It's the end of the world as we know it (or at least, as Wall Street would like us to believe)

Friend after looking at a newspaper headline: Ano naman ang kinalaman ng Unchained Meloday sa ekonomiya ng mundo?

Me stares at her blankly.

Friend: Lehman brothers? Kumanta ng Unchained Melody? HELLO????

Me wonders why I'm having this conversation.

Friend, because she has to have the last word: Lehman Brothers lang, di mo pa alam? Daaaah. (rolls eyes)

Me starts praying for more pressing matters, like world peace and lunch.

Random musings on this day of our Lord, the 19th of September in the year 2008, a.k.a more than a a week after my 29th birthday (pt. 3)

As a kid, I was never scared of the usual stuff kids were scared of. I like the darkness, it may give me the creeps sometimes but not to a point when I get pee-in-the-pants scared. Nor was I scared if monsters in the closet or under the bed, insects, reptiles, or any mythological, make-believe, or unidentified creature of folklore. Blood, death, or anything related to the macabre were, at a time, more fascinating and intriguing than frightening. School bullies bored me, and I think I also bored them eventually.

But that didn't stop me from being scared of Mr. Clean.

I couldn't remember, for the life of me, how I started getting frightened of him. Yes, I WAS scared of Mr. Clean, as in the hunk of a bald guy wearing an immaculately white muscle tee, with white eyebrows, an earring, and a sinister smile. I do remember, though, a life-size likeness of him, made out of cardboard and whatnot, guarding the entrance/package counter of this grocery store my mom and I frequented, because it was next to the jeepney loading station for City Heights (aka geriatric neighborhood I blogged about earlier), making it most convenient for us to buy last-minute groceries. Mothers have it in their genetic code to sense their children's fears, so my mom tells me to wait outside if she has to buy something in the store. This was 1980s Bacolod - kidnapping was not in in anyone's vocabulary, just starvation and the threat of looking like a Batang Negros (refer to earlier thread). If I wanted to come inside the store to drive my mom crazy and beg her to buy me chocolate or some nutrient-deficient snack with a free toy, I would drag her as hard as I can and run like it's nobody's business while avoiding Mr. Clean's steady gaze.

I remember feeling overwhelmingly relieved when, sometime in 1985 ( I was about to turn 6), we passed by the store and Mr. Clean was missing. I finally got to see what the package counter attendant looks like, with my mom assuring me that he has been in charge since 1983. I remember getting a puzzled look from him, as he may have probably thought that I was scared of him. For the first time in the history of my family shopping on that store, I was free of anxiety, far from getting a juvenile heart attack.

(to be continued)

Random musings on this day of our Lord, the 16th of September in the year 2008, a.k.a a week after my 29th birthday (pt. 2)

feeling: long weekend hangover (I celebrated Cheusok, suckers)!!! But I'm good, I'm feeling light and not overwhelmed by the delayed start of my work week song: Abriendo caminos, Diego Torres y Juan Luis Guerra (to supplement my easy, breezy mood)

Come to think of it, when I was in kindergarten, I was more proficient in Chinese, both in Mandarin and Fookien than in Tagalog. I learned Chinese the whole afternoon, complete with Bible verses to memorize (I was studying in a Chinese Baptist school, o ha???), the family tree (paternal uncles and maternal uncles are called differently), and the multiplication table come the 2nd year of kindergarten (up until table of 3). My Tagalog was honed by ear, thanks to Pong Pagong, Kiko Matsing, Ate Sienna, Kuya Bodgie in Batitbot, and later by Kuya Germs and his battalion of That's Entertainment starlets. Of course, I had to learn Filipino (at the time when the school subject was stilled spelled with a P; I've forgotten when DECS [so '80s, aren't they called DepEd now?] ) in grade school, which coincided with my transfer to a school that didn't really stress on Chinese education (think Xavier). Thus, my Chinese took a nosedive. To think I was the 1st student with zero Chinese ancestry to finish on top of the class in Chinese. So, now, in a 100% scale, I can only understand 30% max, with contextual clues, and read, write, and speak... 5%. Oh, what a waste!

Looking back, I'm grateful though that I was exposed to different cultures at an early age as it cultivated my interest in foreign languages and the like. Maybe I should give that Ateneo Professional Schools brochure a second look.*

* APS (Salcedo Village campus), in partnership with the Confucian Institute, is offering Mandarin lessons in different levels.

Random musings on this day of our Lord, the 8th of September in the year 2008, a.k.a my 29th birthday (part 1 of 29)

I am currently feasting on a slice of melon, a cheese spread sandwich, and a pitcher of orange juice. This brings me back to my kindergarten days, back to when life was still mundanely easy and I could still count the years id my existence with the fingers of one hand. also, I remembered the woe I would cause my mom when I would come home from school with my lunch box still containing an uneaten peanut butter sandwich and a tumbler full of orange juice, untouched. See, I manifested early signs of obsessive-compulsive behavior (read: homosexuality) by refusing to consume anything that is not color-coordinated. Thus, a peanut butter sandwich should go with chocolate milk, a cheese sandwich must be paired with orange juice, and milk, preferably Anchor (Nido and Birch Tree made me wanna puke), was to be drunk at lunch with white rice and whatever viand.

My fixation with colors ended one day when my mom, in a sermon which probably lasted for an hour, but for a 6 year-old kid felt like the whole afternoon, showed me a picture of the infamous batang Negros.

(not the precise picture, but you got my point, I hope)

For '80s kids, the Batang Negros, with ribs poking out and a bloated stomach, was every parent's weapon against children who have picky appetites. Alas, as much as I did not like mixing colors, I didn't want flies and other insects swarming all over me. As THE Mariah Carey once allegedly said, " Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff." Thus, my career with colors was cut short. Oh, the possibilities.