November 30, 2009


Like any 70s child, my introduction to the entertaining (and puzzling) world of Engrish came with free trade. With the deluge of cutesy stuff from predominantly non-English speaking countries, I had pencil boxes that had me "lookiking out the window," stationery with lost-in-translation messages and how-to manuals that were far more complicated than actually putting together seemingly complicated parts.

In church last Saturday, I found an effective way not to snooze during the homily. It was a t-shirt that put to task my (rapidly deteriorating) memorization skills. And it read:

Romantic A

What gives me a feeling and the tranquility which made us unite and the calmness.

Produce the atmosphere.

That the spot which a spice was effective againste is smart.

While it is gentle.

If I wouldn't be condemned to stew in hell for flashing my cp camera during mass, I would have snapped up a photo and sent it to this site.

November 24, 2009

Of Plans and Policies

It’s that time of year, when departments realize that there’s enough budget left for planning and team-building and looking for ways (at least on paper, hehehe) on how to improve the bureaucracy. And so I’m off, expecting nothing (but good food, hahaha). Meanwhile, here’s something from my days as a corporate slave that pretty much says it all.

Corporate Life 101
1. In the beginning was the Plan.
2. And then came the Assumptions.
3. And the Assumptions were without form.
4. And the Plan was without Substance.
5. And the darkness was upon the face of the Workers.
6. And they spoke among themselves saying, “It is a crock of shit and it stinks.”
7. And the Workers went unto their Supervisors and said, “It is a pail of dung, and we cannot live with the smell.”
8. And the Supervisors went unto their Managers saying, “It is a container of organic waste, and it is very strong, such that none may abode by it.”
9. And the Managers went unto their Directors saying, “It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength.”
10. And the Directors spoke among themselves, saying to one another, “It contains that which aids plant growth, and is very strong.”
11. And the Directors went to the Vice Presidents, saying unto them, “It promotes growth, and it is very powerful.”
12. And the Vice-Presidents went to the President, saying unto her, “This new plan will actively promote the growth and vigor of the company with very powerful effects.”
13. And the President looked upon the Plan and saw that it was good.
14. And the Plan became Policy.
15. And this is how shit happens.

November 22, 2009

Go Farm!

Not since Tamagochi and Super Mario have I been this much into techie gaming.

Rice fields, fallen leaves, the vegetable patch out back. I look at these and I think “FarmVille!” I have taken to waking up really early so the strawberries won’t wilt. (At one point I forgot to turn down the volume and had to convince a grumpy husband that a cow didn’t stray into the backyard; that it was, in fact, just my digital Betsy lowing at 3 a.m. hehehe.)

At the office, I keep the FV window open, sneaking in some plowing and planting and fertilizing the neighbors’ crops in between reports and memos. I have suddenly found practical uses to math, calculating the time it will take for the tomatoes to ripen and the blueberries to wilt. The daughter, too, has plunged headlong into digital farming and has been telling everyone about our "pink" farm.

I don’t know the first thing about farming, but with FarmVille, I am living out the life my home ec teachers foisted on me when they signed me up for membership in the Future Farmers/Future Agricultural Homemakers of the Philippines (ha!). And happily I realize that Marissa is but a farm away.

November 14, 2009

Now We're Typing

There's a raging "comment" war over at my little corner of the universe. I don't know how a seemingly between-friends post about--uh hum--politics turned into an irritatingly immature free for all, but it's all there on Facebook--for all the digital world to see.

Now I don't really have this all-consuming desire to be on FB in all of my waking hours. I'm there for FarmVille, and to see what my friends from the other corners of the universe are up to even if we are too busy in our different time zones to say hello. But for more personal messages, for stuff that are supposed to be between and among friends, there's email, there's SMS and there's the occasional phone call. There I can tell them that I had corned beef for dinner, that I burped and that I am watching Lovers in Paris (not!).

The thing is,the (rabid) girls who have since traded tirades all work within an inch of each other. For all we know, they may even be breathing in the same recycled air. Which makes me wonder: whatever happened to good old catfights? Or to real conversations?

With all these social networking sites that are supposed to keep the connections going, it seems that people who should benefit from talking to each other just aren't talking anymore. Instead, they're typing. And broadcaasting.

November 6, 2009

Music to the Other World

At my grandpa’s funeral procession many, many years ago, the scratchy strains of “Theme from The Godfather” blared from the funeral car. I was too young to question why Lolo, a respected town judge, would make the final journey with something decidedly mafia-ish, but for years I couldn’t bear to listen to that song.

It was the same when an uncle’s friend died. His “farewell music” was “Don’t Forget to Remember Me.” This was the ‘70s, and the BeeGees was really big. Call it phobia, but I would get really scared whenever the song played on. I was young, and death was something I could not fathom. Death was, in fact, along the lines of ghosts and the horror stories fed to me by the yaya who lived for “Gabi ng Lagim” on AM radio.

As I grew older and got used to making that somber procession past Eternidad Street, the fear of funeral music eventually waned. It could also be that the funerals I went to had “predictable” music. From “Oh My Papa/Oh My Mama” to “I Believe” to “Lupa” to “Hindi Kita Malilimutan.” Tearduct-stimulating music, according to a funeral-march veteran. (Incidentally, my post-partum depression was triggered by canned music from the funeral car that passed by my street. A few notes, and suddenly I was sobbing like crazy, fast-forwarding to the day when my then two-day old daughter would trade me for marriage. :p But I digress, hehehe.)

In any case, my OC tendency for lumping music into imagined genres (e.g. funereal, ho-hum, ewww, ear-splitting, etc.) hit a blank wall when, at the funeral of a first-generation Chinese immigrant, they played a song that I'm sure rivals "My Way" in terms of popularity with the videoke crowd.

And as Marco Sison's trite "It's Just a Make-Believe" blared from the caro--the chorus reinforced by bystanders who couldn't help singing along--I remembered a groovy uncle who has since passed on. Maybe we should have honored his wishes. But then again, "My Sharona" is not exactly appropriately funereal, is it?