July 28, 2009

I Saw a Sign

Seen at the entrance to a government office:

"Punching not your own time card is not allowed."

I get the drift, of course. And I'm sure you do, too. But this at a government agency that is supposed to educate our children?

Ayayay! I guess someone deserves some punch(ing).

July 25, 2009

At 41....

... I laughed, danced, drank and walked down memory lane with friends who had seen me at my pimple-sprouting worst;

... I finally had the courage to do the videoke thing (and failed miserably, too);

... I became a school mom;

... I bought cellulite-erasing cream, which did anything BUT erase the cellulite;

... I paced the hospital floor while waiting for the medics' reassurance that the ugly wounds on the husband's face are nothing more than superficial bruises (they were, thank God);

... I cringed and cringed some more as Mar Roxas and Manny Villar thought they'd give "acting" a go;

... I took (most) Wednesday afternoons off just so I could catch CSI: New York;

... I realized that there is such a thing as memory gap;

... I gained weight, gained friends, gained new experiences;

... I lived, loved and laughed the way I wanted to. Most times heedlessly, at times with caution.

I will be 42 in less than two hours. No, I won't be doing my version of the next-door neighbor's plaintive "Happy Birthday, Dear Heartache." Birthdays--whether first, 42nd or 78th--are a wonderful thing. And as always, I welcome yet another 365days of discovering, rediscovering and just plain living.

July 17, 2009

The Other Reunion

This being my year of reunions, I had yet another. A month ago, I was with boys and girls who I thought had been consigned to the distant past. I hadn't seen most of them since we sang "Alma Mater" 29 years ago, when we stood stiff in our starched gala uniforms and said goodbye to grade school.

I went to "the other" high school soon after and promptly identified myself as un-Milagrosinian. I made friends with Pilot School and East Central School kids and forgot about Christian Living and other private school concerns. I went from a school with two sections (then categorized into Section White and Section Blue, the colors of the Milagrosinian uniform) to one with 19.

The other reunion had me revisiting territory that was almost forgotten. It was hard to imagine that these men and women were the boys and girls I exchanged Curly Tops and Pretzels and soapcases with during Christmas parties. Or that we "starred" in operettas together, wrote silly "dedications" in slam books and baked under the sun while playing Chinese garter.

It was hard to imagine that we were the same boys and girls years and years ago. But when we launched into our "remember whens" it was like going back to the old school. Heck, I even remembered the "Milagrosinian Hymn."

The other reunion was memorable not only because it afforded us the chance to laugh back at the absurdities of the past but because it brought us back in contact with each other. It was a joy to hear Padre Kiko (yes, the same boy who slugged it out with another classmate) say Mass, and it was a joy to lay out the welcome mat for those who hadn't been home in ages.

We are back to where we are now. Some of us are back to the grind, and some are back to where they now call home. We are, of course, all the richer for having met again.

July 15, 2009

Homeroom PTA

Oversized butts crammed into kiddie chairs. "Moving" the nominations closed after naming just one candidate. Economical introductions, the better not to get nominated.

This was my first official homeroom PTA meeting, and I'm glad I sat at the back. I'm not really the gung-ho extra-curricular type, and I refuse to stress myself out from too much "responsibility." Fact is, I have perfected the disinterested look in meetings just so I won't be called to be responsible for anything other than my usual work and the things I'm interested in doing.

I am not my parent's daughter in this respect. Dad is a veteran of elections and campaigns. Ma is the type who gets elected in anything, from PTAs to homeowners' associations to pastoral councils to federations of this and that. (At some point--and to my utter embarrassment--Ma "volunteered" me for the neighborhood Reyna Elena search. I won, but only because [as my sisters always insist] it was a money contest he he he).

Anyway, back to the PTA. I heaved a big sigh of relief when I was NOT nominated. From my vantage point I could see that my co-parents are younguish ones. The one or two "lolas" who sat in for their daughters were closer to my age than the rest of the parents, he he he. There will be more meetings, and more getting-to-know-yous. For now, I am glad that the homeroom elections is over and done with. I just don't like elections. Of any kind.

July 10, 2009

Gone Modular

I love wooden furniture. You see, I grew up hanging around my grandfather's home-office, where a stately, polished narra table held his neatly-filed legal briefs. The table never seemed to run out of surprises. Just when I thought I had opened just about every drawer, there would be one more secret compartment--an extended writing drawer perhaps, or yet another drawer within.

Because I am partial to wood, there was a time when I thought modular furniture were depressing. There's something a tad too impersonal about the sleek dividers, the uniform worktops and the ergonomic "executive" chairs. And probably because I've seen a tad too many movies, modular meant corporate power plays and disturbed--hell, psychotic--junior executive types on the verge of unleashing nuclear bombs.

Well guess what? Our office--the entire city hall, actually--has suddenly gone modular. With a wave of the contractor's wand, we went from bureaucratic to call-centerish, minus the phones and the twang, of course. There were the initial frayed nerves and flaring tempers from having to cram who-knows-how-many years of stash into defined spaces. Glass-topped office tables were stripped of pictures of children and good times and saints, and there was a tug-o-war of sorts as the more senior among us held on to their stuff and tables were hauled off to who knows where.

The dust of carting off the old and installing the new has settled, and "property" lines have been drawn. I have settled into my space and have since adopted a modular mindset. I have no choice, after all. Unless city hall decides otherwise, I will have to do all my slaving and griping and working on this table until retirement. Which, if you ask me, is still a long way off.