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Sarcasm Aside

random thoughts of a self-diagnosed neurotic with the attention span of a five-year old... a blog by Alternati

Gone Spelunking...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Inspite of all the obvious reasons, I will be going to Sagada from the 28th to the 30th. I starting to believe people are like anti-geese. We migrate to the colder places when winter or the semblance of winter comes. The plan is we'll be back just in time for the New Year's... that is, if everything goes out as planned. I wouldn't be surprised if we got stuck on the road. Me and bad luck go together like peanut butter and strawberry jam (ha! My first Baguio inspired metaphor! although strawberries are grown mostly outside Baguio)

If I don't turn up after the 30th, please organize a search party.

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There is No "i" in Giving...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Bonus roasting on an open mall sale
The smell of fruitcake yanking at your nose
The price of kid's toys that make you turn pale
And folks eat 'til they weigh like rhinoes

Everybody knows, 8 hours of sleep and a 13th month pay
Help to make the season fun
Tired peons with their eyes all aglow
Won't find it hard to sleep 'til one (PM)

They know that free time's on its way
It's loaded lots of lazy hours on it's sleigh
And everybody's pants are gonna try
to see if they'll still fit with a zipped fly

The glorious days of non-work are finally here. I am getting all teary eyed just thinking of all the shut-eye and uninhibited lazing in bed I'm compelled to do.

We had the office Christmas Dinner last Thursday night and an encore lunch Friday. The compulsory Kris Kringle turned out to be really fun. One needs to jazz these things up to prevent a purchase of a one way ticket to boresville. We did the "wish list" format this year. The basic idea is to think of a gift you want (within the budgetary stipulations) and an alias. Mine was "Dumpling" inspired by Mikey from Queer as Folk. You draw from a hat the gift you're giving and an alias to whom you're gonna give it to. The fun part is guessing who's getting what you wrapped and the convenient part is not thinking of what gift to give, which let's face it, is one of the toughest things to do.

My Friday afternoon (thru night, thru early morning) was spent attempting to cross out every name on my hitlist, err... shopping list. It was a pretty successful undertaking with my dear friend, Ems. We have this holiday-rush-tradition, both of us are vying to be "The Tardiest Person in the Planet". By the time the mall was closing, I only had one unchecked person on my list, my feet were about to fall off, my pockets were a whole lot lighter, and I had a gazillion bags that weighed a ton in my hands. I stole a taxi cab from an older gentleman on the way home. I was more than willing to do the whole taxi war cha cha cha, but my feet and arms were just not up for it.

I still however managed to muster the strength to wrap. I may whine about the general phoniness of this holiday and I may love receiving a lot more than I do giving, but I absolutely, without reservation love, love, love, wrapping presents. I account this to the transience of a wrapper's life. It takes forever to cut, fold, tape, etc... but it only takes a simple ripping motion to lacerate the wrapper and make the entrails gift come out.

For every gift Ems and I bought for someone, we bought a corresponding one for ourselves. We believe in fairness and equality.

Some of the ones I can publicly announce include:
  1. One of my annual new pillow. I believe sleep is an art form.
  2. An orange bag. Nothing like a pumpkin colored mailman bag to draw the attention of trick or treaters.
  3. Some badass shades to go with the orange bag.
  4. Horton Hatches the Egg. Yes this is for me. Dr Seuss is one of my fave writers.
  5. A collection of cartoons from The Newyorker
  6. A couple of second hand books: One by Faulkner, one by Golding.
  7. One of those "quilted" jackets that covers up body flabs with artificial ones.
  8. A stuffed pig to remind me to stay away from complex carbohydrates
  9. A Lucky Shirt.

We believe in that "You can't love others if you don't love yourself" adage very deeply. If I can impart a simple tip for boosting your ego and satiating all your senses... Don't forget to buy a gift (or more) for yourself. Narcissus may have drowned in his own reflection, but unlike Atlas, he could tie his shoelaces without the heavens falling.

And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from 1 to 92

Although it's been said many times many ways
Merry Christmas
to you... (yes you.)

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Joseph Barbera (1911-2006)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

December 18, 2006 was a sad day for all kids that grew up during my generation. Joseph Barbera died at the age of 95. Joe and his partner Bill Hanna (1910-2001) created Hanna-Barbera and together they created most of my generation's beloved cartoons: Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby Doo, Yogi Bear, The Smurfs... the list goes on. BBC Article here.

I am a creative partner of a business we're planning to launch in January. I'll tell you more about it when our plans are tangible already... Anyways, one of the things I did for the business is creating some characters. It was during one Instant Messenger meeting with Pam that she told me about Joe Barbera's passing.

Generally, the cartoons Hanna and Barbera made are wholesome, cutesy characters with their trademark catch phrases and/or hairstyles.
  • Foot-driver Fred Flintstone's - "Yabba Dabba Doo", and a similar...
  • Scooby Doo - "Scooby Dooby Doo", and a similar...
  • George Jetson - "Hooba Dooba Dooba"
  • Pic-a-nic basket thief Yogi Bear's - "I'm smarter than your avergae bear"
  • The sweet southern Huckleberry Hound's - "Oh My Darling, Clementine"
  • The Mystery Machine members: Velma Dinkley's - "Jinkies!", and...
  • Daphne Blake's - "Jeepers!", and who could forget...
  • Shaggy Roger's - "Zoinks!"
  • The pink Snagglepuss - "Heavens to Murgatroid"
There are also a few things I never quite understood in these Hanna-Barbera shows:
  1. A number of the characters (Yogi Bear, Snagglepuss, Wally Gator) have collars and ties attached to I have no idea where. I guess it's one of those "toon things" like the four-fingered Disney gloves.
  2. How can the blue civilization of the smurfs survive with just one Smurfette? (Thanks to Donnie Darko... I have an answer to this already)
  3. How come nearly all female characters have extremely small feet? I think it is impossible to walk with them let alone run in them! in heels!.. Exhibit A: Penelope Pitstop
  4. Look at Top Cat (the yellow feline at the lower left of the pic above)... Who in their right mind would wear a violet vest and a matchy-matchy violet hat, if you have yellow fur? duh...
I've always loved Velma over Daphne (like Betty over Veronica)... I loved it when the Flintstones of the elephant trunk-faucet era met the Jetsons of the conveyor sidewalk and robot nanny era. I've always wanted Elroy Jetson's hat and Bam Bam's loin cloth outfit. I think Muttley is adorable and I wouldn't mind spending an afternoon with Gargamel. These characters are manifestations of Barbera's genius. They were pop culture icons in the 70's and 80's and they are still widely recognizable today with frequent reruns on Cartoon Network.

The best Barbera cartoon, in my opinion, is Tom and Jerry. I think it is the first show to use the cat-mouse formula, nothing like the carnal instincts of predator in prey in a non-documentary to engage the interest of children. It was censored a lot during puritan 40's thru 60's, it was ahead of it's time. Now, all the guns and slicing and explosions are as normal as the roaring lion in MGM intros. And they are invincible, Tom's cut tail always grows back, his smashed teeth always reappear, and his charred body always regains it's bluish tone... what's a few lethal weapons thrown into the plot?

Beyond the violence, what I really like about the show is the fact that they do not speak (something totally destroyed in that supposed movie). They are the feline and murine Charlie Chaplins and Mr. Beans. The absence of language adds to their universality. What really adds to the T & J experience is the music. Especially during the earlier ones, the episodes always incorporated classical music. There are the orchestral background music and there are the tunes that act as sound effects. An ascending piano run depicts Jerry running frantically to his hole. A cymbal clash, Tom's crashing into a trash can lid. We don't see toons like this anymore.

Interestingly, the first Tom and Jerry episode I've seen is "The Night Before Christmas".

Joseph Barbera started working as a tailor's delivery boy and ended up being one of the world's most famous and loved cartoonists. Hanna-Barbera won 7 Oscars for Tom and Jerry. He never got an interview at Disney (tsk tsk)

Not once in six years did I make it to the office by 9 on the dot.
-Joseph Barbera

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Remember that cliche, "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride"? I can totally relate with it only mine goes, thanks to the fabulous Fran Lebowitz (Metropolitan Life), "Always a godparent... never a god".

I have this aura that seems to perpetually put me on my friends' godparent candidate list. I know I'm adorable and kids love me, but that's beside the point. I heard somewhere (see: I'm making this up) that if a kid you do not know personally instantly likes you as heshe looks over hisher mom's shoulder on an escalator, it says a lot about your innate likeability, or your semblance to a clown or Mickey Mouse depending on your ear size.

Anyways, godparenthood is serious business here in the Philippines. I guess the same is true in any predominantly Catholic country. Godparents are called "ninong" (male) and "ninang" (female). Their "inaanak" (godchildren) drop by their houses during Christmas to collect "Aguinaldo", basically moolah. I am not sure why it's named after a past president, but I'm guessing it has something to do with the presence of his face on the now defunct five-peso bill, and the now counterfeitable (?) five-peso coin. A local version of "It's all about the Benjamins", sort of. Give your godchild five pesos now and you'll definitely see a perplexed but clearly fuming child. Five pesos ain't worth shit, it doesn't even cover regular jeepney fare. I heard the GAP (Godchildren Association of the Philippines) is fighting to change the term "Aguinaldo" to "Aquino" (500 pesos) or "The Santos-Lim-Escoda Threesome" (1,000 pesos).

Giving gifts on Christmas and Birthdays is a welcome alternative. Godparenthood is a burdensome responbility. This is a fact a friend shouldn't even entertain in one's mind, let alone publish in one's public blog. But it is. I would honestly wanna spend my 13th month pay on a pair of Hushpuppies I saw last week or a kick-ass small-of-the-back tattoo, I instead find myself too often around Toy Kingdom or the 3-4 year old clothing section.

Giving is overrated. I like to give as much as I like receiving... scratch that, I like receiving more, but I don't mind giving. What drives me to look at Osh Kosh apparel and Bratz paraphernalia isn't the fulfillment that supposedly comes along with giving. It isn't totally the look of joy children emit when they see a new toy, although that is the best anti-depressant. It is the fact that MY godparents were shitty when I was young. They were either fictitious people I never saw in person, merely creatures I saw in a yellowish photo who were standing around a three-month old version of me, all of them clad in white and holding lit candles as a priest gives me a shampoo... OR, they did make their presence felt during my childhood Christmases and birthdays in the form of hankies or bar soap. What is a five year old supposed to do with 3 bars of Dove soap? and isn't a hanky for every birthday a tad too predictable?

I am breaking this vicious Vicious godparent cycle by being the most benevolent one I could possibly be (which isn't saying much) to the godchildren I am "active" with. Most of my "inactive" godchildren are a zip code or an ocean apart. And at times, I was a victim of a shot-gun baptism. Coercion takes on many forms.

I've nearly completed my godchildren Christmas shopping list. Unlike Santa, I do not have the luxury of crossing out naughty ones.

"Always a godparent, never a god"... Imagine what I could give them if I WERE a god... a college plan, a lifetime supply of legos, their own planet?... But I'm just a godparent.

New Tenant
I love my new tenant's blog... check out A Pile of Dogbones

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13 Dinner Guests

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I have concocted my ideal Noche Buena (Christmas Eve Dinner) I'm not talking about the feast itself, cooking isn't my strong suit, I'll leave that to my dad who is excellent at it. My forte is picking a diverse, interesting, may be fictional but still relatively plausible guest list. Look at me looking forward to Christmas dinner, they may be hope for me yet...

Imagine having dinner with:

Linus van Pelt
Every dinner requires a great philosopher clutching a blue blanket. Linus is mine. How could you not invite the person who coined "security blanket" and realistically dreams of being the 47th person on the moon? His explanation of the true meaning of Christmas (quoting Luke 2:8-14) to Charlie Brown and his posse made him my instant Dalai Lama the moment I saw that TV special, of course I was too young then to know what a Dalai Lama was. We will be serving alcohol during dinner, don't worry... Linus may appear like a perpetual preschooler, but he loves Johnny Walker on the rocks... after all, he's about 54 years old.

Kevin McCallister
Linus although relatively wise for his age, requires the company of a kid to keep him from getting restless. 8 year old Kevin is the perfect candidate. The Home Alone movies (the first two at least) was as much a staple of my childhood Christmases as a plastic tree. His classic pose, an homage to Munch's Scream, will be a very effective ice-breaker. Also, his Machiavellian inventions will make sure our dinner would be "Wet Bandit"-free, and if burglars do dare to enter, more enjoyment for us as we watch middle-aged men getting burned and whacked in the oh so most sensitive places.

Jack Skellington
My Christmas dinner wouldn't be complete without the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown. I will be all starstruck around him. First of all, he baptized the "lobster red creature" known to us as Santa, "Sandy Claws", I am awed by his wit. Second, I've always been mesmerized by stop motion films... great films like this require massive stockpiles of passion and patience and meticulous attention to detail. It is art in the finest sense of the word. And most importantly, he knows Tim Burton. One of my favorite people in the world. I am devising ways to steer the conversation into having him relate firsthand his attempt to take over Christmas... I can't wait!

I'm pretty sure Jack Skellington will bring Zero, his phantom dog. Max would be an ideal companion since I don't think many of us speak "dog". The Grinch is a very private person who detests company. The fact that he likes (sort of) the company of his dog Max speaks volumes about Max in the likeability department. Max can pull a sleigh holding both the Grinch and all the stolen Who-ville Christmas paraphernalia all by himself. For this reason alone, I'm lifting the no-dog-in-the-house directive. Come on... look at Max' smile... he is sooo adorable.

Mr. Hankey
"Howdy-Ho!" I hope Kyle wouldn't mind if I steal Mr. Hankey this Christmas Eve. Mr. Hankey is a denizen of the Southpark sewers. Yes, he is a coil of human feces, but us believers like to call him "The Christmas Poo". I don't mind eating my dinner beside a steaming pile of scat, and anyone who gags and shows the slightest amount of repulsion in Mr. Hankey's company would be free to leave the table... and the premises of my city. My guests are lucky I didn't invite his wife Autumn (also feces) and their three kids (all feces as well and one has a peanut for a head)

David Sedaris, one of my favorite writers, once worked as a Christmas elf in Macy's. He recounted his stay there in Santaland Diaries (Holidays on Ice) Crumpet was his chosen elf name. His experiences in that wonderland of sparkling lights, fake snow and mechanical penguins were so dementedly amusing, it made me wish we had a Macy's store in Baguio, or more feasibly that I lived in New York. I highly recommend Holidays on Ice for holiday reading, I am having mine signed when Mr. Sedaris knocks on my front door... Joy!

Billy Mack
I can never get through most activities without a proper soundtrack. Enter fictional rock legend, Billy Mack. I wouldn't mind hearing his "festering turd of a record" (his words not mine) after dinner. It is "Love is all around" (Wet Wet Wet song) but with all "love" lyrics altered to "Christmas"... Genius... I know. I usually cringe at the idea of watching Hugh Grant movies (Stop throwing those cliches around mister caught-with-your-pants-down) but I watched Love Actually... and, get this... liked loved it. I guess the numerous characters diluted Grant's cheesiness. Why can't he be more like dreamy Colin Firth. *faint*

Josephine March
There can never be enough writers on my dinner table. "Little Woman" Jo March is one of the first feminists I've ever known. The period clothing may be a bit off in my gathering but I invited her for three reasons: One, she looks uncannily like Winona-freakin-Rider! Two, Anyone who is willing to sell their hair for her family is a hero in my book... and Three, She turned down Laurie! Laurie is Christian-freakin-Bale for pete's sake! Gawd.

"...the red-nosed reindeer, had a very..." (Shoot me now) There will be no carolling on this table! I personally believe Rudolph is the first gay character on film. Literally doe-eyed, a graceful trot, inability to play basketball, and a flamboyant nose... I rest my case. Heshe (yes, there are debates about hisher gender) is a pioneering beacon of androgony and individuality against adversity. The Rudolphs of the world are just like you, only with shiny red noses. Rudolph... "You'll go down in history"

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
Okay, TGOCYTC (such a typeful) may not be much of a conversationalist... He prefers to just point at things. At first I wondered if he would feel out of place in my generally chatty guest list and what interesting thing he could possibly offer. Then I remembered he was a clairvoyant of sorts. After dinner, I am unsure if he eats or even has an esophagus... anyways, after dinner, he can take all of us into our own Christmas Dream journeys. Now that is something entirely unique eh? And I had him sign a contract never to do that whole name on a tombstone prank he did on Scrooge.

Enter entertainment. Will Ferrell... err Buddy will bring the Christmas cheer to the dinner. Of course what he doesn't know is we all (including Rudolph) mock him behind his back. The perfect thing is, he is so oblivious, no one gets hurt. Win Win. Buddy will probably have inside elf jokes with Crumpet although the whole Gimbels-Macys rivalry might come in play. If for anything else, Buddy's Spaghetti with M&Ms and syrup entree would be a conversation piece.

Davey Stone
There can never be enough Saturday Night Live alumni on my dinner table. Davey, the "cartoonized" version of Adam Sandler would be my insight into Chanukah. A celebration I am very curious of but totally ignorant about. Plus, Adam Sandler in my house? forgeddaboutit... okay the closest I can probably get to Mr. Adam Sandler is my non-existent acquuaintance with Rob Schneider, he has family here in Baguio. Go Midland Courier.

Mrs. Claus
I guess it's time for the dame to leave the solitude of the North Pole during Christmas Eve. When santa is away, the mrs. will play (No Limit Texas hold'em with me and my guests after dinner) She is more elusive than Big Foot. No picture of her has ever been taken yet, the Big Foot slipped up already. I like to think of Mrs. Claus as shown in the picture, I won't believe a woman of her stature would wear matching outfits with her beau. Mrs. Claus has requested that all paparazzi steer clear of my house.

Quite a guest list, don't you think? I'm gonna start picking napkin rings and centerpieces tomorrow.

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Dude, Where's Your Dogsled?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It's official. The season has shifted from mild, a-scarf-will-do, thick comforter cold season TO hell freezing over (see: excruciating)

Excruciating (adj.)
  1. You require three layers of clothing to prevent your blood from congealing.
  2. You require another hour to rise from bed... your nervous system is on holiday.
  3. You see smoke from your mouth and you're not holding a Marlboro Light.
  4. Despite the meteorological impossibility, you swear you saw snow.
  5. You forget where you parked your dogsled.
  6. You entertain the idea of hugging... even with complete strangers.
  7. Even you're hair is numb, and is perpetually towel dried despite the aid of hairblowers, you're new bestfriend.
  8. You're basic necessities are air, water, food and a radiator.
  9. The idea of ice cream is blaspemous.
  10. You contemplate selling your soul for a one-way ticket to the Caribbean or a pizza furnace, whichever you could afford.
  11. You're only vocabulary outdoors include "f"s and "s"s and "brrr"
  12. You wanna maim anything resembling Frosty the Snowman.
  13. You prefer boiled Coca-cola.

Baguio, my city (wanna see the deed?) is set atop a plateau. I've lived here for most of my life and it still amazes me that people during the American occupation literally paved the way to this relatively remote place. The attraction was/is the cool weather due to the elevation. I've never actually seen any but they* say that it was so cold here in Baguio then, that icicles hung on pine trees like tinsel. It's not a big thing compared to people who live farther from the equator... but living in the tropics... people come to see these things.

*They - everyone heard "them" say it but noone seems to know who "they" are.

Global warming has started buying tracts of real estate here, and although the only place you see icicles in are freezers whose regular defrostings have been forgotten, it is STILL very cold here... and the tardy typhoons aren't helping either.

I'm not complaining...

If you'll excuse me, my marshmallows are starting to burn, I've decided to turn all the wooden furniture in my room into kindling. This is gonna be the best bonfire ever! the only problem is where I'm gonna sleep. Meh...

Art Cred:
Melting Snowman


Oh happy day!
Dreamy Tyler and James won the Amazing Race. Ooh la la... It doesn't feel as cold anymore.


Welcoming my new tenant: Blonde Chick Bloggin', Sorry but the heater is kaput. You are however free to burn any flammable thing in the room. Link at the right sidebar... Tell her I sent you.

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Bah Humbug.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I can think of only two infamous Christmas villains. The Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge. Well, they aren't even technically villains, they just... during the early parts of their biographies... hate Christmas. They have entered our lexicon and any anti-yuletide energy you emit gives you the label of "scrooge" or "grinch" or "heartless, joyless, psycho-b*tch/ assh*le (use according to apparent gender)

You can't blame the Grinch for hating Christmas:
It could be that his head wasn't screwed on quite right. (a shrink)
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. (a Hushpuppies retailer)
But I think that the most likely reason of all (a statistician)
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small. (a cardiologist)
It's anatomical. Would you blame a short fellow for hating basketball, or a tall fellow for hating hobbit-houses? I've always loved the Grinch, his vomit-green fur, his voice done by Boris Karloff (most famous for voicing the original Frankenstein), his couture or lack thereof... of course I'm referring to the 1966 cartoon which has been as much a part of my Christmases as queso de bola. I like Jim Carrey, but that Grinch adaptation he did just sucked. Kudos to the make-up and prosthetics... "Damn you" for adding to/altering the storyline.

I think the Grinch blew it when he "stole". The eighth (spelling?) commandment applies in Whoville... and the punishment is far worse than the seventh circle of hell, it's having your heart grow three sizes bigger and having thoughts like:
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. (commercialism)
"Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!" (more commercialism?)

Ebenezer Scrooge. Poor guy, Charles Dickens succeeded in eternally associating his name with greed and malice. The billions of adaptations of A Christmas Carol agree in typifying Scrooge as an old man wearing a night gown with a night cap, round eyeglasses and is either counting piles of coins or screaming his head off holding a gas-lit lamp. This is the worst smear campaign in the history of 19th century literature! Only Dickens can transform a wise, savvy, frugal, obviously accounting-knowledgeable business man into a scared senior citizen defined by "selfishness" and "avarice". Mud-slinging Dickens... tsk tsk tsk.

He doesn't stop with the obvious libel. Dickens went as far as sending three "ghosts". We all know what these "ghosts" are. Nameless meddling spawns of Dickens: Agent Past, Agent Present and Agent Future. They, through deceit and trickery, convince Scrooge to give the money HE earned to charity. Talk about taking advantage of a poor old man with a semi-honest living! I have consulted my lawyer and he says that tombstone Agent Future showed you Mr. Scrooge is undoubtedly a death threat.

To deliver the final nail on the coffin... the plaintiff calls "Tiny Tim". The defendant, Ebenezer Scrooge, looks despondent as a 10-year old boy supported by a crutch accessorized by a nasty phlegmy cough takes the witness stand. Mr. Scrooge's attorney walks toward the stand:
"Tiny Tim, if that IS your real name," queried the attorney.
"Oh yes dear sir," Tim replied
"Tiny Tim of the Korean Mafia???," the attorney bellowed, several loud clanks from the audience as jaws dropped.
Tim looked nervously at the plaintiff.
"It says here according to your medical records that you recently had some adamantium infused into your tibula, femur and fibula!"... more clanking jaws.
Tim mumbled "I... I... I... femur?"
"Yes your leg bone "Tiny Tim"!," the attorney motioning quotation marks with his hands. The attorney swipes the crutch.
"Lo and Behold! he stands!!! No further questions your honor!" Audience clapping.

The plaintiff rises and asks Tiny Tim... "Is there anything you wanna say?"
Tiny Tim obviously rattled raised his hands, smiled and with teary eyes said "God Bless us, everyone!"
The audience oohed and aahed. Ebenezer was sentenced with two life sentences in a high security prison where he has to spend Christmas everyday with the thief Grinch and the Easter Bunny. No Bail. A million lit parols but No Parole.

He didn't stand a chance with the conniving skills of Dickens and the little boy.

It would take more than the entire Who-ville singing Christmas carols around a disheveled tree, three "ghosts" and Tiny Tim to silence my inner Grinch/Stooge.

17 days to no work, lots of food and sleep and presents aka Christmas! Whoopdeefreakingdoo!

Inspirational Christmas quote for the day:
Fame always brings loneliness. Success is as ice cold and lonely as the North Pole.
- Vicky Baum

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Taxi War

Monday, December 04, 2006

O lord of taxis, why do you forsake me.

There are only a few civilian activities more ruthless than a taxi war.

I froze my ass off waiting for a taxi. I spent an hour flailing my right arm, alternating between the open palm signal for "stop" and the international index finger signal for "I'm an antsy passnger, take me to my destination... NOW!"

On a regular day, It usually takes me as long as a microsecond to hail a cab ride in a city teeming with metered FX's and Kias. Tonight, It took me a freakin lightyear. The drizzle didn't help, nor did the rush hour. Everyone wanted a cab. I did the whole taxi cha-cha with fellow hailers... you know, moving a few meters ahead of some people to catch vacant taxis first, only to find the same people moving in front of you a few meters a couple of minutes later. Cha-cha-cha. It not only not works... but eyebrows rise beyond anatomical limits.

Contrary to popular belief, that whole leg thing they do in movies doesn't work.

I tried the Ped Xing Maneuver, waiting half a car length from a crossing so that the cab hailed by someone ahead of you (preferably on a pedestrian crossing) stops right infront of you. It didn't work. There were no vacant taxis in sight... Correction, there were a few vacant cabs but for some reason unbeknownst to me or my fellow hailers, they just sped right by us paying no heed to our desperate-for-the-warmth-of-home faces.

I also tried the Right Blinker Method, something a friend of mine taught me. This is only as effective as your legs are fast. You disregard all visual distractions... people, parked cars, oncoming traffic, UFOs, flying horses, Everything! The only thing you narrow your eyes on are the right blinkers of taxi cabs. The moment you see a flashing one, run along side that taxi until it stops. It wouldn't hurt to open the door for alighting passengers so you can have that cab for your own. This method doesn't work effectively if you wait by street corners. Even this tried and tested method didn't work. It seems my friend has been passing around this knowledge to other people. I had to use my calves more tonight than I did the whole week and even when I got to the taxi, elbowing and clawing my way through the crowd, some middle-aged woman with groceries beat me to it. If this isn't a call for working out, i dunno what is.

I was ready to throw in the towel. I was cold, hungry and my arms and legs are aching like I just finished a decathlon (or at least that's how I think it must have felt like, one sport is hard enough, 10 would be suicide) It's times like this that I question my unfounded fear of driving alone and my laziness to get a license. My brother already picked up his phone, and I've already expressed my urgent need to be fetched when a taxi stopped serendipitously infront of me... the two male passengers got off and the moment my freezing ass felt the taxi's still warm (ullkk) corduroy seats, I told my brother I got a ride and hung up. Oh fortuitous joy!

(I take back my first statement, o munificient lord of taxis)

Painting from: www.klaudiamarrgallery.com

On a brighter note,
I'm doing my blogroll and in vince's blog, I found out that last December 1 was World Aid's Day. I'm wearing my virtual red ribbon in support of WAD 2006.

Support World AIDS Day

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