This happened today: 05/28/14

Me: These socks are so bright they look like they’re glowing… in the light!

Karen: What did you say?

Me: What?

Karen: You were saying something.

Me: Oh, nothing. I was talking to myself.

Karen: Then why were you looking at me the whole time?

*pause for a moment of reflection*

Me: So that it wouldn’t look like I was talking to myself.

Karen: You need friends. Go find some.

 

I never realized I did that – look at other people when I talk to myself or I guess even just talk to myself when there are other people around – until now.

And for the record, I have friends and no, not the imaginary kind. I just also happen to enjoy living in my little bubble of solitary confinement for the time being.

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Preschool Dialogue #1: Of flying things, merlions and peeing

This splendid conversation between my 4-year-old students, Enzo and Brent (with a special appearance of JJ), will happify your day. A few months ago, Enzo went to Singapore with his family and was so amazed with everything he saw. Brent, on the other hand, did not go to Singapore but that did not stop him from seeing amazing things as well. And JJ just knows how to end a conversation perfectly.

Enzo raises his hand…

Enzo: Teacher, when I went to Singapore, we ate in a restaurant with flying ninjas!

Before I can reply, Brent raises his hand and doesn’t even wait for me to call his name…

Brent: Teacher, I saw flying birds!

But it doesn’t stop there. Enzo looks at Brent and accepts the challenge.

Enzo: And then Teacher, I saw a merlion. It’s white and hard and it’s like a mermaid… but it’s a lion.

Brent: Teacher, I saw a merlion too. But it’s color brown. And… and it spins the ball on his mouth. And it swims in the ocean! I saw it on TV!

Teacher (because I couldn’t help myself): Brent, I think that’s a sea lion.

Enzo raises his hand…

Enzo: Teacher, I also saw a sea lion.

Brent raises his hand…

Brent: Teacher, I saw the sea lion first!

JJ raises his hand…

JJ: Teacher, I need to pee.

 

Balls: The biggest laugh I’ve ever had with my mom and sisters

The other day, I had a girls’ day out with my mom and sisters to the mall. We ended up going to this cafe for desserts. I ordered a mango crepe which turned out to be two big scoops of vanilla ice cream wrapped in crepe with a few slices of mango on the side. And then this happened.

My sister, Karen, took one look at my food and said, “Your food looks like two very big boobs.”

We laughed because, well yeah, it did look like boobs and yeah, I was about to eat something that was just described as looking like boobs. Then my ever adorable twin sister, Kathlyn, who I love oh so very much, decided to make a comment (jokingly, of course) about the impropriety of discussing boobs in front of food.

I swear she straightened her back and tilted her chin up a bit as she looked at Karen and said, “You and your dirty thoughts! I just think of it as two big balls.” She was joking about my sister having dirty thoughts. She was dead serious about the two big balls.

Silence. We waited for her to process what she’d just said.

And then, laughter. Lots of it. The really loud  and probably annoying kind. I think there were some snorting involved. Definitely had everyone in there staring at us. We were too busy laughing to care.

Honest to God, I wish we were in the middle of drinking water or something when that happened, just so we could have that epic funny moment every TV sitcom has.

Really though, I find it so incredibly amusing that, being in what most people would call a religious family, my sisters and I shared this big laugh with my mother – the woman who told us we weren’t allowed to have a boyfriend until we got a job and the woman who made us switch the channel whenever a kissing scene came up – all because of an entirely innocent comment about balls.

photo (1)BALLS!

Humanity and traffic jams

It’s not just the profanities and insults people scream at each other that get to me when I’m caught in a traffic jam, it’s also the way they turn into vicious drivers who lose all regard for rules and basic manners. I can probably understand – albeit with a very sour look on my face – drivers who run the red light or purposely ignore the big red stop sign or whatever. They’re in a hurry. Fine. But people who get crazy mad at the person in front of them for not running the red light in an already clogged intersection? Really? Unless there’s a World War Z kind of zombie stampede or a The Day After Tomorrow sort of tsunami coming straight for us and, of course, if we’re in a Fast and the Furious type of scenario (because that would be pretty cool), no logic nor morals can justify that. 

I firmly believe that the way a person behaves when he’s behind the wheel says an awful lot about his character… which is why I sometimes find myself losing a little bit of faith in humanity every time I get stuck in traffic. 

It’s kind of a funny story

My cousin told me a story about how one of his friends, who has trouble controlling her temper and sometimes has the road rage, reacted when she came across a reckless driver. She was driving home from church one Sunday when the car beside her suddenly swerved to her lane, almost hitting her car. In that instant, she saw red. She was so livid that she almost forgot everything she heard in church. Almost. She drove her car beside his, rolled down the window and screamed at the top of her lungs, “God bless you, you son of a bitch!” 

See? Almost.

 

The unlikely story of how I got the job: Part 3

Going into that last interview, I felt like I was on my way to the guillotine. Quite frankly, it had less to do with the possibility of me losing the job offer and more with the idea of facing The HR Man again. I’m no expert in reading people’s thoughts but I can more or less sense if a person likes me or not – and my senses were screaming that this man was not at all amused by my subdued sparkly personality. I wasn’t even praying for the job anymore, I was praying for my dignity – that I won’t be ripped to bits and pieces.

Now would be a good time to point out that this man is gay. Before I go further though, let me just say that I have no problem whatsoever with gays. I have a couple of gay friends and I think they’re wonderful people. The HR Man is probably a wonderful person too. It’s just that he terrifies me. He reminds me so much of Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada – which, for the record, is what my sisters say will be my life story with this whole experience (if it isn’t obvious enough, I’m Anne Hathaway, not Meryl Streep). But really, how can anyone not feel the least bit intimidated when you’re face to face with the gay version of Meryl Streep?

Anyway, The Interview. It already sounds terrifying, doesn’t it? A lot of things were said. I’m not sure if most of the comments could be considered bad because, personally, they weren’t. It’s common for people to remember the bad in a situation more than the good. I remember the awkward ones the most, and The Interview had more awkward moments than anything else – like my very painstakingly thought out attempt at lightening the mood with a witty remark… which ended with him staring at me as if thinking, “You are one sad, sad creature.”

The most significant moment of the interview, however, was when he said he had two major concerns about me.

  1. “You’re too sheltered.” I could understand where he was coming from with this one. I’ve accepted the fact that there’s something about how I act or talk when I meet people for the first time, especially the ones who terrify me, that just gives them the impression that I’m a quiet lost girl with no friends and no life and no future. And knowing that I was raised in a strong Christian household would understandably make him think that I’m overprotected and inexperienced with “life” (because he actually told me to “go live life and go wild and crazy in Bangkok”). Overprotected? Yeah, maybe. Not denying that. Inexperienced with “life”? Well, if you define life as going out to parties on a daily basis, getting drunk/high/laid every now and then, and basically doing anything and everything that a lot of young people nowadays brag about to their friends but hide from their parents, then I am definitely inexperienced, and proud of it. I’m also unsure how that’s a bad thing.
  2. “If I look at you and how you dress, and I get bored, what more can I expect from your work?” When I heard him say this, I seriously couldn’t stop myself from smiling. I mean, I was very much aware that it was an insult and that being told up front that he was bored with me simply because of how I dressed was a really bad sign – BUT I genuinely found that comment so hilarious because I’ve been teased about how I dress by my sisters, friends and even my ex-boyfriend. They said I sometimes dress like a pregnant lady because I like loose tops and bootleg jeans. I’m obviously not the type of girl who loves shopping and fashion, so I don’t dress as fashionably as other girls do. To be honest, I actually thought I looked pretty good in my mint green loose (not pregnant loose) blouse tucked in my flared jeans and nude heels. I even made the extra effort to wear accessories. I felt more fashionable than comfortable, that’s for certain. It makes me wonder what outfit I should have worn that would be deemed pleasing to him – evening gown, maybe? But it’s still amusing to hear someone criticize my sense of fashion… or lack thereof apparently, which really doesn’t bother me at all because I do prioritize feeling comfortable with what I’m wearing than looking like I’m always dressed to please somebody.

I know hearing these thing should have shook my already barely there confidence, but it kind of did the opposite. With the first one, I found his comment more interesting than anything else and the second one just really made me laugh inside. I came to this interview feeling awfully nervous because I was afraid he’d say I wasn’t good enough. It turned out to be that his reservations were personal aspects of me – aspects that I happen to like about myself – rather than my writing capabilities. That’s when I felt that if ever I didn’t land this job, it wouldn’t hurt me as much as it would before going to this interview.

But it turns out I wouldn’t hurt at all because he ended The Interview by telling me that his gut feeling was saying that I have potential and that, should I accept the position, he looks forward to what I can offer the Agency. So here I am, two weeks in the job and feeling pretty good about myself and my work.

I end this crazy long story of how I got the job by saying two things:

  1. It doesn’t hurt to pray. This doesn’t just apply to finding jobs, and this isn’t just exclusive for Christians only. If you believe in God, then prayer should be a vital part of your life. Trust me, it helps. And if you don’t believe in God, then what have you got to lose by doing it? If nothing happens, then nothing happens and you can go on feeling right about your belief. If something happens, then it’s up to you to choose what to make of it. It’s a win-win situation, really.
  2. Never compromise the characteristics that make you you, especially the ones that make you a good person. But at the same time, respect the fact that not everybody will be completely pleased with that. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be open to the idea of change. What I’m saying is if we’re going to change, let’s make sure we’re changing for the better and not for people’s approval. These people only get to be with us for a certain amount of time, we’re going to have to live with ourselves for the rest of our lives. And that would be impossible to do if we don’t like ourselves.

The unlikely story of how I got the job: Part 1

Like most of my peers, one of my biggest concerns in the past month or so was finding a job. More importantly, it had to be a job that I like or am passionate about. I didn’t want to be one of those people who valued their position or salary more than the work itself or worse, those people who put up with their jobs for the sake of being able to say that they actually have one.

At first, it seemed pretty easy to do- just apply for the jobs that I like and disregard the others that I think wouldn’t suit me. But then, gradually, thoughts pop up in your head. Are you really qualified for the job that you like? How many people out there who also applied for the same job are better and more qualified than you? When you hear people from school, especially those who got higher grades than you (which, if I’m being completely honest, is probably half of the senior student population), talk about looking for work, you can’t help but panic a little and start scrambling to send your resume to every company with a job opening. And I’m quite embarrassed to admit that no amount of praying on my part assured me enough to stop me from reacting in the exact same way.

Overall, I think I applied for seven jobs. I got accepted in four.

If you read my graduation speech (because I strongly feel that every graduate is entitled to one), you’d understand why I have the tendency to cower when faced with a bunch of choices, especially when all the choices seem so appealing. I know, I know. Why apply for seven when I couldn’t even choose between four, right? Like I said, I panicked. But this whole experience for me has been an absolute blessing because I was able to witness firsthand how God works His magic.

Early February, I applied for the Jr. Creative Writer position at an events management agency. I’ve never heard of the agency before. I was only interested in the position. I honestly did not expect to receive a call from them because, first, when I checked their website, I found that most of their clients are high profile and huge corporate companies; second, the only official experience I’ve had was working as a copy editor for the student council paper and while that screams “I have crazy good grammar!”, it doesn’t particularly say “I’m also a good writer”; and third, they only had one opening and I hadn’t even officially graduated college when I sent my resume. Because I had close to zero expectation of being deemed qualified, I forgot all about it. It was really easy to do since I didn’t hear anything from them ’til the last week of March. By then, I had already received my first job offer as a copy editor at a publishing company, which I turned down because my gut feeling was telling me that I’d be miserable, copy editing medical and business journals all day every day.

On March 25th, I went for my first interview and initial writing exam with the head of the HR department of the events agency. If I had close to zero expectation of landing the job going into the interview, I had negative 100000000 expectation coming out of it. Seriously, it was that bad. There were many factors. Namely:

  1. He asked me if I liked to party. I said I didn’t and that I’m the type of person who’d rather stay at home than go out at night. It didn’t even occur to me that I was applying for a job in an EVENTS agency and that creating and attending parties are what the company’s about. The fact that my interviewer frowned after I gave my answer was what made me realize that painfully obvious information but by then it was too late, which brings me to number two.
  2. He asked what made me want to work for the said company. Okay, before I tell you my answer, you should know that after his party question, my small hope of landing the job just flew out the window of a one million-story building, landed in the gutter and was flushed down to the deepest depths of the earth. So when he asked me that question, I figured it couldn’t hurt anymore to just tell him the truth. And I did. I told him I’ve never heard of the company and that the only reason I applied for it is because of the job position.
  3. After being interviewed, I was tasked to write a detailed account of a social event/party that I’ve personally attended. This could have been easy… if I actually went to one. I spent five years in college, not once did I ever attend a frat party or a concert after party. I’ve only been to a club twice and that was only because I wanted to dance, and in both times I was in bed by 1 a.m. Really, I’d make any parent proud. Anyway, I was faced with a choice of either making something up or just writing about something that might just embarrass me further. Again, I figured I was already doing amazingly horrible anyway so I might as well just go all out. So I wrote about my high school prom. I’m 22 years old, just recently graduated from college, and I wrote about my high school prom for a company that’s known for organizing fashion shows, product launches and massive corporate parties. I swear it took everything and more for me to keep myself from bursting out laughing because that’s what I do when I know I’m the butt of the joke – I laugh at myself before anyone else gets a chance to.

The 7 non-Christmas things I did/do on Christmas

Growing up, I never really did celebrate Christmas the way everyone else did. My grandparents didn’t want us to value Christmas because of the tree, Santa Claus, or the gifts. I remember, instead of giving my siblings and I presents, they would call us to their room and tell us the story of the birth of Jesus Christ and why we don’t celebrate Christmas the usual and, honestly, the more enjoyable way. We’d play Christmas songs but that’s about it. No Christmas decorations, tree or presents.

I used to feel bad about it when I was still a kid. Now, though, it doesn’t bother me anymore. I actually like it this way. I do give Christmas presents to my friends and to my siblings and I do greet the people who greet me, but my kind of Christmas stops there. How I enjoy my December 25th isn’t based on the number of gifts I receive because I don’t expect to actually get any. It isn’t based on whether or not my friends or anyone else greet me because I don’t expect that either.

I do, however, use my December 25th to do other things that may or may not be considered Christmas material. Some are tradition, some clearly aren’t. Here they are:

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1. Visit the cemetery.

I know, I know. This is a November 1 kind of thing but visiting the cemetery on Christmas day is actually pretty fun. Also, I’d like to mention that the cemetery I go to doesn’t look as depressing as the one in the photo.

This became an annual tradition since my grandmother from my mom’s side passed away a couple of years ago. My grandfather, whose birthday’s on the 25th, had already passed years before that so we decided to spend Christmas day with the both of them. We’d even gather around their resting place and sing happy birthday. REALLY, it’s fun.

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2. Clean my room.

Yes, while everyone else was busy opening presents and, in the process, making a mess in their room, I was cleaning mine up. And I’m so glad I did. I now have a tidy bedside table, a bed without anything but a pillow and blanket on it and, finally, a desk with enough space for me to write on.

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3. Read a really sad book.

Well, okay, it’s not like I made the decision to read a sad book during the Christmas season. It’s just that all my favorite books are sad ones and that I make it a point to read at least one of my favorite books each year. And since I’m busy reading new ones throughout the year, I only remember my annual tradition when the year’s about to end which happens to be December.

For this year, I’m reading John Green’s Looking for Alaska. Yes, I don’t really know why I do this to myself.

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4. Do school work.

This is one thing I would’ve been glad not to do, but an eager-to-graduate senior’s got to do what an eager-to-graduate senior’s got to do.

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5. Break my earphones.

I broke my earphones. WHY.

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6. Scoop my dog’s poop.

I know this sounds like something that happens every day but it’s not. My dog, Sumo, never does his business in my room. He’s been potty-trained for quite some time now so imagine my surprise when I found dog poop in my room, and quite a lot of it actually since he had a heavy meal. And I know it’s his since the other two weren’t in the room the time. I guess it’s his way of making my Christmas day extra special and extra extra smelly.

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7. NOT eat Christmas fruitcake, or Christmas ham, or Christmas cookies.

I know it might sound crazy but I don’t eat fruitcake. I like fruits. I like cakes. But I don’t like putting the two together. I like ham and cookies but there weren’t any so none of that for me too.

I ate spam, though, which rhymes with ham so I guess that’s pretty close.

Happy holidays, everyone!