Thursday, October 20, 2016

I Confess...

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. It's been around seven months since my last post. During that time I haven't conducted myself in a manner befitting a proper blogger. No, not in the least.

I must also confess that I not only failed to post, but I've failed to show bloggy charity as well. My call to visit the blogs of others and leave gifts of commentary has been severely neglected but for a few crumpled contributions. Added to this, I've also been negligent of my social (networking) responsibilities.

I believe my current backslidden state came as a result of the blatant hubris in declaring - with much fanfare (and monkeys) - that I had "figured out" the reason for my sporadic posting and allowed myself to believe that simply knowing the source of my problem was enough to get me back on the straight and narrow path. Without even realizing it I allowed myself to commit one of the greatest sins a blogger can commit by alluding that, as a result, "I was back".

Life is a jealous god and not very forgiving of a blogger's pride. Even hinting that one might have gotten the upper hand against it earns swift and severe punishment. And punished I was as, month after month, I faced endless emergencies, distractions and frustrations.

First came a chaotically assignment-packed school semester back in the end of April (which saw me pulling more all-nighters in one month than I normally would in a year) followed closely by Mrs C's contracting of dengue fever in May (don't worry, she's fine now). June's a blur but I'm sure bad stuff happened then too. July and August had me frantically searching for a new job on the off chance my contract wasn't going to be renewed after it ended at the end of September  (it was renewed, by the way). All during this time there was also the non-stop saga of my father's diminishing health (not something I mentioned before). Life's hits just kept on coming.

All the while there was the constant nagging from within to return to the fold. Living a life steeped in real-life issues only added to my guilt and shame, and served to drive me deeper into my backslidden state.

The irony!

Will I be able to walk the path from here on in? I don't know. I dare not incur life's wrath any further by saying I will. For now, I ask that I only be absolved of my past transgressions and allowed to go on in peace.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

When You...

That moment...

Friday, March 4, 2016

Smells Like Monkeys In Here.

As I mentioned the other day, I was sick. I'm mostly better now (not factoring-in the residual mucus.. Sorry). I also mentioned something about hipster monkeys in that post too (I don't know... I think my brain was overheating or something).
No, wait! There was a point to the monkeys! The monkeys had meaning. They were a symbol to represent my writing (I submit my entire blogging history as "Exhibit A") or, at least, my return to writing. See? Makes more sense now, right?

Know what? Forget the monkeys! You can't expect to understand what's going on when there are monkeys in the room. That just never works out. What I mean by all this is, I think getting sick made me figure out why I haven't felt motivated to write these days.

You know when people say "life happened" and I couldn't keep up with this or that anymore? That's exactly right! And it's not always because you're so busy. That can happen but that wasn't the case for me. For me, I got stuck in a rut. Between bills, night school, boring office job, etc. I subconsciously began to wall myself off so as not to feel overwhelmed by what felt like the sheer meaningless in my existence. The problem with that was I made myself literally numb to everything going on around me. It's really hard to be creative when you go about your everyday routine just letting everything bounce off you and letting nothing stick. Know what I mean?

Now that I realized that, I think I can keep myself from falling into that trap again. Or not. I get distracted easily.

Speaking of distracted, I got my sense of smell back!

(Yeah, complete and abrupt change of topic. No warning. No clever segueing. Nothing! Blame the monkeys.)

While the cold helped me regain my sense of blogginess (I think), I lost my sense of smell. That was new. I've never had anything like that happen over a cold - or any other reason - before. At first, I was a little worried that it was going to be permanent (and possibly the lamest superhero origin story ever) but Dr. Google assured me it would be alright. Actually, it seemed this wasn't not all that uncommon when you got a cold so I just had to wait it out. Sure, everything I ate tasted bland without a functioning olfactory sense but, on the plus side, I kind of liked being able to walk through the city and not be suddenly have my nose bombarded with scent human waste (sorry again) - usually strategically scattered throughout the city by members of our homeless community.

That being said, I am now of the opinion that the tongue is woefully undeserving of its position as the representative of taste. All that guy can basically do is tell what's sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Without your olfactory sense, you might as well just give up on life enjoying your food.

At first, my sense of smell came back in bits and pieces. The first time I noticed anything had a scent was one day, when I was returning from lunch about two days into it. A coworker was waiting to get on the elevator and the scent of her coffee hit my olfactory senses hard. The best way I can describe it was like being colorblind and suddenly seeing a woman in a red dress move across the room. And the fact that it was coffee that ended up being the first thing I could smell in two days turned that woman in a red dress into a curvy bikini model in a skimpy, red two-piece.
Of course I meant a Japanese bikini model!
I really love coffee.

After that, it was gone again until something else got through. Fortunately, none of it was poop. After about five or six days, I'm happy to report that things are back to normal and coffee tastes great once again.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Conversation With Mrs C - My Hot Body.

Mrs C walks into the bedroom. She looks at me intently as I lie on the bed, her eyes run across my shirtless frame. After a few seconds, she walks over and puts her hand on my chest. After a few seconds, she looks int my eyes and says: Mrs C: Oh my GOD! Your body is so hot! Me: I know, right? Those hours in the gym are really paying off. Mrs C: *stares* Me: *wiggles eyebrows* Mrs C: *walks away* I meant your fever... ASS!!! Me: That's right, baby! You know I gots da fevah. You know you wants somma dis fevah! Mrs C: *stops in doorway and looks around* What does that even mean? Me: I dunno. There's a fairly good chance I got high off the cold meds. Mrs C: *continues on her way* Just be sure to take a cold shower tonight to cool your self down. Looks like you need it in more ways than one. So, yes, I'm sick and, yes, it sucks... royally! But, on the plus side, I'm starting to feel write-y again. Seems the pain and fever woke up those 100 monkeys in my brain have started tapping away at their little typewriters (don't even ask how those hipster monkeys got the typewriters in there to begin with). I'm not promising Shakespeare, though. Actually, I'm not making any promises whatsoever. A good blogger in a slump knows better that to promise that they're back for good. And since I've never been ashamed of copying said good bloggers, this won't be an exception. So... for now let's just leave things at: "We'll see."

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Always Remember - Boundary Issues.

When it comes family...

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

On The Outside, Looking In.

Remember back when I posted about how things always seem to change when I complain about my situation and they didn't usually change for the better? Well... it happened again. The complaining and things changing part, anyway. Surprisingly enough, things are actually a lot better now.

Halfway through September, I was transferred again and, no, it wasn't back to my original desk. I've been moved to a completely new desk in yet another division altogether. And, yes, this came as a result of me complaining. Not to myself or into the vast open spaces of the internet but to what appears to be a more effective audience: HR.

Yeah. Now, I'm normally the kind of guy who tries to make the best of things. You know the type: the guy who quietly sits and mutters to himself instead of proactively initiating change until one day he finally reaches his breaking point and thoughts of property damage start playing around inside his head.
Yeah, that guy. Or, at least, I thought I was. When things actually got to the point with my supervisor where I couldn't take it anymore I ended up going to HR and lodging a complaint. I even surprised myself. One thing led to another and here I am, working on the executive offices. Please note: my job title and salary remain the same level (the bottom). I'm just doing the job I was hired to do in a different setting.

I guess this is the point where I go into the ups and downs I had with the supervisor in question and talk about how things at my new station are working out. But... no. That's enough of that. Instead, let's talk about the time I locked myself outside my office... and, by extension, the entire building... on the top floor. That's way more interesting, right?

AHEM! The government office that employs me takes up the top three floors of a seven-story building. The executive floors are, of course, on the top floor of those three floors. On each floor there are two emergency exits and each of those exits also grants staff access to the balconies where staff is free to go to think, focus on a difficult task/assignment, view a passing parade in the streets below, have a private conversation or weep mournfully as they contemplate the meaninglessness to their existence (it's cathartic). As such there are no alarms to go off when these doors are opened.

Most of the time, though, people just go outside whenever the air-conditioning starts acting up. On rare occasions a unit will break down but, more often than not, they work too well and it gets super-cold in the office. Not many of us are built to take it but I don't mind. I just throw on my jacket and I'm good so, with only a few exceptions, I pretty much ignore those balcony entrances, even though I'm now seated right in front of one of them (naturally, this means, if shit goes down, I'm the guaranteed to be one of the first ones out).

That was until yesterday...

It had been raining all week. The air was colder than usual and even I was feeling the chill in the air. Then, from the window behind me, I happened to notice the sun had finally decided to check in on us. The sky was so bright I just knew it would be nice and warm outside already. I imagined the feeling of the warm sunlight on my skin and I could feel myself being pulled to the outside. That's when I decided to just go out and thaw off for a bit.

Now, as I said earlier, I hardly availed myself of the privilege before but the few times I did, I got in and out with no problems. However, what I didn't know was that, unlike the other balcony entrances, the door behind my desk does not open from the outside. So when a gust of wind eagerly finished closing the door for me I barely paid it any mind. I soaked in some sun, looked around a little at the nearby streets and buildings and headed back for the inside. Only... When I got the the door... Yeah...

"Of course..." was my first thought because, obviously if anyone's going to get themselves locked out it's me.

This was when I looked around and realized the balconies aren't connected around the corners and there was a seven-floor-deep gap between me and the only other entrance on the floor. Outstanding! My next thought was to discretely call one of my coworkers on their cells so they could come over and let me back in. This was unfortunately hampered by the fact that I had earlier put my phone to charge and it was at that moment sitting on my desk, evilly smirking at me (IT SMIRKED! I SAW IT!) through the locked window.

"Naturally!" I sighed.

At this point I was left with three options:
  1. Climb up the roof-access ladder and get to either the other balcony entrance or the door to the main stairwell.
  2. Go across to the emergency stairwell, make my way down to the floor just below and get in from an entrance there.
  3. Knock until someone heard me and came to my rescue.
Each option, however, comes with it's own set of problems. Like I said, it was windy. Climbing up to the roof and walking across seemed risky, especially since the entire center of the building is hollow all the way to the ground floor and all that covered that section was a huge glass dome so yeah... No! I considered the emergency stairwell option for a quite a bit but I wasn't sure if opening those doors triggered any alarms or if any other doors opened from the inside besides the one on the ground floor. Common sense told me I should be fine. The fear of sending the building into a panic if I trip off an emergency alarm told me back off that idea a bit.
See? Some of them do trigger alarms. I wasn't letting the lack of a label lull me into a false sense security.
While I was considering trying to get to the floor below, it also occurred to me that there was an Option 4: Since the building had a sort of Mayan pyramid thing going on, I could just ignore the stairs and jump down to the balcony below.
But I decided against it.

This left me with knocking and calling at the offending door until someone came to my rescue. While this may seem like the most viable solution to sum, to me it was the least desirable option. My new supervisor, who happens to be the one who sits closest to me was on lunch at the time so this meant I had to really make myself heard. Not only did I leave myself open to ridicule from whoever came to let me back in but I ran the risk of attracting the attention of the executive staff since their offices were all around my area. Being on the floor only a few months, I felt that somehow this wouldn't help me make a good impression.

Still, of all the available options this was the only one that could count as "sane" so I figured I'd play it safe. So I knocked... and waited... and knocked again... and waited some more. Then I realized there was no one within earshot. I looked at the emergency stairwell door again. I began to wonder if they'd fired me if I set off the fire alarm and sent hundreds of people scampering.

I knocked again, slightly louder. Nothing.

I decided to enjoy the view for a bit more until someone noticed I was missing. I figured, worst-case scenario, I had at least half an hour until my supervisor got back from her lunch break. Roughly ten seconds later I was back at the door, knocking and trying (and failing) to not look overly pathetic. I realized if someone did pass by, I'd only look like I was getting some fresh air rather than trapped outside. This time, though, my efforts paid off and a few minutes later I heard a 'click' as the knob turned and the door opened.

"What's the password?" It was the personal assistant to the third-highest ranking guy there. She was just returning to her desk and heard me knocking.

"Thanks," I smiled and started to pull the door open.

She held firm on her end, "Noooooo. That's not the password." She smiled back with a sing-songy reply.

I joked it off and made a few guesses (all of the wrong) but she insisted on making me squirm for a minute before letting me pass. FYI: It was "open sesame", apparently. Go figure.

"You now this door doesn't open from the outside, right?" she said as I walked in, "We normally block it open when we go outside."

"No... No I did not."

All-in-all I endured only minimal embarrassment and, as a bonus, the rain held up the entire time. That counts as a good a day, in my book.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Reality Hits Home.

NOVEMBER 16, 2015 - Evening: My wife are sitting in bed, indulging in whatever distraction our respective mobile devices have to offer. Suddenly I see a headline on my stream...

Me: I'm going to tell you something... but... please don't overreact.
Mrs C: ...
Me: The movie, Home Alone, is 25 years old today.

She straightens up, eyes slowly lifting from her phone's screen. They widen as she turns towards me. Her jaw slackens as if to say something but words fail to form. I reach over and gently pat her on the shoulder.

Me: There, there...
Mrs C: I... But I-
Me: I know... I know...
Mrs C: I'm done! I'm not paying attention to these types of stories anymore!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Conversations With Mrs C - Keeping Her Grounded.

Mrs C (after 20 minute call with a friend who's now an insurance agent, trying to drum up some business): So, he was saying, right, if we get this annuity and make lumpsum payments from the start we can still claim on it on our income tax return next year.

Me: Okay...
Mrs C: Then we could add that to the refund I get from my law school fees.

Me: Cool.

Mrs C: Plus, it looks like the housing people may finally get their act together with the paperwork so the mortgage could become official before the end of the year*. Right?

Me: That's right.

Mrs C: So that means we can claim a deduction as homeowners too. Sweet! Our income tax deductions next year are. going. to be... EPIC!!!

Me: ...

Are you hearing yourself? When did you turn into a boring adult? "Epic income tax deductions"?

Mrs C: *blank stare*

Me: *stares back*

Mrs C: Oh. my. God... BAH-HAHAHAHAHA!!! "Epic deductions!" I can't believe I said tha- HAHAHAHA!!!

Me: I know, right? You had me worried.

Mrs C: Ohmygosh, I can't breathe... Thanks for catching that one.

Me: You almost went over the deep-end there.

Mrs C: *exhales* I smell a blog post coming.

Me: You know it.

*Technically, the house is ours but since the government's involved with the construction & distribution, there are still a few i's to dot & t's to cross before it's official... ALMOST A YEAR LATER!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Bend It Like Vinny.

I've been a delinquent blogger lately. I blame this mostly on work. I'll admit, I haven't been handling the recent changes well and as the realization that I'm now a permanent fixture in this division set in, I guess it started to get to me a little... Okay, more than a little. In the end, however, it's just something I have to deal with and, if that doesn't work, I can always apply for a transfer to another division. However, since I'm not too eager to take a spin on that roulette wheel, I've been trying to make the best of things as they stand.

So, what have I been up to? Glad you asked. There have actually been a lot of stuff going on that I should have dedicated entire posts to but due to lack of motivation my busy schedule they all just sat in the dark corner of that one shelf in my brain where post ideas go until they reach their expiry date and have to be thrown out or get thrown together into one update stew in the hope that something palatable can be cooked up. Surprisingly enough, sometimes, in picking through those post ideas, I find one or two may actually have enough "meat" for consumption on their own or, as in this case, has a longer expiry date than others.

I think I've sufficiently picked that metaphor clean...

Anyway, let's get to the reason I gathered you all here. You see, a few weeks ago, it finally happened. It was finally suggested to me that I should work in porn (cue the random search results linking this blog to sexual deviance... again). It wasn't suggested because of my dazzling good looks or rock-hard abs, mind you. Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty but my abs (as well as most of the rest of me) are safely insulated under a generous coating of fat. For their own protection.

How the remark came about was as a result of my freakish flexibility. If I mentioned it before, I don't remember, but I can do all kinds of stuff like front and side splits, touching my palms together behind my back and things like "the bridge" with no trouble at all.
Like this. Only imagine, instead of a small child, a moderately overweight male in his late thirties... or not. Probably better if you don't.
Combine this with my Thai-boxing and what you have is a short, fat guy who can kick guys much taller than himself in the head with little to no effort. Unless the other guys more than six feet tall. Then, I might need a running start.

Anyway, the other day I was showing off stretching (yes, I still have to stretch) and, when I do this, three things normally happen:
  1. Most, if not all present will end up stopping what they're doing to watch (in horror).
  2. This is followed by a few of them collectively shuddering as they imaging the pain involved in a normal human body bending the way I do.
  3. Since we make fun of each other as much as we work out, someone always has something snarky to say and that'll usually draw my attention to the eyes that are on me.
The time in question, I was told I was wasting my "God-given talents" by not working in the adult entertainment industry and that there should have at least been a "Fifty Shades of Vinny" out by now (actually, the title of this post could work too). So, if nothing else, at least I've got that going for me.

Now, this is the place where I said you'd have to be a masochist to train. Added to that the fact that my nickname there is "Hentai" (Japanese for perverted). I'm not sure how I got that particular nickname. Maybe I shouldn't have explained to them the meaning of the phrase, "donkey punch"... so I guess a suggestion like this isn't totally outside the realm of possibility.

On a side note, since I am working out anyway, I decided to give weight loss a try (just to make it challenging). I've lost a few pounds. Nothing to make a big deal about and certainly nothing to religiously keep you updated on either.

You're welcome.

Truth be told, I've been apprehensive about losing weight. I have two working theories right now that against my losing weight:
  1. Ever notice how people who have lost weight look like their heads got bigger? I know it's just that the rest of your body gets smaller while the head didn't have a lot in the way of fat storage to begin with but I don't want to look like my head got bigger.
  2. If I'm this awesome when I'm overweight, then losing weight will release my true power and trigger a series of events that end up with me saving the world. That sounds like a lot of work, if you ask me.
All that aside, losing weight seems to be an unwanted side effect of consistent gym attendance and participation so I may have a pornstar physique someday soon after all. Maybe it's not too late to consider possible career options.

Monday, July 13, 2015

It's A Good Thing Dogs Don't Get Embarrassed.

Look at her. So bright eyed and bushy tailed. Actually, she's bushy everything. Lhasa Apsos are a long-haired breed. Something we knew when we were offered one as a pet almost one year ago. I hadn't heard of that breed before so I Googled. It was as a result of the pictures I found online that made Mrs C fall even more in love with the idea of owning one. And there's no denying Kawaii grew into every bit the Lhasa we had expected.

Did you know, though, that a Lhasa's hair is very fine and gets matted easily? Like really, really easily? Some of you probably did but we didn't. From the time her coat got long enough it required constant brushing which was Mrs C's job. It seemed fair enough since technically Kawaii is her dog. That and since I was already responsible for feeding, bathing, cleaning up after and walking her.

Still, high-maintenance hair aside, it's a lovely coat though. I even started to overlook always having to deal with all that short, blond, high-maintenance-ness on all my clothes (and I have a lot of dark clothes).
Admittedly, Mrs C hasn't been sticking to her grooming duties. Not that I can blame her. It takes a lot of time to go through the whole ordeal and Kawaii isn't all that cooperative (She always seems to know when to run and hide just before a bath and a grooming session). As a result, she got more than a few very stubborn knots in her fur. To deal with this my wife, when she did take the time to groom her, would be forced to cut the more stubborn ones out.

Recently, we bought a detangling spray to help get those pesky knots out. I'll admit, I was skeptical. Especially since I believed some of those knots were there so long there would be no easy way to get rid of them. We used it once and it seemed like I was right but my wife isn't one to give up easily. Last night Mrs C, seemingly on a whim, looked at Kawaii and said, "I think I'll give the detangler a try."

Me: Okay... Have fun. I won't wait up.

I went into the bedroom and got to the serious business of mindlessly surfing the internet on my phone. Not too long after that...

Mrs C: Vinny, have you seen the scissors?

I guess the detangler still wasn't very effective. Got up, looked, didn't find them, told her to look where she usually keeps them next to her "grooming station" in the laundry area, heard her confirm they were right next to her all along and went back to my browsing (See? I'm helpful!). About an hour later, Mrs C called out again:

Mrs C: Vinny, you want to help me clip her nails while I'm at it?
Me: No. It's late. Give it up.
Mrs C: ...Okay...

Something felt off so I decided to go outside and check on things...

Me: O... M... G...
Mrs C: I couldn't help it! There were just so many knots.
Me: It's a good thing dogs don't get embarrassed.
Mrs C: It's not so bad! We just need to smoothen it out a bit. It'll look even better then. Maybe if I had some clippers...
Me: Well, you're not using mine.
Mrs C: I didn't say... Why not?

Anyway, here's the end result (Please excuse the poor picture quality. Mrs C's phone was the closest one and I didn't have time to adjust her camera settings)...
Me: She'll probably feel a little chilly tonight.
Mrs C: I think I like it better this way.

I'm not really sold on the new look. At least, not just yet. As for Kawaii, she pretty much avoided Mrs C for the rest of the night.