And so that was the holidays

Writing this on the first day of 2014 while taking advantage of a little downtime at work.

December 2013 had been a lousy month. It started with a promise, and then somewhere along the way it spiraled down and never recovered. It was the month my daughter Raven got confined two times — at Makati Medical Center from Dec. 10 to 13 for acute tonsillitis with severe allergic reaction, and at Antipolo Doctors Hospital from Dec. 22 to 24 for UTI. She recovered, thank God, but damage had been done on our holiday plans, not to mention wallets, and it was beyond repair. Murphy’s Law, I guess.

Other stuff made my December look like it should be crumpled and chucked into a wastebasket, but I’d rather not elaborate.

Biking provided solace. Never was I happier than when I’m pedaling alone on those fair-weather weekend mornings, randomly picking streets and side streets, testing my endurance on uphill climbs, freewheeling on downhill roads, eating cheap lugaw for breakfast—just me and my raggedy-ass ride and the wind on my face. And my thoughts, too. Been doing a lot of thinking these days, and perhaps that’s where the problem lies. I’d never met an over-thinker who’s happy in life.

Notable events that happened between my Japan trip and now:

All fun and memorable in their own way. And yet, as religious scholars are wont to say: Shit happens, man.

So: 2014. New hope, new page, new leaf. All that crap. Right now, I’m only thankful that my family celebrated Christmas and New Year complete and in relatively good health. A lot of people, especially in those Yolanda-hit areas, can’t say the same thing.

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A little something called Update

I don’t like rainy Sunday nights as much as I don’t like wet Monday mornings. It’s depressing. The rain makes the hours leading to another workweek more difficult to bear. But like death and taxes and Air Supply music, rain on a Sunday night is something one can’t avoid. It’s going to happen, like it or not, and it’s happening now, right this very moment, as I type this in the empty living room, trying to keep the melancholy at bay with music and Internet and some writing.

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A quiet afternoon at home

Yeah. Writing. Can’t believe it’s been weeks since I last wrote something here. I remember one or two attempts that were aborted because, shit, inspiration just won’t hit me. Also, the last few weeks had been rough. My mountain bike got stolen, which put me in the blackest of moods for days. I also suffered two weeks of intense on-and-off migraine that started from an ugly shower episode that I suspect was some kind of mild stroke (although no doctor has confirmed it). And Raven, after a good three-week start, had suddenly become fearful of school. If you’re a parent, you know how heartbreaking it is to leave your bawling kid in the hands of strangers. You’d wish you’re one of those lucky rich parents who can stay with their kids 24/7.

Indeed, a terrible period for any writing done. But things have greatly improved since then. I still don’t have a mountain bike, but the migraine is at least history, and Raven is slowly regaining her confidence in school. At least, I don’t have to drag her kicking and screaming to the classroom anymore.

In between all these were the usual: books (started with the Gaiman-Pratchett collab Good Omens today), music (Owen’s new album is good, Work Drugs not so), TV series/sitcoms  (Hannibal and, just recently, Modern Family). I’ve also become extra mindful of my health. I now jog on Saturday mornings and have been yosi-free for three weeks as of writing. If my health card permits I intend to undergo full executive checkup within the year.

So, to conclude this late-night tryst with my Muse, life has been bittersweet as always. I’ve yet to hit the lotto jackpot, but at least there’s family and friends and nice little happy scenes and sceneries to enjoy and treasure. I couldn’t ask for more.

Full moon friends

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Taken last Saturday, at Alan’s Grill in hipster haven Cubao Expo.

From left: me and my red face; Boojie the self-described antisocial media expert; Anna May, a reluctant celebrity blogger during the heydays of Multiply; and Marky, travel blogger slash photographer slash punk rocker extraordinaire. Marky and Anna May I met through Multiply, Boojie an ex-workmate and close book/beer buddy.

There should’ve been three more heads there, Reese and Grace and Lot, three girls with awesome spunk, but they had prior appointments (two of them celebrating their name day that day). We didn’t let the absentees cast a shadow on the long overdue meet-up, though.

Over buckets of ice-cold San Mig Light and crispy pata to die for we banged around several topics ranging from politics to rants vs. the iPhone generation to — courtesy of Anna May — near-rape experiences. It was a full-moon night after all, perfect time for wild stories.

Looking forward to the next session already.

Photo courtesy of Anna Mae and her trendy Prada phone.

Pages

I always get this wide-eyed, incredulous look every time I tell friends that I’ve been recording my life daily since 2002. It’s either they find it amazing, cute, awesome… or another manifestation of my OC behavior that most of them detest. I choose not to care.

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I tell my wife: “If ever I become a Dead Famous Writer, publishers will be tripping over themselves to get their hands on those notebooks and planners. Entertain only those whose offers are more than seven digits.” A joke, of course. In all likelihood I’ll just be another Dead Obscure Writer (or worse, a Dead Wanna-be Writer), and those notebooks and planners will only be good for termite chow.

But as long as I’m breathing, those books will be strictly for my eyes only.