on life and men and the UFC

[i am back. to blogging, that is. i am not sure who reads me, but i know why i write. i write to clear my mental chatter. i write to rationalize my emotional ambiguities. mainly, this is where i spoil my randomness, lest i drive people around me insane by how i could go from here to there without warning.]

i like sports. well, ok — i like watching but i watch with such conviction, i scare myself a little sometimes and impress the initiated. my love for sports (wow, i say it like i actually play one… ) occurs in what i call phases. once, i was on a tennis phase — i was ready to profess my love for carlos moya and pete sampras. when i lived with my cousin who was into golf, all it took was a little ‘explanation’ from him, and i found myself spending a few extra minutes on a golf coverage when i channel surfed. basketball is a phase that never really goes away. although i watch the PBA and the NBA only when my teams are playing, i do keep up with the team standings and keep an opinion on trades and other controversies. (go, celtics!) i have also probably seen all of manny pacquiao’s fights  — including that fight in an open area in thailand, when manny was hardly a star, but definitely already impressive.

and now, the UFC. i am thoroughly entertained by it. and no, i am not one of those bandwagon fans that cheer for the favorite or the more attractive fighter. (because it’s embarrassing) don’t get me started, but i actually know my favorites. i remember my late mom getting so worked up whenever i watched MMA matches. she found it violent and feared that i was secretly blood-thirsty. rawr!

so anyway, the beautiful Georges St-Pierre gave Josh Koscheck a beating yesterday. aren’t men just an interesting lot? they trash talk and beat each other up in their skimpy trunks. then someone wins, of course — and they hug and kiss each other, whisper praises into each other’s ear, and sing each other more praises on the microphone as if they had not just each tried to mangle the other person minutes before that.

but really. sometimes, men are just the coolest. now i still wouldn’t want to be one, but there are a couple of things girls can actually learn from them and from mixed martial arts. i can not, for the love of me, imagine two girls going at it, and then hug and pat each other’s back for a catfight well-done. and when women talk nasty — they mean it. they aren’t just hyping it up; they are seriously out to ruin your reputation and your life.

if i try a little harder, i may even say that the UFC may be an interesting commentary on how life is supposed to be. you know, like here, the fighters pick men their own size. in the real world, a lot of people win over others who did not even have a shot to begin with. and they dare call themselves great.

the better fighters try to beat the opponents in their own game. they’re deliberate, and studious. life is like that. there is some level of pleasure in beating people where they believe themselves to be good at.

i wish life allowed us to tap out. you know, just tap out when you think you’ve had enough and save yourself from more hurt. for anyone who understands, it isn’t cowardice because it’s all part of the game. it’s a lifesaver at your beckoning.

and when cain velasquez knocked out half-man-half-concrete brock lesnar — i think it showed how, sometimes, there’s a way to beat the scary.

so do i watch the UFC to bask in all this art imitating life? nah. i’m all for the throw downs and watching the loud mouths get submitted. and it doesn’t hurt that kenny florian is too cute.

“guess how much i love you”

[tomorrow is the anniversary of the day that turned my life around. up to this day, there are still a couple of things that make me both miserable and angry about the time when i felt my faith failed me. but in the spirit of letting go and still being faithful, i remind myself of how at least, my mama bade me more than a decent goodbye. she left me with three sentences, which i play in my mind over and over on really bad days. i have to remember them to save my life.

Guess How Much I Love You is something i share to my students whenever i find a chance; no one in my classes has ever known of this story prior to my telling them. when i told mama this story, i was all surprised, proud and heartened when she actually guessed Big Nutbrown Hare’s last line. today, i read this story again after a long time and i am reminded of how even in her death bed, i (like Little Nutbrown Hare) couldn’t outdo my mama.]

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Little Nutbrown Hare was going to bed held on tight to Big Nutbrown Hare’s very long ears. He wanted to be sure that Big Nutbrown Hare was listening.

“Guess how much I love you,” he said.

“I don’t think I could guess that,” said Big Nutbrown Hare.

“This much” said Little Nutbrown Hare stretching out his arms as wide as he could go. Big Nutbrown Hare have even longer arms. “But I love you this much,” he said.

“Hmmm. That’s a lot,” thought Little Nutbrown Hare. “I love you as high as I can reach,” said Little Nutbrown Hare.

“I love you as high as I can reach,” said Big Nutbrown Hare.

“That is very high,” thought Little Nutbrown Hare. “I wish I had arms like that.”

Then Little Nutbrown Hare had a good idea. He tumbled upside down then reached up the tree trunk with his feet. “I love you all the way up to my toes,” he said.

“And I love you up to your toes,” said Big Nutbrown Hare swinging him up over his head.

“I love you as I high as I can hop,” laughed Little Nutbrown Hare, bouncing up and down.

“But I love you as high as I can hop,” smiled Big Nutbrown Hare—and he hopped so high that his ears touched the branches above.

“That’s good hopping,” thought Little Nutbrown Hare. “I wish I could hop like that.”

“I love you all the way down the lane as far as the river,” cried Little Nutbrown Hare.

“I love you across the river and over the hills,” said Big Nutbrown Hare.

“That’s very far,” thought Little Nutbrown Hare. He was almost too sleepy to think anymore. Then he looked beyond the thornbushes, out into the big dark night. Nothing could be farther than the sky.

“I love you right up to the moon,” he said and closed his eyes.

“Oh, that’s far,” said Big Nutbrown Hare. “That’s very, very far.”

Big Nutbrown Hare settled Little Nutbrown Hare into his bed of leaves. He leaned over and kissed him goodnight. Then he laid down close by and whispered with a smile. “I love you right up to the moon—and back.”

on what would have been her 61st

Only a few days from now will be what used to be one of my favorite days. It would also be when I’d start counting down the days to my own birthday, something mama had always made fun of me for. My mama would be 61, and I’d still be the more excited one between us, because for several years before she died, she had made a tradition of giving ME a present on HER birthday.

Now I do not want to forever be the girl whose mom died and I do want to be able to stop talking about her death. But if anyone is really my friend or if anyone ever really knew me or mama, he will have to allow me to hold on to whatever is left of the best gift God and life have ever given me.

Mama was my happy thought. She still is my happy thought. With much struggle and help from many people, I have made some considerable progress at letting go, and moving on, and believing (without much rational understanding and with all the hope that my broken heart is able to muster) that everything happens for a reason. Not that any reason could ever make me whole again. I’m not sure I am even interested.

A day has yet to pass without me crying and talking to mama as if she could hear me; if the ‘rules’ in the afterlife allowed it, I’m sure mama had been listening. I have yet to make dinner without hoping I could have mama over the phone to ‘talk me through eating alone’. I have not stopped dreading weekends, when I have to go home and not have mama expecting me. I miss getting random treats, just because mama thought ‘it’s cute and I might like it’. I miss mama’s stories, and random musings. I have yet to really enjoy a happy thing or circumstance without wishing I could call mama and share it with her.

I have yet to stop thinking mama has been helping me out in my answered prayers and lucky haps lately.

I have yet to bring myself to delete mama’s phone number.

I have only just started to pray again.

Dreams have been a-plenty lately and mama is in each and every one of them. I’m not sure what to make of them, but I’d like to believe mama knew I was lying when I told her to stop worrying about me if it was already too difficult for her. I’d like to believe mama knows how I’ve always needed her. I’d like to believe mama kept true to her explicit promise of ‘babantayan at aalagaan pa rin kita’. Truth is, I basked in being her daughter. I basked in the comfort and security that came with her love.

I don’t need anyone to cry for or with me. Mama’s death is my tragedy. The story of my life has taken a lonely turn; it doesn’t get rewritten. I’m still a little interested, albeit passive, about how the story turns out; but for now, what gets me by is reading through the past over and over, because there were too many good and happy parts.

Happy birthday, mama.

mini-strategies

  • when in traffic, take time to sleep. or interview yourself. the forced silence when you have to sit alone could help you in reevaluating your self.
  • when you have to wait in line anywhere, and you have time to spare anyway, wait. there is a good chance that you’d end up buying only half of whatever is in your basket or cart. you know: needs versus wants.
  • when reading something, and you own the book anyway, write marginal notes. or keep a little notebook to jot down little bursts of ideas, sentiments or realizations. it’s always nice to be able to take away a little something from whatever you read.
  • when you feel like eating but you aren’t quite sure what you want to eat, walk around and see all your choices. by doing so, you’ve already eaten with your eyes. if you’re lucky, you’d realize you aren’t so hungry afterall.
  • when shopping for toiletry, buy the smaller sizes. if you like what you bought, you’d use it to the last drop and could always buy again. if you don’t like or grow tired of what you bought, at least you don’t waste an entire 200 ml. bottle of shampoo.
  • when you feel like splurging on restaurant dining, try something or somewhere new every so often.
  • when you cannot help but wash your hands more often than you think you should, put in a drop or two of moisturizer with your hand soap.
  • if it doesn’t feel right to say yes, don’t. resentment is a lot of weight to carry around.

i wonder…

what happened to my jazz dance teacher. i took classes when i was a kid. i wasn’t any good. i learned that one pretty early on. you accept it when you tend to bounce and hop, instead of glide and slide. whew.

why students nowadays think they are too cool for school. that’s just uncool.

why some people feel so entitled. like the world owes them.

how i could learn to bathe FASTER.

how you answer the question: “Miss, is it okay if I don’t do as you say?” and “Miss, is it okay if I do it my way even though you’ve pretty much spent so much time teaching us a pattern of organization?”. Of course students don’t say it that way. But do they ever mean it? Many, many, many effing times.

why I cannot stop touching my ears.

why it’s just so good to eat breakfast food at lunch and dinner time.

whether i was a good leader or a good bully in high school. maybe it’s the former. or maybe my classmates just loved eating for free and didn’t mind that i was pushing them around a bit ;)

why i even bother setting the alarm clock when i awake at 4 a.m., whether i mean to or not anyway.

what i’m doing here blogging when i have essays to mark and an exam to finish.

who really cares?

if life were a song…

1. IF SOMEONE SAYS ‘ARE YOU OKAY’ YOU SAY?
number one – john legend (better than OKAY. hay naku.)

2. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
the last time – keane (??? yeah. didn’t get that either.)

3. WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A LOVER?
the dynamo of volition – jason mraz (dynamo? volition? what?)

4. HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
breakeven – the script

5. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
love isn’t – same same (sabi ko na nga ba e…)

6. WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?
make it mine – jason mraz (yeah. way to go, self!)

7. WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
realize – colbie caillat

8. WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
kissing a fool – george michael (ha??! sus. kala lang ni mama ‘yun)

9. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
love bug – jonas brothers (grabe… love bug na, jonas brothers pa.)

10. WHAT IS 2 + 2?
free – brooke white

11. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
I hate this part – pussycat dolls (sorry gina. sorry marifi :) )

12. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
starlight – muse (eherm. celestial.)

13. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
northern star – melanie c. (i was gonna say ‘to just grow up’)

14. WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
have a little faith in me – john hiatt

15. WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
breakfast at tiffany’s – deep blue something (naks. can’t wait to be wed. este, to dance.)

16. WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
you can’t always get what you want – rollingstones (hay naku, I know, ok? I know.)

17. WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
innocent – our lady peace (weh.)

18. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
ooh child – hall & oates (right on. )

19. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
show stoppin’ – danity kane (yeah, I’m a born diva. I’ve always suspected that.)

20. WHAT DO YOU WANT RIGHT NOW?
make up – jesse mccartney (e may jonas brothers na nga e. jesse mccartney naman wehehe!)

21. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
only human – jason mraz (of course, right?)

22. WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
broken strings – james morrison feat. nelly furtado

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS. DON’T LIE.
4. Tag friends (me also, so I can see your results) or however many you want. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing.

convictions

if i got a dollar for every time i summon or convey or just rustle up a new opinion — i’d be obscenely wealthy. if i double the dollar for every time i truly take up the opinion as a conviction, i’d be more than obscene hee! hee!

i almost always have opinions coming right out of my ears. i do not really expect others to take them up as their own, but i surely do stand by them.

a discussion of Dante’s The Comedy is the reason for this blabbering. i think it makes sense. indifference is a sin indeed.

i usually make my students laugh when i ‘accuse’ them of just sharing in the oxygen of the universe (and therefore, being a waste) every time they could not seem to make up their mind on a yes-no question. thdivine-comedyey know i mean it, though.

as in the famous epic, there is punishment for those who wouldn’t shed blood or tears for anything.

i may not always be right.

but i take a stand.

and people can count on me to never be on the fence when they need me to be on their side. when i am not on theirs, at least they know it, too. there is peace in truth.