Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Once was enough

The lovely and scintillating Scarlet Blue asked me to do a meme on the ten experiences that I would not want to repeat. I had a hard time narrowing it down, as I've had lots of experiences that are definitely not worth repeating. In fact, some would best be forgotten, except I'd like to think that I've learned something important from them--such as, don't do that again!

I've spent about two weeks trying to make this list; I keep changing it. But for now, I'm going to post what I have so far. I'm going to share 5 of the experiences I would not want to repeat again, and I'll share the rest later this week.

So here they are, the five of the ten experiences I would rather not repeat:

1) Eating a too much.

I was at a movie matinée with some friends. There were problems with the film; it stopped three times for several minutes. The manager offered to refund our tickets and gave us coupons for free snacks. We switched our tickets for another movie and I cashed in the coupons to feast on a pound of gummi bears and a pound of chocolate covered raisins. I was in delicious candy heaven!

Later that night, I had a terrible stomach ache that kept me awake til the wee hours of the morning. I felt sick and awful and swore to myself that I would never eat again. The next day, I only stuck to sips of clear liquids. I don't remember the movie we saw, but I do remember the pain from eating too much candy, so I learned my lesson. Don't pig out on junk food at the movies.

2) Not being able to say 'No' at work.

I'm talking about my first job after college. I was so accommodating to my co workers that I started covering for some of them. None of them offered to work for me so I could take a day off. I kind of had the feeling that some of them were taking advantage of me, having me do their work for them. But I was getting paid overtime for all that extra work, and I liked the overtime.

Then I covered for three people and ended up working 11 days in a row! I didn't even realize that I was working 11 days straight until that last day, when I was excited to finally have a day off. All I did was sleep on my day off. Then it was back to work for another five days. I was feeling tired and disagreeable; I was getting burnt out. That's when I realized that I needed to say no if I wanted to have a life outside of work. Now I'm not afraid to say no at work. I work hard, so I play hard when I'm off.

3) Leaving the blinds open.

I usually leave the blinds open when I need light and close them if I want to keep out the heat or it's night time. At one apt that I lived in, I had gotten lazy and didn't close the blinds when it got dark. After taking a shower before bed, I walked towards the living room to turn off the lights and make sure the door was locked. Then I realized that the blinds were still open. As I reached up to turn the blinds close, my towel dropped, and suddenly, bright lights poured in the windows from the neighbor's car out front. I stayed there like a deer in headlights, not moving for a few seconds, shocked, until my brain finally snapped to attention and sent a message to my hand to close the blinds. I'm pretty sure the neighbors saw me nekkid.

Luckily, my lease was up at the end of the month and I moved somewhere else. Nowadays, I make sure the blinds are closed before walking around in a towel. Of course, there have been a few days when I wander around in my underwear, before I realize that the blinds are open and people passing by can see me! Those peeping bastards!

4) Seeing a married woman.

I remember the first one. Okay, when I first started seeing her, I didn't know she was married. And when I found out, I admit that I was shocked and disturbed to realize that I was seeing a married woman! I was an adulterer! In Biblical times, they stoned adulterers. Still, as dirty and ashamed as I felt, I was also having a good time. And even though a small part of me knew that it was wrong, I kept seeing her because it was fun and exciting. To be honest, that first time made it easier for me to see other married women. I didn't actively approach them, but I never refused their attentions when the mood struck me. And truthfully, it was fun for a while.

But the good times came to an end, when an angry drunk and his friends attacked me at a bar. He threw a punch, but I ducked, then I suckered punch him. His friends started throwing punches and my friends fought back. We had to flee when we heard the cops coming. I ended up with a cut on my left cheekbone, raw knuckles, and my favorite shirt was torn. I found out the next day that the angry drunk was the husband of a woman I was seeing. That's when I came to my senses. I stopped seeing her. It wasn't worth the drama and danger to fool around with a married woman. And I felt guilty about the whole thing. For the next week, I had a huge bruise on my left cheek that reminded me of my shame every time I looked in the mirror--it was like my very own scarlet letter.

5) Wearing Velcro board shorts to the beach.

I'm old school when it comes to swimming trunks. I prefer the ones that have a drawstring waistband. But I tried to get with the times and bought a new pair of Velcro fly board shorts. My mistake was not trying out the shorts before my vacation. I should've taken them out to the beach first to see how they handled in the water. Instead, I wore them out for the first time while on vacation, surfing with my brother and some friends. It was fun at first, riding some of those great waves.

Then I wiped out. And when I came up for air, it took me some time to realize that my shorts were gone! The wave had knocked the shorts off me! And while I was busy spending the next ten minutes hunting for my shorts, my board strategically placed in front of me to shield me from the public, my brother and friends were laughing out loud at my predicament. Bastards!

And that's half the list for now. I'm still working on the other half, but I'm pretty confident that I'll be able to put it up later this week. I keep changing my mind on what I wanted to list as an experience that I don't want to repeat. There have been many, but I'd like to think that I've learned from them. And hopefully, I'm a lot wiser for having them.

 Related Links:
The Boys of Summer
Brothers and Sisters 
I say again, once was enough
The Good Intentioned Samaritan
The thing about fathers
Veterans Day reflection 
Soda Pop

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


They came hidden in the shadows. Their vast armies crossed the unguarded borders unnoticed. By the time their invasion was discovered, they had penetrated into the most important regions, pillaging and raiding. They wield incredible strength and move fast. They carry sharp weapons. Some of their kind have burned their way across the land. Their scouts spread far and wide. They are smart, driven by their powerful queen in their conquest to expand their empire. Their strength lies in their overwhelming numbers. They cannot be stopped by physical force alone. They are too many. For every one of them struck down, another takes their place. They carry back their own dead from the battlefield.

I'm a peaceful man. I've tried to avoid conflicts. But there comes a time when even a peaceful man must take up arms to defend that peace, to fight for what is rightfully his. This enemy is fierce. They cannot be reasoned with. They do not understand. There cannot be any peace with them, we cannot coexist. They are driven by instinct to conquer and devour. War has come.

I have been fighting them for several days now, hoping to stop their onslaught. But still they come, still they survive after I've wiped out their comrades in battle after battle. I worry that they may only grow stronger. I have no choice. I fear that the only weapon strong enough to kill them is one that is poisonous to me as well. But that is a chance that I have to take, it is my hope for victory.

There is no other way to stop the march of the ants.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


*Updated 7:53pm

I was tagged by the fascinating Inexplicable DeVice, to do this meme of 41 semi sentences, wherein I supply the answers to complete the sentences. I've spent several days pondering some of these answers, and mostly, I just wrote down the first thing that came to mind. I have to say that some of these semi sentences made me laugh. Others made me think. But mostly, it was fun to complete. Ready? Let's go:

1) My mother once: saved me from drowning. I was four, and I went into the deep end of the lake, despite my mother telling me not to get in the lake yet. Lucky for me, she was a strong swimmer.

2) Never in my life: have I watched Bambi.

3) When I was five: I saw a ghost. She was an older woman wearing white, and she was standing outside the window, looking into my aunt's house the night before my cousin's wedding. No paid me any mind as I kept telling them that there's a lady by the window. I suppose it's easier to ignore the child playing with trains and pay attention to a game of cards instead. That night, my mother dreamed about her sister, who passed away recently and was buried while my mother was out of the country. She was buried in a white gown. The next morning, my mother took some flowers and went to visit her sister's grave in a town several hours away. She barely made it back in time for the reception. But she said she needed to say good bye to her sister, so her sister's spirit could move on. I never saw the lady in white again.

4) High school was/is: a great life learning experience--some good, some bad, some fun, some embarrassing, some hilarious times.

5) I will never forget: Greece!

6) I once met: an albino. Lucky for me, he wasn't Opus Dei, or he'd've come after me for saying that Mary Magdalene wasn't a whore.

*"And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger..."~The Gospel according to Pulp Fiction

7) There's this person I know who: is a lot stronger than they believe, and more vulnerable than people know.

8) Once, at a bar: I won a karaoke contest--mind you, most of the patrons were drunk, as was I.

9) By noon I'm usually: just waking up on my day off.

10) Last night I: spun around in the rain.

11) If only I had: a flying carpet. It would make getting to places so much faster, and it would be economical. Not to mention, I wouldn't have to worry about parking.

Hey, baby, need a ride?

12) Next time I go to church/temple: I hope it'll be for a festive occasion, with the promise of free food--no suicide kool aid, thank you very much!

13) Terri Schiavo: Yeah, I drew on blank on this one for a few days, and I refused to google it. I couldn't figure out if it was a person, place, or thing. Then I thought, an athlete, perhaps? Then today, it came to me. The feeding tube lady--or the one who was kept alive by artificial means and was the subject of the right to life/death debate. All I know is, one should have a living will to do deal with these things. It'll make things so much easier!

14) I like: big butts and I can not lie!
You other brothers can't deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung!

Okay, I couldn't resist. It was the first thing that came to mind!

15) When I turn my head left, I see: a shelf full of decorative items that were gifts.

16) When I turn my head right, I see: the living room window with the blinds closed. It's late at night and I don't want the people looking in my window and seeing me in my underpants...again. I should charge them a fee!

17) You know I'm lying when: I tell you I like eggs over easy--bleh. Seriously, I hate runny eggs! They're disgusting! Raw eggs are the fertile breeding grounds of salmonella! You might as well lick chicken butt!

18) In junior school: I had to wear a uniform.

19) If I was a character written by Shakespeare: I'd demand royalties! That mofo owes me centuries of back pay!

20) By this time next year I: hope to have visited another wonderful place!

21) A better name for me would be: whatever you want it to be, for the right price ;)

22) I have a hard time understanding: homes that have more bathrooms than bedrooms. Seriously, what's up with that?

23) If I ever go back to school, I'll: take more fun classes, like cooking or ballroom dancing or windsurfing.

24) You know I like you if: I tell you.

25) If I won an award, the first person I'd thank would be: the one who believed in me and encouraged me.
*And if some egomaniac, has-been mofo grabs my mike and interrupts my speech, I'll bash him over the head with my award before I proceed to kick is a$$!!!

26) I hope that: there will be world peace.

27) Take my advice: Life's short. Just do it!

28) My ideal breakfast is: fried chicken, potato salad, and corn on the cob. What? I've had this for breakfast before!

29) A song I love but do not have is: a song I'll soon download when I find it on the internet! I did just acquire Jason Mraz's I'm yours a few days ago.

30) If you visit my hometown, I suggest: you wear sunscreen and enjoy the beach and food.

31) Tulips, character flaws, microchips, and track stars: flowers, human, computer, and athletes.

32) Why won't anyone: find the missing Borg Baby from Star Trek Voyager? You know the one! It's the one that Seven of Nine saved along with those other Borg children. We know what happens to the other Borg children, but we never see the baby again.

I've tried to research the whereabouts of the Borg baby, and there have been many theories. Some say Neelix cooked the baby--baby back ribs! Others say it was incorporated in the Voyager mainframe when they had to upgrade to Windows 7. I suspect it was used as a laptop for those away missions, when the away team might want to watch movies or surf the internet. But seriously, why hasn't the captain issued an amber alert? For crying out loud, there's a missing baby on the spaceship!

33) If you spend the night at my house: I'll show you a good time.

34) I'd stop my wedding: if I wasn't in love (or the other concubines in the harem were unhappy and I didn't feel like banishing them from my sultanate).

35) The world could do without: ignorance and hate and pollution.

36) I'd rather lick the belly of a roach than: lick the belly of a roadkill.

37) My favorite thing is: whatever happens to make me smile and feel good at the moment. Right now, it's listening to music.

38) Paper clips are more useful than: paper cranes.

39) And by the way: a tomato is a fruit.

40) The last time I was (really) drunk: was last week. But I'm a happy, mellow drunk, and I haven't passed out and woken up in strange places in years!

41) My grandmother always: is a mystery, as I don't know her, have never met her, and she passed on long before I was alive. I'd like to think she was wonderful, though, as my mother missed her and loved her very much.

And that's it. 41 semi sentences completed. Feel free to do them if you want, but you don't have to if you don't want to. But I have to say, these made me think, made me laugh, and let me have a little fun.

Friday, September 11, 2009


It was a loud boom that rattled my window and shook the building, jerking me awake from my sleep, my heart was pounding fast and furious. I opened my eyes to darkness, then suddenly I was blinded by flashes of white light, followed by another loud boom, shaking the bed once more. A thunderstorm. Except, I didn't hear any rain. I looked over at the alarm clock, but it was out. The power was out. I reached for my watch, pressed the light button, and saw that it 4:18 a.m. I sighed, roll over to the side of the bed, sat up for a few seconds before walking over to the window. I looked out, and only saw more flashes of light followed by more thunder, rumbling and shaking the grounds. No rain, though. But I couldn't see any stars. Just dark clouds, low and heavy. It was only a matter of time before the rain came. For now, the skies lit up as the lightning danced in the clouds and struck the earth with a frightening roar. I went back to bed and laid down.

About a half hour later, it did rain. Heavy, steady, pouring, lulling me to sleep. I've always found the sound of rain to be comforting, peaceful, even when it was pounding loudly on the tin roof of the house I grew up in when I was a small child. So I pulled the covers up and curled into the welcoming embrace of the chill that permeated my room when the rains started. The thunder and lightning had moved on. A small part of me was worried that I might oversleep, since the alarm clock was out. And even though I had my watch alarm as a back up, there was a chance that I wouldn't be able to hear it above the hypnotic din of the falling rain. But at the moment, I didn't care. I just fell willingly into the sweet abyss of sleep.

It rained most of the day, on and off, light showers and steady downpours. I liked it. Some people don't like getting wet. Some don't like rainy days. But I do. It's good for the land, good for the vegetation. All around were the scorched remains of wildfires and a sea of brown dead grass from the drought that had smothered the city for over a year. And with the sun hidden most of the day, it seemed cooler, a welcomed change from the stifling heat that oppressed us all summer.

There was a slight drizzle when I stopped off at the supermarket. Still a few cars in the parking lot. I needed to buy groceries. I had finally run out of food. I had eaten that last pack of crackers with a mixture of mustard and ketchup packets left over from previous take out orders. This morning, I ate the last of the pancakes. I had run out of maple syrup two days before, so I had to make a simple syrup--equal parts sugar and water, bring to a boil, reduce, cool, and serve. I had made a shopping list. I had learned the hard way that I needed a list. I was tired of wasting time and money buying other stuff and then forgetting what I needed to buy in the first place. Yes, indeed, I was smart enough to make a list, just not smart enough to bring the list with me. Sigh.

I thought about that shopping list that I painstakingly made. I had even left it on the coffee table, next to my keys so I would take it with me when I left the house. Except I forgot. Oh well. I looked out at the half empty parking lot and the slow, light rain. I thought about putting on my raincoat, but then decided against it. It was only a slow, light drizzle. I exited the car, locked it, and ran towards the store entrance.

Inside, I wandered about, thinking about the items that I did remember from the list. Among them was butter, to eat with crackers and tea. I had developed a craving for them this past weekend. I got the butter, but of course, they didn't have the crackers I wanted. I was looking for low sodium, but they only had regular and multi grain. I didn't like either very much. But I figured multi grain would be healthier, or at least, less saltier. I managed to grab a few other items before going up to the register to pay for them.

I was standing in the 10 items or fewer line, when I noticed the couple in front of me had 14 items. That annoyed me. Why can't these mofos just follow the rules like the rest of us? Can they not count? Of course, they were also giving the cashier a hard time. Apparently, the woman wanted to separate some of the items in different bags, because there was stuff that she wanted for herself, except the man was paying for all of it. How hard is it to pick out your own damn bag of chips from a grocery bag? The shoppers behind me were mumbling complaints, and I let out a soft sigh. I think the woman must've picked up the disgruntled atmosphere and turned to offer a small apologetic smile to us. Soon enough, the troublesome duo left and I paid for my stuff.

As I was picking up my bags, the lady behind me said, "Sir, don't forget your wallet," and handed me a brown wallet. I returned her smile and nod, more out of reflex and courtesy. She turned away, paying for her items. I held the wallet in my hand, confused, because I didn't own a wallet. There was money sticking out, two $100 bills. Before I could say anything, I was pushed out of the way by a wave of exiting shoppers--people eager to get home after a long day. I found myself outside the store under the awning. I looked at the ID on the other side of the wallet. It belonged to a man, the one who had stood in front of me in the line with his 14 items.

I thought about going back inside the store to return the wallet to some manager. It would be smart thing to do. Then I thought I ought to give a quick scan outside for the owner. The rain was starting to get heavier again. It was getting darker as well. And just before I gave up, I spotted the owner at the far end of the parking lot, just closing his car trunk. After looking to make sure the road was clear, I ran towards the owner's car. He had just closed his door and started his car when I reached him. I knocked on the window and startled him. I asked him if he had his wallet. But he didn't seem to understand me. He lowered his window slightly, probably out of caution and trying to avoid the rain.

This time, when I asked him if he had his wallet, he took a few seconds to digest the question, before fumbling for his pockets. I could see the panic in his eyes, before he turned back to me and saw that I was holding out his wallet for him. I told him that he had left it at the store. He took that wallet from me, a quick eye catching the money sticking out, before he and the woman eagerly said thanks. I just nodded and hurried over to my car on the other side of the parking lot.

Soon after I reached home, the rain started to pour down heavily. My shirt was half soaked by the time I got inside. I put away the groceries, heated up a pot of tea, then took a shower. Afterwards, I sat down, with some crackers, buttered them up, and dipped them hot tea before consuming them. I suppose some toast would be good as well, but I didn't think to buy bread at the store. Besides, I'm happy with the crackers right now. Some how, they seem fitting to eat during the rainstorm chill. Far away, I can hear the echoes of approaching thunder. If it means more rain all night long, then I'm okay with that. It means I'll just sleep better.

If you want the rainbow, you've got to put up with a little rain. - Dolly Parton

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Today is the first day I can do nothing and feel good about it. The past two weeks have been sort of a blur--work, social obligations, commitments took up all my time. I must learn to say no. What little free time I had, I used for sleep. And today, I slept all day, and it feels good. I need groceries, but right now, I'm just going to do nothing, maybe watch some tv and surf the net. I can live off pancakes for one more day.

I can't believe it's September all ready. Where has the time gone? But it feels like September. Gone are the long days of summer, with the scorching heat and long hours of the day. Even the sun seems to rise later and sets much faster, eager to end its day and go home and do whatever it does when it's not working. The rains have finally come. And it's refreshing. It's a small respite, but a welcomed one. I'm trying not to think that the year is more than half over. For now, I'm just enjoying the nice change in weather and the opportunity to do nothing at all.

Tomorrow, I'll buy groceries--or maybe not. I do have a pack of crackers in the cupboards I can eat when I run out of pancakes.