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.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

So this is what it feels like.

(one.)
The feeling of independence, of not having parents or anyone else to help. The experience of boarding with colleagues---not on some summer outing, but because we're all teammates doomed to committing overtime hours for an extended period. The shock of missing objects or things instead of family members. The quirks of having to iron your clothes without an iron. The irritation of being awake at 4 a.m. while everyone else is snoring away. The power of a caffeine overdose---and its crippling, mind-burning consequences.

For these I have to thank Joel, Candice and Sara. We still have a long road ahead and it is fraught with disappointment, frustration and bewilderment. I am glad I had to share it with you three.

(two.)
The feeling of helplessness and being lied to. The disappointment of seeing you being hailed as our representative for our concerns, when you've done nothing to stand up for all our sacrifices and grievances. The abandonment from other teams that are supposed to be doing their jobs; instead, all the blame, pressure and effort is piled on our shoulders yet again. The weariness from being asked to play superhero all the time when we so obviously are not, nor did we deserve to be treated as such. The empty promise heaped on us for our effort and sacrifice when it is obviously not enough compensation. The growing urge to give up and refuse flat-out.

How long will this go on? When will it all end? I refuse to believe you any longer. Your words are as empty as your ass-kissing soul. Let's see how good a leader you are when not one among your subordinates believes you.

(three.)
The feeling of having a confidant friend in the craziness of the Internet. The reassurance that there is someone willing to listen to whatever screwed-up idea pops up in my head. The appreciation one can only get from having an audience---one very willing at that.

Thank you, Grace. I have much to learn from you and I will keep on asking you questions. And yes, I really do want to sing for you one of these days.

(four.)
The will to make something else out of my time, but not the resources nor the freedom to do so. The vanishing of whatever little social life I used to have. The desire to be somewhere else.

Is this what being burnt out feels like?

(five.)
The unpleasant feeling that rears its green head when you see the women you used to cherish being happy with men who aren't you. The lingering question that stabs you in the head and heart with a glass dagger: "Why not me?" The onset of doubt: "Am I destined to be alone forever? Have I met my quota of learning experiences of what true love is like?" The self-loathing. The broken self-esteem.

So this is what it feels like.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dear Ira

You probably don't know me as anything other than the relatively new tenor at the choir. You don't even know my name. Conversely, I don't know you very well either as anything other than the niece of my choirmaster.

That said, I have a few words you might want to listen to. I bet you won't fully understand what I'm saying until at least five years from now, but I'll say it anyway.

If you knew anything at all about me, I generally dislike kids. I especially dislike your brothers and cousins because they're so boisterous and unruly, and I'm the strict disciplinarian type who won't shirk from whupping some butt in the name of setting kids straight.

I admire you because you're very well-adjusted, given your tender age of nine. You act like the stereotypical big sister: stern, responsible, well-meaning and perfectionist, if a little bitchy and catty for it. That's generally a good thing, a virtue. The way you volunteered to sing in place of our absentee members yesterday is very, very admirable.

But let me tell you this: you're too young for that.

You're way too young to become bitchy and catty. (Er, "bitch" is a bad word. I don't mean it in a bad way, but don't imitate me saying it...not just yet. ) You're still too young to be fretting over stuff, especially stuff that grown-ups like us should be concerned with. You're too young to cover for the idiotic foolishness of your brothers the way you do.

Most of all, you're too young to be wearing a razor-sharp frown the way I see you do.

You're a nine-year-old kid, a girl at that. Honestly, I think you should be enjoying it. Enjoy your ballet lessons, enjoy your classmates, enjoy the company of your friends and don't worry unnecessarily. Kids have the license to get away with stupid things the way most grown-ups just wish they could. Don't be in a hurry to grow up---I'm speaking from experience and it's not good.

Don't act like me because you'll end up like me. I don't want that kind of life for you. I want you to be happy in these halcyon days because they will pass by much, much faster than you think, and when they do, you can never have them back no matter how much you want them to. Enjoy what you can, while you can. Your mom and dad may put limits and dampers to your fun, but I know them and they mean you well.

I don't know how much more often I will be able to see you. I don't even know if we'll ever be properly introduced. Those are questions for the future, and you don't see me worrying about them, so you shouldn't too. All I want is to see you smiling more often, regardless of whether you know me or not.

Pardon me for being so long-winded...I know kids have short attention spans nowadays so I'll leave you to your business. Just stay happy.

Cheers,
JM

Wanted: enthusiasm from fellow choir members

Lately it's become rather disheartening and disappointing to stay on as a member of our church choir. The level of commitment and enthusiasm is a far cry from what I see in the Accenture Chorale...heck, even from just the Cybergate Choir. I daresay we don't even sound as good as we should be. To top it all off, we just essentially celebrated the departure of yet another member.

It's rare that I wax religious in my posts, or even my thoughts, but I will keep on singing as much as I can. It's a good way of serving the Lord. I'm afraid to say how long I will keep singing in my own church is still up in the air, however. Without opportunities to learn something new, or encouragement from other members, it has become truly tempting to ply my trade somewhere else.

Chalk up one more recent disappointment in a year that's been full of them, I reckon.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sage advice for the lonely souls

We spend much of our lives alone. Some cope with it better than others. The ones who don’t are primed and ready for victimhood. You have to learn to be with yourself, because if you don’t, there’s a whole world of drugs, booze and rotten people who will be your friend until you’ve been sucked dry. Beware of what loneliness makes you do...

This quote is brought to you by the LA Weekly...and one of the creepier stories I've read.

*

Early morning overtime's a bitch

The past week I've been going to the office at 7am more frequently than usual---four days out of five a week, to be exact, instead of the usual one. This was a bid to put in overtime hours for my current project at work.

However I'm finding the schedule increasingly tough on my body. This is the first week that I've been at it (I reserve Fridays as no-overtime days). Already I feel lousier and lousier with every exit from the glass doors at work, and it shows up on my face. Factor in the intense pressure on our team and the disappointing behavior of our onshore counterparts, and it feels like another one of those projects where you're being asked to move heaven and earth.

Still, as I was waiting for breakfast today at a fastfood restaurant, I was reminded of how much better I have it at work compared to other people. I can't imagine myself in a fastfood restaurant; imagine the pressure to serve and take orders as efficiently and as quickly as possible on a daily basis. Then again each job has its own demands and idiosyncrasies.

I'm not sure how much longer I can hold out like this, so I've decided to take up the offer of free lodging at a nearby hotel while we're on overtime. I wonder if it'll make any difference.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The hunger remains

Perhaps I'm not as evil or as undesirable as I thought. According to others, I'm actually better adjusted than I give myself credit for.

So why am I still the lone wolf?

It is supposedly because the little things matter so much to me. They do, because it's through the little things that I show my humanity.

Yet again I am a slave to the tightening garrote of expectations...I expect something in return for what I do, and I am disappointed when I don't get it. How expensive is it, in the grand scheme of things, to be recognized and appreciated?

Unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

I am told that just doing the right thing should be the reward in itself.

Homogeneity is not the answer I was looking for. Homogeneity is not what belonging should be all about. I am not evil or twisted or sociopathic; I am just different; I am myself. I do not need to be invited by people and colleagues to parties and gimmicks just to validate that we're friends. All I have to do is be myself, as helpful as I've ever been.

Thanks, PJ.

Maybe that time will come. Maybe that person will come. Until then, all I can do is work behind the scenes like I've always done.

...I am still eternally hungry for appreciation.

Sigh.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Look what I got in the mail today

Apparently Gracey left me an unexpected parting gift: a signed, hardbound copy of "The Little Prince" and a signed copy of a small paperback called "Work Therapy." That was totally unexpected. I'll find the time to read them.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Friday, October 05, 2007

No time like the present

I haven't had much to write about lately. A lot of things have happened, but I don't feel the urge to write about them.

The past couple of weeks have seen a few dear people leave my life. They've also seen a few not-so-dear people leave me for no intelligible reason other than their thinking they know me well.

I'm also learning that perhaps the heartbreak bitterness isn't gone yet, but I have to live through this because there's nothing else I can do.

Replacing some of those dear friends is a new "big sister" of sorts who's been patient with listening to me and my insecurities. Thanks. You know who you are.

The virtue that tickles my psyche the most nowadays is "serenity." According to a prayer on one of my mother's kitchen decorations, it's the acceptance of things I can't do anything about. Lavishing emotion and anger on stuff that's already happened is a tremendous waste of time. It's just a matter of ingraining this lesson into my stubborn mental fiber.

I am slowly realizing that there's no time like the present. For far too long, the fear of making mistakes and my insecurities have gotten in the way of what I wanted to do. It shouldn't matter if I want to ask someone out on a date or book a two-way flight to the province. If I can do it, I should chase my happiness. What else will stop me? What else should stop me?

I should keep trying now. I'm not getting any younger.