Thursday, December 29, 2011

Welcoming 2012: That time of the year

I think I was fairly successful with my 2011 New Year's Resolutions:

  • To not sweat the small stuff - This really referred to how I easily got ruffled by news reports, by the CBCP, by jerks, by random strangers, by both major and minor events and incidents outside my control etc., and how I'd immediately vent out my frustrations in this blog and on Twitter. I'd like to think there has been less angry posts from me because seriously, the world has enough haters in it without me in the bandwagon. I'd also like to think I've been constructive in my criticisms, or if I do paste an entry or re-tweet tweets, I present them as is, without sensationalizing it. One question I ask myself whenever I feel like expressing my anger is: So, how are you going to act on it? I think I can't be vigilant just from my couch alone.
  • Write more handwritten notes: not just thank you notes and gift cards but also letters even if there's no special occasion (target: at least once monthly) - FAIL! LOL! Ironic considering this was the year I received so many notecards as present––and I truly love all of them––except I guess, I love them too much? Also, this was the year I found it difficult to express myself poetically. I guess being in corporate communications for so many years has completely affected my writing style. (Also, I want my sense of humor back!)   
  • To actually read one new book each month, not 12 books a year as I did in 2010 - Yahoo, check na check! I got a bit nervous in the last few weeks because I thought I wouldn't finish the Steve Jobs biography in time. However, the last few chapters of the book got me really hooked (and sad; I might review it later) so I found myself finishing the last page with four more days to spare. Here's the list of what I read this year. The best one, hands down, is The Exact Location of the Soul, followed by A Sense of the World, Tess of the D'Ubervilles, and Pacific Rims. You know what my worst book is. 
  • I will not buy a trend but only classic pieces which I can imagine myself wearing until old age (weight permitting) - I may have bought no more than five items of clothing this year. I think. I guess I did take this bit to heart, and I'm happy with it. I don't think I can stand cleaning my closet again and seeing so many clothes that I don't need––such a waste. At partida, nanalo pa ko sa office ng fashion award kahit paulit-ulit na lang ako ng sinusuot, lol. So it really works for me :-D  
  • De-clutter periodically - Passing grade; I've de-friended someone in real life because life is too short for you not to surround yourself with the best and kindest people. I say no a lot. I'm trimming the excesses, streamlining my life. (Sorry, for the corporate jargon, lol.) Now, I must move on to the boxes of junk hidden under my bed. 
So my 2012 resolutions are:

  • Don't sweat the small stuff––Avoid stress by all means. Online, this means not being part of the lynch mob, especially if I'm not being part of the solution
  • Write letters once a month––it doesn't even have to be handwritten
  • Continue reading one new book each month––Nope, I'm not increasing the number, di ko talaga carry, lol
  • De-clutter every quarter
  • I must be able to do 100 pushups––in one set––by the end of the year.
  • Be more demonstrative in my appreciation of other people; constantly give positive feedback
  • Master the art of tolerance––not everything is about me or pertains to me. It's not about me unless you categorically address it to me; otherwise, dedma!
  • Use my Fisheye 2 again: develop one roll each month
  • Write at least one feature article a month
  • I want to do more for the Pinoy LGBT community






Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Goodbye, Hitch

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of the Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow



This quote was included in Christopher Hitchens's biography, Hitch 22. I meant to review the book, but then I realized, how exactly does one critique an autobiography; and second, how dare I. I also have to admit to the fact that I'm intellectually inept to fully comprehend his work. In Tagalog, nosebleed talaga sya, 'teh.

Here's his second to the last article for Vanity Fair, Trial of the Will, wherein he questioned the wisdom of Nietszche's maxim 'What doesn't kill me, makes me stronger' as he reflects on his mortality. (I think VF will be releasing his last column in the January issue.)

And here's one of my all-time faves, which I also blogged about here, The New Commandments:





Tuesday, December 13, 2011

iHermit


In the battle between print and digital media, I was all about "Oh, but the smell of paper! The crisp sound that they make as you turn them page by page! The joy of hearing trees scream to their death as you beat their trunks to a pulp!"

And then I got an iPad.

I'm stuck at page 352 of the Steve Jobs biography after having progressed at a glacial pace of two pages in two weeks and thereby threatening to ruin my NY 2011 resolution despite only having 18 more days in the calendar year left. I've stopped using my desktop computer, as well as my TV and DVD. I got my electricity bill last night and it's the lowest it's been since the start of 2011. I haven't updated this blog in a month. My eyebags qualify as luggage.

It's the last thing I hold at night, and the first thing I grab in the morning. (And no, I wasn’t making you guess.) I forget I have a cellphone. My cellphone is on the verge of disintegration—the top and sides have holes in them; the aluminum case smiles open so that if I don't hold it carefully, the keypad would slip out—and I don't care.

I am online 24/7 which means I know what everyone is up to, particularly everyone who has no concept of online privacy. I'm subscribed to various magazines and websites and I get free books—I finally have a copy of Art of War. I may not be able to smell the addicting aroma of a newly bought book, but I can gorgeously flip through an e-book's page with a fingertip. I slide my forefinger across the screen and the page's tip curl everso beautifully; I give it a playful tap, and I don't even have to reach out for my dictionary.

Not that I have a dictionary on my bedside table because I don't.

I rediscovered the joys of chat rooms and emoticons in the company of other Apple-loving friends, particularly how, through emoji alone, we managed to recount how a becky acquaintance must have felt when he married his beard. I've yet to get hooked on any of the games though; I barely have time to go through all the reading material available to me. Or do geeky stuff such as find myself on a map, or find friends on a map and check if they're really where they said they were, or look at the state of parts of Metro Manila traffic in real time, or pose for pictures photo-booth style, or make e-cards to post on friends' Facebook walls, or video YM-ing or Skype-ing anywhere I want to.

I can also stare endlessly at swimming Japanese koi but I was never a fan of the aquarium channel.

And oh my god, Flipboard, how I love thee. My RSS feed is now as pure and pretty as an angel's breath. And thank you for allowing me to mute certain people whom I have no guts to unfollow for fear of hurting their sensibilities. My cojones owe you.

It's got everything I need, and it weighs less than the tears that KC Concepcion shed during her Boy Abunda interview.

When friends asked me how my romance with my iPad has been going along, I answered, "Life-changing." It truly has been.



But for the love of Steve, the camera quality and battery life suck. Otherwise...


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