Kicking & screaming out the womb at 45

8:22 pm Nicole : nkakatamad na magblog wala ako maisip. ehehe. yes nakatabi lang baon. brent says thank u 4 his books. Papa, 15 years to go may senior citizen card kna. pang discount ! 8:39 pm Nicole is offline.

Dear batchmates, kabayan and friends :

THIS IS the one time of the year when I don’t think of anything that comes out of this hopelessly dysfunctional mind in its vain effort to spew original thoughts and clever phrases.

Not that I’ve ever met with much success anyway. Just a few lines here and there we’ve snatched from hormonally challenged TV shows, pompous book reviews and decadent gossip columns ( a redundancy ) pondered over and stared at in grimy toilets and damp bus stops, while doing abandoned crosswords in forgotten train stations and unfinished sudokus on lonely park benches.

When we do find two phrases that agree with each other, or a smattering of words that sound good together, we just write them down in tattered pages of our dog-eared notebook, but alas ink on paper doesn’t always translate to bytes on screen, zzzz’s usually take over drooping eyelids in front of the rusty PC, but we do try to keep our appointment with the monitor at least once a fortnight.

Please bear with us when we commit to saying nothing serious today, as if we ever did no? I’ll just be yapping and chattering at nothing in general while marveling at my four-and-a-half decades of sugar-enhanced reveries and chichirya-induced euphoria. So there.

** ** ** ** **

It hasn’t been an easy transition for us, to be sure, from Third World slacker to First World slave. We use slave only in a functional sense, meaning in one day the kilojoules (calories pwede rin) we use are equivalent to probably a week’s worth of sinangag, there’s just so much work to do. Depression / self-analysis / mid-life crisis / tallying next week’s expenses / scenarios of kids back home getting into all sorts of trouble automatically disintegrate into distracting daydreams that you shove to the back of your mind once the alarms sound, signalling that the wheat bin is full, the mill bin is emptying, or both.

Otherwise there’s absolutely no compulsion whatsoever about us staying here and no illusion that life would be any better back home. We don’t doubt for a moment that the minute we pack up, scores of ravenous replacements would knock at the figurative door and the mill boss would begin screening and shortlisting these miserable wretches, without even waiting for the dust to settle.

My gratitude is magnified more than thrice over by the fact that I hold a job that could very well be done by a local, and that while things have improved somewhat, there have never been more Kiwis not drawing a steady paycheck in recent history.

But it would be remiss not to see the big picture. Although the flow is skewed in favor of Third World going into First, migration happens all the time, with work preference, lifestyle choices, higher education, marriage and family issues all pulling their weight in solving the migrant formula.

From an alien’s super-hi resolution eyepiece above, we must resemble ants going round and round in circles, with nowhere to go in particular, very nearly fooling our intergalactic voyeurs into assuming that we are being transported by Brownian movement of molecules, when in fact our mindless instinct to survive; our resoluteness in pursuing the better life for ourselves and our progeny; and our relentless pursuit of the American / Pinoy / Asian Dream are what cause us to forever seek fatter fishing grounds and greener pastures in whatever stage of life.

It sounds so baduy and self-serving, but health science and wellness notwithstanding, 50 is the new 40, 40 is the new 30, and of course, 30somethings are practically pre-pubescent babes. ( Didn’t I say I wouldn’t care what comes out of this keyboard today ?)

Well beyond that, it seems improbable but setting up camp in a brave new world gives one the impetus to learn new skills, forget temporarily that Age is creeping up on you, disabuse oneself of the notion that family, friends and community will always be there to support in tight spots and tough times.

It’s presumptuous to call it a Second Life, but granted the chance to stay here any longer than we already have, in a few years time we will have rendered ourselves unrecognizable from our previous incarnation as underachieving NINJAs back home. As if you didn’t know, not only do we carry baby samurai, shuriken origami and dress like suman tiptoeing across pagoda tops, we also have No Income, No Job and most pathetically, No Assets with no prospect for change. At least here, we’re active NINJAs in a strange land.

** ** ** ** **

Which brings us to even more useless bits of information we are compelled to share with you. The Internet grants us the rare pleasure of validating some of our deepest, darkest beliefs, which we would otherwise never share with others and therefore cannot find kinship and justification for if not for the secret joy of finding out that we are not alone.

Without fanfare :

(1) Kate Beckinsale voted (wow) one of the most beautiful women in the world. From Underworld to Van Helsing, she proved that you could be hot either as a vampire or as a vampire hunter. Who could ever do that??? From then on, she was Hot Mama Number One for me, ever and ever. I haven’t seen her much in other movies, but those two were enough to feed my testosterones the rest of my wimpy life.

(2) Celtics beat Cavs in NBA Eastern Conference semifinals 2010. This was more than a minor upset. It was the old guard versus the young turks, taped ankles and slow-healing sprains versus youth and speed, one-for-the-road vs. one-and-done. You don’t have to be a fan to know that it symbolized everything that was old world against the rampaging future. And guess what? The old guys won. Is it still a wonder why this was significant for us? Yes, there is a God.

(3) LeBron James is a bigger jerk than Kobe Bryant. (sorry for the bluntness) Yes, the media sometimes forces us to assume two personas. The public persona is that PC one, saying what people want to hear and being the humble, effacing and charitable persons that we will never be. Both LBJ and KB8 have through the years become experts at doing this, but the desire for a bigger media market, the desire to become a one-man show (which is not far from the truth), the wish to evolve into a sports icon without actually having accomplished anything yet have exposed LBJ into what he is : a perennial superstar who hasn’t proven himself, and who is in danger of ending his career as such. Because of No.2 above, LeBron was recently exposed. We thought Kobe was bad, but LeBron actually made him look like a good guy. Grabe.

If you’ve read this far, you either have too much time on your hands, or we have imposed beyond reason. Having said this, we will thank personally all those who greeted us, but for now we are grateful for having remembered our special day : QueenHedy, DocGerrySo, SonnyTan, StefVictorino, PilarAngSi, EuniceCobankiat, ArleneAyuste, FranciscoManaig, AlmaCastroFerreros, SimonSy, JhunMontenegro, RowelBarba, MalouMoyco, AllanRefuerzo, EvelynSyYu, CoraRosales, CesarComia, DianeReyes, JeffLu, RichardYao, MaryAnnReyes, FranzDiosana, VeronicaUy, AlanDeniega, JocelynChanTan, ImeeSy, CarolNgSy, LucylindaLee, Tedditudes, EasterBocoboMendonez, BoyetteSanDiego, GraceChuaTan, ValAsiddao, RonaldDylanConcepcion, DennisSy, SusanSilverio, CarmiSio, JaimeChan, RodneyDiola, JoelYuvienco, TomAgustin, InengMontenegroAgustin, DocMarciaBautista, IreneChua, AnjAgcaoiliRoman, MaribethAngWong, MelanieLim, TessSyChingkaw, MaryAnneOngCarranceja, CatherineViClausen, JoeyFlora, BabesNoriega and VickySuarez.

If I have left out anyone, a thousand pardons and I will make up for it manyfold in the future.

Mabuhay kayong lahat!



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