People will remember us for what we are in life.
Of course, no one would like to be a villain.
People will remember us for what we are in life.
Of course, no one would like to be a villain.
Before the year ended, another godson, my constant chess opponent, presented me with an alternative to television. He loaned me the CD-ROM version of the HBO series Game of Thrones, all four seasons for my viewing pleasure.
“I have a lot of work,” I said plainly. “I’ll probably watch it later if I still possess the energy to open my eyes.”
“I have a lot of questions, Ninong,” he confided. “I am sure you could answer them when you’re finished with all the episodes.”
“You understand English, don’t you? What’s the matter?”
“Yes, but I have trouble following the dialogues.”
“I see.” Nuances could be tricky.
I could tell that he was very interested. His enthusiasm showed on his boyish face.
“I will check it out during my break.”
Frankly, I was as ignorant as my neighbors about the series. Even though I was online most of the time I was not too keen to preview even the short clips on YouTube. I was more of a music video enthusiast.
I went back to the house to take a quick peek.
After screening the first episode of season one, I was glad I was spared watching the spoilers online. I felt a sense of heightened suspense, not knowing what would come next as the story unfolded. It was riveting.
Instantly, I decided to stop my field work. I had ten hours on my hands: everything went on hold. 🙂
I was not surprised why the series earned a large following. It possessed all the drama and mystique of a great legend.
I have not read the books yet. I am aware that most adaptations somewhat veered away from the original, with the author’s blessings, of course. Still, the core of the story was intact.
Like my godson, I have questions, certain matters that needed straightening out. For starters, in the first episode, how did one of the rangers escape the White Walker? My guess: cowardice could be the answer.
I am hooked so I am waiting for the fifth season installments. 🙂
When you wake up the next day, the dizzy spell nagging you to stay horizontal, giving you a reason to keep your eyes to remain closed or see the ceiling moving as if it would crash down on you, perhaps it’s a clear signal to stick to the alcohol-free oath you swore. No more exceptions, even the holidays included in the self-ban.
That summarized my condition after the celebration the day before. Eating, drinking (more than my limit) and singing had nearly shattered my schedule, particularly the morning chores.
I failed to mention that after my departure at my kumpare‘s place, someone accosted me on the way home and herded me against my will (or so I tried to justify how easy it was to be towed when one was weak) to another house for more merry-making.
“Come on! Seldom we have you around. Just this once.”
When I finally made his face, he was my other kumpare who was on the way to a store to buy more bottles of beer. Whether it was fate or misfortune on my part, I could never tell.
There I was, doing my ‘thing’ which they hoped to witness once a year. (laughs) The rest of the year, most of them rarely saw me wandering about, seeking company by simply hanging around at corner stores. I am often holed up at my place, quietly passing the days, doing my main ‘thing’ in private.
And, there I was, the day after, nursing a throbbing head. trying to command the rest of my body to disobey the order to stay inert, contradictory messages from the same source.
“Ninong! Are you awake?”
Unmistakably, the hasty question belonged to my frequent visitor. He practiced the routine of coming by at the wrong time. Not too many kids possessed such a knack.
“I am now,” I replied without emotion.
“Are you sure?” he tested again.
“How could I answer you if I am still sleeping?”
“My father talks in his sleep. One time I asked him a question and he replied.”
“Your father talks too much,” I said, forcing myself to finally rise. “That’s a good thing.”
I went out the front door, walked like a zombie to the first calamansi tree I found, and peed. I stood there and waited for nature to take its course.
“You’ll kill that tree,” my godson warned me.
I laughed out loud, a bit louder than necessary. The thought crossed my mind so many times before but I came to accept the fact that the notion was false.
“To prove you wrong, whenever you come here, pee at that small tree. That’s yours.”
What do you know? The boy went straight to it and followed my lead. He came back grinning without saying a word.
“Why are you here? You should be in school.”
“Hello?” his singsong surprised me.
“Aw! I forgot,” I said, rubbing my eyes, waking up for good.
“My parents sent me here. They have things to do at home.”
“I am sure,” I sighed audibly, “and that does not include you.”
I almost forgot.
Earlier, at the same event, I overheard an out-of-town visitor complaining about his allergies concerning certain foods, particularly those coming from the sea. He was too vocal to tell everyone that his taste buds were choosy to the point he would vomit when given food that disagreed with his stomach.
When he first arrived, people thought he was a big shot. Later, we found out that he was not even wealthy nor overly educated. Pretentious was the word for him. I could sense he was acting the part to get the notice he did not really deserve. Such creatures appear once in a while, more so in village celebrations where many folks were easily duped by dramatic ostentation.I was sure he would be caught in his own lie when the time came.
Lunch was over but a late relative came over with big plateful of spring rolls. They were still warm when served in the middle of the table.
Mr. VIP did not wait for any invitation as he picked first, ready to munch what to him looked like French fries. Before we could eat our first, he had already devoured four.
“If you want to excuse yourself to go outside, feel free to do so.”
He was perplexed why I singled him out.
“I am fine,” he remarked, pretending not to have heard my advice. “These are delicious.”
I stood up, approached him and whispered, “Can I talk to you outside?”
He probably thought I would reprimand him for eating too much, though I did consider the same. But I had to point to him a detail he forgot to take into account.
“You said you are allergic to seafood.”
“Absolutely! I can’t stand the taste.”
“So why are you eating squid?”
At that instant I was ready for his outburst, of not being informed of the ingredient that could trigger his allergy, then belatedly throwing up in front of me to complete the farce.
To my surprise he did nothing of those scenarios I was afraid of: he simply smiled, caught of his charade but never verbally admitting I uncovered his scam.
“I’ll be on my way,” he said politely, eager to ease his way out from the embarrassing situation he dug himself into.
“Where are you going?” I asked automatically.
“It’s early in the afternoon. I can still make several rounds.”
“I suppose you’ll give them the same treatment like the stunt you pulled here.”
He did not need the scolding but I was offended by his impertinence.
“I am not a bad guy,” he reasoned. “Just a bit of fun, man!”
“I’ll let you off this time,” I conceded. “Next time, please come as you are. We are simple folks but we’re not naive.”
The intervening period between Christmas and New Year went like a blur. Without the online incursions I was supposed to busy myself with when indoors, I had no excuse when invitations came from various acquaintances. I was never a party animal even when I was young, though this time around, most of the gatherings I attended provided more of eating and singing. One such occasion happened two days before the year ended.
In the local setting, drinking is never absent in celebrations. Even though I could claim to be the most capable person who could turn down offers of sprees without hurting feelings, I could give in once in a while but for only several shots.
By accident, I passed by in front of the video karaoke after a song ended. It was the quickest route out the door.
“I dare you to sing Hotel California,” someone shouted from the crowd.
Murmurs followed; the kind that provoked the challenged to defend his honor.
No way, Jose! I had already my plan of escaping the scene when the chance presented itself. I would not make myself the main attraction, belting out a rendition of a classic like I was Don Henley himself.
“I have a sore throat,” I lied convincingly, clearing the passage with the corresponding sound.
“Drink this,” my kumpare took his cue and handed me a glass with yellow fluid in it.
“What is it?” I asked, frowning to show my disinterest.
“Pineapple juice,” he replied, grinning from ear to ear. He looked like a ripe tomato, his face glistening with perspiration.
“I have to go home. I am not feeling well.”
“That man is from the city. He kept on boasting that village people were no good in singing. You could prove him wrong.”
Like a conspirator, my kumpare whispered more compliments to my ears, trying his darn best to force me to take up the challenge.
“Drink this and you’ll make him eat his words.”
The imp on my shoulder won: I drank.
Guess what? I was not that bad. Clapping of hands accompanied my performance. I was like a restless body on my chair, twisting and turning to the rhythm, slurring the lyrics as if the American accent was my own since birth. 😀
Roars of glee erupted when I was finally finished. I was not sure if they liked what they heard or they were simply happy that I entertained them.
“I am impressed,” the man approached me, patting my shoulder.
“By the way, how did you know I could sing?”
“Your kumpare boasted that village people are better singers than city folks.”
“One for the road,” my kumpare intruded in our conversarion and gave me another shot. “Here’s to our champion!”
What the heck! Such indulgence would be over once I left the place.
Still adjusting to the thrill. 🙂
I am leaving you (temporarily) with one of my favorite songs.
A great night to all!
Well, I am still bugged by slow connection. To add insult to injury, we have just survived a five-hour power interruption. Swell!
I have really given my blogging tactics a lot of thought while I was offline. I have to beat the odds and keep publishing posts without letting the drawbacks getting on my nerves.
From this day on, I will be using the schedule post feature to get around the inefficient systems. Unfortunately, I could not respond to comments in real time, which I really want to do. This may appear rude on my part. But what can I do if I am prevented to reply by factors I could not control?
I am still tinkering with my new theme, updating old pages while checking old posts before writing new content. I checked my email account and I am beginning to get double vision looking at thousands of notifications. 🙂
Also, I am trying to figure out the best time to stay online. I have to change my sleeping habits once more: early to bed and to rise since the start of the year. I could be a night owl again. 🙂
I might be slow reading blogs for the time being. However, you know my former pattern. In time, I will drop by your sites and check out everything I missed while I was away. 😀
It’s ABOUT TIME (a new page) I get back on my rhythm!
An idea comes to our mind, formed to satisfy a necessity or solve a particular problem. That’s true up to a certain extent. There will be factors beyond our control that we would be unable to continue what we set out to accomplish.
Since Christmas Day, I had this notion of spending my time surfing the Net during the holidays. I wanted to celebrate the festive season with my global family, so to speak, like the year before.
Fat chance! The same idea circled the minds of millions of other users, more particularly my countrymen who clogged the system. Social media platforms could have been overwhelmed with heavy internet traffic that the local service providers did not know what hit them. The slow connection came to a halt in some parts of the country. I was a victim in the mayhem.
Instead of giving myself a headache of waiting (too long) for a smooth connection, I decided to cut myself off from the air. (Unfortunately, I could not reply to most of your Christmas felicitations.)
Paying for the service which most likely would be unsatisfactory was self-defeating. I chose the smarter (forgive the pun) option.
A day stretched to weeks, then more until one thing led to another. The festivities and field work replaced the urge to go online. Daily, at the back of my mind, the ‘itch’ was egging me to reconsider.
The on-off connection made the decision to stay offline more acceptable. I did not like it but I had to.
Most times reality sucks. 😦
Ever wonder why many people develop some routines that are so difficult to discontinue?
When I signed off the last time, I never imagined it would take this long (nearly two months) to abstain from surfing the Net. Oh, I did try several times but for reasons beyond my capabilities to resolve I had to stand down and kept my peace in the sidelines. .
That routine I was talking about made me ponder a lot of things. Frankly, some of my field work suffered because of my ‘addiction’ to surfing. I was consumed by the idea that everything would be fine in the long run.
I was mistaken.
As luck would have it (unfavorably favorable in some weird sense), there was something wrong in our side of the planet, or just in our particular spot, or whatever. The connection was so bad that most of the time even cellular communications failed.
I consider myself to be a little smart when faced with such a situation. I look for options, what I call Plan B, C, D, etc. And if those options would not work out, I go back to where I am most attached to: field work.
And, I could say, the lull in my internet activity provided me with more time to concentrate on work I deferred so many times. Overall, it was a productive experience.
My absence is not a big deal. I am sure most of you did not even notice I was MIA. That’s good. 🙂
Slowly, I will reintegrate myself back to the system. I am somewhat rusty so you have to forgive most of my shortcomings.
Happy blogging guys and gals.
I awoke from a dream, dreaming of waking up in front of the computer screen.
It’s like reliving the past.
Am I back where I left off?
It’s ABOUT TIME to go forward once more.