Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Chapters, Second Chances

Once in a while, rare and far between, some individuals are given a second shot.



A very, very dear friend of mine, will soon be a couple of air miles away from home. An entirely new experience for her. It is a bitter-sweet feeling for me. It is sweet in the sense that I know this is something she has to do, must do, now. Bitter in the sense, that however happy you are of events that happen to kindred spirits, they will always be missed by your soul. But like I always said, there are no goodbyes among friends. It should always be, "See you when I see you."

There is no doubt that amongst us all, we have friends who are the perennial rolling stones. However, there will almost always be the one friend who opts and prefers to stay grounded in the comforts of home.  For some people it is a preference. For some others, it is the best choice under certain circumstances. When the unlikely opportunity arises to live your life the way you always wanted it to be, certain that looking back is only an option for cowards, and moving on to a totally different world that is absolutely risky and terrifying, armed only with a leap of faith, I probably would still say, "jump!" Perhaps because some wise dude once said, the best second shot is when you have the moment to craft not a new beginning, but a new ending. Maybe not a perfect ending, but the right one.




If there is anyone at all who deserves and earned the right to make your ending right, my dear "evil twin sister", you do.

I promised my friend I would Blog some more. And that I would write a series dedicated for people who are either victims or still trying to survive the evil in the hearts of men in Corporations, and I will do that. Except that at the moment, my muse has inspired me to devote this post for her. And when my words are not enough, I rely on the tried and tested quoting a Quote some wiser guy had already concocted.



Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have decided to attach this link to a historical post I made  likely a century ago in dog years:  21st Century Rules in the Workplace

The Link, true to form, is a complete disconnect to Second Chances. But who knows, you might just be inspired to look for your own.  It is part of my promise to talk about Survival Tips in the world of Plutonomy.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Flu

So have you guys heard what the latest virus is? 
Well if you haven't, it's called : PUMPKIN FLU.

I was told that this virus of undetermined/undifferentiated strain is airborne and made a land fall sometime early this October, around the first week, I reckon.



I am afraid I did not catch the Pumpkin Flu and to rationalize that my absence is due to this virus is a massive lie. I happen to be completely incapable of lying to the few and far between readers of this Blog. I am probably even just talking to myself, which of course, is more frequent than anybody would consider normal. (You haven't even seen how violent my arguments are with myself. I bloody hate it when I lose in the rebuttal!)

Oops, but I digress, we were on the pumpkin flue thingy. 

The symptoms of this virus are orange-tangerine like patches that grow surprisingly fast (like overnight I guess) on green manicured lawns of blue grass. They look kinda off when you live in the tropics where I am. The best orange-tangerine scene around here I love, are the sunsets. Not the Pumpkin Patches. However for some odd reason, or harvest moon reason that escapes most victims, they acquire the flu pretty much like they acquire a political opinion --- through mass media marketing!

Albeit strange, though not surprising, just when it is believed that this is the season of ghouls, zombies, vampires and other elements from undefined dimensions, a post re-appears on this Blog. 

A-ha! It is therefore of no coincidence that my writing muse must be a spook (nope, not those in black suits and black ties), but a real spook, like Edgar Allan Poe's Annabel Lee. 


"It was many and many a year ago
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee.
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me."

Since I am no Edgar Allan Poe ... (I really like the rhythmical tone and musicality of that poem since I first read in some many and many moons ago); nor am I an Annabel Lee, it is inexcusable and totally embarrassing to creep and crawl back into my Blog to write again. But what the hell! I miss writing. I miss my Blog. I miss my Blog friends.

Like I always say, if it is important, then one must make time to do it. If it is unimportant, then one will always have the excuse of not having the time. 

We all work within 86,400 seconds, 1,440 minutes and 24 hours in a day. If some people can make time out of the same given, then I sure can.

Be careful now, the pumpkin flu is around, so don't let the vampires bite! It's Halloween Time when all the other ghastly, grim and eerie creatures will swarm. This can also mean that all the diabolical Bloggers who have been in absentia as of late will be infesting the web. I bet my bottom dollar on that!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Things That Make Me Sick

Today I can confidently say that I am intestinal flu virus-free! I have been battling with this annoying illness for a week now until my anti-bodies have finally mustered enough strength and stamina to kick asses. 
So I decided to wobble back to start doing something a little more productive than ...uhm...err.. continually detoxifying myself, then I had an epiphany of some sort. There are a couple of things that make me sick much more than a bacteria or a lowly virus that can crawl its way into my molecular structure.
Now how do I start with this sickening list?

First off in my "makes me absolutely sick" list is hypocrisy. Some people just can't handle the taking so they do the giving. So if I can't stand hypocrites, does it make me one? The world has evolved in such a way that to be completely honest with your thoughts and feelings make you an ass, a bigot or a racist. This game of "pretend" in terms of acceptance and tolerance is just making me puke.



Stupidity, to include, but not exclusive to the Press and Social Media. There are people who just really push my limits in terms of patience and understanding. I don't know if this "age of technology" has truly made a lot of people totally inane or perhaps the landscape that encourages limited, if not, absence of human and tactile interaction makes the grey matter dull. Maybe it's just me, but coming out of this stupor, I have awakened to seeing the population of stupid to be growing exponentially everywhere!



But seriously now, what really make me sick to my core? 

I was given this Blog link to browse and whilst most of our humanity's history has reinforced my belief about the inherent evil in men, there are just some events that are severely disturbing that to hear about famous film directors jumping to death or laid off employees summarily executing their bosses pale in comparison to the evil in our forefathers that brought forth our generation to this century. 
I am not from Canada, and I needed to back check the veracity of the sources as it spoke about the Canadian Holocaust. The worst crime and hypocrisy imaginable is using fear of eternal damnation and religion for power and greed. These historical archives are painful reminders of what we are capable of doing and how dark our souls can be. I can't blame the heretics, after all, at the end of the day, it is all a matter of your own faith.



Truth is, where we are and where we have been, to stand grey in a field of black make one glisten with goodness. Fundamentally there is not much of a choice.



Watching an injustice is the same as committing the injustice itself. But do we still have a moral ground? Can justice stand against the powers of money and politics and personal interests? Can we achieve a sense of vindication free-loading with the freedom fighters? Or do we have so much more pressing matters at the moment to care for such huge and daunting causes? Some people struggle making it to their front door everyday, so who cares what happens to the greater good?



I will always argue about having a choice. A choice to do good, to make a stand, to call a spade a spade, to speak the truth in the face of adversary and to accept failure with a sense of dignity. So the most atrocious thing that can make me sick, is when someone says, "I do/did not have a choice." 

I was recently speaking to a young lady, (22 years old), married for 3 years and is pregnant on her second child; who has been physically and emotionally abused by her husband through their married life. She tells me she can't leave the husband or report the abuses because she does not have a choice. She has bled three times during her current pregnancy and has been warned repeatedly by her attending physician that further stress and distress can be fatal to both herself and her child. But still she argues, she does not have a choice. I could have chosen to shoot her myself to end the misery altogether but better judgment and fear of eternal damnation prevailed.

Today I am flu virus-free but it is nothing compared to the wealth of sickening madness also known as the lesser humanity everywhere. Whatever dark virus it is that has been handed down to us by our heritage is nothing compared to the alphanumeric man-made viruses we scamper about to find an antidote. If we choose not to find a cure for our souls then we're all damned, for good.

Monday, August 13, 2012

I Will Miss My Sweet Diva Catty

I was 6 years old when I first felt the trauma of losing our family's best friend. His name was "Lassie", a mixed Collie. I was practically inconsolable. 

I remember my Dad saying if my heart will break each time I will lose a pet, then he will never have me own another one, ever, in my lifetime. He lied. I still got pets for presents between that time and to this day. But he spoke the truth about my heart breaking into a million little pieces.

This morning I woke up to the news that my sweet feline baby, Catty, has passed. I couldn't stop myself from sobbing when I saw her in her "little room". Totally lifeless. Cold.  It must have been sometime in the middle of the night. I just had to look and touch her again. So I sobbed even more. Sometimes the denial stage can only last for a couple of moments. 

She's gone. And I can't stop blaming myself since two nights back, I scolded her for misbehaving. She's been behaving rather oddly the past few days whilst the storms battered our place. A week ago, I had to hug her close because she was shaking when the thunders clapped and the lights went poof! I should have known something went terribly wrong right after. It must have been the shock.

Here's a link to a couple of her pictures.  there's so much more but I have not posted them (nor have I been posting at all) http://privatelegends.blogspot.com/p/pink-pussy.html

I am a professed dog lover but having Catty has completely changed my perspective about cats. She's the first feline member of my family, we have always had dogs. Losing her just cut through my core and I don't think she will ever be replaced in my heart. Not her diva self. Not her sweet ways when she wants some cuddling. Not the way she communicates and somehow I understand and she understands. Not when she's the Number 1 fan of my cooking and my pasta dishes.Not even when she's just being a brat and earning exclusive rights to her "Catty" name. Catty would have been two years old in December.

I am in absolute grief and I miss her terribly. They say all dogs go to heaven, I hope even cats do. Her lovely white fur will be a totally radical match to the pearly white gate. I only wish that if there is such a thing as an after-life for pets that she is warm and safe and loved.

"As anyone who has ever been around cats for any length of time well knows, cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human kind." - Cleveland Amory

To heaven's new angel, Catty, good night baby, sleep tight and purr softly.





Friday, August 3, 2012

The Fb Abomination

I do have a Facebook account. I still remember the day when a couple of well-meaning kids decided to create me one. Technically, I had two friends. 
Suddenly, a long unseen bestie sent me an "Inbox" message. I was thrilled. She said she was tracking me down for some kind of a get-to after having lost touch since our University days, and was surprised to find that I do have an Fb account up. She jokingly added she didn't have the heart to see me with ONLY 2 friends. That's how I started my Fb journey.

Call me a noob but I always believed that a social networking site, is as designed and intended, for "social networking." How this site turned out to be people's personal diaries/journals documenting tons of epic failures, fugly photographs and stupid updates, I really don't know. 
However, there are certain things I do know.




  • What you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner posted on your wall courtesy of Instagram is of no interest to me. As a matter of fact, it only gives everyone who can read your posts, a very vivid picture of how your poop is going to churn out at the end of the day. Tofu is very fascinating. Really.


  • When you are in the mood to display some ignorance, do you really have to have the rest of the public, aka as your Fb friends, agonize over your stupidity? And you even have the temerity to "Like" your own update? That's short of stroking yourself in public.


  • Whilst I believe in self-love as the foundation of being able to give love to others, it does not include having to withstand pictures upon pictures of your fugly face and fugly children in annoying and repugnant poses. I personally think to "Dislike" it would mean judging your gene pool, but I do fervently wish someone else will finally tell you to please Stop it already! Now unless your kids are between the ages of 2 weeks old to about 36 months (particularly hugging pets), people might still all go "Aww..." But when they're 18 years old and damn, starting to look like they are pushing 40, do you really have to post their pics on your wall? They probably have their own Fb account for crying out loud! I could always choose to Un-friend or Block you, but where's the fun in that? Watching other people delude themselves gives me a helluva kick!


  • Relationships, as I heard, have been either built or ruined via the infamous Relationship Status on Facebook. What's with that? I reckon this appeals to the voyeur in all of us, we want to see how things can turn from damned Fail to Epic Fail!


Maybe I am just sick of seeing how old "real-life" friends have turned out to be detestable creatures and these newfound Fb friends, given the virtual nature of the relationship, turn out to be more like-able! Odd but just keeping it real.


And yes I am keeping my Facebook account. Why not? I don't want to lose such an entertaining medium. Between the news, television, books and the cinema, reading my News-feeds on Fb is such a cheap therapeutic alternative.




I even have a Twitter account just to keep myself in the loop on what's trending in terms of the latest #. If you have no idea what a hashtag is, go twit!




Many thanks to 9GAG.com

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mmmmm...Missing My Muse and Magic Mike


Good grief! I just realized when I checked into my Blog that I have suddenly been reduced to practically a once a month Blogger. I started pulling my hair and knocking my head on the keyboard blaming the absence of my writing muse.




Whut? Wait a minute, I am no literary genius nor am I a writer. I am a Blogger. Bloggers write Blogs not novels nor did I ever dream of grabbing a Pulitzer under my armpit. So who am I kidding?


Honestly, I have been lazy and swamped with a chronic list of ideas I wanted to Blog about then eventually forgot to post. In my dream state, I thought I did. Honest. Fine, sue me. 


Sometimes I would think of a thousand ideas and decide these are not good enough to Blog about. Or I may disappoint the people (the few and far between... har de har har) who may chance upon my Blog and have the patience to read through the first line. But then again that defeats the purpose of a Blog. The very essence of why it is and what it is.


Ta-dah! I found my muse. (Jamie darling, this is for you!)


I was watching Magic Mike. And I thought, "Man, this film is such a cerebral let-down! However, it is definitely a totally visceral experience satisfying my visual senses! In short, an eye-candy movie."


Some of the Magic Mike Cast, Channing Tatum center


For those of you who have not heard of Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer (who is such a beautiful man, comfortably open about his being gay), Joe Magnaniello; then you probably know of Matthew McConaughey. What is an A-list actor doing in a movie rated an Indie Comedy-Drama about male-strippers? I have no idea but will definitely ask him next time I catch up with him for some coffee.


Okay, I will give you a moment to Google the movie and the cast. Oh you're back, that was fast.


Alex Pettyfer, up close. No reason, just an up close shot.

It is not a complete insult to the intellect. At least, not mine. (wink!) It has its good moments and its entertainment value is par. Well with some films you know you will sleep through an hour and a half of trash. I was told there were cinemas where the audience was highly participative, not in an interactive sense. It was unfortunate that I watched it in a theatre with a ho-hum crowd that squirmed in their seats trying to stifle a sigh and their heavy breathing. I am not proposing, "go watch!" I am just saying the movie kept me awake and I thought I would write a post about it. Can you believe that? All I needed was to watch a strip-show then I found my Blog muse. (ahem...)


And in a short and rare moment of lucidity, I started this post. 


A Post-script:


I have a new toy. It is supposed to enable me to live-blog. My toy and I have not achieved the level of total synch. The toys these days seem to know more what to say and think than I do and I refuse to succumb to the fallacy that their intelligence, albeit artificial, is better than my smarts. So until then, I crawl to my trusty keyboard like my comfort love blanket. It is reassuring to feel that it has missed my fingers on its keys. I will see you soon. Perhaps to have a more substantive Blog muse to post about. At the moment, I feel like doing an Ellen Dance Dare. Toodles!









Friday, June 15, 2012

Fifty Shades of Twilight ... Whut?

Hey, lest you guys misconstrue, I am not writing this post positioned as a Book Review. Geesh, I have spent a lot of that crap in the university and I have no plans in reliving that pain.


And speaking of pain, allow me - "heads up"! 


This Trilogy, (yes my sweet Virginia, I happened to have just read all the three Books of the Fifty Shades series by E L James; Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed) promises to be the newest and latest "fan fiction." 


If you have not fully recovered and may still be reeling from the Twilight phenomenon, I dare declare, has been an absolutely mind-boggling pop cult classic, then brace yourself. A new prodigious fan fiction is probably well on its way to hit the screens.






Now look here, you are arching your eyebrows, but trust me, I may have really bad days in terms of motor skills, but my intuit has never failed me, uh-huh, n-e-v-e-r! The series, albeit toying with the same saccharine formulaic ploy of Stephanie Meyer, has nothing to do with vampire romanticism (I may have bitched about it here, some time ago, like maybe a decade ago ... Vampire Romanticism and Tweenies).  


Truth is, it tackles a rather delicate and controversial subject matter that I have serious doubts a screenplay will do the paperback justice if the intention is to make a killing at the box office. The novels delve deeply into the deepest sexual and carnal desires of a young woman thrown into a roller-coaster intimate relationship anchored on BSDM. Hell yeah, now I got your attention! And sugar-coated with your happily-ever-after. If it weren't for the graphic and explicit sex chapters, I have no doubts Pixar and Walt Disney Productions would be the top brass producers killing to own the franchise in the bidding!


But I am straying here. I noticed more importantly, that the fan demographics for Fifty Shades has shifted from the tweeny-something to the thirty something. As a reader, the experience has definitely brought romantic overtones to the "hurt me Master" psyche. I just wished I loved myself a little less so I can completely relate to it. After all, I probably have an inner Dominatrix that still needs to come out of the Narnia closet. Plus, submission is still a concept, or a word to me that I have problems in terms of comprehension.


Honestly though, I loved the humour of the author, and her writing strikes me as definitely female. There is something here in this erotic romance novel and that something scratches the surface of your archaic and most primitive "id". Nope not the ego. (I am talking to my sisters here, y'know) ... that callow, coarse core most of us women seldom interact with, because it's roughness burns.


Oh well, don't say I didn't warn you. To begin with, it has not been labelled as the cult erotic "mommy porn" for nothin'. Until then, "Laters, baby."



Friday, June 1, 2012

Perfectly Flawed

Do you ever stop in your tracks and wonder what actually divides a fully functional individual ("normal" to use a more common reference term) versus a completely dysfunctional, maladjusted, neurotic individual?  Oh, you don't?


Well neither do I. I don't really do a double-take. I do think about it on occasions when I engage in a favourite time-waster: people-watching.


I have just recently finished reading a couple of "comfort" books. (I rather refer to them as "comfort" paperbacks since these are the type of novels where there is no pressure whatsoever to finish them in one reading. You can actually continue reading through the book even after a week or so and still feel comfortable, since you have not missed any cliff-hanger or suspenseful episodes.)  Easy reading novels are however different from the HDI or DIY; aka How Do I and Do It Yourself types in essence because they are not idiot-proof. 


One of the more recent book I read was originally written in Japanese, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. A masterfully crafted, yet simple novel on relationships: with yourself, with others, with the world ... set in the radical '70's decade and before I disclose any further, I should say that the translation to English is pretty impressive. I was intrigued when I saw it on the book shelf; splashed on the cover of the book: NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE. Seriously? I never had the chance to see the movie. I had to look up "Norwegian Wood" and I found out it was one of those romantic poems of the Beatles, and has a pretty decent cult following.



My take from the book is more simplistic on the over all. I have heard or read somewhere, (that's what I always say when my sources are fuzzy) and I can be completely wrong; that besides Las Vegas, Japan holds the highest suicide rate. It could be a cultural nuance or perhaps even a norm. I can deduce the reasons can not be further from similar in these two locations. Arguably, the act of taking one's own life, regardless of country, is about the ability to manage (or the inability to) one's fears and dreams; talents and weaknesses;  brilliance and failures. The polarities are attendant in every human being. The capability to accept the imperfections and flaws and failures become the overriding differentiator.




Whilst most people I have met would curse at the roots of their upbringing, for instance, their family and their childhood years, I consider myself blessed to have been loved unconditionally. I grew up with an older brother, (am younger of only 2 kids), whose middle name might have been written in Latin, Summa Cum Laude. By the time my big bro graduated in high school, the medals (gold was rather cheap and ho-hum), citations and rewards he accumulated had to be displayed in the family's heirloom - a huge China cabinet replacing all the Japanese stoneware and Austrian crystals. 

My own achievements were proudly displayed too, at the bottom left corner. I had about 5 academic citations, all-in, in my entire lifetime in school. 3 of them I got in Second Grade and the other 2 medals in Third grade. I do have my own variety of trophies, certificates and ribbons on pep squads, sports teams, Speech and Drama, Singing, Dancing, in my own room.  But academics? I look back and I realized I was not perfect in school but I had a fabulous time getting educated.

Early on, living under the shadow of someone's relentless streak of success and accolades, I assimilated from my father a trait that has allowed me to rise above all my flaws. I learned to laugh. Even make people laugh without meaning to sometimes. Above all, I learned to laugh at myself, at my own limitations, my warts, my blemishes, including my scars and failures. I laughed my way till today. Oh hell am I perfectly flawed, but it is my very definition of myself. I would hate to be completely successful and unfailing, popular and loved and feared and famous and rich. There will be so little to rise above from and even if I do have all that, to laugh would be seen as to demean and to condescend. I would be deprived of my life's greatest gift. A sense of humour and laughter.



I have often wondered how anyone is able to transfer wit and humour or that perhaps, "laughing" should be part of any medical practitioner's regular prescription. I don't believe though that laughter can prevent death but wouldn't it be rad if people passed with a smile on their faces instead? (Unless of course, someone ate your face ... I just had to put that in) 

I guess the challenge is to have something to laugh about. If you are laughing alone lost in your own thoughts, it may not really be perceived as healthy. You see here, there is a large percent in the 7 billion species of humans walking this earth living their lives with absolutely no idea how to laugh out loud with total abandon. They probably did gurgle with laughter as infants or toddlers, but somewhere along the way between Kindergarten class and Middle School, they lost it.

Perhaps next to breathing, I will keep on laughing. If not, I would find every way humanly possible to have a reason to smile. Even if the Zombie Apocalypse (May 2011 post) has finally begun ... dun dun dunnnn... Check this out if you're not a wuss: Zombie Virus?





Saturday, May 12, 2012

Desidera-whut?

I was driving one day around the neighbourhood. When something glittery caught my eye. Down the block it seems we have new folks moving in. The couple must be somewhere in their mid-60's or something like that and they were both busy cleaning up the landscape and putting up bold gold letters onto their fence that spelled... D E S I D E R A T A!




You have to be kidding me! A true-blue quarter storm, age of Aquarius couple? They must have decided it is their life statement, I mean, to have it plastered on your front lawn for everyone to see and take notice!


I seldom do a double-take (particularly when I am behind the wheel) but the visual I saw immediately transported me back to the memory of my Literature class where I remember being forced to read the poem again and again; cull the best insights from each line by this Professor whom we believed to must have been Hitler's wife in her past life!


Well of course the words just echoed in my hollow head, with hardly any meaning. I would love to discuss it now, yeah, bring it! Today, I know what the message is. What it has always been. 


Back then, it was torture to hear her screech at every attempt at a profound insight from me or my classmates. We were pretty lame to say the least. Honestly, at 14, "placid" was not even in my vocabulary of significant words to live by.


Unless aided by what we currently call today as 'medicinal herbs', how would you expect average teenage girls who are barely starting to manage with hormones without breaking out into massive acne attacks, to relate with such esoteric, moving lines, such as:




At my best then, I just knew that the word itself must be LATIN. Literally translated, it means, "desirable things". Desirable? How could chocolates and men not be included? Or just plain vanilla and chocolates? It was just way beyond my comprehension.


Couple of years later, when I chanced upon this prose poetry by Max Ehrmann, the words begun to breathe. And this time, I didn't need an Eva Braun to scream in my face to think and delve deeply into my soul for a meaning. I gave the words their meaning and somewhere along the way I realized I must have grown up.


I have no doubt that whilst DESIDERATA was, once upon a time, a mantra, a philosophy or a devotion (that time when people believed in making love and not war; that life is about taking things in stride and making time to smell the roses; each individual is intrinsically good; heroism and magnanimity is commonplace, respect and humility is a norm, and that the world is a happy place to be born in); today, this very moment, the memory of my Literature class has become more real and more apt. The words in the poem have lost their capacity to move people's hearts and our souls cringe at the possibility of being touched by it. Such tragedy. I would hate to admit this to "Eva" but when I saw the word proudly displayed on that wall, I just had to read it again.


Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


And I made a mental note to myself, perhaps one of these days, it will be nice to meet up with the new neighbours. I underscored the note with "listen" for they must be wise in their years, just as boldly as they declared their Life's philosophy.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I've all but ... (Almost an A-Z Challenge)


It's a been a little over a year since I started this Blog chapter of my life. And not unlike most of the virtual friends I have met in this journey, there would be highly driven stages of writing where the inspiration oozes out of my soul; and there would be phases when I've all but given up writing altogether. You see here, whilst writing can be highly therapeutic, reading back your feelings in words sometimes feel like a surreal experience.


But why call an entire Blog "ALMOST BUT NOT QUITE"?




Well, the rest of my Blog Friends have taken up the courage to go for the A-Z Blog Challenge, meanwhile, back at the ranch, I will begin and end with A.


I used to fancy road trips with my parents; and typical of kids in long distance rides, I annoyed them with the only question I demanded an immediate response to: "Are we there yet?" 
Sometimes, my Dad would patiently reply, "We're almost there but not there yet." I would go back to either sulking as I never really understood what that meant, or be more annoying and nag again, "How far is almost there?"


What kind of an English word is ALMOSTanyway? 


References define "almost" as synonymous to nearly, practically, but not exactly, et. al.
Technically, it is a word in the grey area. It is neither hot or cold, but almost warm. It is neither black or white, but almost black or nearly white.


However, to my young mind, including my adult mind (that means now, I hope), I believe that almost carries a mystical meaning. It is a word that can never be wrongly used nor can it ever be politically incorrect. It is a safe word. Devoid of triggers and potential repulsive reactions contrary to other words that can be used in its stead. However arbitrary and vague, it is most descriptive in a peculiar sense. It carries a calming effect versus a straightforward, NO, NOT, YES, or TOTALLY.


I particularly chose this Blog Title as it generally signifies life experiences, my own and the sum total of the people I have met. It represents a continuous search for meaning and closure. Even at the point or peak of someone's achievement, they tend to always feel, there is more than where they are, or how far they've gone. Certainly, almost, but not there yet.


Whoa, had no intentions of making this post sound so darn philosophical! 


I just really wanted to quietly celebrate my Blog's more than a year of existence; with a humble following, (whilst I quietly sip on my 1984 Chateau Margaux Giscours Cabernet Sauvignon and nibble on some walnuts, cheese and cherries) and since the molecular fibre of my being has not decided to join the rest of the universe where it originated from, I will always feel that life is a road trip, where every pit stop tells you that you're almost there, but not quite.



Friday, March 16, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons

It has been awhile since my last post. The last one on this Blog was aptly a ranting.
I have been rather busy fire-fighting in real life. Like the old adage goes, "When life gives you a basket of lemons ... it's called a Lemon Rampage."




I don't recall who originally said this quote, maybe you do. I know I heard it before from my Grandma, my Mom, a couple of friends, and it gets quoted time and again, probably until you get to experience it for real. I reckon when you begin to feel like a sourpuss, then the lemon must have hit you for real.


I find it rather amusing to watch how life's twists and turns happen to people. There will always be elements of either delight or pleasant surprise, or frustration and disgust. Except when life happens to me personally, and I don't get what I expected and planned for, in a series of unfortunate circumstances, the humour escapes me.


So here I am, a couple of weeks before my birthday, trying to mull my life's "Corona with a Lemon Twist." (I used to call it "birthday blues" as back when I was kid, I had the most annoying ritual of getting a little sick before my birth day actually happens.) In a moment of weakness I told myself maybe I should stop "hoping" and dreaming, as my frustrations seem to get a life if its own acquiring strength and power along the way. Then I remembered these very words, "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade."


And in a rarer moment of lucidity, I decided to actually use my head to seriously think about how I am coping with my life's frustrations. Not that I don't use my head to think, but my head is mostly filled with trivia and songs that to utilize higher brain functions such as evaluate and discern, gives me serious migraine headaches.


I started by bringing out my favourite Tequila, salt and a couple of lemon slices. to make my own version of Lemonade. And with all the wisdom and intellect I could muster, I asked myself some process questions that will help me better understand what I am dealing with and how I am coping with it:

  • Am I overrating a small problem and making it too big to have a solution? Or do I already have a solution except that I haven't acquired the patience to wait for the solution to happen?
  • I doubt I am the only one in the entire universe of mankind who has to deal with their fair share of challenges and there are a lot more in worse situations than I am. Then why do I react like the world is against me and my life is completely ruined? As a matter of fact, my life is not ruined at all. I like to think I am suffering because the attention I get feeds my ego.
  • Should I not be looking at what I have learned and how much I have gained since I am  totally getting stretched and not many people have the same challenging opportunities than what I am facing? I have grown in leaps and bounds in the past months than in all of my lifetime and I have lived to Blog about it. I am not sick, my faculties are intact, and I can still sing and dance if I want to.
  • And perhaps the best thing I can take away from all of these is that certainly in life, we do not always get what we want. Sometimes, even what we love and need get taken away from us yet it does not mean we should stop breathing.
There is no substitute to acceptance borne from clarity enabled by a shot of Tequila.

Yeah, life can be very hard and depressing. 
People can be so disappointing. Sometimes, friends let you down instead of lift you up. Sometimes the very people you have helped in the past will turn their backs on you when you need them or worst, will take you down. A lot more people can really be heartless and mean, I choose not to be like anyone of that breed.
However, it is during these times that I find it important to own up to what I am feeling at the moment, not to dwell on it but to know that it is happening and that I am hurting. It is equally important too to embrace the reality that there are certain issues out of my control but in time, they will all pass.
Whatever it is that seems to be unresolved going on in our lives will soon have their own resolutions, in time. 
Nothing is permanent. Everything is temporary.
Today, more than ever, I recognize the transitory nature of every matter and every circumstance in the universe and I find the whole concept absolutely redeeming.

The truth is, I really prefer lime to lemonade with my tequila. Salut!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sometimes Being Nice Sucks

Being a douche and an asshole, and not caring for anyone or anything at all, is way too easy. That would explain the proliferation of this species in the humanity-dom.


Who cares if more than half the people in the world is starving? That the homeless should be sheltered; the substance abusers must be rehabilitated and that the ghetto children deserve health and education? Or if the overweight people are bullied and are bound to slit their wrists in the next day or two because they feel unloved? That those anorexics-emo-turds deserve to be flushed out of the world so they don't litter their sorry skeletal bones all over the place? Or that being ugly does not really matter, it's what inside that counts? That racism and segregation still truly exists? Bullshit!




Do you know that caring is frickin' tiring? Being fair allows other people to step all over you. Being honest helps you lose the race and any other competition. Living true to your values and life principles make you lame. Trusting that other people will tend for you in your time of crisis and need is inevitable given that you extended an arm and a leg (and a torso) to help them out when they were rock bottom. Fuck that!


It was your choice or your nature to be good and nice to people. But to expect people to care just as much, are you kidding me? Grow up! You are likely to be the prime target of scam artists and parasites who will suck the life out of you. 




Fine so you sleep with a smile, but who the hell cares if you're smiling?


Yeah I know, I am ranting and frothing at the mouth.
There are days when it's a lot better to behave like a bitch and be true to form. It's too easy and too much fun.


Honestly? 
It really breaks my heart to see more and more people succumb to the easy way following the rules of life in general. The few people who try to do good and have a heart, continuously get punished and suffer for good intentions. The last one that ever walked this earth was stoned and crucified.


This reality leaves very little option for people who try to have a decent life or for a lot more, who just try to survive.


What am I saying here? I don't know. really. All I know is that I try to live by my choices and how I choose to behave. And in return, I fend for myself and I trust myself to do great things for me. Sure I still care, as a matter of fact, I care too much. However, that will never stop me for looking out for myself when I need to. Just a reality check. Painful but I am just keeping it real.



Monday, February 13, 2012

TRUE LOVE - love is in the air

My favourite couple
Scenario: Senior wedding. 

Jacob, age 92, and Rebecca, age 89, living in Miami, are both excited about their decision to get married. They go for a stroll to discuss the wedding, and on the way they pass a drugstore..... Jacob suggests they go in.

Jacob addresses the man behind the counter:  "Are you the owner?"

The pharmacist answers, "Yes."

Jacob: "We're about to get married. Do you sell heart medication?"

Pharmacist: "Of course, we do."

Jacob: "How about medicine for circulation?"

Pharmacist: "All kinds."

Jacob: "Medicine for rheumatism?"

Pharmacist: "Definitely."

Jacob: "How about suppositories?"

Pharmacist: "You bet!"

Jacob: "Medicine for memory problems, arthritis and Alzheimer's?"

Pharmacist: "Yes, a large variety. The works."

Jacob: "What about vitamins, sleeping pills, Geritol, antidotes for Parkinson's disease?"

Pharmacist: "Absolutely."


Jacob: "Everything for heartburn and indigestion?"

Pharmacist: "We sure do."

Jacob: "You sell wheelchairs and walkers and canes?"

Pharmacist: "All speeds and sizes."

Jacob: "Adult diapers?"

Pharmacist: "Sure."

Jacob: 
"Great!  We'd like to use this store as our Bridal Registry."



Now, if that didn't bring a smile to your jaded face and your mind cluttered with disbelief in true love, it sure worked for me so I would not know what will ever work on you. My dear friends, love and stay loved. It's totally tax-free.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Failure: It's An Option

I find it particularly interesting and amusing that there are abundant sources of literature on the subject of How To Be Successful, Quickly and even on Averting Failures and Risks. However, there is very little that is written up on how to deal with being unsuccessful, being risk-prone and what to do when you've failed? I suspect it is one particular taboo subject alongside sex and nudity. Or better, one of the most dreaded words in the English language.




We have practically been brought up in a landscape where success, defined in terms of fame, fortune and fans; should be everyone's lifetime goal. The unnecessary stress this brings upon every individual is proven by the unarguable success of pharmaceutical companies making happy pills and the number of very affluent shrinks/therapists as well as cosmetic surgeons.


Something is terribly wrong here.


Growing up in a family where academic achievements defined your future, I chose to be the maverick. I refuse to follow my family's definition of success, much to the pain and chagrin of my parents. Whilst my big brother raked in the honours, I chose to be the apple of the Discipline's Office, The Detention Centre and the Guidance Counsellor. Nope, there was nothing clinically wrong with me, I just refused to be outstanding. However, I was exemplary in matters where Citations were given but they were completely of a different nature. 


I realized that because of this trait, I have become fearless about "failing". You see here, the fear of failure tend to reduce your capacity to stretch and dare yourself. When you're afraid of failing, you're scared to dream; you tend to be catatonic and immobile, fretting over other people's opinions and feelings, instead of yours. You end up feeling comfortable with mediocrity, for as long as it is simple, safe and comfortable enough.




Life is too short to be fearful of failing. Didn't someone say before, "it is not how many times you fall that counts, it is how quickly you can rise up again?" or something like that.


I think the simplest way to live with this is to accept realistically, that Failure, is always an option. This does not mean that you are not going to be giving your challenges your best shot, or that you have reduced your competitiveness. For me it simply means, that there is a possibility that I can fail, so I plan ahead to avoid it. If I still fail nonetheless, I move on. I just know for a fact that whatever you try to do and however you try your damn best to do it, sometimes, things just don't work out. I will not beat myself up for my failures. Shit happens, to the best of us. If shit hasn't happened to you, you'll probably be in for a major enema. Damn, that's going to be tougher!


Failure does not define who you are. The world and its men can call you such, but believe me, it is not your identity.




Just dream on, be reckless, try on new things, do things that will make other people stop and think that you are actually, certifiably insane! Love with all you've got, don't hold back. It can probably cost you a lot, but who cares? Fail everyday! Embrace your frailty and move on. Live a little. Look at the "true" heroes and icons of the world, Vincent Van Gogh for instance, at some point people believed them to be deranged. They could be, but so what?


I follow Buddha's dictum: "The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows." So I choose to tread on and risk, failing and falling, but each time, rising with greater enthusiasm than before. So to life, mankind and the world, bring it on!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Twenty Three BASIC TRUTHS

AUTHOR'S NOTE:


This POST has been authored by someone else and was passed on to me by a very good friend. Frankly I have no idea who I need to acknowledge to give credit for such a hilarious piece, but honestly, it is too tempting to pass on, it's criminal to keep it stale on my Inbox. If you chance upon this post Mr./Ms. Author, give me a holler, it's a great list!


Meanwhile back at the ranch, go ahead, have a little chuckle.




1. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is. 


2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind-of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers; I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Light than Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

22. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds - 
eyes closed, first time, every time.

23. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

I don't know about you people, but #23 just takes the cake for me.