24 October 2016


It was in high school when I learned the prayer: "Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." 
It is a timely thing to meditate on right now.


23 October 2016

Tune Out

I retweeted the screenshot above about a somewhat mundane statement about Bill Gates and PM Justin Trudeau. I wonder why it had to be published unless the Telegraph would like to subliminally communicate that interactions with the PM have a tendency to be non-stimulating. 

Such a sad reality about human interaction. I try my best to make the most out of each interaction--I magnify each detail to maximize the moment. Of course, there's a tendency for me to tune out of the superficial (e.g. topic of conversation) and laser focus on a person's voice, smell, mannerisms, even whatever curious sensation I'm experiencing during the interaction. I wish I could record everything; as in capture each moment--everything about the moment/memory. Alas, every present moment immediately becomes the past in a second. 

There are occasions when I seem tuned out and that's been pointed out to me often. I'm still in the moment but maybe I felt a piece of whatnot stuck on my teeth and I felt the urge to look at the Apple sign (mirror) at the back of my phone to confirm--or maybe my attempt to focus on the person I'm talking to isn't translated well by my face. My expression could range from expressionless to wincing in pain. 

I wish I had eidetic memory and the capability to rewind each interaction. 

I also wish that the reason why Bill Gates would lug a microbiology book is because he's simply fascinated by the topic and not to blatantly insult a nation's leader. I like Bill Gates, he's cool. I don't think he's a rude snobby billionaire.


22 October 2016


I found myself conversing with this person whose demeanor reminded me so much of Tim Robbins on the movie I.Q. but reminded me, physically, of a hybrid between Harold Ramis (Egon Spengler on Ghostbusters, had to Google his name) and Rick Moranis. 

I could note the unassuming yet 'still waters run deep' aura of this person who was obviously highly intelligent yet honestly humble--and funny without meaning to be.  I always found very funny people to be the most profound. Funny = wit. It's very easy to gravitate towards that kind of down-to-Earth persona. I hope to be friends with this person--if this person enjoys the company of someone who is a combination of Hannibal Lecter/Wednesday Addams/Romy&Michele. 


21 October 2016

atmospheric pressure, my lungs, and daft beings

The scarcity of public transportation on this appropriately rainy morning was the impetus for hind leg activity from point A to point B. And since our lower extremities are voracious oxygen consumers--as a result of mitochondria-filled skeletal muscles--I found myself relying on my thoracic (intercostal) muscles to systematically expand my torso (to decrease pressure) and allow air to ventilate my lungs.  This sequence of realizations has led me to think about density. Density has various subject matter-specific definitions. I would sometimes just think of it as level of crowding. Too much stuff. Too many people. Too much particles.

People are occasionally described as dense. I think I can be dense. Filled with thoughts. Thoughts about how the strings of the universe are conspiring against me. The usual. And then there are other dense people who are so impenetrable--who just don't get it. Even Thor's Mjolnir wouldn't be able to crack their myopic and deafened state so as to turn on the light bulb of "there's something that needs to be done."

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17 October 2016

Terrestrial Engine Travel

So here we are again on a train station waiting for a long haul trip to the west. I never knew that I had this ongoing platonic relationship with trains. 

I've occasionally taken the LRT or MRT in Manila---I remember typhoon Ondoy when I was stranded overnight at work because of waist-deep flood (add to that the horrid feeling that my family was at home trying to raise floor furniture and whatnot) and braved the rat urine-infested floodwaters to get to the nearest LRT or MRT to get home.

Flashback further in the past and I'm in Osaka riding the bullet train to go to Hiroshima on an exchange student program in Japan. I blended well physically--I looked legitimately Japanese--however, I was with a group. We were an entourage of 4 uniformed girls accompanying our Principal who was a nun. The bullet train was superb.

Fastforward to 2009 when I found myself trying to figure out the intricate web of train platforms in Copenhagen when, during winter at that time, for some reason--commuters smelled of beer. Probably Carlsberg. Which I grew to love. The trains too. And the whole adventure of reading station signs and street signs with a sequence of accented vowels.

Now here. At Union station in Toronto. Where it feels like an airport. That's the developed world for ya. I'm pretty sure that people who have not gone outside of the first world comforts may think of a litany of complaints about this station. 

Cynthia Alexander's song comes to mind: "I have seen, I have been to places far and deep in my mind only to find comfort in your strangeness."

14 October 2016

cheesy peasy

I finally succumbed to my son's nagging request to get Oka cheese--because he heard tht it was good and saw it on an ad. I initially didn't think that it was a practical idea to buy it since it was expensive so I'd tell him "no." It was the 3rd time when we were together at the local grocer that I finally said yes. At least it was cheese; not beer or aftershave or something. It was good. I hate the fact that I like it, because I now think it's perfect with wine. Meaning to say I may potentially buy it again. Oka is Québécois
and made from local milk in the traditional Trappist monk way. 

My stomach is feeling a little funny right now. I immediately thought of this Meg Ryan romantic flick called "French Kiss" where she tried all sorts of French cheeses and had diarrhea. Such a romantic film, I know. 


13 October 2016

seek faith at the right place

"Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens." -Tolkien's LOTR

It is therefore wise to hold one's ground, wear an armor of courage, and expect a long journey ahead. Keep a forward gaze, allow company, trust a few. Don't stop and wonder why the day invites a crowd and at night you are alone. Tread on. Be relentless.

Source: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4133/4992731852_888e48a615.jpg


12 October 2016

My head is bloody, but unbowed

10 October 2016

on traveling, wandering, etc

Whilst at a Thanksgiving party, I conversed with someone who just came back from a Eurotrip. She said that a two-week itinerary covering France, Italy, Spain, & London with mostly flights left her exhausted. I thought it was still worth it---she thought the same, of course.

My bucket list still has The Louvre in Paris and the Sistine Chapel in Rome as unchecked bullet points. Also, NASA, The Great Wall, Nepal, Antarctica, Alexandria, the International Space Station, Mars, the opposite edge of the Milky Way, seeing the Aurora Borealis...Dreams are free, lists are just lists.


06 October 2016

Salt of the Earth people

Millet's Man with a Hoe source

Are we on a blog roll this month, it's like going back to 2006/7 when MySpace and Friendster still existed. This morning at work, I learned about a man who did a lot of gardening and other manually intensive activities. I think it's an admirable hobby and when someone is very hands on in terms of labor--I automatically put that person on an imaginary pedestal. I've met too many people who scoff at getting their hands dirty. People who prefer to pay other people to do what they obviously are capable of doing. Just because manual labor is too blue collar--doesn't go well with an Onesimus or Zara suit. I find that off-putting. Especially for a man. My husband doesn't like suits (unless he has no choice) and prefers to stubbornly tinker and do a lot of DIY projects. It doesn't always result to his planned outcome, but when he achieves whatever he wants to achieve--screened windows, bidet spray installation (LOL), extended extension cord--oh, that smug look on his face. Cracks me up; but I pat him on the back. I remember one of the first gifts he gave me was a paper weight he made in shop class--a chrome-plated dice (or die) where one of the corners was screwed on an x-shaped base so it looked like it was permanently tipped diagonally. Well he took it back and made it a reference model for all his students when he taught a machine class in university. But I thought it was a fantastic gift.

Going back to getting one's hands dirty as in gardening--I think it says a lot about a person. That there's a certain degree of humility and unassuming-ness. I like blue collar jobs; not to say that I want to shift careers and go into construction--but you know what I'm implying. I suppose being overexposed to a few persons in air-conditioned, hard-wood themed offices who can't be bothered to go get their own coffee made me "umay." When I had the fortunate opportunity to run an office with 2 administrative staff and a few student assistants, I made it a point to make my own coffee in the machine, clean the coffee maker myself, and get my own lunch. I remember at the beginning, one of the staff would ask what I wanted for lunch or what they could get me--I would respectfully decline just because lunch was across the street. I tried to avoid using the Intercom, because the walk towards the administrative offices was good exercise. I thought my office was excessively big. Too big. Look at me being all hypocritical when it was only last year when we moved to a different country that I started to do chores. I'm technically berating myself right now for letting other people do things at home in the past--things I could clearly do myself, sort of. Guilty. It was convenient. Feel free to judge me, I'm not proud of it trust me. But there's always a form of rebirth right? While I feel incessantly exhausted now, I feel more decent--more real.

My point is, we shouldn't succumb to the social norm of being impressed with superficiality. Wealth, stature, and power worn on one's sleeves don't necessarily equate to character and dignity. I'm not making a hasty generalization. And I'm not saying that blue collar is better than white collar. That all blue collar people nor all white collar people are decent. There are always exceptions. This morning's events simply triggered a reexamination of what makes an ordinary person extraordinary. Wouldn't it be great to aim for that?

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