Monday, February 18, 2008

L is for Lucy

I took that Which Cartoon Character Are You? test circulated on email a few years back and found out that I was Charlie Brown.  Well, the options were limited in that email.  Reading the Peanuts comics, however, gave me a sense of affinity with Lucy Van Pelt, Charlie's friend.  I mean, look at her words and see if she doesn't sound like me:

The most famous:
  • All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt!

Got these from Wikiquote:

  • Each generation must be able to blame the previous generation for all its problems. It doesn't solve anything, but it makes us all feel better.
    • on Schroeder: I think there must be a school someplace where musicians go to learn harmony, counterpoint and sarcasm!
    • Linus criticizes her for being crabby all the time: Can I help it if I was born with crabby genes?
    • to Schroeder: You fascinate me!
    • Being crabby all day makes you hungry.
    • Get out of my way! I feel Ultra-Crabby today!
    • to Schroeder: If you really loved me you'd stop playing that piano and listen to me. (Schroeder plays louder.) I guess that's called answering without answering...
    • when asked if she believes there is life on other planets: Absolutely not! If there were, they most certainly would have tried to contact me!
    • when Charlie Brown asks her how she can be so consistently crabby: Never change a winning game!
    • Lucy was dictating her letter to Santa Claus to Linus; Linus refused to write that Lucy had been "perfect" all year, and Lucy hit him: I have an opening for a new secretary... anyone care to apply?
    • It's a scientific fact that girls are smarter than boys! And do you know who discovered it? WOMEN SCIENTISTS!

    And my favorite...

    • The crabby little girls of today are the crabby old women of tomorrow!

    Yeah, having a particularly crabby day.  Was looking for another Lucy quote that I had in a poster in my bedroom while I was growing up.  Something about how this world would be a better place if only people listened to me.  It's just a feeling that I have.  I could be wrong.  As Lucy once said:

    • I never make a mistake in my life.  I thought I did once, but I was wrong.

      Thursday, February 14, 2008

      Sonnet XCI

      Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
      Some in their wealth, some in their body's force,
      Some in their garments though new-fangled ill;
      Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
      And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure,
      Wherein it finds a joy above the rest:
      But these particulars are not my measure,
      All these I better in one general best.
      Thy love is better than high birth to me,
      Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' cost,
      Of more delight than hawks and horses be;
      And having thee, of all men's pride I boast:
      Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take
      All this away, and me most wretched make.

      Nobody does it better than the Bard. Last night, I had a discussion with a friend about Shakespeare. I could not contribute much for, unlike my friend, I did not take up extra courses on Shakespearean English in U.P. I could only remember selected sonnets and plays that I could relate to then.

      I plan to savor Shakespeare, like C.S. Lewis, when I become more mature as a reader. Hopefully that day shall come soon.

      Monday, February 11, 2008

      An Illegal Bribery

      Sometimes, the rush to beat the deadline could cause newspapers to print erroneous statements.  Other times, journalists would just quote what their interviewees would say, verbatim, without clarifying meaning.  I don't know which was the case when the Philippine Daily Inquirer printed this:  

      "Senator Richard Gordon pointed out that it is illegal for foreigners, in this case the ZTE officials, to bribe Filipino officials."

      Hmm.  Let me get that straight.  Either the Inquirer or Senator Gordon is saying, that it is not illegal for non-foreigners, in this case Filipinos, to bribe Filipino officials. The statement implies that it is only illegal for foreigners to bribe, and that if it's Filipinos doing the bribing, it's not illegal.  I'm sure that's not what the Senator meant, and I know PDI did not realize the sentence implication when this was printed. There is something missing in that statement, and times like these, I am moved to react.  

      Every Filipino knows that it is illegal to bribe.  Period.  The knowledge, however, stays in our heads.  In practice, bribery is so commonplace that it takes some steely determination to refuse to give in to this corrupted way of life.  Over at the Sandiganbayan, the country's anti-graft and corrupt practices court, no matter how soon the justices render a decision in one case, a dozen others would easily take its place.  It is a never-ending cycle of politically-motivated cases.  

      The Philippines is in the middle of another scandal and on the verge of another People Power revolution.  I was there for Edsa I with my family, when I was 11 years old and idealistic.  I was there for Edsa II with my friends, and I was then 27 tears old and still idealistic.  I skipped Edsa III, not because my idealism had waned, but because it was not a battle I had wanted to be part of.

      This new controversy is just another example of the things we Filipinos tend to get ourselves into.  I do pray for a solution, but at this point it is beyond me how to get through this one.  Why, it's even enough to make a grown man cry.

      There have been bomb threats within Metro Manila since last week.  Despite this, life had to go on.  My family celebrated Mama's 65th birthday at the TriNoMa earlier tonight.  We ate a lovely dinner at Fish & Co.  Then while we were walking to our cars , there was a brownout within the basement parking.  We kept walking but I felt some fear, after all the text messages about bomb threats inside malls.  My nephew started to pray and I joined him silently.

      Power went back on after a few minutes of darkness, only to go out again seconds later.  We were relieved when we finally drove out of the parking lot.  Then we encountered extraordinarily heavy traffic along the Elliptical road, and again I felt that nagging fear that something terribly wrong was ahead of us.

      I texted a friend after I got home about the experience and how I hated being paranoid.  He gently reminded me that the situation was an invitation for  us to really turn to God.  I agreed with him.  This is the time, more than ever, to call on our Savior, for He alone is our Hope.

      Monday, February 04, 2008

      Of Wasted Time and Missed Opportunities

      There is a reason why earthly time is divided into seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months, years, and so on and so forth.  They were invented so that we human beings would take note of the shifts and transitions, and move along with them, rather than resist them.

      We are given opportunities to take little vacations every day, but we ignore them.  We pack our day with activities and slump into bed exhausted at night.  Weekends were intended to be utilized for rest and relaxation.  The Sabbath Day was ordained by God to be set aside for communing with Him and resting our souls.

      When we abuse our bodies, we suffer the consequences.  Instead of having idyllic days in some vacation hideaway as some enlightened people get after planning their lives properly, the rest of us are forced to rest by groaning bodies and pounding headaches.  We then stay at home but are unable to enjoy any minute of our "forced vacation" as we're nursing a sickness that is our body's protest letter to our stubborn refusal to rest.

      Maybe we don't want to rest.  We want to be busy, important, and hard to reach.  But all that leads to empty days of sickness, when we regret all the precautions we ignored - a persistent cough, a sore throat, or a painful back.

      I've been trying to sleep since this morning but these thoughts have been bothering me.  Unable to rest, I picked up a book to read, which two of my best friends recommended to me.  

      The book's title is "Love, Rosie", written by Cecelia Ahern, daughter of Ireland's Prime Minister.  It is akin to Bridget Jones' Diary in theme but more like Griffin and Sabine in style.  It is an exchange of notes, cards, texts, e-mails, and letters over a span of 45 years between Rosie and her best friend Alex.  

      Although the lead character is Rosie, the letters from Alex were the ones that blew me away.  I will type parts of the two letters that I loved the most below.  Reading this book was the perfect escape from reality that I needed.  

      1.  Rosie,

      (I deleted some portions so as not to spoil it entirely for those who intend to read the book.)

      He is the luckiest man in the world to have you, Rosie, but he doesn't deserve you and you deserve far better.  You deserve someone who loves you with every single beat of his heart, someone who thinks about you constantly, someone who spends every minute of every day just wondering what you're doing, where you are, who you're with, and if you're OK.  You need someone who can help you reach your dreams and who can protect you from your fears.  You need someone who will treat you with respect, love every part of you, especially your flaws.  You should be with someone who can make you happy, really happy,  dancing on air happy.  Someone who should have taken that chance to be with you years ago instead of becoming scared and being too afraid to try.

      I'm not scared anymore Rosie.  I am not afraid to try.

      2.    (This letter was written about 10 years later.)

      My dear Rosie,

      (Spoilers deleted)

      I'll get straight to the point because if I don't say what I have to say now, I fear it will never be said.  And I need to say it.

      Today I love you more than ever; tomorrow I will love you even more.  I need you more than ever; I want you more than ever.  (x x x)

      Rosie Dunne I love you with all my heart, I have always loved you even when I was seven years old and lied about falling asleep on Santa watch, when I was ten years old and didn't invite you to my birthday party, when I was eighteen and had to move away, even on my wedding days, on your wedding day, on christenings, birthdays, and when we fought.  I loved you through it all.  Make me the happiest man on this earth by being with me.

      Please reply to me.

      All my love, 

      Only a woman could write a man's feelings that well.  

      And now I will go back to getting better so I can go back to work tomorrow, a bit more careful not to waste time and to miss opportunities.  Or I'd end up like Rosie, who finally found happiness when she turned 50 years old.

      That's 16 and a half years from now, for me.  

      Friday, February 01, 2008

      Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon Presents Hindi Kita Malilimutan Concert

      I already blogged about this in my other blog. I'm guilty of cross-posting these days. But please do visit this link. That will take you to the promotional video uploaded by Norman Agatep in his Multiply site. Though I like his songs, we've never met. Thanks to Multiply, we don't have to know each other to be connected, or in this case, linked.