I had the best day in my entire life! And why not? Over budget discussions, one board member opened a bottle of Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon.  The wine was surprisingly, pleasantly strong!

Two hours later, partly because of the wine and partly because we were just crazy individuals, we wished each other a safe walk back to our apartments. And now, instead of going back to work emails, I am googling Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon.  And I am pleasantly finding out, aside from being pleasantly strong, it is pleasantly inexpensive!  And since I am still pleasantly tipsy, I will just turn this PC off and watch The Closer and, later (if I've not dozed off), Rizzoli & Isles.

I may not have won the lotto today, but it surely feels a little like it. Wish the feeling will stay even after I get sober and realize it's already Terrible Tuesday.

Sunday, August 29

No Harm in Dreaming, Especially since Dreaming is Free

Had a near-perfect day yesterday. Everything happened as if on cue.

Twelve hours of sleep and slept in till noon time! Stood up to prepare a humble, but definitely satisfying lunch. Devoured lunch while surfing the web. After gulping down the last drop of delicious gourmet coffee, went straight to doing house chores. Believe me, when you’ve been wanting to do chores but can’t due to work or social obligations, actually doing chores can be ecstatic!

Laundered clothes while cleaning the bathroom and, later on, the kitchen. Got and folded my clothes while emailing and texting people from school. Got a text message that got me dressing up and driving to school in all of 15 minutes. While in school, left the papers that I painstakingly put together the whole day of last Saturday. Was back in my apartment in an hour. Fixed myself a snack. Watched TV while ironing clothes. And, just as soon as I stored away the ironing board, I felt it. Headache, no migraine. Impending migraine. Drank migraine medicine. Laid down. Massaged my head with menthol. Sniffed from a bottle of eucalyptus essence. And started dreaming.

What will I do if I win the lotto?

1. Not tell anyone!

2. Open a certificate of deposit in the amount that will earn me a monthly interest equivalent to my monthly net income now. I plan to live off/within this monthly interest. As for the rest of the greens …

3. Pay off all my debts;

4. Buy a two-bedroom, two bath unit in a newly constructed condo building;

5. Invest another million in treasury bills;

6. Invest a quarter of a million in stocks;

7. Renovate our ancestral home;

8. Make our two ancestral lots more saleable and then sell them;

9. Send my mom and her siblings to pilgrimage trips in the Middle East and Europe (heck, trips to anywhere in world!);

10. Build a senior-friendly compound in California for my mom, her siblings and their families;

11. Open a foundation; and live the rest of my life

12. Managing the foundation, teaching, exercising, traveling, painting and indulging in photography.

Ah, the pleasures of dreaming.  Dream on ...

Tuesday, August 24

Another “Wish I Win the Lotto” Day

Funny how a bad day can drastically change one’s answer to the same question.

Last Sunday, a friend BBMed me: “I finally convinced myself that I don’t need this stress. Not at this stage of my career and financial status, right?” My answer:

“No, I don’t think you convinced yourself. If it was a different company and if the work wasn’t as demanding and stressful, you’d be feeling and thinking differently. You would not want to pack up and leave. Well, that, among other developments in your life right now. Maybe, you’re seeing another direction in the horizon that you’re itching to fly to.”
But if my friend was to BBM me that same message again, at this very moment, my answer would now be:
“Oh please. You?  You pack your bags. You go to the US and live with me, living off your money without having the need to work. And here I am. Just like you, totally unhappy with work, with the people I work with, with life in general. And I can’t just pack up and leave. I don’t have enough money to live off on. Where will I go? Whom will I go to? How will I live? Now you tell me.”
Mind you. I'm not mad at my friend. Far from it. Trapped. I am mad because I feel trapped. At least for now.

Tuesday, August 17

From the Angle I Am at Now

On my way to the city, again heard the news on the planned mosque near ground zero and how some are against the idea. I don’t know. Maybe it was the heavy traffic. But this time around, instead of shrugging the news off – in one ear and out the other – I actually dwelled on it. And two other topics that I’ve avoided taking a stand on.

So, from the angle I am at now – who knows if the angle will change – am taking this bold step to state my stand:

On the mosque. Line from the news that called my attention “… religious freedom is one of the foundations of our democracy.”

Agree. We cannot be against all things “mosque” based on a sweeping generalization that all Muslims kill others and self in the name of and for Allah. We are not our religion nor our god. Wouldn’t it be a great thing though if we were? Allah, God, Jehovah, Yahweh, etc, etc, etc. These names supposedly stand for all things good. So, if we are our religion, if we are true to what our gods stand for, there should be no killing. There should be no ground zero. The perpetrators of ground zero are human beings, first and foremost, before they are Muslims.

What I am interested to find out though are: how near is the nearest mosque to ground zero? What makes ground zero an ideal location for a new mosque? In other words, why a mosque … now … at ground zero? Maybe these parts of the news I missed.

On the death penalty. Ok. Here, my religiosity comes in. I am not the source of life; therefore, I have no right to take life. Is life imprisonment not enough? What can be worse punishment than spending life in prison? I just hope that we can think of something fast though to make sure we don’t have more convicts than prison cells.

On same sex marriage. Maybe it’s the word “marriage” that throws me off balance. Hey, I’m that way. And I will move and live in with a partner when the right one comes along. But I don’t think I’ll ever drag marriage into the picture. Marriage is way older than me. Thus, I choose to respect its heritage and legacy.

Rights and privileges of married couples? Call me plain and simple stupid, but won’t living and/or last will and testaments address this concern? Ulk.

Monday, August 16

“Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone”

I am not perfect. Never had the illusion that I was, am, and will ever be perfect. And because I know I am not perfect - that I err – I make an effort to give people slack for their own errors and imperfections.

That is why I just blew off the roof when my friend went ballistic against her sister. It’s not that I condone what my friend’s sister is doing. What I wasn’t feeling was my friend beating up her sister for something my friend herself has done – having an affair! Not just once, in the seven years that I’ve known her.

Not one to mince words, I told my friend exactly what was on my mind. And this was what my friend had to say about her sister: “Her case is different than mine. She’s doing this just to entertain herself. I know her husband. He’s good looking. He’s intelligent. He’s nice. He’s a good person. And my sister agrees. And she says that she loves him. That is why I am furious. She is risking losing what is good in her life.”

My friend has a point. But it still didn’t feel right. It felt like she was now justifying her own affairs. I know her husband and I wouldn’t have a husband like him. But spouses’ flaws, whether real or imagined, are they reasons to have affairs? Are they reasons or are they excuses -- excuses for one’s own flaws?

If a relationship is not working out, if a partner is not working out, wouldn’t the more decent thing to do be to go separate ways (temporarily or permanently) before “exploring people” and having affairs? Isn’t it a sign of one’s own weakness to be having affairs while lingering in a supposedly dysfunctional relationship because your partner makes threats, because you want to have the best of all worlds, or because you need a back up plan as you can’t handle being alone on your own?

I guess I’ll never know the answers until I am in such a situation myself. And believe me, being in that situation is not in my shortlist of dreams and wishes. Till then, I will just continue giving people the slack that I hope will be accorded me when it is my turn to need it.

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