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Seeking a friend for the end of the world

19 May

My brother sent me a text last night, “Chris Cornell is dead.”

Somehow, I wasn’t surprised. I haven’t thought of Chris Cornell or Soundgarden or Audioslave in years, but the information didn’t really shock me. The news was just breaking, and my brother suggested it could have been an overdose. I was thinking it was suicide.

I have a cassette copy of his solo album Euphoria Morning, from when I either just graduated high school or just started college. Back in those days money was really scarce, and even if there was Limewire I didn’t have the funds to buy a cheap MP3 player. So it is one of the few records that I bought during my lean years, and it was one of the albums I often listened to on our old karaoke/cassette player.

I was struck with how melancholy his songs were. The cheeky lines: “I only love you when I’m down… I’m down all the time.” The lonely hopefulness of “Preaching the End of the World”. I listened to it again just now (on YouTube), and as with feelings long hidden and forgotten, it suddenly came to the surface. When I first listened to that song, it was years before a major depressive episode, but somehow the words were prescient, like a person I was bound to meet later on. Okay, maybe I was just an angsty teenager like most teenagers were then, but the words evoked a familiarity akin to a stranger that you somehow felt like a friend.

Wave goodbye, now. Before I uglycry. Lol.

New year. 

3 Jan

As is typical in the Philippines, there are loud firecrackers and bright fireworks displays in neighbourhoods. Although the practice has been largely discouraged by the government due to accidents that result in injuries and amputations, there are still private individuals who buy fireworks in the belief that the loud noise will drive away evil and bring good fortune (although that is doubtful if you lose one or two fingers or worse); also because fireworks makes the new year more festive (this I can agree with).
Anyway, that being said, New Year’s Eve is the bane of our pets. The loud noise scares them. Neko hid in the walk-in closet. The other cats, with the exception of Basilio who stood chillaxed by the laundry, scampered away in search of a nook to get away from the explosive noise. One of the kittens, called Long-Tailed Ugly (yes), was missing for a couple of hours and came through the window that I left open at past 2 am.

But Blitzy was a revelation. Our labrador, who turned two as the clock struck twelve, seemed unbothered by all the racket. Perhaps she was appropriately named. Perhaps she is already deaf. Lol. We had to tether her to her leash because we were afraid that she would run to the firecrackers, because all night she had been running towards the direction of the noise. While we were having our midnight dinner, here she was by the door:

She seemed unperturbed by the firecrackers last year, too, according to my mother, but they had been proactive and let her inside the house. They thought that it was because it was her first NYE, she was still unafraid. New Year and Christmas had always been a stressful time for our dogs and cats. So it was a great thing to know that Blitzen is not scared of all the noise. I feel sorry when I see them scared shitless. 

Holidaze

30 Dec

It’s been almost two weeks since I came back home. This pretty much sums it up:

I have at least managed to meet my 2016 Goodreads Reading Goal (16 books) due to a feverishly paced reading of All the Light We Cannot See and me remembering to add a book I probably finished this year. 

Right now I am halfway through Sophie’s Choice and I’m hoping to get it done by reading around a hundred pages per day. That aim had been foiled for the last couple of days, but I’m determined to achieve momentum so that it’ll be the first book I finish in 2017 with much time to spare so I can read succeeding books at a leisurely pace. (The natural choice for the next book is Primo Levi’s memoir The Periodic Table.) I have no illusions for when work resumes in January: definitely I will be immensely busy preparing graduating students for external exams. Thankfully I wasn’t given any test setting duties for the internal exams this time around, and will only serve in vetting a couple of tests. 

I have one week here, and due to my laziness and procrastination, I have to sort out my affairs within three days. Or two, ideally. I still have to collect documents and see my flat, which I have not laid eyes on at all yet, and then ask about having it leased for a couple of years because I lack funds and time to get it furnished. I have yet to see a rheumatologist to speak about an alternative to the oral corticosteroids that I have been taking to manage my auto-immune condition. I have not much hope in the latter, because the probable alternative – immunosuppressing anti-organ rejection drugs – just might mess up with my egg cells. I don’t plan on having kids yet,but I don’t want to have to come to a point where I have no choicr about my own fertility either. But still it’s something to discuss with a specialist. 

It’s New Year’s eve tomorrow. How quickly time passes. 

Slice of life

1 Nov

Only four periods of teaching today, although I do have an extra class later. New student, came from a national school, had been receiving after-school (and weekend) classes to make up for that year he missed (they didn’t have chemistry in his previous school). We’re almost halfway the second term but he is almost done with all the things that we needed to cover: one year of classes. He’s doing so well, and he likes the challenge of the subject, and it’s gratifying for me as a teacher. 

Not so much for marking. I’ve got a ton of papers to check. It just so happens that when I start on another pile I get distracted and I want to do something else. So it just keeps piling up, along with other teacher grunt work like lesson plans. 

Later my most senior students will be sitting for their last exam in chemistry. It’s a multiple-choice test. Ironically it is the most difficult for them. I’m just happy that it’s gonna be over soon. The stress. The emails. Okay, I didn’t even receive a lot of questions or clarifications about hard to answer items except from a couple of my most diligent students. Had I given my number, I’d have been bombarded with even the simplest queries on instant messaging, at all hours. So nope. 

I’ve recently re-installed Neko Atsume on my phone. My LG G4 had a bootloop problem and when I got it fixed, the technician had to obliterate my files. So yeah, I have to work once more to get back all my cats and my yards and my goodies. Sighs. But Neko Atsume is such a great stress reliever. 

Not that I’m stressed out. Surprisingly, I am not. I’ve had worse, definitely. Everything is actually peachy. That’s why I don’t understand why my eye keeps acting up. Last week was particularly terrible. The pressure on my right eye was too great. I couldn’t do anything but gobble 24 mg of methylprednisolone per day. It’s the only thing that keeps the pain at bay. Too bad for shit side effects. 

Holidays are in a few weeks. I already booked tickets to and from Manila. Definitely will be home for Christmas. Germany likely in June. Let’s see.

Delusional part 2

21 Aug

I did end up confronting the puta on the day that I wrote about wanting to do it. She flat out denied that she had anything to do with what happened the week prior, saying things like: “Geez, all this time I thought you two were doing okay,” “I never told him to leave you,” “I don’t see how I can be the reason for you two almost breaking up. It’s way beyond me.”

It was way beyond me to comprehend the bold faced lying. I ended up quoting her the stuff that she told my boyfriend after he told her that there was a change of plans. Juicy, angry statements like, “If you’re tired of running the hamster wheel, get out,” “whenever you decide on a ‘let’s see’ you decide having it on repeat.” The latter obviously said to attempt to change his mind about giving our relationship another try. Well, as the saying goes, “the liar is brother to the thief.” 

She has not sent a rebuttal for me since, and it looks like she did not contact him either. Well, who knows, she just might be biding her time, when he returns to Germany. 

I will just have to trust him. 

So much drama. 

5 Aug

My boyfriend and I had been having relationship problems, and somehow, even on the verge of a breakup, we managed to come to a compromise that’s not too harsh or hurtful to us two. But apparently not to his friend, who had been actively campaigning to get him to break up with me. And for a reason because she had all to gain from our loss, like a vulture hovering over a dying animal. In the course of two weeks she went from “mend things with her” to “end it to not prolong the drama”. The heart of it was his planned trip to see her in her city while I was out of town myself. The compromise was, after many days and nights of suffering, that he would see her at a later date (they were friends and I cannot really stop him from being friends with her)  but I would be coming with him. Not really to chaperone, but for my peace of mind. Long story short, I had reasons to not trust her. And it turned out to be correct, because after he told her about the change of plans, she got angry. Three minutes after first chatting him up, she sent him an audio asking, “So guide me through this again, what exactly did you talk about? And why would she (sic) come here when she doesn’t wanna see me? What’s the point? Sorry.” Her voice trembled, breaking. That’s how disappointed she was that he didn’t break up with me the day before, and how broken she was after him changing his plans, after our “long talk”, as if I, his girlfriend of three and a half years, had no right to try to fix things and save our relationship. I basically cockblocked her, so of course she would be feel hurt and disappointed. 

He gave her possible weekends, and she shot it down with, “sorry, I’m busy with work.” This is in spite of the fact that many chat lines later, she actually offered to let him tag along so he could see a real Javanese wedding (she works assisting an uncle with filming weddings). They had chatted between 7 am and past 7pm. She tried to “guilt trip” him into changing his mind, including a threat to tell me that she “made him think of a threesome with his dad without even dropping ‘menage a troi'” which did nothing for her case and proved just what a dirty rag she is for titillating another woman’s man. By the end of it she was trying to cajole him with the promise of a first hand experience of a Javanese wedding. The irony of it. A wedding! 

So yeah, so much drama. If anything came out of this, it’s that I am more trusting of him now, knowing that he values our relationship and that he believes we have a good chance of making each other happy. She told him that he was delusional for thinking that, but who’s the delusional one now? If she was indeed a friend with no hidden or obvious agenda (she’s pretty shameless when it comes to titillating guys via chat), she wouldn’t get in the way of the two of us, especially when we’re trying to mend what was broken and were actually making good progress except for that one thing where she was involved. She’s not messaging him, AFAIK. Obvs not interested in seeing him anymore. Such a drama 👑. 

Jakarta tomorrow evening. 

13 Jul

It’s the day before my flight back to Indonesia. Right now, spending time lying on the sofa, idly watching whatever is on the TV. I’m gonna miss just hanging out at home, even if it’s almost always uncomfortably hot. I didn’t catch up on my reading. I didn’t really go out except for meeting up with Rosa (twice), attending Tina’s wedding, and visiting my cousin. Fortunately I didn’t have to go to the POEA satellite office to procure an exit certificate. So it’s basically just me at home for three weeks. And it’s gonna be over soon.

I have an almost daily collection of kitty cat piles. I’m gonna spare the readers (if any?) by putting up only one.

Curious kittens smitten by the blue flame.

The five kitties with their grumpy great grandmother.

Orange was spayed last Saturday and had to spend time in our bedroom after surgery. She wasn’t used to not having a regular litter box and had peed only three times in two days. When she was let out, the first thing she did was go directly to the litter box and let out a huge poop. 💩 Never was it more satisfying to watch a pet defecate.

Basil visibly flinches as Neko stares at him.

Blitzy has become better-behaved.

I don’t know if I’m gonna be back during term break. My sister and I are playing with the idea of going to Singapore for a couple of days in October.

Hopefully, I’d spend the Christmas holidays with my boyfriend in Germany. Let’s see.