Ode to mama

There are still instances when I refuse to accept that my mother died not so long ago. Was it three or four years ago? I can barely remember. I never keep tabs of such dates. I can't even recall how she died. All I know is I was not by her bedside when it happened. I was sleeping, exhausted of the trip back home from Hong Kong, when my brother called me early in the morning to tell me the news.
That year, she knew that she was gravely sick but tried her best to keep it from us. She never complained, though. She was always happy and bubbly. I know that she was always delighted to see me whenever I went home to visit her in the province. The first time that she was rushed to the ER, my aunts told me that she wanted me to visit her. And I did. I took a leave from work and went to the hospital right away.
The following days got worse. Simple headaches made her sleepless every night. Soon, she requested that she be confined in Manila. That's when we knew it was serious because she never complained. Nor did she ever wanted to be confined in a hospital because she said it was too expensive.
We brought her to St. Luke's and the doctor diagnosed her with a swelling in the brain. Nothing serious, our father assured us, and soon she was back to the province while I flew to Berlin for an official assignment.
It was during my absence that her health turned for the worse. But I didn't knew hence two days after I arrived from Berlin, I flew to Hong Kong to cover the opening of Disneyland. I didn't see the fireworks on the last day because that was when I had to rush back to Manila to see my mother at the ICU.
I can still remember how she looked: she was all skin and bones; she had dark circles under her eyes, her cheekbones stuck out like fishbone, lips were dry and chapped. She was too weak to acknowledge me when I entered the room. She just kept staring at me, mumbling under the oxygen mask.
I was told that she had stage 4 breast cancer. God! Wasn't it only a month ago when she started complaining of painful headaches? And now the disease had spread to her lungs and bones!
Maybe you can call me a worthless, uncaring, callous, selfish daughter because that same day, I went home to catch up on sleep and told my brother that I'll be back the next morning to take care of her. I was so exhausted. Unfortunately, there was no next morning. She passed away a few hours after I left. I was too shocked to cry. I was angry at myself. I felt guilty. I blamed myself for leaving her in the hospital. It's still painful until now and I know that the pain won't go away...ever.
I just wished we still had her today. I miss her so much.

I'm "moved"

Since we got married, I and my husband have intermittently pondered about moving to a new house. The kids are growing fast and the room where we are staying is getting smaller to fit in all four of us. We live with our in-laws and although the house is big enough (five rooms and three floors)to accommodate five families, I have always secretly wished that we could someday afford to get our own place to raise our own family.
However,the steep prices of residential properties in the neighborhood have prevented us from doing so. We also have a lot of bulky furniture, appliances, knickknacks and unopened gifts (we received on our wedding)that we have accumulated over the years, kept away in boxes. How are we going to bring all these stuff with us?
Very recently, though, I stumbled upon the website http://www.moveme.com/ The site is dedicated to simplifying a normally complicated process such as relocating to a new house through tips, guides and bits of practical advice.
I know that moving from one place can be so much of a hassle but this site makes it sound a lot of fun. Browsing the site itself is a breeze which I attribute to its user-friendly interface and colorful icons. No wonder it was bestowed the Yahoo Innovation Award and the Yahoo People's Choice Award.
What's cool about this site is you can move to your own home sweet home without lifting a finger. The site has a list of moving companies that are fully licensed and insured. Choose any of these teams to help pack your things, sort out the parking authorisation, disassemble furniture among other things. If you are single and don't have that much to bring with you, you may tap the services of a removal company called the "man with a van" perfect for moving to studio apartments and smaller condo units. This is as efficient as a bigger removal company but way cheaper.

As for families like mine who are stressing over the cost that comes with moving from one place to another, we can all heave a sigh of relief. Check out the rates offered by removal companies and compare prices. It's a shave off your expenses not to mention you can rest assured that you won't end up losing things on moving day. Keep in mind, though, to go through all your belongings and make a list of all the things that you want to bring with you.
Let's all start moving!

Aching for beauty

I just realized that I am getting old. I no longer fancy wearing colorful plastic earrings and bangles. They look so "cheap" and so "trying hard" on me. I hoarded a handful five years ago during a trip in Bangkok. It used to be hip that time, to wear those plastic stuffs I mean. But not anymore, at least not on me.
Then there are my red Chucks that have been gathering dust in the shoe rack. I have attempted quite a few times to match these shoes with my outfit -- jeans, mini dress, shorts, skirts -- but the sneakers just look out of place like a hangnail sticking out from a chair. I bought my first and only pair four Christmases ago and even wore them to a friend's Christmas party. Now, I don't even want to try them on. Partly because molds have inhabited the footbed. Maybe I should start putting my old stuff in a balikbayan box and sell them to ukay-ukay shops. Same goes for my camouflage pants, ripped jeans, Bench towels (with my name embroidered on them), souvenir shirts (Gawd, I think I have one whole box of these), stockings, gloves, and beanies. The list goes on I might end up with just three pairs of clothes.
Soon, I won't be wearing jeans anymore. Don't you just hate old women trying to squeeze their fat arse in denim? The only person over 60 I know who can get away with such atrocity is Madame Ethel. But hey, she always gets away with anything.
Oh well...it's inevitable. And so are wrinkles, fine lines, sagging arms, big puson, athritis, rheumatism, menopause, and death. If there was any consolation, it's the fact that we will all end up in the same destination.

overrun? run over? what the heck!

Am feeling a bit pissed this morning. Let me rephrase that. I SHOULD be feeling annoyed about what happened on my way to work. But being the nice me, I let the incident slide off without giving a (cat) fight.
I usually take the LRT 5th Avenue station on the way to my office in Roxas Boulevard. I was not born rich (although I always wish I was)so I have no choice but to take the public transport. Nothing wrong with that except when you encounter reckless (a.k.a balasubas) drivers plying the treacherous streets of Manila.
No, the accident did not happen at the LRT station. I did not fall off the tracks, thank God. But I was run over by a tricycle. Of all vehicles, tricycle pa. It could have been a BMW, a Corvet, or pede na ring ang Pajero to make the incident a bit more telenovela where the driver will get off the car, help me get up...then look into my eyes and offer me a ride home. Sigh. Unfortunately, I am not Judy Ann Santos or Claudine Baretto.
I'm more of Annie Batumbakal who was ran over by a tricycle as she was getting off the cursed vehicle. Nakakahiya! I was already tearing up, partly because scrapes started to creep up my calf, and partly because everybody was staring at me as if I would die at that moment!
Juiceko! It was embarrassing more than it was painful. In my confusion, I grabbed a tissue paper from my bag and frantically rubbed the scrapes while mumbling incoherent curses.
Anyway, the driver (who was a minor!)sheepishly apologized. "Ate sorry, akala ko nakababa ka na."
Ok ka lang? Hindi mo ko nakita? Buset!

Down with Mondays!

There's so much to hate about Mondays and today is particularly loathsome. I was unusually late for work (my definition of "late" is when I arrive on the dot. I'd rather arrive 15 minutes earlier so I still have time for my rituals like yosi, banyo, etc.) I was late because I was stressing on what to wear today. Not that it was a big deal or something. It was just one of my indecisive moments, I guess. Well anyway..na-late ako because of that.
Upon arriving in the office, I did the usual stuff. Timpla ng kape, mag-banyo, turn on my computer, light up a stick and finish my coffee. Did all that in 10 minutes tops.
So I finally sat down my chair to continue where I left. I was kinda happy because I was planning to finish the last part of the level test. Ideally, one set of test takes about 8 to 10 days to finish.
Then the unthinkable happened -- I cannot find the file. It was nowhere in the folders. I tried all sorts of options -- search, advance options,I even downloaded the pandora software (as per my husband's instruction) but to no avail.
Shet! Was I that careless last Friday that I had forgotten to click the "Save" button before shutting down the computer? I tried to recall the events last Friday, particularly my chat with Rhea because I was deliriously hysterical chatting with her in the afternoon. Pero impossible! I mean, saving is habitual as picking one's nose. How could have I forgotten? Baka na-virus. So now, I have to re-write the entire test from Part 1 to Part 3. It sucks!

I heart my job!

It's been a fortnight since I last updated my blog, the reason being I now HAVE a job. I mean a regular job that pays well than what I was getting from freelance writing but not as much as my previous PR stint.
So far, I am loveeeing it here. Of course, having to stress over the level tests is another thing. But this is what I hand in mind and have been obsessing over the last couple of months.
To start with, the office is so quiet you can hear a pin drop. Seriously, tahimik talaga. The only sound I hear the whole day is the aircon blowing ice cold air smack into my face. Nakakahiya lang pumasok ng naka-trench coat. Otherwise, inilabas ko na ung mga binili kong coats sa abroad. I don't care if I ride the LRT everyday. Manginig sila sa inggit (or sa katatawa?). Bwahahahaha Speaking of trench coat, I suddenly miss Paris. I only went there once but boy was it an experience of a lifetime. I have my boss, Madame Ethel, to thank.
Anyway, another reason for loving this job is I only work five times a week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. I'm sure some won't find this sched ideal especially nocturnal species like journalists. I was once (take note: past tense)a journalist and have been used to flexible time (translation: aabsent ka when you feel like it)for more than seven years. I guess that was one of the reasons why I didn't stay long with the PR company. My body clock didn't adjust well. I needed full five months to re-set my inner clock and get used to the 8 to 5 routine.
Finally, and for some strange reasons, I hardly get cranky since taking on this job. I used to get anxiety attacks when I was still a newspaper girl, either caused by my boss or by some stupid mistake. Of course I get tired writing those tests but I DON'T feel it. Alam mo yun? You know you're tired but you don't feel it? It's weird. And I AM feeling weird these days.

Vertigo..and I dont even listen to U2!

Have you ever heard of Vertigo? Learned about it the hard way one afternoon while I was rushing an article. All of a sudden, my vision started to swirl with my head swaying like pendulum from one side to the other. I initially dismissed it as a severe case of migraine but then the swirling continued until I had to call (or was it shout) for help.
Since it was a holiday, I and my husband were the only people in the building that time. He was downloading some stuff from the Internet while I was trying to earn extra money (through freelance writing)
The office was at the topmost floor (4th)so I was already beginning to panic because I didn't think
it was possible for me to get to the car by FOOT. Someone had to drag me all the way down.
The slightest movement (like opening my eyes) only triggered my insides to throw up gooey mix of saliva and undigested rice. (Yuck!)It was that bad. I was starting to tear up and can hear myself sobbing.
Promise. I thought katapusan ko na. It was like riding the roller coaster at Eurostar (at The Fort) ten times without stopping.
I probably threw up three times, and another three upon arriving at Argel's uncle's house who is also the family doctor. I think it was SOP for doctors to rule out obvious symptoms before concluding anything so Tito Lit's wife, who also happens to by my OB, brought out a PT (pregnancy test) and quickly led me to the rest room.
Teka, teka. Im not pregnant. And then the swirling returned again followed by a dollop of thick saliva.
The test came out to be "void" meaning I had to repeat it again after two weeks because there were vague traces daw of the pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin or (hCG).Ngek! OA namang pagbubuntis ko kung ganon! I never experienced this with the two pregnancies that I had.
Well anyway, I was prescribed Bonamine (to be on the safe side just in case I was really pregnant).
Spent the following day in bed sleeping like a baby (pun intended). I still feel a bit nauseous today but nonetheless better. Now I'm anxious to know if Im really pregnant.
Will let you know as soon as I get the result. =)