When a man DUMPS a woman

You could try to approach it any which way. You either come from the north or the south, makes no difference. Cushion the impact of the incoming wrecking ball, it won’t help. Be eloquent in explaining why it would never work (even though sometimes you don’t have to be eloquent because the reason is more obvious than your 201 file).

How to deal with this. Basic principles?

There are none (thanks, Hitch).

Except for one. It’s so damn hard. No matter what your goal is or how noble your intentions maybe, it is so freaking hard to tell a girl “Thank you and have a nice life”. Furthermore, guys are at the receiving end of a terrible stereotype. When a man dumps a woman, he is branded as an insensitive and opportunistic pig. If it’s the girl who did the dumping, they just pity her and concede that the relationship simply didn’t work.

Yeah, for a guy, it is very hard to tell a normal girl “I don’t love you anymore” or “I never loved you, so let’s end this”. Having said that, how much harder do you think it is to say those things to a girl who could literally crush rocks in her bare hands?

Batman is either the bravest soul on earth or this is, intellectually, simply not one of his shining moments.

“I love you. I never lied about that.”

Seldom do we encounter sappy dialogue like that in an animated superhero movie/series that actually works. It all started when Thanagarian (Hawk people) forces arrived on earth and claimed that they wanted to help us in repelling an invading alien armada known as Gordanians. Of course, it was just a ruse, and the Thanagarians real intent is to use earth as part of a bypass link that will deliver a deadly blow to their mortal enemies. Problem is earth will be destroyed in the process. That doesn’t exactly sound okay to the Justice League, who promptly confronted the Thanagarians to destroy the bypass machinery that was going to obliterate the world.

In the middle of it all is Hawkgirl, Justice League member and secretly a Thanagarian officer whose true purpose for being on earth is to scout its defensive capabilities against alien invaders. It was bad enough that her JL teammates learned she was a spy – it didn’t matter that her intentions were benevolent. But then it turned out she was also engaged to the Thanagarian forces commander, Hro Talak, a revelation that dealt a vicious blow to Green Lantern John Stewart, another Justice Leaguer who had started a relationship with Hawkgirl some months before.

Short version: When Hawkgirl discovered that the real plan would involve the total destruction of earth, she betrayed her commission and told the Justice League about the true plan. In the end, they won, of course. But not without serious repercussions. Because of the shocking revelations about Hawkgirl’s real mission, most of the Leaguers couldn’t bring themselves to trust her again despite her sacrifice that resulted in her being branded a traitor by her own people. She knew this, and so while the others voted on whether to allow her to stay in the Justice League or boot her out, she didn’t wait for the verdict and decided to resign.

Green Lantern, who was most affected by the turn of events, was torn. If your job is to be the first line of your planet’s defense, it’s hard to trust someone who turns out to be an alien spy. That was the problem of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, and Jon Stewart couldn’t give a hoot’s damn about it. For him, after learning that Hawkgirl had been living a lie all these years, he just isn’t sure anymore about her real feelings for him. For all he knew, he was just part of her cover. And that scared him. He loved her with all his heart, and now he’s afraid that his feelings are pointing at nothing but a black and empty void.

Getting the chance, John confronted Shayera to know once and for all. Walking out of Wayne Manor, he found her waiting by the cliff, bathed in the sad hue of the red-orange sunset. It seems she also has something to say. That terrified him even more. But he needs closure, whatever that turns out to be.

John: “You never asked how we voted.”

Shayera: “It doesn’t matter.”

John: “So… where are you gonna go?”

Shayera: “I don’t know. Some place where the fate of the world isn’t in my hands. Some place where there are no more secrets. No more lies.”

John: “Was it all a lie?”

Shayera: “I love you, John. I never lied about that.”

They stared briefly at each other, and then she flew away.

John: “I love you, too.”

I’m posting the last 10 minutes of Justice League: Starcrossed for your viewing pleasure. Good morning 🙂

A picture is worth a THOUSAND words? Maybe. But…

Check this out. Nice view of pristine Lake Wakatipu in New Zealand, on the surface of which is a reflection of the distant Southern Alps.

What’s curious about this is it took probably just a few seconds for a photographer to pic a spot, adjust his camera, and click to take this shot. J.R.R. Tolkien, on the other hand, to paint the same picture in one’s mind, would have expended a long paragraph composed probably of just under one thousand words, written, proof-read, and rewritten to his satisfaction; a process that would have taken at least 30 minutes.

That probably explains why in these days of advanced technology that serves both the desktop and digital camera industries, there is still only about one writer for every 20 aspiring (read: amateur) photographers. Writing takes a lot more work than photography, and admittedly, a greater degree of wit, imagination, and patience. While a good photographer sees things that normal humans often miss while equipped with equally acute eyes, a writer has to record such things in his psyche and make it appear almost identically in the minds of his readers through words.

Me? I probably will never understand photography. But a weaver of words I could always relate to, and appreciate. The truth is I lament a little bit about the ratio I mentioned above (exempli gratia Multiply, sadly, is sorely lacking in the better blogs that enrich the mind). But hey, the world needs both wordsmiths and picture crafters. One provides satiety of the soul while the other delights the windows of the mind. I just wish the ratio could be a little more even…

Oh well, I’m going to bed now. Good night.

(A little trivia: New Zealand’s Southern Alps is the actual location of Middle-earth’s Misty Mountains, as seen in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy)

I want an iPod, dammit!

I recently bought a new MP3 player for my car, and as a result, now I want to buy an iPod to connect to it.

Together with the MP3 player I bought a set of 4-way Pioneer speakers – which makes me want a JBL set instead.

My employer never negotiated my asking price, they just gave it to me. Now I wish I’d asked for a higher salary.

You see a pattern emerging?

  • I buy a Neo laptop (which so far has been meeting all my needs). That makes me want a MacBook Pro.
  • I get a flat-screen TV. Now I want a Plasma TV.
  • I’m looking to buy a new cell phone. The one I’m using now isn’t even 6 months old.
  • I get a CR-V. Now I want a Sportivo. Or a Navara.

That last one is a joke, but I put it there to paint a clearer picture of what I’m trying to drive at.

Want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want!

Insatiable, inexhaustible, unending Want.

I once said I want 39 million dollars, so I could afford to quit my job, finally get to sit down and write a book, and be content with my life.

Content? Hmm. All of the sudden, I don’t know anymore. If I will ever achieve ‘Content’. I mean, via having 39 million dollars.

Or a car MP3 player. Or JBL speakers. Or a Navara (even though it is gorgeous). Who knows, if somehow I’m finally able to get a Navara, I’d then start to want a BMW X5?

Someone once said “There is something perverse about more than enough. When we have more, it is never enough. It is always somewhere out there, just out of reach. The more we acquire, the more elusive enough becomes.” To put it plainly: The more we have, the more we want.

Which is a sad and sorry paradox. If this is true – and it does appear so – those of us who strive for happiness by getting more would – in the process of getting more and consequently wanting more – become poorer instead of richer.

Who would want to live like that?

And so putting it in perspective, I end up realizing what I really want.

No, I don’t want to become a Hobbit (though the description “Horrid and fat” – as Gollum often taunts Samwise – fits me to a T). But I do want what they have, as Bilbo aptly and appealingly puts it.

“Celebrate a Simple Life.”

And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. ” – 1 Timothy 6:8

Thinking about her makes my life a million times harder

Among RPG (role-playing game) gamers, there’s one term that makes us feel momentarily frozen in blunt and subtle terror, like for a second being alone in an old and lightless cemetery hidden at the outskirts of a cold and foggy town:


It’s a gamer’s ultimate goal in every adventure, to find a way to reach the final boss, confront it, and defeat it, before it defeats you.  But it’s not a nice feeling to be at the start of a quest knowing that in the end you will be fighting bitterly for your life.

In my case, no one has given me a worse sense of foreboding than Ultimecia, the final boss in Final Fantasy VIII, a sorceress from the far future who psychically manipulates the girl you (the hero) love through sheer force of magic.  You have one mission: find a way to get to Ultimecia, and then destroy her so that Rinoa could finally be free of her influence (and also to save all space and time from destruction).

I remember first playing Final Fantasy VIII, when at the end of the second disc I faced Sorceress Edea.  Up to that point I was practically breezing through the game after having mastered the intricacies of the gameplay system and the strategy to win against any enemy I encounter.  But then it took everything I had to defeat Sorceress Edea, such that after the battle I had only one character left standing, and was himself at the brink of death.

So, GREAT!  I’ve finally defeated Edea, who had hounded and pestered me all throughout the game.

Then I find out that there’s an even deadlier enemy I had to face.  And in the span of one second, my life became a million times harder.  If it took me everything I had to defeat Edea, how in all of Gaia could I hope to go against Ultimecia?

A scary challenge, all things considered.  But what I failed to consider was that along the way to the final battle, my characters leveled up and got stronger.  It was still hard in the end, but my characters by that time had become strong enough to resist Ultimecia.  Strong enough to defeat her.

So the million dollar question is what in the world made me think about the challenge of FFVIII?

It’s my job.

I don’t know how it became my life story, but it seems whenever I start with a new company it’s always to do a job that I’ve never done before.  I’ll skip the details, let’s just say that I always start a new job wondering how in the world could I do the things that I have to do?

How the hell could I defeat the final boss?

Knowing halfway down that I’d be facing an uber-powerful enemy intimidated me, almost to the point of quitting the game.  With the jobs I held, it was pretty much the same thing.  And in all those times, the one trapping in common is I almost let the immensity of the task psyche me out.  I almost allowed the fear of inadequacy prevent me from doing the job.

Batman, who is one man facing the deeply rooted evils of an entire city, knew exactly how big a monster it was he was trying to take on.  He knew that ridding a city of the corruption that had been its culture and life-blood would be an enormous and near-impossible task.  “Gotham is too big”, and he once admitted that if he’d allowed the immensity of the task to psyche him out, he never would have even started.

You think your job is too big for you?  Don’t back down.  Instead, take it slowly, bit by bit, piece by piece.  Don’t rush yourself.  Allow yourself to learn, to gain experience, and become stronger.  In RPG terms, level up first.  There are two roads that lead to the final challenge: the short cut and the more natural long way around.  Don’t take the short cut – you won’t last five seconds with level 3 characters against a foe that can do 9999 HP (Hit Points) of damage with one spell.  Take on smaller enemies first, building yourself up to stronger ones gradually to let you gain valuable experience and learn important techniques.

Ultimecia is a tough final boss.  She has four forms, each one more powerful than the previous.  But don’t be afraid.  The long road ahead will make you stronger and capable.  So the next time you start on a job and find yourself asking “How in the world am I going to do this?”, don’t worry.  Along the way you will learn and gain more experience.  Just do the best in whatever you have on your plate and your level will be high enough by the time you reach her castle.



Is it really a good thing when a girl you like goes to a movie with you?

It is a manifestly cultural thing among us Filipinos that when a girl asks you to see a movie with her – or at least consents to see a movie with you – it’s a big deal. It’s a very big deal! Especially when you like this girl and she knows it, it would then generally be safe that at the very least the girl likes you too and may be considering kicking off a relationship with you.

But is such a thing – the girl you’re courting going to see a movie with you – always a good sign? Culturally, it might be conclusive more often than it isn’t. But I don’t know…

Paraphrasing a girl that is not Filipino: why waste two hours sitting quietly inside a theater when you could spend the time having a meaningful conversation?

Admit it: for us Filipinos it is a big deal for a guy and a girl to see a movie together because culturally, we have an inherently dirty impression about movies – being dark places where anything could happen (mostly because in the 70s a lot of “things” did happen in the darkest corners of theaters – and back then theaters did have love seats). “It” seldom happens now – if it ever does – but our generation isn’t that far down from the old disco goers that we’ve become totally disconnected from the aftermath of their lifestyle. We are still living the culture that was spawned by what used to be general behavior that when a girl likes a guy, she’d consent on going with him to a place where he could practically do anything he wanted with her.

But remove the dubious culture. Remove the risque mind set. And then if you’re a girl, ask yourself this: if I like a guy and we’re just starting to get to know each other better, would I rather focus my attention to a movie or to him?

If you’re a guy, would you then consider it a good thing if a girl goes with you to a place where you’re expected to shut up and not bother her?

(It actually explains why my wife and I seldom see a movie together)

My musing at present may hold little water since we’re still caught in the slipstream of 70s culture. That’s fine. But we might want to put this in perspective just in case

Those who quit and win

This is not necessarily in defense of my employer.

Yesterday I spent my entire afternoon with Accenture managers from all over the MDC at our 2008 Executive Conference held at Shangrila Plaza in Makati. During a ‘kapihan’ huddle one of the topics we discussed was how to deal with tons of work and still strike a healthy work-life balance. It need not be said (at least among local I.T. professionals) that Accenture has a somewhat notorious (and not-so-fair) reputation of heavy workloads that the staff allegedly end up losing their lives outside of work. “If you value your personal/social life, don’t work in Accenture,” an anonymous source was quoted.

Here are the facts:

1. There is indeed tons of work in Accenture.

2. But then, the same is true for almost all big companies.

Before finally coming on board, I have received several calls inviting me to join Accenture, and I have to admit that one of the two main reasons I was reluctant in accepting the invitation to apply is the aforementioned notorious reputation (the other is don’t want to go on night shift). But now that I’m here, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a lesson I learned several years ago when I was still a work-logged consultant in California.

Here’s the lesson: There will always be work that you need to do. It never runs out, and this is particularly true for progressive companies. No matter how much work you did today, there will always be more tomorrow.

The key to avoid burning out from too much work is knowing how and when to tell yourself “That’s enough for now.”

The truth is it takes almost the same degree of discipline and restraint to stop working as to start working. Sometimes it takes more, especially when all your energy is focused and you’re in an almost frenzied momentum, such that you feel the only way for you to stop is for someone else to pry you off your workstation. What you must always drive into your head is that there will always be more of this on the next day. And perhaps the only time that work will run out is when you’re terminated or the company folds up. Which are very bad things. So you see, a company with tons of work is actually a good thing – it assures job security. But if you want to strike a healthy work-life balance, it’s up to you to tell yourself when you’ve done enough for the day.

(In addition, of course there will be times when we’d be called upon to work extended hours for a certain period, like when there’s a rush project or a backlog. But fortunately, this is the exception, not the rule. And again, it’s true for almost all companies)

We’re not as kind as we think we are

Two weeks ago I was informed that though my pre-employment medical exam has been cleared, I still have to go back to the clinic for a suggested consultation with an endochrinologist regarding my 41.5 body mass index. According to my med results, I am “morbidly obese”, which means there’s a huge probability that I’d just drop dead – literally – because I’m a 38-year old guy who stands 5’9″ and weighs 292 lbs.

Hey, guess what. I spend at least 1.5 hours every other day in the gym and the first 60 minutes is spent on cardio exercises. My blood pressure is a steady 120/80 which gradually goes up to 130/90 by the end of the day (which is normal), and a personal trainer said I only need to lose about 40 lbs. That should bring my weight down to around 250, which is still too much by popular standards. But I have big bones, says he. I have a body structure that would have qualified me to the NFL.

This post is not a ‘I’m healthier than most less-than-thirty people’ boast – I wouldn’t know the stats of those who are less healthy than me anyway. But let me ask you this question: how many times have you seen a fat person walk into a fastfood store, shaken your head (in either pity or disgust) and thought in psuedo-concern that ‘Kawawa naman siya’? Be honest.

How many times have you refused to invite a fat friend to a hiking trip because you think you might need to be wary of him/her suffering a heart attack? How many times have you thought that you’re better or luckier than someone just because that person wears a size 46 pants?

Should I consider myself lucky that I am not as ‘overweight’ as other people think (because I only need to lose 40 lbs instead of 100 lbs)?

Hell no.

My mom is 64 years old and weighs 250 lbs, and yet she could still give me a run for my money on the elliptical cross-trainer machine.

Notwithstanding this, how many fat people do you think shy away from school homecomings and family reunions just because they’re worried that they’d get the kind of reaction they’d been getting from everyone else they interact with? How many people get less opportunities for better jobs, positions and social recognition just because they’d rip the seams out of a size medium dress shirt? How many people are denied or given very limited medical and life insurance packages because of being “high-risk” individuals just because they’re fat?

Are fat people ‘lesser’ just because they seem to lack commitment, discipline, and endorsement-billboard-on-city-streets-worthy lean bods and washboard abs?

Whether we admit to this or not, our attitude towards the oversized are fast becoming the ‘New Bigotry’, on the same level of the notorious racial discriminations of the past. Today’s society has rapidly formed negative stereotypes against fat people e.g. lazy, stupid, smelly – the same stereotypes given to black people during the 1950s. Test yourself. When you look at an overweight person, what do you see? Chances are it’s a good-for-nothing couch potato. A witless sloth who could think of nothing but eating and sitting in front of the TV/Playstation/gossip magazine whenever he or she got the chance. A detestable wretch who – even though you consciously insist otherwise – deserve no respect or equal treatment.

“Oh, we’re just concerned that’s why we always get the urge to drill into this person’s head that he’s an unsightly swine.” Don’t you think Mr. Hungry Hippo don’t already know that? Don’t you think that the constant berating he/she gets from people who supposedly care hasn’t already given the person a hopeless sense of being unworthy to be counted as human just for the crime of overworking weighing scales and elevators? The way its appearing right now, there are two kinds of overweight people who don’t go swimming: those who don’t like it, and those who fear ridicule for being called ‘flab that sprang to life’.

Modern medical science states that the chances of a fatal illness increases by 1% for every pound a person gains in excess. Whoever said this didn’t take into account people like my mom, Shaquille O’Neal, and that guy that was featured in the April 1998 issue of Men’s Health magazine, in the article titled The World’s Fittest Fat Man. Of course, they’re unlikely to make considerations for exceptions – medical science, especially the branch that deals with obesity, always is. They like making sweeping statements that appeal to the mass media because this is one branch of science that tends to propagate its trade through the media.  And as exceptionally obedient media lemmings that we are, we buy into all of this, hook, line and sinker. As a result, fat people have been discriminated as a burden to society because of a) being insecure, unhappy and unproductive dweebs who couldn’t possibly contribute much to society, and b) being social services parasites who bleed public health services more severely than any other individual.

Here’s an article that discusses why obesity is being considered as a new race that is being discriminated against. It’s a bit long, but I would advise the open-minded to read all the way through. It’s very enlightening.

So we think the aboriginals are equal under God and deserve every right and privilege we enjoy? Good. We think that gay people should not be considered social diseases? I agree. Having said this, let’s pause and consider the slowly growing ramifications of this ‘New Bigotry’ and think about what we could do on a personal level, if we honestly think we’re not bigots.

(Just a reminder: this is not a call to lead a sedentary lifestyle. I’ve always believed that for someone to avoid bitter regret later in life, that person has to exercise and eat right (which means EAT YOU VEGGIES, BOYS AND GIRLS). But if you ask me, I would shift my focus on fitness instead of weight loss. It’s better to be big and fit than to be thin and be rushed to the hospital because of an alarmingly high cholesterol level, like the 16-year old daughter of a neighbor of mine)

“If you die, I’ll kill you!”

Really. Some people are so subterraneanly stupid that it’s okay to laugh at their misfortune. This list courtesy of my high school chum Bingle. Enjoy!


2007 Darwin Awards

Yes, it’s that magical time of year again when the Darwin Awards are bestowed, honoring the least evolved among us. These are true factual events that have been mostly taken from Newspaper clippings from around U. S. A.

They do say that the evolutionary process has slowed down considerably there over the past couple of hundred years. Here is the glorious winner:

1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach , California , would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.

And now, the honourable mentions:

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat-cutting machine and, after a little shopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger. The chef’s claim was approved.

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the
mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn’t discovered for 3 days.

5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer …. $15. (If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?)

7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he’d just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.

8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, “Yes, officer, that’s her. That’s the lady I stole the purse from.”

9. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti , Michigan , at 5 A.M., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn’t open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away. (*A 5-STAR STUPIDITY AWARD WINNER)

10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his siphon hose into the motor home’s sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he’d ever had.

In the interest of bettering mankind, please share these with your friends and family … unless of course one of these individuals by chance is a distant relative or long-lost friend. In that case, be glad they are distant and hope they remain lost.

Good Taste

My dad’s always complimented me on this.  Back in the days of video renting on long weekends, he usually leaves me the decision on what movies to get, and then kicks back and enjoys my choices.

Persona 3?  This PS2 game that currently occupies my rave stage?

Nuh-uh, I can’t take credit for this one.  It was my wife who discovered it.

But I guess that’s what we are, husband and wife with good taste

“For years now, Japanese role-playing games have been stagnating.  More games than ever are being released, but very few even try to break the mold.  Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei series has always been good for a refreshing take on the genre.  But Persona 3 is its most ambitious and addictively playable game to date.”

“If you enjoy console-style role-playing, and have the courage to put a gun to your head, don’t miss it.”