Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Static (or Why I Don't Miss the Television)

I used to be a hardcore couch potato.  Depending on the show playing, I can tell you the day of the week and the time of the day.  I can even tell you the ordered listing of shows to at least ten different cable channels at any given day.

But then, one day, our cable got busted and I was left with local channels on bad reception.  Each hour, each day, I spent watching the local channels, I felt my brain cells shriveling up and dying one by one due to the inanities forced upon me in the guise of entertainment.  I looked like I was having seizures as I couldn't stop my eyes from rolling with each improbable scenario presented as facets of everyday life.  It got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore and the only choice left was to go cold turkey and pass on the tv.

Four years after and I'm not regretting my decision.  We do have cable again, but the urge to watch had passed.  There may be relapses from time to time, when I seat in front of the tv and just channel surf till the wee hours of the morning, but those instances are rare.

And every now and then, I am given reasons to assert my decision to give up on television.  

I was at work when the hostage situation was reported by persons I follow on twitter.  Powering up my browsers, I reached for the first web article I could find that showcased gist of what was going on.  I read the article and left it at that.  I went home that night (after a few hours overtime) and didn't even bother catching up on the news.  Thus I was spared seeing the series of embarrassing decisions that led to that fatal and tragic aftermath.  And I choose not to see how the police and the media are trying to pass on the blame to one another on national TV.  

Right now, it is enough that I get to read the least bit of news about that terrible fiasco that I get from my timeline or as headers on my various mail accounts.  I feel it a blessing that I do not have to deal with newsbreak after newsbreak of every little detail, some of it only remotely connected to the incident.

I do feel bad about the victims of this needless violence.  Had there been people in complete control of the situation at the very start, so much of what happened might have been avoided.  But what's done is done, all this talk of should-have-been's will not help our cause, it can only worsen the situation.  What we need now is to pick up the pieces, move on, and maybe just this once, learn from our mistakes.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Clean Room

I used to be overly critical about my room.  Not two weeks will go by that I will not have the urge to pick up broom and mop and clean my room from walls to floor.  I became so obsessed with my room that I would not let anyone else even attempt to clean it; even when it seems disorganized, I know where everything was, and a different pair of hands touching my stuff would mean loosing track of where my things are.

Then my workload suddenly multiplied exponentially and I was left with little time under my domain.  It didn't help as well that I kept changing rooms, or rather, Matriarch kept moving me from room to room.  There even came a point that I transfered rooms thrice in the same year.  I lost track of some of my stuff because of that, and my drive to clean wavered.  After all, why should I exert too much effort in cleaning room when I am not even assured of my permanence in that place.

Over time the zealous urge to clean was lost, and my room became a seeming jungle of books and knick-knacks piled to one place or another with no logic or organization.  The old twice a week purging was lost until it became a chore to be done only on the bluest of moons.

And today was one of those rare celestial occurrences. 

The day started out lazily, but thankfully, I was able to pick up enough steam and start my erstwhile favorite activity.  More than just moving dirt around, cleaning my room also involves moving the furnitures around.  The purging isn't complete when I am not able to move stuff about.  And therein lies the heart of my problem:  my stuff are too bulky, or too large to move around.  For a long time, I've been trying out in my head different permutations of how to rearrange the furnitures, but I was stuck with the old one I used to have.  It did serve its purpose, but it left me with too little floor space to move about that you have no other choice but lie in the bed once inside the room.  For month after month, I have been lethargic while within my domain because its arrangement left nothing else to do inside.

Finally, after months of merely thinking about it, I decided to clean, and to move my things about.  And there were some...things... that gave me quite a stir.  I do love our pets; they even sleep with me on the bed sometimes, but those rascals have turned the space under my bed into their personal cesspool, taking care to do their business on the farthest side, out of reach and out of sight of my previous cursory cleanings.  No wonder my room smells like dog!  Further cleaning also revealed a bunch of papers remnants from my old job.  I confess, it gave me a certain amount of vindictive glee throwing those papers out.

Finally, I have a clean room, or at least clean enough to be comfortable with.  I still have some more things to do, which will be done over the next weekends to come, but at least I have made considerable headstart today.

photo credit

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I'm at a seminar and I'm blogging.  Hurray for multi-tasking.  And thanks also to Lancaster Hotel's unsecured internet to which I am leeching to right now.

I was late for this seminar when it started yesterday due to some other reportorial stuff, and I came to the seminar room all flustered and sweaty.  After I have settled, I realized that the resource speaker was familiar.  I have attended one of her seminars some three years before.

And like the last time I attended her seminar, she has a thick ring-bound handout, as well as a stapled worksheet.  We use the worksheets more than the handouts.  And half the time she's talking about issues not included in the topic at hand.  But these off-topic insights of hers make her seminars more valuable than it already is.

Her colorful and varied experience in business and the academe make for such enlightening stories, and her enthusiasm in her retelling is quite engaging that you almost wish for her to veer off-topic and talk about her experiences.

Also, she makes me want to teach.  

Teaching has always been in the backburners of my mind.  It is both a dream and a nightmare in my estimation, but only so because it is unfamiliar territory for me.  Public speaking is not my forte.  Stories about underpaid teachers also abound;  I'm not ready to go hungry for a dream just yet.  But the speaker is quite enthusiastic and emphatic that the dream is again resurfacing.  It also helps that she's asserting the lucrativeness of the teaching profession, especially when accompanied with consultancy services.

She also makes it look easy to teach by teaching the attendees how to do research.  She spends half the time instructing the class how to research using Google, because (almost) everything you need to know about anything can be found on the internet if you know how to search for it, especially powerpoint presentations for your lectures.  I felt this way three years ago, but let the urge go unanswered.  Then a deluge of work made me forget that notion entirely.  Going to this seminar has revived that idea in my head.

But I feel inadequate with my base knowledge.

Maybe I should start earning my MBA.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pag-ibig Pa Rin

O musang marikit at kaakit-akit
Ibahagi sa akin mga katagang ninanais
Diwa kong hapo ay 'wag bigyang pasakit
Sa paghanap, paghalaw ay naghihinagpis.

Sa pagkamangha sa nasilayang komediya
Na halaw sa likha ng Dakilang Makata
Tuloy ay naisip na tumipa sa letra
At magpugay sa dula sa lengua Tagala.

Sayaw at galaw ay kagilagilalas
Sa halaw ng himig na buhay at wagas
Puso'y napako sa aking namalas
Na siyang dahilan at nagbabalagtas.

Pag-ibig, pag-ibig at pag-ibig pa rin
Kasumpa-sumapang pag-ibig, salarin
Tatlong kaharia'y napailalim
Sa dusa at dugo at waging malagim.

Salamat sa aking mga katoto
Na nag-imbitang manood ng teatro
Orosman at Zafira, aking ginusto
At nagbigay kulay sa aking Linggo.

Ngayon ako, sa inyo'y nag-aanyaya
Huwag palampasin yaring naturang dula
Inyo itong antabayanan
Sa kuta ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan.

Muna'y lubayan ang banyagang produkto
At ang pilak na tabing na ating gusto
Kayo ay magmadali ng husto
Ang dula ay lamang hanggang dulo ng Agosto.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

About that Nasty, Dangerous Stuff that Starts with L

My reputation precedes me, and apparently, my reputation isn't as sun-shiny as I would like to think.  Shattershards shatter more than just shards, it seems.  I'm unfamiliar with the topic at hand, so I will try to modify this rant through words that are familiar to me.

I have always maintained that I choose not to engage in the business.  It is much too cumbersome and complex, and it isn't a prerequisite to anything after all.  Friends, family and officemates alike have at one time or another asked me about my business, or lack thereof.  They cannot believe that at my age, I have not once tried to engage in business.  I'm a non-entrepreneur since birth.

Going into business isn't an easy task.  You engage in it, not only for yourself, but for the public.  Regulatory boards abound, and they require periodic reporting of the results of operation.  The SEC requires that you report annual figures; quarterly figures, if you're publicly listed.  As such, everybody would know if you're operations are favorable or unfavorable, and everybody would have an opinion as to your business endeavors.

Engaging in business also increases your tax exposure.  While the SEC requires quarterly reporting at most, the BIR demands that you report monthly.  Whether your business is earning or is at a loss, the BIR computes for the taxes you have to pay.  Remit too much and you are bound to encounter cashflow problems, remit too little and you may be accused of under-reporting or even tax evasion.

Every business, at its core, is a selling business; it is a marketing engagement.  The entrepreneurs attempt to market their goods to potential buyers.  You can position yourself at the low end to cater to the mass market, or you can improve on quality and target a selected niche.  Either way, the object is to be able to sell your goods.  But I choose not to sell.  It isn't a question of marketability or low product quality, it's a conscious decision not to play the market.

Unfortunately, there are some with considerable capacity to buy and they insist on purchasing that which isn't for sale.  They ultimately get disappointed because no transactions are intimated.  Why blame the seller when there isn't any seller in the first place; when there aren't any products for sale at the start?  Am I to blame for their broken engagements when there wasn't any contract to begin with?  Just because there was a display doesn't mean there are items for sale.  

I do not wish to hear what the rumors say about me, but my habit of knowing stuff nags at me.  Thus I remind myself of this saying:  Caveat Emptor.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I'm feeling a little bit pressured right now.

The company has decided to finally migrate to a new accounting system to ease our financial reporting.  The current system in place, though workable, is ill-equipped to handle the volume of work at hand.  It is also limited in its capacity that it forces us to render manual computations to be entered into the books.  Switching therefore, would be beneficial in the long run.

But migration does not happen instantly, nor does the transition run smoothly.  Like all changes, you are bound to experience "birthing pains" during the transition.  These are inevitable; you cannot prevent it, only prepare for it.  Part of the transitions we will face include the forming of several of the staff to form part of the competence team.  These employees will be pulled out of their normal works to study and create the new system that will be put in place.  Starting next month, until the system goes online by December, they will eat and breathe the new system.  They will build and study the new system to ensure that there are no glitches.  

I envy them.  Not because they will pulled out from work, but because they will learn a new system. I have always been open to new learning.  I always maintain that it is my habit to know stuff, and this stuff is huge!  Those competent in SAP are marketable.  Very marketable.

Here now lies the dilemma:  whenever people are pulled out from their current work, those who remain will have to shoulder the work left behind.  I have been informally assigned the work currently done by our assistant manager.  Even now, some officemates are starting to call me "manager" or "sir", pertaining to the task that will be assigned to me.

I can jive with officemates, though I'm not too close to them.  I fear my new function will cause me to be ostracized from them.  Even with my current function, I get to interact with the various department heads more than my peers; the new function may cause more rifts in our interaction.

I went out of the office with this perceived problem in mind.  My paranoia has once again caused me to feel troubled.

And when I am troubled like this, I go to the bookstore.

Like most people, I address my problems with some retail therapy.  Unlike most people, I don't shop for clothes or gadgets.  I shop for books.  I get a sense of calm and euphoria by being in the bookstore in the same vein that some people feel elated inside a shoe store.  The smell of newly minted books in their crisp bindings provide for me a wonderful sense of contentment.  The sound of pages turned excites me with their promise of new adventures to experience.  The purchase of the book fills me with fulfillment I rarely feel with other activities.  And wrapping it in thick plastic provides me a sense of control.  I am a bibliophile and I am not ashamed.

ArchEnemy, the finale to the Looking Glass Wars trilogy, is the final installment to Frank Beddor's re-imagination of the story of Alice in Wonderland.  The deck of cards and the Queen of Hearts is still there, only more sinister, and more interesting.  I've never really read the original Alice story, and I fear I may not enjoy it after reading Alyss' story, but with the trilogy complete, I just might give it a try.

On a side note, I discovered I can have my book purchases wrapped in plastic at Fully Booked, although their wrapping process pale in comparison to my own.  After I finish this book, I will have to redo the wrapping;  I had to force myself not to cringe when I saw the attendant use scotch tape.  Ugh!


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