about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Thursday, December 25, 2003


God knows I'm not that religious, but I find it kinda disturbing that some of us seem to forget that this is a birthday party we're celebrating today. It's not just anyone's birthday---it's Jesus Christ's. We seem to be forgetting that in these materialistic times. I bet he ain't feeling too good having his birthday being used as some excuse for partying excess.

Here's a little question for all of us: Isn't he invited to his own party?

Christmas Day was mostly good news for me and those people that count in my life.

Cher managed to make it to her hometown in Leyte safe and sound, despite the recent landslides and choppy weather. First thing I did was call her on her cellphone when the clock struck twelve, and I was relieved everything was going well.

A lot of my friends took to their cell phones and texted me their greetings, most of them doing so "before the networks get all clogged up." As much as I wanted to reply to them, I'm not exactly rich in cellphone load. Thanks anyway though.

We were at Inang's in Caloocan having our annual media noche buena (midnight feast), and my uncles and aunts felt like going for a few rounds of high-stakes bingo after a long 'drought'. Either that, or drink a few glasses of red wine or Black Velvet.

This was the first time I served chauffeur duty both ways at night. Was rather impressed at my own smooth, speedy homebound progress at 2:30 am running down a pretty deserted EDSA. My speedo needle was constantly pinned at 60-80 km/h and no untoward incidents happened, save for this stupid clump of balloons a bunch of partying loonies tossed on the road while riding on a pick-up's bed. Instead of swerving to the left, I just ran the balloons over.

Considering that I just awoke from a catnap at 1:30 am, I think I'm all set for long-distance night driving.

Got just a few gifts this year, but that's no different from last year. No biggie.

Most important would be the aggregate PhP7,000 I got from my grandparents and other relatives, not to mention the PhP2,000 my dad gave me for spending on a new badminton racket (and I won't touch it for anything else). I'm thinking of spending on 4 new tires for my blue City, now that I've got PhP9,000 of savings all in all. I am NOT comfortable with my parents' theory that replacing just one tire will do the trick. Rubber ages even when not used.

According to some PEXers I've asked, good 185/65R14 88H Turanza rubber from Bridgestone would set me back PhP1,800 apiece. If my hunch is right, the new tires should solve the shaking that plagues my car whenever I approach 120 km/h on the Skyway. Even so, I'm thinking of saving at least PhP2,000 more come the start of the term. The extra dough's just for contingencies---say, my suspension and steering components might be to blame for the shake and not just the tires. I am, however, pretty convinced that replacing my OEM rubber will do the trick---and that's due for replacement anyway.

Got some new clothes: a black shirt and boxers from Auntie Be, one more pair of beach shorts from my mom (they had to be from Bench again, heheheh!) and this splendid pair of dark brown cargo pants from Tita Vik. Bagged a sealed drink tumbler from Nanay, a hairgel-and-bodyspray kit from Tito Joey...that's pretty much it for non-monetary gifts.

And Cher also told me that my copy of her publication The Freeman, where my little badminton article got published, was also coming to me via the mail---with something thrown in.

Gave myself a couple of gifts too, although I'm regretting buying myself my new pair of Aiwa earphones. They're shaped in such a way as that wearing them's similar to wearing spectacles onto your ears. My beef is that their rigid plastic mounts bruise my earlobes after a while. Otherwise the sound quality's good and they're actually identical to a pair Sony sells for PhP300 more. That sounds like shooting myself in the leg, being this painful to wear.

The other gift was a cassette of Maroon5's album "Songs About Jane." Great music---and they have surprising variety in their music for a rock band. All 12 songs are about relationships.

Last night I finally got a taste of Yellow Cab's notoriously good pizza.

For Christmas Eve dinner my mom ordered an 18" "New York's Finest" pizza. What struck me was that it tasted quite different from what we were used to. The condiments that came with the pizza were certainly interesting. No hot sauce, ketchup or all that gubbins---the packets that we got read "crushed chili pepper." Sprinkling it on the pizza made a good pie taste distinctively GREAT.

Just a shame I had to burn my tongue very badly when I tried eating the leftover slice for breakfast this morning. Apparently I forgot to take note that I reheated the damn thing to uncomfortably hot levels.

I have one qualm about tonight: the Christmas evening mass.

The Passionist Youth Ministry was hosting this one and frankly I was disappointed, most especially with their choir. I swear, I was singing better than those 8 or so voices combined---and I'm only an 'occasional' baritone, and by the time they sang "O Night Divine" for the communion service I was singing even louder than they were.

I'm no catechist or involved parishioner or anything...but come on, this is a Christmas mass and the choir sounds like it's singing for the Black Saturday Vigil. Ain't anyone in there happy that it's Christ's birthday today? They ought to be the first ones who sound the part!


Oh well, that ends it for me. Merry Christmas again to everyone. Happy birthday God!

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