4:15am on a Sunday at McDonald’s

I woke up at 3am to find my brother not in his bed.

Last night, he said he was going out with friends. This happens often enough so I didn’t really think about it and even as I lay awake, I wasn’t really worried. Either way, I texted him (Ei, asan k n?) asking him where he was. It didn’t take him long to reply. Apparently he had gone to the nearest 7-11 to get load for his cellphone. A few minutes later, he came back and all was well.

4am came around and I was still awake. My brother was too, I knew, so I called out to him, “Alam mo anong time nagsisimula breakfast ng McDo?” It seemed like a good enough idea to head off to McDonald’s for a very early breakfast. He answered that it should be available by now.

“Gusto mo pumuntang McDo?” Did he want to go to McDonald’s, I asked.

He said yes.

It didn’t take us long to get ready and soon we were stepping out into the cool early morning. My brother told me to wear a jacket before we got out and it was good advice. It was cool enough for a jacket certainly. It didn’t take long before he started talking, telling me about where he actually ended up last night and what he had been up to (at a hospital with a friend who dislocated his shoulder). As I walked through mostly empty roads toward our destination with him at my side, him doing most of the talking while I listened, I remembered how it had been forever since we’ve done something like this.

McDonald’s was not the quiet, mostly empty place we thought it would be at that time of the morning on a Sunday. There were people loudly talking and hanging out and we were both surprised. Nocturnal college kids from nearby dorms, chatty all center agents from their shifts, pumped club goers coming home from their gimmik–not the type of crowd we were expecting at all. We ordered and I paid for our breakfast then we headed to an empty table.The conversation continued on, him still mostly talking about all sorts of things about what has been happening in his life while I mostly just soaked it all in, his presence, his words. It really had been a while and I missed it, just being with him, just the two of us.

I hoped we can do that again sometime.

My brother is 22 with dreams of going abroad to find a life for himself and he’ll need around two years of working for it before he leaves. I know he can do it because I know how determined he is and it makes me proud that he’s doing his best to get there, planning and working all the time. It just still surprises me sometimes how much he’s grown up. It’s weird and great and also kind of sad all at the same time.

A Tabletop Sunday

game

Yesterday, I met up with two friends and had a fun afternoon. We had a fantastically hearty (and fatty!) lunch of fish n’ chips and then for dessert we had sweet drinks like milk tea and milkshakes and tabletop games. Now, I’m not really a person who plays tabletop games a lot but I had fun with the two games my friends brought. The one in the picture up there is called Gobblet and it’s basically like tic-tac-toe  but a bit more complicated as you have to complete a row by using four game pieces and it’s actually possible to defend pieces or “eat” them by covering up your own or your opponent’s pieces. Of course there’s some strategy involved and it took a while but I was actually able to win a game. 😀

The other game was called Flirt and it’s a card game. The link will lead you to a better explanation of the game than any effort of mine will yield. What you need to do in Flirt is to be able to steal another player’s set of three heart cards. Funny how that sentence sounds because you are really playing this game to win some hearts. The game’s premise is about romantic relationships and how your stats (charm, intelligence and wealth) are able to win over the other person’s heart(s). The game makers say it is appropriate for players 13 years old and above and I guess it makes sense. You’ll really only be able to appreciate the game if you’ve ever had romantic feelings for someone else and that age is just about right.

So that was a lot of fun. 😀 Hopefully I’ll be able to get together with those set of friends again soon so we could play some more. Maybe on January and we’d invite more friends to join us.

Friday Night

Good food, good company, good effort.

A good Friday.

And I am tired and sleepy and still kind of bursting with the chicken lollipops I ate for dinner. I had dinner with a good friend and we had a great time catching up. I was also able to buy our donations and get them to my high school. I was easily allowed in when I said that I was going to be bringing in donations. Students were packing up relief goods and it was kind of amazing to see them at it. They looked exhausted like they’ve been at it for hours but they still kept on going. It was a pretty awesome sight.

Yeah, good, good Friday.

 

Being Almost Creepy and Admittedly Enthusiastic

I was riding the jeepney on the way home. It passed by my high school and I was boggled by the sight of a huge pile of donations in the front lobby. Now, it was easy enough to spot the pile as the lobby could be easily seen from outside but really, it’s still kind of mind boggling. You’d only really appreciate it when you see it firsthand. I wanted to take a picture but I was on the jeepney and I thought they might find it creepy if I did. Because you know. There were students there and there I would have been, an outsider (an alumna, but still an outsider!), taking pictures. Creepy, right? Maybe I can try again tomorrow, haha. I’ll ask permission and all that.

There’s a grocery between my house and my high school so I took the time to look at the prices of the things that I’m planning to donate. If all goes well, I’ll have stuff ready for delivery by tomorrow night. I still find all this pretty exciting, if you can’t tell. 😀 I’m just really hoping that all this help will be able to get to the devastated areas soon. I also hope the government gets its act together because even if we’ve got a lot to give but there’s no way to get them to the people they’re supposed to be for, then we’ve still got nothing.

Meanwhile, in more personal news, I got a letter today! 😀 Finally! I have been waiting for this letter for a while now and now it’s here!

2013-11-14 19.18.47

I have received three letters in total for last month’s National Letter Writing Day after sending some of my own. Pretty cool. ❤ Ah, to write letters again. How I’ve missed doing it. Will write more letters soon. ❤

“Good Morning, Ms. Yambao!”

One of the surreal but nice things about living so close to my grade school is how I sometimes see my old teachers. Like this morning as I came from a short walk to buy some things for breakfast. I was walking down our street when I saw one of my grade school teachers walking toward the direction of the school. I knew her name though I had a feeling she didn’t have the same last name anymore from years before when she was my adviser. She was younger then and single, probably just starting out and of course she looked different from how she looked now but still very distinctly recognizable. I have seen her walk with her daughter before, her daughter who also went to my school and wore the same uniform I did at that age. Today, her daughter wasn’t with her and I wondered if she had grown up too and was in high school already by now. Was she still at home, taking her time with going to school as it was very early yet? Who knew.

It only took a few seconds for us to pass each other. She was talking to her companion (another teacher, maybe. She doesn’t look familiar at all) and quite early for classes that were to start before 8 in the morning. I was on my way back home for breakfast with my mother with a bag of bread and other food stuffs in my arms. She hadn’t seen me and I was already smiling with nostalgia, trying to remember exactly at what grade was she my class adviser.

I greeted her good morning as I passed, calling her by her maiden name. It was like grade school all over again for me and it made me smile wider with a mixture of mischievous glee and wallflower shyness. She greeted me back but was of course a bit startled and confused at having a random 20-something greet her in the middle of the street. I probably looked very different from her usual crowd of pre-teeners and when she was my teacher, I was definitely a lot smaller than I was now.

As I walked away, I wondered if she tried to remember who I was, going back a decade and a few years to her old students, trying to fix a name to what she saw of me. She probably won’t be able to, given how many of her students have come and gone through the years, but that’s okay. It was nice just to have seen her and to be able to greet her a good morning like I would have done years ago.

Can I Just Sleep Here Until the Weekend?

My knees hurt.

This is the result of walking around Makati for about an hour and a half and being so darn tired that I thought “oh whatever” and decided not to put them up as I should have done. In a while, I’ll be taking Biogesic to hopefully help with the pain. Right now, I’m also quite tired and worn out and not really looking forward to moving about again later tonight after I’ve left the office. But. SPANISH BUFFET AT ALBA’S IN MAKATI AVENUE FOR FREE. I must go. I MUST. Even if I have to go and walk there again from Glorietta!

So what is going on? Why am I exhausted?

Well, my Aunt from Bicol is here for a couple of things and she’s staying in Manila until Friday morning. She’s the type who doesn’t really travel a lot and would rather have people with her when she’s somewhere unfamiliar. My mother is currently accompanying her and they invited me to stay with them in their hotel for two nights, if I wanted to. I thought about it, about the hassle and unpredictableness of having to sleep somewhere else at night when I have work during the day. It would wear me out, I was quite sure, but in the end, I said “yes”.

Why, Crissy? Why go through all this hassle? Now you’re all exhausted and you’re cursing yourself and your aching knees. Why put yourself through this “torture-cation”?

Simple answer: I’m bored and I need a distraction.

Don’t you ever get so bored that you just want to break routine in any way that you can? Yeah, this set up is kind of crazy and inconvenient, like this morning I had to wake up at 6am after passing out at 11pm the night before because I would be left alone in the hotel room and that didn’t really sit well with me or my Mom. And last night, I had to walk from Glorietta to Valdez St. near Makati Avenue because the taxi lines were long and no jeepneys were going the way I was.  And I’ll probably do that again later tonight. But I guess it’s sort of worth of it. Like, tonight, I’ll be eating free at a Spanish restaurant (WINE AND TAPAS?!) and my Mom is also going to reimburse my fare and other food that I eat after coming from work. Plus I get to sleep in an airconditioned room that I don’t need to share with anyone and I don’t need to pay anything. It’s a kind of more tiring staycation, I guess, but well, this doesn’t happen everyday. It’s nice to mix things up a bit, even if I do get super tired due to the effort exerted.

…I’m still kind of tired, though, hahaha…

Aside

Oi, Money (What a Problem)

By the start of next month, I would actually start contributing to the household expenses and this has forced me to consider the state of my finances. I’ve got some savings and the like, so that’s okay. I’m also looking to keep on saving more as, of course, we don’t know what might happen in the future. Better safe than sorry, right? I’ve also been thinking of investments and the like and I’ve got some ideas. Meanwhile, I’m also looking around for a possible part-time job that I can do during the weekends. I’ll just have to talk about these things later because this post actually has some other point to it.

Basically, I would need to be more careful about my money starting next month. Not that I’m not, but nowadays I’ve gotten quite comfortable with it and that’s not quite a good thing. So I guess in a way, this is good. This is going to force me to actually do accounting for my money so I know what goes where. So yes, that’s quite responsible and all that. And thus it brings me to this: WHAT ABOUT FUN?

You know, what about my expensive fandom tshirts? Other cute, random stuff like office materials? And what about my food trips and outings with friends? WHAT DO I DO?

My last cute notebook???

My last cute notebook???

Well, looks like there won’t be expensive shirts for a while before I figure things out. As for office materials, I’ve actually got a lot of stuff at home so I will also have to abstain from that. And the food trips and outings? I guess I’ll just have to allot money for them. Those are just things that are important and it can work. Somehow. I don’t know how yet, but they would. Ahaha…

I guess we can go low budget on meeting up with friends. No need to go anywhere too expensive unless it’s a really special occasion. Maybe we can also get that Game of Thrones themed (not-) sleepover to actually happen. Get together in a house, bring snacks/dinner and then Game of Thrones marathon. Sleep optional, though I’d probably turn into a zombie if I ever attempted not to sleep at all…

So anyway, here’s to future budget planning. May it work out well for me who likes to eat out and spend money somewhat vicariously.

(And thus a rambling post about money and spending was done.)