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19 Mar

Been home a couple of days now. I will only be here a week, and it somehow got me far away removed from the nightmare that was the last few weeks of work. Right now I am reading The Tempest, trying to inject some quality reads into my Goodreads reading goal, because so far all I have finished are children’s books. Lol. It feels good, somehow, to be able to be away from it all. It is a good bonus that it is not exceedingly hot considering that it is summer here in the Philippines. The mangoes aren’t ready for the picking yet, though. Sad!


Where is Basilio?

27 Feb

My sister told me that today Basilio did not show up for meals. Since Sunday he had been a bit lethargic and had very little appetite. And now he hasn’t returned. I have blogged about Basilio before, about six years ago, when he went missing when he was still a kitten. At that time we thought that he was gone forever, until my dad started asking around the neighborhood and found out that a little kid had kept him as a pet for a while, after he ended up at their house.

Now, I don’t know if there will be a happy reunion, as he is now older, more gruff and because we never had him neutered, more battle-scarred. He had always been an outside cat, but since our other male cat, Nemon, disappeared, he became more aloof and the traces of that sweet cat was gone. It was only recently that my sister had convinced him to come inside the house and sometimes he would sleep in her room.

And then this. If there is anything I know about cats, it’s that they tend to make themselves scarce when they are sick… and sometimes they never come back. They won’t return home to die.

I want to be optimistic about this. After all, it wasn’t the first time that he had been away from home longer than a couple of days as an adult. Maybe it is the stress from work, but I have this ominous feeling that I will never see him again.

Everything is just so stressful.


25 Feb

I feel it coming.

Because I find myself sometimes thinking of alternatives.

There are days when I just collapse in bed after getting home from work and waking up past midnight.

Most days I do not find the time or energy to do things I enjoy, like reading, listening to music or watching something on Netflix.

I  am exhausted all the time. That is why I feel exceedingly happy when I have an opportunity to take a siesta (such as when there are long weekends).

I neglect even my daily routines.  Things I now do only sporadically: meal prepping, writing on my bullet journal, moisturizing my face in the evening.

I feel like I do not have time to finish all the things I need to do. This week I went to school for seven days straight. Monday to Friday, work. Saturday, extra classes. Sunday, marking papers. I still have a pile of stuff that needs to be done. It is like the seven days in the week is not enough for all of it.

Teaching is one of those careers where burnout is very common. I feel like this time is different. More than anything, it is the sheer amount of work that needs to be done is doing me in.

I want to escape all of it.

Counting down til the term break comes around.



9 Dec

Saturday that was meant to be spent marking papers was instead spent lazy and in bed. Maybe I will give it my best tomorrow? Just now I was watching a Japanese show on Netflix called Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salary Man. It is literal food porn. Like 12 minutes into the pilot Kantaro is in ecstasy while waiting for his anmitsu. Anyway, why does it always have to be about food? There is this other show on Netflix with the same theme… a retired guy off to enjoy his newly found free time by treating himself to nice meals. It is too hard to watch especially when one is on a diet. But lol, who am I kidding? Here I am typing away with my Starbucks lemonade, having just finished a panini. I broke my four-day keto diet streak a couple of days ago, and I figure I can allow myself another day since I will be heading to a birthday party with a rumored eight-course meal later for dinner. Maybe I will give it my all tomorrow?

It’s unbelievable but it’s the holidays again in a week. I have already booked all my flights (and am now poor by USD700) but other than the empty sensation in my pocket it hasn’t sunk in yet. Going home, being there for a few days, and then heading to Taiwan with J. Maybe for the last time? I don’t know. An empty feeling that hasn’t sunk in yet. Uncertainties are like that.

I wish I can wait for it, like how our guy Kantaro anticipates his sweet anmitsu.


Expectations vs reality

8 Aug

What’s the key to enjoying life? Or at the very least, what is the key to a non-shitty existence? 

I think it is having the ability to be happy by yourself. 

There are many things that can be sources of self-fulfillment: work perfomance, an artwork, a personal goal that you are able to reach. It makes a person happy in the sense that for something that they spend time and effort on, there are tangible or at least conceivable results, which can be a source of pride and feelings of fulfillment. 

But often we need other people to reach happiness and self-actualization. We want someone to appreciate our efforts, comment on a job well done, made to feel that our achievements also make them proud and happy on our behalf. Someone to do things that make us feel special. Especially in an age of oversharing, our desire to be noticed and appreciated even gets more intense. Like posting something on social media and waiting for the “likes” to pour in. 

It is this desire that often lead us to feel underappreciated. But we have to remember: everyone has their own lives to worry about. Just like how we fidget about something great (or even just mundane stuff), so do other people. Maybe if we care about others genuinely, we might get reciprocation. 

Or maybe not. Expecting something in return is a recipe for disappointment. Even if it is, and especially if it is, from people we care deeply about, if our expectations are not met, it tends to hit us hard. So while we must also appreciate these people (because we genuinely care for them), we must not be thinking that they owe us something back. Or that it is their duty to make us feel special or loved. Lowering your expectations also diminish the possibility of disappointment. We can all live happier lives if we slowly disengage ourselves from the need to be noticed and appreciated by others, and instead find more contentment loving and appreciating ourselves. 

I think that in this world where the idea of not being in control of your own life is a possibilty (often more so for people who are trapped in unfortunate situations not of their doing such as extreme poverty, natural disasters, political instability or war), it becomes all the more important to be able to depend on onself for validation than to seek it from other people. If you expect it from others, then you must also be prepared for the harsh bite of reality. 


They closed down all the 711s in Indonesia

15 Jul

I flew back to Indonesia Tuesday night. Before that, I had to drop Blitzy off to the vet because she was scheduled to be spayed that evening. She had been diagnosed with pyometra days before, so it was decided that she will get fixed to prevent re-occurence of the infection.

My mom will be picking her up from the vet’s later this afternoon.

I came back one day before our two-day conference, which ended yesterday. I had booked a suite at the usual place in Menteng. I invited a friend to come with me and we will be going back to Semarang on Sunday.

This morning we went out to buy breakfast at the 711 across the street. It was closed. We went up instead and found an open Bakmi GM branch. I googled if there were other 711s close by and I was shocked to see that all the branches were listed as permanently closed. I looked it up and found a wiki entry that the 711s in Indonesia had all closed because of a failed acquisition. So sad.

So far, very relayed except for some annoyances at work. This year is going to be very interesting because of certain personalities. Lol. But anyway, I hope that this year will be much better than the last. I have a favourite class and this is their senior year. I intend to do all I can to ensure that they will get the best results for their external exams… I just hope that said personalities will not be an impediment to that. Hah.

I have more preparations this year, although I still have the same number of assigned teaching units. Somehow I am eager to start already. Somehow.



2 Jul

Past my second week here back home. It’s been relatively busy compared to other summers past. I finally got to visit this flat that I purchased, and am slowly furnishing it with my year-end bonus. Lol. I don’t want to take a loan so a real bed will have to wait. 

And then something happened early last Saturday. My sister came home half past midnight, and she noticed that our dog Blitzen was sitting among the bushes and wasn’t coming to her. She realized that she couldn’t raise herself up with her hind legs. She woke me up, then I went to see Blitzy. She came to me, struggling to get up and walk, but she did go up the patio, where she typically sleeps, and lay down. 

I woke up before six to look for her. I found her by the bushes again. I called to her but this time she couldn’t stand at all. She looked so weak and refused water. I was already freaking out because of the apparent severity of the matter. I asked my dad to go contract a jeepney (we don’t have a car) so we could take her to the vet. Then we had to struggle with how to get her to the road. Our house is about 200 meters away from the main road, and half of it is narrow and elevated. Blitzy was very heavy, and neither my dad nor I could carry her all the way, so I held a sling to support her hind legs and my dad pulled her in front. When we got to the stairs, my dad and I took turns carrying her, which was very difficult because it looked like she was trying to make herself heavy because she didn’t want to be lifted. 

The vet clinic was in the next town, and we had to wait another half hour till the vet arrived. When she got examined, the vet noticed that she had pus coming out of her vulva. I didn’t notice that at all. She had just finished menstruating and I thought that white liquid that I noticed a few days ago when she walked away was just some normal post-period discharge.

So anyway, the vet diagnosed it as pyometra, which is a secondary infection due to the hormonal changes female dogs undergo after their period of heat and they did not get pregnant. Blitzy’s is of the open variety, which means that the cervix is open and that is why she has pus leaking out. The other type, closed, is more dangerous as the pus that builds up in the uterus can rupture and cause blood poisoning, much like appendicitis in humans. 

Blitzy was admitted, hooked on an IV drip and given antibiotics. This morning I visited her and she was very pleased to see me, if her almost knocking over of the IV pole is any indication. She can stand and walk now, although she still has pus leaking out of her. I spent a couple of hours there hanging out with her at the waiting area at the confinement room while the vet attended to the other animals that were brought in. It is a Sunday and they were only open until noon, but there were a lot of patients coming in. 

Blitzy wasn’t so excited seeing the other animals and was just there on the floor by my feet, eventually sleeping while I patted her. She was even so comfortable that she assumed her favorite spread eagled position. Goes to show how she has improved overnight. 

I just felt sorry having to leave her there again. I asked the vet to just have her fixed when she is well enough for surgery. (The best treatment for pyometra is an ovariohysterectomy.) I only have a week before I fly off again. And if she is to have surgery, then at least I will be around to keep an eye on her when she recovers at home. Let’s see how it goes. 

I won’t be able to see her tomorrow as I have to go to the flat to supervise the installation of the air conditioner and the TV. Perhaps before I go home on Tuesday I will come over and visit her again, unless she is sent home earlier sans getting spayed.