Walking home last night

I stopped by the grocery a few blocks from the house last night to pick up the giniling and milk plus a few odds and ends.  I already had my laptop bag and purse slung on my shoulders before I got there, and I left carrying two grocery bags with at least 2 kilos of meat, etc. and a gallon-sized container of milk.  In a normal and perfect world, I could probably ask the stepson to get it for me since it’s on his way home from school, but he resents being asked to do errands like that, even if he’s the reason why our milk supply has to be constantly replenished.

Along the way, I found myself humming a tune.  For some reason or other, something in my head suddenly woke up and I was actually humming the beginning of a song, it’s refrain, etc.  I had written all the batch songs — corps song for CAT and the graduation song, and our silver jubilee is in 2008.  So there I was.. if I get to finish this song, it would be a nice jubilee song.  IF I ever get to write it in the first place which will be difficult considering I don’t have a piano here, nor a guitar.  But that can come later.  It also depends if someone will be willing to arrange it.  We’ll see.

By the time I started walking up the steps, my lef thand was beginning to shake from the strain of the milk.  I hate it when the strain gets to me as I walk closer to the co-op.  It seems I always feel the fatigue setting in just as the co-op gets closer.  Tired from work, I plodded on, went up the co-op, greeted the little tyke and started cooking.  During the meal he started throwing a tantrum I haven’t seen — he was actually screaming.  I wanted to wring his little neck but I kept calm.  It was one of those days that no matter how you love your son you just want to stop the screaming and finish what you are doing.  We eventually got him to calm down.  I finished cooking then the man of the house walks up the stairs, upset at me because he stubbed his foot and tripped on the telephone directory I stopped him from throwing away because I wanted to keep it handy in the attic just in case.  So go shoot me, someone (maybe him) should’ve brought it up the attic.

I had to set the table myself because again, the stepson didn’t do the chore assigned to him.  He was lost in his room purportedly studying.  Yeah, right.  I felt so exhausted by the time we all sat down for dinner, and there was Angel’s bath that needed to be taken cared of before I could actually sit down to fold his clothes which Alan washed the night before.  A long night, it was.. one of those nights you wish you had two extra hands and an extra hour to do everything you had done.  But it got done.

When separation hurts

I received a letter from my bestfriend Fe as a comment to my post below where I mentioned her.  It was great to hear from her again but I felt a sadness come over my heart reading what she had written.

I have been in New York six years now and I still haven’t quite gotten used to doing without the things I had gotten used to in my life before I found myself where I am now.  I miss my family, I miss my friends.  I miss home.  Sometimes I feel so alone even if I now have a family of my own here.  Even with my Mom here — because it only reminds me what I will no longer have when she returns to Manila for good this time around.

I was writing Tetet privately and I told her blogging has been my therapy.  In it I get to write what I think and feel without abandon — well, almost.  There are thoughts and feelings that can just be too painful to write about sometimes, like thinking about the friends I gave up.  Family is family after all.  Whether they are here or 10,000 miles away, they are with me.  Friends, though, even if we are close as family, get lost in the distance in a different way.   That is the sadness I felt when I read what Fe wrote.

Hello mare. Yes, I’ve been quiet but that’s because I hardly have the strength to say anything these days. And, I don’t read you blog, it hurts too much. But you know that and, I know that you completely and fully understand where I’m coming from.

I try not to think of our Cafe Adriatico days anymore, in fact, I try to avoid that place. As I said, it hurts too much.

I told Offie I don’t use the make-up you gave me. It hurts too much.  I’ve blocked you off mare. For my survival. I miss you but I try not to think about you. I don’t always succeed. And when I do think about you, the distance is just freaking oppressive. It hurts too much.

But everytime I think of you, I say 1 Hail Mary for you. And 1 for me. So that it wouldn’t hurt so much. Seems that the 1 Hail Mary for me has to be increased by a thousand. While your recent visit was a wonderful advance birthday gift for me, bottomline, you still left. It’s been 4 months, forgive me, but it still hurts too much.

Offie is such a sweetheart. She told me to use the make-up you gave me or else, it’ll go stale. No, I haven’t gone that far. But, at least I’ve removed it from the box and/or lifted that sticker off the lipstick case. I have started staring at it for hours. I think that’s a good sign.

I’ve been brave mare. You’d be proud of me. I always wear the mahjong bracelet you gave me. A lady friend tried to ask it from me. I slapped her hand off my wrist. The nerve.

I love you mare. And I know you love me.

Yes, Fe, I miss you so much and I love you, too.  I wistfully look out into nowhere and wish we could just sit down together and chat like we used to.

Reading on

Nope, I didn’t bring my camera, and I should’ve because it’s Fashion Week in New York and there are bound to be celebrity sightings in Manhattan.  Not that I would get the chance to actually snap a picture of those uber-sensitive celebrities.  They have enough papparazzi driving them mad as it is.  The good thing is that the sun has started to come out, but it’s not out in full strength.  Do you ever feel like you don’t have as much energy when the sun doesn’t come out in full force?  I think I’m a solar-powered homo sapien — and that’s strange considering I am a nocturnal person.  I operate best at night — and I can actually stay up all evening,  but you’d have to let me sleep through the day.  No such luxury for a working Mom like me.  Angel will always wake me up when he gets up ready to have his breakfast sometime around 6-ish.  I carry him out of the room with one eye closed, and then we start the day.

It was minutes to 9AM by the time I got to the subway but I just relaxed reading “BLINK”.  I haven’t quite gone past the parts I had read before so I was sort of  reading pages which I found very interesting before.  Gladwell tells us of an incident where a wargame was conducted by the US utilizing the best technology and an army of consultants for the “Good Guys” and a retired general with war savvy and his army to play the “Bad Guys”.  The theory was that conventional warfare as we know it now would eventually become obsolete.  After spending a quarter of a billion dollars (!) in this simulated war, the think tanks and techonology lost out to the brazen gut and instincts of the retired general.  To summarize the point of the whole exercise and it’s relevance to Gladwell’s quick thinking slant, events as stress related and unpredictable as actual engagement in times of war cannot be fought based on a set of strategies laid out ahead no matter how well thought out.  The commanders must be able to make split second decisions based on real time events and not projections in order to successfully win the war, and they must be allowed to effect those decisions without being tied down by protocol that will delay reaction time.  Gladwell writes it so much better but that is what I have gleaned from it.

My laptop bag is a little heavier than usual because I’m lugging my GLAMOUR in it, hoping to steal a peek here or there.  It’s my only subscription besides PARENTING, and the soon-to-start FOOD & WINE (courtesy of Alan who benefits the most from the subscription anyway because he gets fancier meals) again which I love. Recipes, recipes and wine articles to feed my brain!  
I miss the days when I would scour the recipe index for new recipes to try out, and I would surprise Alan with a recipe or two.  These days, I’ve basically played it by ear, depending on what I have in the fridge.  That can be quite a challenge when you consider how I don’t know half of what’s in the freezer because my mother-in-law has been stuffing it with her own purchases.  I’m not complaining — it’s food for everyone, it just reminds me that I’m at a loss as to what’s hiding behind the first layer that greets me when I open the freezer door.  I did my usual STEAK DIANE last night and in between cooking the steak and doing the WHOLE WHEAT SPAGHETTI with MARINARA sauce on the side, Mom had to keep helping me get whatever it was I was looking for in the fridge.  I’m keeping it simple tonight — I think I’ll do Alan’s favorite GINILING — if they have ground pork at the grocery tonight, that is.