Wednesday, February 22, 2006

And the Oscar goes to...

It's Oscars season once again. I love watching the awards show, with all the beautiful people, Billy Crystal's wisecracks, the touching speeches. Best of all, it's a celebration of all the good movies of the year. I can't remember not being hooked on movies. As a child, I'd watch movies like Love Story, The Killing Fields, The Deer Hunter, Rain Man and Beaches on the VCR with my parents. Pops even brought me to see A Few Good Men in the theater, perhaps to try and convince me to take up law. I remember one Sunday night in high school when I begged my parents to let me stay beyond my bedtime to see Ferris Bueller's Day Off on TV, but they wouldn't let me so I bawled my heart out until my sister brought the TV into the room and I could watch all I want. (Whether she did it out of pity or just to get me to shut up already, I'm not sure, but I'll love her forever for it.) I also recall how, in the year when I was obsessed with Titanic and badly wanted Kate Winslet to win as best actress, I watched the Oscars from start to finish when I was supposed to be studying for my Partnership finals the following day. (So of course I promptly flunked it.)

Movies are a big part of my life. I wish I could be like Tom in The Glass Menagerie, who his mother says spends his life watching movies instead of moving. Which is why one of the best things that happened last year (and is still happening this year) is that Ches got an MTRCB pass that lets him and one companion (a.k.a., me, exclusively) in free to all the movies he wants to see, no matter how many times a day, whichever posh cinema he chooses. This year, we've used it for all the good movies like Narnia, Walk the Line, Munich and Brokeback Mountain. I think Brokeback will win best picture this year. It has all the right ingredients – an original and compelling story, superb acting, lovely sceneries of sprawling mountains and rivers, and unforgettable lines like, “If you can't fix it, you have to stand it” and “You're too much for me” and “I wish I knew how to quit you”. It made me immensely sad tho, to think how two people cannot be together when it's the one thing they want most of all, and what they have is a love that's pure and passionate and that doesn't harm anyone. It has got to be one of the most heartbreaking films I have ever seen.

Crash remains to be my favorite among the best picture nominees tho. I just have a bias for small, quiet movies that don't get publicized much and never get any extended runs in the theater. I guess it's the sticking-up-for-the-underdog syndrome.

So if I'm not on my desk on March 6, it means I'm having the time of my life, in front of the TV watching the Oscars.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ode to Baby

One minute you think your life is full
Your husband is/claims to be still in love with you
after all these years
Your parents do not remind you about your long-overdue house loan
not even gently
You have friends who bother to read and say nice things about your blogs
You always manage to wing it at work
And have time for taebo besides

And then your baby gets sick

And the next minute you are too young again
Young and vulnerable
In the dark and afraid
And utterly powerless to ease away your child's pain

But you also realize how good God truly is
for giving you nothing more serious than gastroenteritis
families who are constantly if at times annoyingly present
friends who remember to text and promise to offer prayers
a baby who makes the nurses smile bcoz he can name all the brands of his shampoo sachets
and their colors too
and for another day, another life, to be with him.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Why Yoshi is the Man of My Life

Why Yoshi is the Man of My Life

1.Bcoz when he wakes up and sees his parents beside him in bed on weekends, he breaks into a big smile and says, “Hi, Mommy. Hi, Daddy”, bcoz he knows we don't have to leave him to go to the office. And when he stirs in the middle of the night, he'd toss and turn until he finds either of his parent's tummies and he rests his head on it and falls back to sleep.

2.Bcoz he's a little OC and won't put up with me wearing Ches' slippers, and gets frustrated when one of his shampoo bottles that he arranges on the table faces the wrong way and not perfectly aligned with the rest, and can't leave home (or anyone else's house, for that matter) without turning off the lights and the TV and the fan.

3.Bcoz he's so easy to please. Fountains. Elevators. Carousels. Cheese. Scrambled eggs. Billboards along EDSA. Pirated videokes of the latest jologs song from the Viva Hot Babes. And when we go to the mall, he doesn't ask to bring home the expensive bike or singing Barney toy or even a burger. All he wants is a shampoo sachet. Tipid.

4.Bcoz he says “pipol” instead of purple, “pomorrow” instead of tomorrow, and “inside-mada” instead of ensaymada and pronounces “fountain” perfectly. And when he wants something and you ask him what the magic word is, he never just says “please”, he always says “magic word, please”. He also calls me Ming-ming, an endearment he thought of on his own. I don't know what I do to deserve to hear it, but I definitely relish it when I do. So far, I hear it an average of thrice a day (more when I bribe him with M&Ms) so I guess I'm not that bad.

5.Bcoz, as a testimony to his major hyperness, when we go to the neighborhood parlor, our favorite haircutter scrunches his face and lets out a long, slow groan. That's not happiness to see a customer, not if he happens to be a squealing, squirming toddler.

6.Bcoz he's a little fashionista and chooses his outfit after a bath or even when he goes to bed and won't wear anything else. He sometimes even insists that I put on a headband or sunglasses or that Ches wear a particular shirt. He also loves to put on gel and perfume, and won't go out of the house without one of his caps.

7.Bcoz he has an amazing memory and remembers even things that happened only once and long ago. He still knows what the flight attendant said about his tummy, or what Tito Jonjon did with his shirt in Boracay, or what he ate after like five rides in Star City. Ches and I have been stumped so many times trying to relate to what he's saying until we remember some little thing we mentioned or that happened only once and which we never would have expected him to recall.

8.Bcoz he's so courteous and never fails to say “Thank you, Ate Ann” to his yaya if she gives him anything, even something as plain as a glass of water, and even says “Excuse me” for us adults if we cut across his path in the 60 million or so times that he goes around the house in a day. He knows how to say sorry too after he's just dumped your celphone into the toilet bowl or after he's just squeezed out all of the newly-opened Colgate. I agree, those aren't exactly commendable activities for toddlers, but at least he's courteous, and humble enough to admit his mistake. Sigh.

9.Bcoz he's a little director and makes everyone in the car clap along with him whenever the urge hits him, and insists on putting baby food in your mouth even after you've just brushed your teeth, and would order Ches to sing some shampoo commercial jingles before he goes to sleep. He knows that he's boss of three households – his grandparents' and ours'. And he's not even three feet tall.

10.Bcoz he's so friendly and trusting with everyone and makes fast friends everywhere we go, like Jake the boy in the blue shirt in Claret Church and Alex the chubby girl in UP Chapel and Yan the shop assistant in Disneyland and Nung the manager in Marriott Hotel. You don't have to give him anything other than a smile and a few words and within two minutes he can give you wet kisses and tight hugs, absolutely free.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Another Classic

Worked the whole day in Ayala Triangle on Thursday. In the afternoon, Pau and I went out to buy Happy Meals across the street (bcoz the free toy is a Hello Kitty container with hair and paper clips and stuff). We get coffee in Starbucks outside the PSE office too. Going down I realize how high we were and how steep the escalator is, and I just cannot do it. Major acrophobia attack. Pau goes ahead and shakes her head at another one of my quirks. I try the elevator but it won't open up and I see a slot for an Abloy key like what we used in my former law office. I approach the cashier in Big Chill.

Me: Hi. Meron ka bang susi para sa elevator?

Him: Wala e. Pwede kang umakyat sa next floor, di kelangan ng susi sa elevator dun.

I ponder whether I have the courage to go up another floor. I don't.

Him: Saan ka ba pupunta?

Me (humiliated): Ummm, sa ground floor.

Him (excited): Ayun o, may escalator.

Yeah, brilliant idea. As if I just haven't seen the darned thing this whole time. I'm acrophobic, not blind. Duh.

Me (near tears): Umm, takot kase akong bumaba e.

He looks at me strangely. Probably thinking, e bakit ka umakyat dito? Which is a sensible enough question, actually. I see Pau hovering about, likely wondering whaddahell has become of me. I close my eyes and pray and take the first step down the escalator. I live.

I burst into tears when I tell Ches about it. He comforts me but admits he doesn't really understand. I guess it is a bit difficult to get it when you're a normal person and you see it as just going down the stairs or something. But for an acrophobic like me, a sudden realization of how high up you are when you look at the ground below is enough to make you dizzy and weak and petrified like you're about to fall down to your certain death. I'm ok being high up as long as I don't see how high up I am, thus I'm ok in an elevator (not glass) or in planes. It's really irrational, but what can I say? It's a fear, a phobia, it's not supposed to make any sense.

That same night, Yosh calls out to me from the CR, “Mom-meeee...” I go to him and see him swinging side to side with his arms behind him and the guarded look he gets when he's just done something really naughty. I ask him, “What have you done this time, sweetheart?” I look in the toilet bowl and see my celphone way down the bottom. My celphone that was just lying there on the table where I always put it, my celphone that wasn't even making any sound or anything that could provoke a toddler to dump it into the toilet. My celphone which is barely three months old and which replaced the one that was snatched barely two weeks after I bought it, which in turn I was compelled to buy because Yoshi peed on my old one, damaging it for good. Now I know what “vicious cycle” really means. Thankfully, the damage is temporary and my celphone is back in business the following morning, after the water and pee and whatever else from the toilet has completely dried out. Or so I hope.

It was a classic day for Yosh and me.