Packing Torments

It's been a busy week. I'm trying to finish everything so I don't have to worry about work while I'm on the road. Just my luck that this trip had to be scheduled on a month-end and the office internet just had to stop due to upgrades. Grrrrrr... So when I finally had all things important done, the boss decided to fly to Manila and abandons me with unsigned documents. And I have to leave on early-morning Friday! (pause) Breath in. Breath Out. Righta circle. Lefta circle.

Anyway, I still can't decide which clothes to bring, what bag to pack, which blouses will match just about anything so I don't have to worry about mismatched clothes or shoes or bags. Sigh. It's a girl thing. Why can't I just wear all blue, or all white and not look weird? Why can't I deal with mismatched accessories? Why can't I leave without all my personal hygiene thingys? Why can't everything be in miniatures so I can just drop them in a handbag and go? Why can't I afford a digital SLR so I don't have to carry my beloved cam which takes too much space? Who the hell invented travel! Sigh. I'm gonna miss the viking. And blogging. And free internet access.

But I need to leave to keep my sanity and find things to photograph and blog about. Ah, life! Embrace it! Because it doesn't last. So the song goes: Gather moments while you may. Protect the dreams you dream today. Remember?

Ack! Where the hell is my swimsuit? How can you fit a weeks' change of clothes into one backpack?! Should I bring a towel or do they we have enough in hotels? I feel guilty in admitting this but I'm very excited. I wish I could bring everyone I love with me. LOL.


A bit of good news

Have loads of work to do but figured I'd have time for a bit of good news from text messages I got from various angels in my world:

A few months ago, I helped my cousin with a few pics of young girl athletes from my mother's hometown. The athletes are so poor they couldn't buy shoes. My cousin took pics of them training for the National Palaro without running shoes. During competitions, they would cover their foot soles with masking tape so they wouldn't burn when they run.

I scanned the pics and helped my cousin e-mail them to relatives in the US. She was able to raise money for the running shoes as well as uniforms. Palaro was a week ago. I got this message last Sunday.

Cousin: Remember the athletes from Ajuy? One of them got a national gold. Thanks for your help.


I'm finally home after taking care of a house with six kids and a handful of household help for two long weeks. The reality of home started to sink in when I started my computer and realized there were no teenagers looking-over my shoulder. Privacy at last! It became more real when my brother started banging my door demanding I get offline so he could use the phone. Hahaha. Ah, home sweet home.

My 'adopted kids' started calling me "MA" on my 3rd day as Nanny. They said it was taken from the first two letters of my name and it is pronounced like a red-neck would say it. The nickname grew on me. We all celebrated my stint as Nanny with a quick swim in Punta Villa last Sunday. Anyway, got this message Monday from one of my nieces.

Niece: Thanks for being our "MA" for 2 weeks even though it's hard to be mother of six. We've had a lots of fun with you as our "MA". Thanks a lot.

Look MA! No eyes!

The kids' parents are back and was told about my Dalmatian demise. Aside from pasalubong (homecoming gifts) of chocolates and girly stuff, I got a bonus from my stint as "MA"; and I presume, it's also my consolation for the dog bite (grin):

Sis-in-law: PLEASE DON'T SAY NO. Inviting you to Manila trip through land and sea. All expenses paid. Better file for leave. Will pass by Boracay, Batangas, Tagaytay then Manila.

The Viking wants to buy me a webcam but I wouldn't let him. He thinks he has won the battle by finding the cam he needed. He forgets he has to get me to buy it first. Let's see who's the stubborn one now. GRIN. It ain't over yet. Ah, ain't love grand?


Cruella da Butt

Went home last night tired and bothered by a pain in my wrist. Was suspecting carpal tunnel syndrome and was thinking of getting my wrists x-rayed. The household help let me inside the gate; and as I turned to head for the front door, the bloody @#!$%^&*()+ Dalmatian bit me. In the butt! He didn’t attack, or growl or bark or gave fair warning. He just sort of took a bite as if my ass was some delicious steak to be pounced on. I screamed. Moses (so named from the parting of the red cheeks?), backed away when he realized that the meat was still alive and raw.

First thing that went through my mind was that I didn’t want to die just yet; that I wanted to be married to the Viking and I worried that I’ll go crazy before that happens. The second thought was the cost of anti-rabies medicines. The first one saddened me. The second one made me weep. Like a baby. My nieces and nephews didn’t know what to do with me. How could they? A 34-year old grown woman crying because of a bite-mark! The tooth went in. I saw blood. It made me real angry. And as usual, all my anger manifested itself through tears.

First instinct, I left messages with my sisters. I’m a non-medical person. I wouldn’t know the difference between my liver and my kidney so my sisters are always the answer to my medical problems. The older one said she’d call a doctor and asked me to wash the wound with soap and water. The dog had anti-rabies shots but I don’t want to risk losing my mind over a dog. I sent messages to my friends hoping to stop myself from crying and to stop worrying the kids and keep my mind off the pain in my behind. While waiting for a medical verdict, one of the female friends called to comfort me. She made butt jokes. The dog might have fancied my butt and couldn’t resist a bite, she said. I cried and laughed and cried some more; more on frustration that I can’t do anything about it rather than on pain. I assured myself I will find this funny soon.

Was finally advised to head to the hospital for anti-rabies shots. Asked the driver to pick up my sisters for rump support. It had to be a male intern who would examine my bottom to see how deep the wound is. I don’t know if hospitals do this on purpose but there has to be a conspiracy among male nurses when it comes to rump accidents. Why does it always have to be male?

Everyone seemed to find it funny that I got bitten in the ass. Everyone except me. Well, technically, it wasn’t the ass. The wound was just below my right butt cheek, more on my right thigh. But boy, did it hurt! Gritted my teeth through four injections with the promise to return for more in the next coming days and months.

Got home 2,500 pesos poorer and wondering how I am to pay electric bill. Sigh. I also have to buy one more medicine which will cost me 20,000.00 pesos. My brother called and promised to help.

Went to the office wearing the wrong uniform. My mind was too preoccupied with my underhanded injury and didn't think right. Funny, everyone I met at the office smiled to asked, “Dee, how’s your dog bite?” I wondered if there was anyone in my building who didn't know about my new dimple. I’m expecting to hear more butt and dog jokes for the rest of my life from now on.

I will have to break the bad news to the kids. I am joining ranks with Cruella De Vil. I want that Dalmatian punished for admiring my rear end and honoring it with a puncture. And I want to put it in record, that it was a damn good butt.


Sighing to guitars

Vee once quoted to me a line from a book called “Instance on the Number Three: “I wonder if it really matters who you love,” Bridget wondered, “It’s that you love that counts, isn’t it?”

I’m in love again. It is somewhat different this time. No more loud thudding of African drumbeats. No more absent-mindedness of forgetting to eat or not being able to sleep. No more of that.

This one is set apart by a strange warmth that begins from the toes and noiselessly and unhurriedly rises up to the body till it reaches every nerve ending; like steam rising from a hot asphalt road when it rains. It reminds me to eat so we can talk and be comfortable. It reminds me to sleep so I can work effectively yet have him fill all the gaps of time when I don’t think about work. It doesn’t allow me to make rash decisions but it allows me to be sensible and I don’t have to be reminded that I am that. This one makes me glow instead of fly. This one makes me long for and not ache for – hehehe – and I think that’s a good thing.

Yet it also challenges me. Not to observe what I’m capable of, but gives me an introspection of identifying what would make me happy and move me towards that direction. Isn’t that what this blog is all about? That never-ending search for bliss and where to find it? I no longer feel provincial. I’m even allowing myself the opportunity of risks. I am anxious but somehow, I’m not afraid. They’ve become two separate words with different meanings. Of course it’s too early to judge this relationship. We have yet to hit rocky ground. But I hope for a sense of maturity and looks like I will not be disappointed.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting old. Maybe it’s because I‘m too weary to ran after passions. I think it’s time that passions should run after me, and I walk leisurely waiting for it to catch up. And I’m in no hurry. I can feel it gaining ground bit by bit but with great certainty. (picture Daniel Day Lewis chasing Madeline Stowe - in rocky mountain with waterfall - in the movie, The Last of the Mohicans – violin strings building in loud crescendo as background - LOL)

So I have stopped anticipating African drumbeats. That’s definitely a good thing. I’m beginning to like the slow steady rhythm, the rustic sound of plucked strings of guitar and the squeaking reverb it makes when string and fingers get rubbed together. It is soothing - and cozy - and tender - and kind - and comfortable ... and it warms the heart. And it’s not running away. Strange. I find myself sighing a lot more - the kind you make when you finally reach home after a long journey.

Sigh. The Viking loves me. And I love him. sigh sigh sigh.