Wednesday, September 25, 2002

the old woman

I live a short distance from the office, so every morning I walk to work. And every morning, I pass a sari-sari store incongruously located between two tall condominium buildings. There's an old woman there, broadfaced and hefty with very white hair and strangely twinkling eyes. Without fail, as I approach her area, she'd wave to me and loudly say "Sir! Good morning!" and I'd embarassedly mutter "Good morning" back. Day in, day out. I've never stopped to buy anything from her, but in the afternoons as I return home, she'd hold up a coke or bowl of lugaw and say "Sir! Kain na ta!" and I'd smile and shake my head "no" and hurry home to Sage and Nikki. She has become part of the rhythm of my day with her wide grin and odd eyes and raucous greeting.

This morning, as I approached, I saw her just staring at road in front of her. I walked nearer, expecting my morning greeting, but even as I passed directly in front of her, she gave no greeting. Instead, she looked up and gave a thin smile, and I noticed that her eyes were glistening with tears. For one starling instant, I felt naked and unfairly imposed upon by her sadness. Rendered helpless by the inevtiable inertia of my pace, I was far past her when I realized that the discomfort I felt in the pit of my stomach was something I could have perhaps prevented, if I had only stopped. Even if just for a while.

oh no, miss universe is fired!

For the first time in its 52-year history, the Miss Universe Organization has booted its queen, Russian law student Oxana Fedorova. Apparently, she stayed in her home country for a bit too long, shirking her worldwide smiling-and-waving duties. But tabloid reports claim the 24-year-old beauty queen was also secretly married and may have had children--a big violation of all things Miss Universe. Taking the place of the green-eyed Russian brunette will be first-runner-up Justine Pasek of Panama, who will be crowned Tuesday afternoon in New York by Donald Trump. Of course, last year’s pageant had its share of controversy, when reports flew wildly that--quelle horreur!--the contestant from France was really a monsieur! Believe it or not, pageant officials have had to deal with cross-dressing competitors before. When a man won a beauty contest in Asia a few years ago, Miss Universe added a rule stating that contestants must be natural-born women

kills and cleanses

In Jerusalem, a 91-year-old Israeli died when his Filipino caregiver spread a paste-like dishwashing detergent on his bread instead of humus. How, you ask, could a horrible thing like that happen? Well, the Pinoy could not read Hebrew. There you go.


My partner has come up with an elegant compromise to the nefarious scenario I presented to him yesterday. Hopefully things work out. The reason, by the way, that I am never quite direct when I write about work is because there's the possibility that it will reach my staff and wreak unnecessary stress. And Cosi-Cosi, the Jack Russel Terrier we keep in the office, agrees. Ay naku, I just want this week to be over so I can sit back and drink this nice bottle of Merlot on my desk I've been saving since we moved downstairs. Apart from all that, one of our bank clients is driving me crazy. So I phoned Nikki and gave her a project to chew on (because, man, my mind cannot handle banking bullshit copy right now).

wasted opportunity

Wow! Gerry asked if I wanted to be in his movie with Flim because I have the perfect face (whatever that means). If it's the scene I remember, then it's the part where Gerry ruins the wedding day of a bride and her groom. I'm saying yes, of course. Should be loads of fun.

under consideration

Just got email from the publisher I submitted a story to. They say that my story is still under consideration (not rejected - yet) and that they'll get back to me next month. Oh, the suspense. I'm one of the most impatient people in the universe and the suspense is kiling me. Why? Because I submitted not a play nor a comic, but fiction. Somehow, it's more real. And I didn't submit it to my coterie of friends or among the editors I personally know, but to strangers far away. Time is suddenly so slow and October 24 seems so far away. Gah. Must kill time.


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