Thursday, April 15, 2010

Who Moved My Blog?

I did. I grew tired of this template and wanted to try Wordpress.

Please visit me at

I will maintain Lessons on Waiting at

See you around!

Terrible Heat

I promised myself I will minimize complaints, especially about things I cannot control. Like the weather. But the extreme heat of summer 2010 is getting to me.

I get constant migraines. I don't like moving from air-conditioned to non-air-conditioned rooms as it makes me dizzy. I am constantly thirsty, especially upon waking up in the morning. Perhaps I'm also coming down with the flu so I have been generally feeling a bit under the weather this week. I try to drink several liters of water a day just to make it through.

I am not ignoring the sun's benefits, especially since I love to do the laundry and clothes line-dry quickly in summer. I just hope that we get some rain soon, and not in Ondoy proportions, please. There is such a thing as too much sunshine.

So this is not a complaint. Just a statement. I'll do the (pro) rain dance if needed.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Unreachable Star

A Palanca award is like an Oscar to the Filipino writer - it sticks to the winner's name. It announces to writers' circles that this particular writer has arrived. It opens doors to great projects and probably even leads to a book or a movie in the future.

Probably, the only Palanca I'll ever receive in my lifetime is the Palanca letter from my mother, which I got when I attended the Days with the Lord retreat while in law school. Every year, I download the contest rules, toy with the idea of joining, and then decide not to. It's Palanca season once again and I actually could have found the time to write, except I have not been in the right mood to do so for the past decade.

Perhaps I have made this writer's block get in the way, and have not found enough ways to be in touch with my creative side. My writer-friends say that they submit entries to the Palancas even if they don't win, as it is good exercise to prepare and polish one or several pieces of writing. I wish them all the best.

I am too lazy, uninspired, and scared to take the plunge. Until then I will remain unknown and unskilled, happy to keep my blogs and journals, and safe from the threat of failure.

Growing Older and Techier

Over breakfast, my mother asked me to create for her a Facebook account. Then, she suggested that I get my father on Twitter, to which he replied that he would much rather setup a blog.

I drank my fresh hazelnut-flavored coffee from Baguio and when the caffeein kicked in, I got to work on their requests. Although they are already senior citizens, my parents have been able to use AIM, Yahoo, Skype, Magic Jack, and Google gradually over the years, to keep in touch with my siblings who are scattered all over the globe. My mom can access her bank accounts online, Papa reads his newspapers from the computer, buying only the Sunday issues, and together they watch their grandchildren on YouTube .

Before we got to the new account creations however, they asked me to give them a more detailed tutorial on how to maximize their Presario. I taught them about browsers, URLs, search engines, and websites. They actually had a lot of questions and it was fun. I had more tech-savvy siblings but I was the one they lived with so they didn't know what they were missing.

I showed them, like I did my legal research students, how to use keywords for more accurate results. My father's name is unique so we found only one website on Yahoo that had his full name - and it led to the Acknowledgment page of my brother's dissertation from NCSU. My parents were so delighted.

We were in the middle of reading my LinkedIn profile, which was the first search result when we typed in my name, when said brother suddenly invited us to a Voice Call through Skype. The tutorial was put on hold. My parents said we'll continue next week.

They leave next month for an extended trip to Sydney, to take care of my niece once my sister goes back to work. They want to watch TFC online and get in touch with their classmates, relatives, and friends via email and Facebook. I know of parents teaching their kids how to use the Internet responsibly. I am happy and proud to be a daughter teaching her parents how to leave their comfort zone and befriend their new laptop.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Luigi - Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2

While my nephew was performing, some of his family in the audience, including myself, were brought to tears. He's only 12. He's amazing.

Miko's Czardas

Highlight of my day: watching my nephew Miko Q. del Rosario play Czardas.

He's only 10, by the way.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Last year was my shlumpadinka year. This year, although slightly improved, is turning into a long rant, so to avoid any more negativity, I will try to think of positive things. Like an escapade. Singing this now:

Songwriters: Lewis, Terry;Jackson, Janet;Harris, James

As I was walkin' by saw you standin' there with a smile

Lookin' shy you caught my eye

Thought you'd want to hang for a while

Well I'd like to be with you and you know it's Friday too

I hope you can find the time this weekend to relax and unwind

My mind's tired I've worked so hard all week

Cashed my check I'm ready to go

I promise you I'll show you such a good time


Come on baby let's get away

Let's save your troubles for another day

Come go with me we've got it made

Let me take you on an escapade (let's go)

Es-ca-pade we'll have a good time

Es-ca-pade leave your worries behind

Es-ca-pade you can be mine

Es-ca-pade an escapade

So don't hold back just have a good time

We'll make the rules up as we go along

And break them all if we're not havin' fun

Repeat Chorus

My mind's tired I've worked so hard all

Worked so hard all week

I just got paid, we've got it made ready to go

I promise you I'll show you such a good time

Repeat Chorus

Don't take the lyrics seriously. I don't plan to break any rules. I seldom do.

Friday, March 5, 2010

New Rants

Maybe this is due to the unbearable heat. Maybe it's the series of difficult events that have happened to my friends and me. I just felt like posting two questions that have been bothering me for sometime now:

1. Why does Road Watch and all other traffic updates on the radio broadcast live with that irritating beat in the background? The traffic announcers sound nasal and scratchy - think A.M. mono effect - and given that unnecessary background music slash noise, who can understand what they're saying? A motorist stuck in traffic, tired from work, late for work, or out of patience? The announcers also mouth their updates at the speed of light, and seldom do I catch what I need to her when I need to hear it.

2. Why do Shell gasoline attendants ask me if I want full tank V-power even before I can speak? Is it because of my old Velocity sticker? Or is this SOP? It irritates me when I'm rushing and just need a quick pit stop and there they are, offering me a product I cannot afford.

I try not to be masungit anymore. I am grateful for many good things. I just needed to vent.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Self-Diagnosis: An Exercise in Futility

Last week, I took an online test to determine if I had autism. I really did. I learned from someone with Asperger's Syndrome that such a test was available online, and had always wondered if I had A.S. or something similar. As if it would explain everything that was wrong with me.

My friends in the know would probably laugh this off as another one of my silly ideas. But hey, last Thursday, I had reason to believe that I might be autistic.

Case in point. I helped prepare PowerPoint slides for our scripture study in the parish. Two weeks ago, I was able to set up the LCD projector, although I did not have much time to do it, so the screen was cut off at the bottom. The text was readable and comprehensible enough, so I let it go. I was happy to listen to the lessons in Greek and Paul's Letter to the Galatians.

Last Thursday, however, I got stuck in traffic (story of my life last week) and arrived late. I had mere seconds to set up the presentation. I was confronted with the following problems: the screen was placed at an angle that required the projector to be placed similarly from a particular angle, which it was not. Now, I count visual art, geometry and physics as some of my weaknesses, and no way in the world could I make the projector work properly given that angle and the milliseconds to go before bible class had to start.

Next, the Sanyo projector actually had a loose cable that unplugged it at the slightest movement. Did I mention that I had to find the right angle for the whole picture to appear on screen? Every time it got unplugged, therefore, it decided that it had to cool down for a few minutes, and then restart. Every single time. And it happened almost five times, to my growing dismay, irritation, and frustration.

When the thing finally worked, the screen was cut in half. I could only read "atians" instead of "Galatians" from the title. I had a stiff neck because the screen image was tilted. And I was operating the clicker as Fr. Steve went on to start without the LCD. Nobody could appreciate the text on screen anymore. Fr. Steve was right; we had handouts and we didn't need the LCD. Technology only slowed us down and made life more complicated.

What made it even worse was that the lesson about faith and salvation was so difficult for me to grasp, and I could not follow it. I had a frown for an hour, which caused me a headache. I lacked sleep, I had a long day at work, and I traveled for two hours to get home, so all these things affected my mood.

I was not happy. I kept thinking, Oh no, all the nuns and my Bible Study classmates must think I'm a moron for not being able to make this work. One nun, God bless her, approached me afterwards and said she understood my difficulty, and it was not my fault. The projector had to be set up permanently. The table we were using was not suited for the purpose. She was right; for it could not even fit both the MacBook and the projector. She offered to help. I wanted to hug her.

So I thought I was not normal for insisting that we still use the projector; and I was not normal for being distracted and irritated that the screen was partially hidden from view; and I was not normal for being so worried about what my classmates thought instead of listening to the theological points raised at class.

But then I flunked the test. Miserably. I did not have A.S., according to my computer screen. Well, that figures. A person with A.S., usually possessing superior or even better I.Q., could make something as simple as a PowerPoint presentation work properly. And I with my normal IQ, low AQ and EQ, just had to deal with life with more patience and perseverance.

My office mate suggested taking an online test for OCD (Gee, thanks Twix!). I found out that OCD and OCPD were two separate things. I didn't seem to fit any category. But what do I know? Maybe what I need, really, is professional help (Tina, you can say I told you so). Someone who can tell me what's wrong with me, and help make it right.

In the meantime, I vowed to go to class extra early next week, and employ other people to set up the projector. Yes, I have not let that frustration go yet. (Perfectionism: there it is. The answer to the question.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's All Geek to Me

I am a geek. There, I've said it.

For the past two weeks I have been helping a couple of friends get used to their MacBooks. I installed MS Office and iWork '09, downloaded updates, introduced them to Skype and Gmail, added bookmarks, customized settings, among others. I spent hours doing this and I could have spent more hours if I did not have other things to do, like, for example, work, and teach.

One of those friends has had his Mac for almost four years now, but was not able to maximize it. Another friend just bought a brand new MacBook. I happily removed it from its box and smelled all the newness inside. Then I gladly introduced her to her new toy slash best friend. She was surprised at this side of me she had not seen in action - my geeky side.

Of late, grade school classmates have been posting our class pictures on Facebook. Ugh. I want to untag myself. Who wants to look at those pics? Those were my geekiest days, when the library was my hangout, books were my best friends, and classmates just existed to tease me no end. Okay, I still have a few friends left from grade school, but still, those were not exactly my happiest days. But they probably shaped me to become who I am now. And who I am for about two weeks now is a geek.