Cyborg Me  

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John Connor has failed us all! Skynet has taken over over! The machines have taken over! 

No, wait. It was just me. Sorry. We're not really going to be used as batteries for a race of sentient machines while we live in a world that we think is real, no. What? Oh, wrong movie reference. 

For the next 24 hours, I will be going about my usual business with a machine strapped to my arm and waist. Yes, I have finally invented a machine that replicates superhuman strength and I have decided to test it on myself because I am strongly against animal testing. No seriously, I have what is known as an ambulatory blood pressure monitor hooked up to me, which as the name implies, is supposed to monitor my blood pressure for a duration of 24 hours. 

They did say I looked thinner and
less Asian back then. 
Wearing it feels kind of weird. The device vibrates as it silently pumps the blood pressure cuff every half hour, then the readings get saved in it's hard drive. Amazing what technology can do nowadays, right? All I have to do now is wait for the data to be collected and have my cardiologist read it tomorrow. Hopefully we can find a way to eventually bring my blood pressure down. Otherwise I may have to quit my job again. No, that would definitely not be good. 

Well I'm hoping that visiting four doctors in a span of two weeks will help me finally find a solution to this hypertension deal. I'm absolutely sick of being sick. You know, if this keeps up then there's no way that I'm gonna live on to a hundred. Oh wait, these days nobody does anyway. Bah humbug. 


Rain Bane  

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Say what you want about the rain, like it being a melancholic symbol of sadness or a joyful shower of blessings from up high, for me it's the cause of my pain - at least for the past couple of days. Pain, not only because getting rained on had me shivering down to my boots and giving me the sniffles, but also because it's one heck of an inconvenience. Just when I thought I've made a hard-fought, psychological commitment to not be absent from work, this hits me. What's worse is I'm sure I'll get that angry unbelieving look from my boss again when I come back to the office. Oh boy.

On the other hand, this rain does seem fitting in a sick, cosmic kind of way. I do feel a bit disheartened, now that I had just found out that the hand I held so smoothly not so long ago had already been held by someone else. She's off the market, and the fight was over before I even had a chance. I guess it was for the better, though now I have to find some other way to keep myself going. Apparently, this dance was over ten prom nights ago. 

The Dance of Fools  

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Here we are again for another edition of the "me, me, me" show. I was thinking of writing about stuff other than my own thoughts that was actually worth reading, unlike the 11-11-11 fiasco, but I came up with zilch. Nadah. So before I post another entry about sucky calendar dates, I've decided to go back to flinging my usual rants.

Last night marked our company's first solo Christmas party ever, and I have to say that despite the fact that I didn't win a single freakin' prize in the raffle, I still had a Glam-Slamming time at the event. Well, sort of. There was a second when I found myself surrounded by friends, reveling in a night filled with crappy good food and great music, with beautiful people dancing and prancing about, and yet I felt like I have never been more alone in my entire life. I realized I miss my old friends. I know that in life, friends tend to come and go, but my creepy current dance partner sort of sucks. He's a lazy, opportunistic sonofabitch that's just as screwed up as I am, (if not more screwed up than me) which is probably why we get along. He's also one of the biggest know-it-all's on the face of the planet. Sometimes I honestly just can't stand the guy. But still, that's more than I could say for some people.

I realize the fewer friends I've got, the fewer inside comments I can squeeze into this blog, so in time nobody will ever understand this piece of literary excrement that I'm shamelessly trying to shove down their pie-holes. That also means I'll have to start writing about stuff that's rated-PG, or things that everybody will appreciate. Oh boy. To be mundane is to sin.

As usual, I'm only making sense mostly to myself again. I think I'm falling under another depression spell, and I have to find a way to get around it or else. Maybe another dance? There! Another inside comment! And despite what you might think about the photo, I still hate Twilight.

"Her hands felt smooth as silk, and her eyes sparkled against the clear night sky. We danced, and it felt like magic. Not even the cold air could keep the warmth of her touch away. But as the song faded, so did my dreams." 

Eleven Hell-Heaven  

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For the believers, today is a very significant day. Today is November 11, 2011, or more commonly seen as 11/11/11. Some believe that either something very good, or something very bad will happen on this day. Well, I'm anxious to see if anything will happen at all at 11:11 PM tonight since nothing out of the ordinary happened at 11:11 AM today.

The idea that today would be some sort of magical or mystical day basically came about due to the mathematical implications of the rare date. For instance:

(2 digits) 11 x 11 = 121
(6 digits) 111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
(9 digits) 111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321

Geeky cool, right? For what it's worth, I believe in making my own destiny. There may be some omnipotent and unseen force controlling our actions and decisions, but ultimately we make our own decisions, we are in control of our lives. Or at least everything that we can control, we do with impunity. Stuff beyond our control is up to The Big Guy. 

Bottom-line is this: There is no harm in believing in superstition as long we don't end up relying on it for major life-changing decisions. We make our own fate, and we owe it to ourselves to not let some random sequence of numbers tell us whether we are gonna be lucky or not. I don't really think there's anything special about these dates that line up in a weird and funny way, but did you notice that the number 11 appeared exactly eleven times in this post?
 
Feeling lucky tonight?
 

A Chapter On Continuity  

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Guess who's back after more than five months of virtually inexcusable and painfully prolonged dormancy? Yes, this snowbird is ready to pick up his quill again and continue scribbling mental malevolence towards life, love, and anything that involves freaky little garden gnomes and low-budget Filipino movies.

As much as I would like to make up flimsy excuses for my extended absence, such as my computer belly-flopping on me, or my internet connection being severed due to a pitiful lack of funds in my Gringotts account,  I will choose not to. I won't even say that I was too busy or too lazy to write, no sir. Yeah, this soldier wasn't born to make excuses. I'm just that sort of straight-up guy.

I'll have to admit, a lot of my evil schemes and ill-conceived plots fell flat in those five grueling months of inactivity. I thought my dreams of ruling over the galaxy one day had finally gotten its much needed jump start when I got promoted to a pseudo-team leader position where I handled my own team for a while. Actually, I got promoted a number of times before that. I became a subject matter expert (Whoa! I know, right!?), providing floor support to the agents on the floor. Then I became a training intern, which basically allowed me to help not just the team I was assigned to, but everyone on the floor. I knew I've always had my heart set to training people and helping them develop their potential, but life threw me a curve ball and I was promoted yet again, this time as a team leader intern. 

While I enjoyed my stint as a coach, it simply was not meant to last. As I had mentioned in an earlier post, the account I was in back then folded, and I had to start from scratch all over again. At first I thought I could handle the stress of it all. I thought I got promoted once, I could do it again. It was a few weeks later when I realized that it felt like I had won the lottery, lost the money, and was trying to win the lottery all over again. It was a long and arduous climb back and I felt my work legs were already giving out. Then a funny thing happened, the new account that took us in folded too, with it's green box of fun for everyone shredded. I can still hear my inner bully's loud and meaningful guffaw.  

So now I am in my third account, desperately trying to explain to some old lady why her cable bill went up this month, and I find myself again at the foot of the proverbial pyramid of hierarchy staring up at my goals. But something's different. Somehow this time the goal seems so much higher and harder to reach. I am at the brink of giving up and I don't know how much longer I can hold on. To be honest, the strain's starting to affect my already deteriorating health.

I am currently on a sabbatical, for which I am very grateful for, because I am trying out some new medication for my hypertension. The doctor panicked the other day when she took my readings, and my blood pressure shot up to 200/120, the highest it has ever gone. But this respite isn't solely for medical reasons. I know I also have to prepare myself mentally. In the next 10 days or so, I need to find a way to motivate myself. Yup, that old story again.

In the years that I have served the masters I always seem to come to a point where I get tired of the redundancies of work, and to this day I have yet to find an answer to this lack of motivation. Maybe I need some sort of therapy or job counseling. Whatever.

Anyway, this is it for now. I will write again soon. For now, please forgive this poor attempt at reviving my non-existent writing career. I'll get better, I promise.

Snow White never did like the way Dopey kept ogling her bazongas.

The Z Legacy: The Season Finale  

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"The thing about a good organization is that at first you become a part of it, then it becomes a part of you."

- TL Chee Carrasco

In my not-so-illustrious 5-year-or-so career as a professional dial-a-geek, I have never been more proud to have been part of a business organization than I have been with Zune CVG. Working for the company has truly been such a great experience, and I am deeply saddened by the news that our account is pulling down the proverbial curtains. We had a great run, but as the old worn-out cliché says, all good things must come to an end. So as we get closer and closer to the final song in Zune CVG's long playlist of success, I thought I'd mention some of the things that made me appreciate how great it was to have been part of this family.

The Coolest Managers Ever
It has often been said that us front-liner's are the lifeblood of any call center. While I generally agree with that thought, I would gladly make an exception for Zune CVG. From the Team Leaders all the way up the Senior Operations Manager, I have never seen a more dedicated bunch of cool people running the show for an account. If there was a quantifiable way of measuring gratitude, with the way our managers taught us the ropes, mine would still remain immeasurable. 

My Awesome Colleagues
Five generations of awesomeness best describes the friendships that were developed amongst the ranks. From Wave 1 to Wave 5, everybody was easy to get along with. Kudos to everyone for doing such a wonderful job of performing the herculean task of keeping our heads above water despite all the adversity that we've faced throughout the months. I know it has been mentioned before, but I am really proud to say that for a 6 or 7-month old group of over-achievers, we outperformed the competition who has been in the business for more than 3 years. Chin up guys, there is abso-effing-lutely nothing to be ashamed of.

The Greatest Basketball Team Ever Assembled
In the short run that our underdog of a team had in the recent sports fest, we literally ran the gauntlet. Beating 4 teams en route to the Finals, life was never easy for us. I wanna say thanks to our version of the Zen Master, Coach Gil, for making our near-Cinderella finish a reality. Oh and I made 3 out of 3 three-pointers in one game. Oh come on, you know I was gonna say it.

There are a gazillion other reasons why I think this family is awesome, but i thought it was best to keep them off-pixel and forever in my memories. I'm looking forward to making more memorable events as the days run by, but for now all I can say is that my stay with Zune CVG was a complete blast. While it is sad to say goodbye to something so awesome, it comforts me to think that we went out on top. That we are going out in style.

Turn in your pinks 'cause we're going neon green baby! See you on the other side!


Writing Blanks  

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I need to write.

I know that life is a best-selling novel waiting to be written, yet I find myself staring at my computer screen for hours, with only a measly sentence to show for all my effort. Inspiration, will you ever come back? Seriously, I've heard about writer's block but I never thought it would bother me for so long. I must admit, it's been a good couple of weeks since I had the urge to write about anything. I don't know if it's my utter lack of time management skills or the fact that nothing really publish-worthy happens to my life that brings me down, but I am in a deeply depressing slump. 

Passion. There's a word that I rarely get to use these days. I know that if I put my mind into it, I can write something that's worth the five seconds that people actually spend on this blog. Boy, a writer writing about his inability to write must really sound so sad. This sucks. 

Maybe I should enroll in a creative writing class. Maybe I should just put my pen down and admit defeat, face the fact that I'm no writer. Maybe I ought to shift my focus towards other things, such as work or my personal life. Maybe I should just put an end to this blog.

That book that I was planning to write about my grandfather will never write itself. How am I supposed to write about another person's life when I can't even make heads or tails of my own? 

I have to get over this slump. One way or another, the Stories from the Simian Crease must continue. 


Blank. Bored. Blurry. Beat. Binchee.

Finding Time  

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Okay... so I've been off to a bad start.

I haven't been writing as often as i had wanted to. For one, I am no longer pleased by how the layout of my blog keeps self-destructing every now and then. I keep telling myself, "It's not about how it looks, it's about what you write! And rainbows and unicorns!", but just looking at the hideous distortions on the face of this blog called CSS and HTML makes me wanna hit Alt-Tab. Even Ctrl-F4 sometimes. It's not that I've lost faith in Blogger, or my profound HTML editing skills (sarcasm intended), it's just that for some odd reason I find myself running out of time, most of the time.

I own a computer shop, but I don't time myself when i use the PC. I also blame FOX and television.

Having said that, I intend to find some time to either fix this HTML dilemna / dilemma (See what I did there? I had always been taught to spell it "dilemna", and I'm positive many of you have been taught the same way too. Also, this paragraphed digression is waaay too long), or jump ship to Wordpress. 

Just kidding Blogger. I'm still saving up my ten bucks to buy my custom domain. Do you have any idea how steep ten bucks is where I'm from!? Donors would be greatly appreciated folks.

I also need to find time for the other stuff that I wanna do, such as hitting the gym, finding true happiness or saving the world. It's ironic, because I had decided to drop a hefty salary for the sake of making more time for myself. I did said dropping of hefty salary and said making of more time by uprooting myself from my old job and finding employment at a conveniently much nearer locale. Indeed, travel time was cut down significantly, and almost regrettably so was my paycheck, but heck, I thought all the free time I'd get would be worth the sacrifice. Now I'm beginning to wonder where all that supposed free time went. 

I'm gonna have to work on managing my time better. As soon as I find time to do that, I will.

All this time management makes me wanna...
...oh pukes. My shoes.

Better Late Than... What?  

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Well this isn't exactly the new year post that I was hoping to write but as the old worn-out adage would say, better late than never.

As much as I'd want to recall everything that happened to me last year and sum up how 2010 was for me, I simply don't feel like my chemically abused brain cells are up to the task. So I'll just bullet down the most notable Stories from the Simian Crease in 2010.

I guess one of the most significant highlights of 2010 for me was the opportunity to write for a living. Though it wasn't the creative endeavor I was craving for it still more than made up for the fact that I was unemployed at the time. I sincerely appreciate the chance I was given, and if I had my way I would love to continue that sweet gig. Come on, who wouldn't want to be earning big dollars while sitting on his bum all day? Yes, dollars. 

Time to put things in order.
The next memorable event of 2010 was when I signed up with one of the country's most prestigious call center companies. I know last year I had been very vocal about my aversion to coming back to the industry that I had so badly loathed, but my experience with this company now had almost completely changed my mind about that. Well, almost. While I do not resent coming back and doing what probably is the only job I'm ever gonna be good at, I am starting to feel a bit lost and uncertain of what direction my career will take in the next few months. I sure hope its up.

Sadly, last year wasn't all about the good and the happy stuff. There were also some dark and dank situations which I would gladly undo if I had a time machine. I got reacquainted with an old evil that had haunted me for years. For a good part of 2010 year I had been struggling to win this battle, and I'm ashamed to say that I have hardly made any headway. This year I honestly intend to kick this nasty oversight. Maybe I ought to start reading that Nic Sheff book that I've been holding on to. 

So 2010 was far from being the all-out party that I wanted it to be, but hey, can't have it all now can we? I just wish 2011 brings in more opportunities for growth, peace and prosperity not just for me, but for all of us. And oh, we all grew older again. Why couldn't I just stay 19 forever?

New Year post - check.

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Stories from the Simian Crease by Binchee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.
Based on a work at binchee.blogspot.com