Talking to People is Still Better, Yes?

Fomo. Funny word but it’s one of the few things I learned last year talking with other people. Face to face, not on social media or the weird wide web. It was sometime in October and over expensive venti coffee when we talked about more expensive stuff, Bitcoin. But more than just running my computer 24/7 to mine cryptocurrency, the acronym FOMO or fear of missing opportunity stuck the most. Whether this a jargon, I didn’t even check. I just like the word.

My aversion to spending on something I’m uncertain of had me eventually ditch the idea of getting into Bitcoin but the funny ‘F’ word lingered. Fomo became my personal mantra, it made me more eager to execute plans I’ve already archived.

In this first month of the new year, I found the opportunity I couldn’t pass up. For days it kept appearing on my inbox while I prepare to go about my daily routine. So after sleeping on it over the weekend, I bit the bullet and applied for the internal position with the downside in mind that it would get me out of my comfort zone. It was time to test fomo.

To be honest, while I wanted the job so much, I didn’t prepare like I would in the past. I decided not to dress up on interview day and just showed up come-as-you-are, partly cocky that I can do it and because fomo. Half of me was holding on to the routine I’ve loved for so long–mainly because I’ve control over my schedule and I talk to people less–but another half of me wants no more of it.

Then on a Monday I heard the good news. Seldom that Monday does that. My boss called to inform me that I got the post and she sounded happier than I was. Whether she was happy for me or she’s happy I’m out of her way, I’ll take it. Thanks to fomo, I’ll be talking to a new boss and will interact with more people soon.

Earlier on that same Monday was a different surprise. Our neighbor started renovation and I got caught unguarded. My already tight parking spot became tighter as they started deploying construction materials into the space we share. So as the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Days later I accepted the idea that now is the best time to have our car get its much needed paint job. I had it scheduled this year though not this soon but since parking would be a challenge in the weeks to come I welcomed the thought of me carpooling or taking public transpo until our neighbor’s done with their project and our Honda City’s repainting is completed.

At the paint shop, besides separation anxiety, a scary thought hits me. The shop, I discovered, also does engine repairs and their mechanic explained that the stuck spark plug I’ve been ignoring for a year could soon spell trouble. Our car has eight spark plugs but it’s been running with one of it unreplaced after Honda Calamba’s–the irony–technician rounded the plug’s hex nut and still have the gall to inform me that it was rounded before he touched it. None of my web search results warned me about the possibility of the spark plug’s tip disintegrating and messing up the cylinder or piston area. Interesting, fate timed it right once more for me and it had me talking to a random person who made me realize I could’ve been into worse predicament.

All these recent interactions tell me that it does pay to talk to people. This is a fact we need to remind ourselves especially when we’ve started to justify being introvert is better (note to self). Exchanging ideas in person seems to still beat online interaction. Forget Black Mirror or Anon, we’re just not there yet.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Netflix’s Mindhunter on queue.)

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Inhale, Excel

Any day out of the ordinary is always welcome. Yesterday was one of those that break routine and I would say it was about breathing fresh air…or hoping to get one.

All schedules aligned, Marcus finally had his chance to undergo the tests that’s been suggested by his doctors years ago. The first one was easy peasy although relatively expensive. The 2D Echo test at the heart station of St. Frances Cabrini Hospital was a breeze. As expected, Marcus finds the procedure ticklish and at the same time interesting. He smiled when the doctor made him listen to his own heartbeat. I smiled when she said Marcus’ heart is normal for now.

Happy heart.

However, it was a different story at the pulmonary function test. Marcus had difficulty sustaining at least three seconds of the required prolonged breathing. Perhaps it was stressful for him to have his nose clipped and be asked to breathe normally, then suck air on cue, and then exhale continuously until the technician says stop which by the way is just half of the process. It took almost an hour to prep Marcus and I was eventually advised that we could come another day when he is ready for the test.

Then there’s me at work. Incidentally, I went to the office wearing a shirt with a print that says “Inhale…Excel.” It was a gift from my current boss that I like–vague subject-verb arrangement intended. But the interesting part doesn’t end there. It was also on this same day I went for an interview for another job position. My first this year. Sigh, inhale, exhale.

***

While Marcus no longer walks and haven’t engaged in something athletic ever since, it doesn’t stop him from understanding sports. For one, I find it amusing that he knows skateboard moves despite lack of experience or even exposure to extreme sports shows on TV. And recently he discovered more on game pass. This past days we’ve been on fairways and football fields. We can now score some pars and have had our winning moments with the Chelsea team. Thanks to Xbox, Marcus can run around sans the need of real life stamina.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Fingers and toes and heart crossed.)

I Love Mondays?

I love Mondays. I also try to be honest. Kidding aside, other than the fact that Monday is the very day that spoils the weekend, my sentiment about this most hated day is just influenced mostly by the fact that everyone, if not all, feels the same thing. The hatred is that contagious. Even a cat shares the same disgust. Ask Garfield. But frankly I never had my own Monday that I truly despise forever.

Last Monday, however, seems to have made its stamp. It was like all Mondays ganged up on me so much so that the experience would like stay imprinted for a while in my brain. And in my nose. That day I summoned every positivity I had but that Monday almost overpowered all of it. Yet all is not lost. At least I realized that when push comes to shove and when hell breaks loose I could after all arise and face the challenge. However stinky I might be. (Take the hints.)

Seven days later, the cycle starts again. I still have few hours left at home before I could say that everything is all clear. That I won’t get stuck in one place face to face with the unknown and the unseen but one that can be definitely smelled. Well, I guess it won’t happen. I pray it won’t happen. Marcus has been eating enough fruits this week so it is highly unlikely that  that sh*t would happen again. But then there’s work and that is another Monday story. Well, hopefully  something that could make me say I love Mondays.

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By now you would have some clue what happened.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (This flavored lambanog tastes sweet.)

A Broken Car, A Happy Kid, and A Patient Wife

Behind every absent employee is a happy kid and a worried spouse. – Me.

 

As our young boy puts it, ”Daddy, you have an extra  Saturday!” This he said  after  learning  that  I won’t be  able to  report to work because my car’s  air conditioner conked out on a high noon yesterday. This is why children,  no  matter how  annoying  they could  get, are  little  angels—or  clowns—who possess the ability  to make  us  smile  whenever  we  need to  have some. It wasn’t the extra Saturday I wished I had but there was no choice.

The car’s Pandora’s box. (Image from Honda.)

After having  nightmares  about car  repairs  and empty  wallets,  start  of the  day  today I faced my  fear head on. I went back to the aircon repair shop anticipating a long day ahead, another day of waiting for a Pandora’s box from the car’s hood to be spread its ugly surprise. But God must have heard our bedtime prayers and must have checked my bank account balance. The mechanic made a quick bypass of the compressor’s wiring and voila, cold air from the vents.

Returning home  a  lot earlier than expected,  I  found myself seated  across  wifey who was then  busy  with  her  regular  task of  cleaning Marcus’ Legos and other building  blocks. Besides being impressed  by her patience to  place everything back  in  order  despite  knowing that  it  would  be  a  matter of time when our young boy disassembles everything according to his own liking—which did happen—I noticed something that captured my attention. A nice Lego hack. There’s no need to wait for the next Mothers’ Day or Valentines’ Day to give compliment for this one little trick…plus the fact she paid most of the car’s repair.

Lego Hack, Lego Sword Rack
A sword rack using an 8 X 2 Lego piece.

***

This is the first time the car’s air-conditioning got busted. It was due to a loose compressor bearing that eventually resulted to the wheel grinding on the magnetic coil set. Repair costs us Php 6,000 plus. I might need more carpool passengers or those who could pay more.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (I was expecting to take public transpo for a week but I’m not.)

Thanks to Thanksgiving Day Time Off

Image from the web.

 

“I’ll give you 5 minutes to yourself, but only 10 seconds at a time.”-kids (via Twitter)

 

Do I have time? Such is the question that would linger every now and then. Among other things, time management is the toughest. Time they say is the great equalizer because everyone, regardless of status, has only 24 hours each day to spend. Yes, rich or poor, black or white, young or old, fat or thin, healthy or not, just 24 hours each—what differs is what is at stake for each minute lost. Extra time in reality does not exist and it won’t be a surprise if someone would wish if only they could buy time that the others won’t use. But then again, we can’t. Even Donald Trump can’t.

Do I have time? Take note of ‘I.’ I for individual, I for me. Sadly, we are not alone and time is not ours all the time.  Our jobs, bosses—bad bosses included, relatives, neighbors, friends, parents, wife, and kids, in no particular order, want either a small piece or a big chunk of our 24 hours. It takes a bit of skill, a bit of negotiation, a bit of luck, and a lot of sacrifice to manage time.

Even the holidays do not present total freedom. Unless you get to escape, if your personality and lifestyle permit you to do so, and isolate yourself to enjoy the whole day on your own—half of it I would spend in bed—you have at least one or two other people whom you need to spend time with.

This week I have that opportunity to enjoy the much-awaited time off. Thanks to the Americans who would ignore repeated and annoying rings and trade all business calls for a time together with their family and friends in front of their favorite roasted turkey and beer. Thanks to Thanksgiving Day, I have time to be just at home. No late night drives for two days. How to spend the next days is another matter but we’ll see. There’s iflix, there’s Minecraft and Call of Duty, there’s errand to the grocery store, there are things to pack, there’s a birthday to celebrate.

 ***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Waiting for Marcus’ plan of the day.)

At The Other End Of The Line

Newbie outbound agent’s life.

 

Who says D) All of the above?

 

 

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I am among those who like posters and typography. I love looking at menu artworks especially that of Starbucks which is one way of being seen in front of the store without having to spend a cent. I am also interested in corporate photography that are used in slide presentations–usually compensates for boring lectures. All these, however, require tools to accomplish which is the reason my ideas remain inside my head. I can’t buy the software, I can’t buy the camera.

Fortunately, I finally found time to check out Canva.com which offers an online tool for anyone who has a poster idea. The website has a range of layouts and a number of typefaces to go along with each design. The poster above is my first creation using its free service. I need a back office job.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Next stop, find a tarpaulin to place the house on sale.)