Facebook serves up nostalgia with ‘Lookback’

Facebook recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and as a way to thank its 1.2 billion members, it gave a way for everyone to relive their most important / memorable years on the social networking site via Lookback.

The following video is my Lookback. I can’t say that the posts and photos in the collection are the ones that matter to me most; these are only the content that more people liked, and that perhaps says that the things that I find more interesting are oftentimes different from what others prefer. Frankly, the things that matter most to me are the ones that I only share to as few people as possible–lessons learned from life’s challenges, travels, falling in/out of love, minor run-ins.

But thanks, FB, just the same.

UPDATE: I might have missed the share button or it must have been added rather later, since the first people who shared the Lookback feature only posted links. With sharing of lookback videos made available, my timeline is flooded with everyone’s highlights.

I’ve been listening to this song since 2008

Soon Be To Nothing
Kelly Mountain road saw a heavy load
With a sagging heart and a break apart
Voices in me stood as thick as thieves
With no sympathy for the beggars art
I have passed these pines ’bout a million times effortlessly
Now I grip the wheel fear is what I feel
At the slow unraveling of me
You tell me it’s temporary it’s a matter of time
By God don’t you think I know it’s in my mind
It’s right over left and healing the then
I’ll soon be to nothing but I don’t know when
Well the way I flee on my crooked feet
Barn happy horse on a one-track course
Then I self despise cryin’ out my eyes
‘Cause the happy trail led me to remorse
But the road is long and the song is gone
I blow empty in my cicada shell
If I saw my choice I might find my voice
But I don’t know when and I just can’t tell
You tell me it’s temporary just a matter of time
By God don’t you think I know it’s in my mind
It’s right over left and healing the then
I’ll soon be to nothing but I don’t know when
Deep behind my face is a safer place
But old gears are hitched tight to the gate
It’s a daily grind waiting to unwind
Till I hear that click that unlocks my fate
So tell me it’s temporary it’s a matter of time
By God don’t you think I know it’s in my mind
It’s right over left and healing the then
I’ll soon be to nothing but I don’t know when
I’ll soon be to nothing but I don’t know when
I’ll soon be to nothing but I don’t know when

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It’s not that I’ve been busy, but…

Here I thought that anyone who’s ever said, “I’m busy!” was just overstating things and giving the impression of their probably self-proclaimed sense of importance.

But yes, I have been busy the past six weeks, I could hardly catch my breath. So what has happened since my last update? Well…

  • I celebrated another birthday for which I am extremely grateful
  • I survived yet another great Manila deluge, which happens oh! every year!
  • Rediscovered old passions – I’m a book and history nut, and there’s nothing I can (nor would change) about it.
  • Spent time with friends, if only to empty my head of plans, worries, and to-dos. Sometimes, you just don’t want to think, full stop.
  • Had people thrown down my path and realised how much I needed them. Some people inspire you to give your very best without knowing it. 
  • Read books and acquired more books than I could possibly read, but who cares?
  • Had THREE haircuts within a span of just four weeks! It’s a record, but please stop before you start judging that I’m depressed. A woman can get a haircut for no emotional reason at all,especially when there’s a really really good ate hairstylist who can whip out a style at a really friendly price point.
  • Missed Pacific Rim at the theaters.
  • Missed Cinemalaya film festival
  • Discovered new art/indie films. Forget Me Not, anyone? I’m just a sucker for walkie-talkie movies.

    //www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/EmIZtwD06Z4?rel=0

  • Missed the deadline for enrollment to French language lessons. 
  • Reconnected with an old friend. I still kind of like him, but oh well… 
  • Still wondering what a cronut tastes like. 
  • Still sad that Ben Affleck is the next actor to play Batty instead of Mr. Armitage.
All in all, it’s been quite a nice existence. No dramas, no insane ups and downs, but there’s been no flat-lines either. And so I can say things are — somehow — looking up. And for that I am grateful.

Have the courage to fail big and stick around

Elizabethtown is one of those films that showed promise but didn’t do well amongst mass audiences. Maybe one has to go through some real issues in one’s life to really appreciate the message behind the film. For others, may be it is enough to be a fan of Orland Bloom, who is reprising his role as Legolas in the next installment of The Hobbit.

Following the arch of its more successful predecessors, Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous, this is the story of Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom) who gets sacked for costing his company nearly a billion dollars on a terrible shoe design. To make matters worse, his father dies while on a visit to Georgia, and he has to make funeral arrangements that conflict with what his extended family prefers. On the flight to the south, he meets bubbly attendant, Claire (Kirsten Dunst), who has relationship issues of her own, but remains on the brighter side of things. She falls for him, he is too focused on his troubles to care.

What follows captures the idea of a supportive partner, the courage to break the rules, and the are we/are we not a couple conundrum.

Back in the day, Orlando Bloom was one of the hottest commodities in Hollywood, following his portrayal of Legolas, possibly the most gorgeous elf that strutted in Middle Earth and slayed hundreds of orcs with a flick of his bow and arrow. His fame was then confirmed with the popularity of Pirates of the Caribbean, although he was outshined by Johnny Depp and even Keira Knightly, both of whom were eventually nominated for Oscars in succeeding roles.

Relatable.

Elizabethtown didn’t do well in the box office, but if you can see past the less than stellar chemistry between the two leads; or Paula Deen’s appearance as Drew’s aunt; or holes in the plot line, you just might end up feeling good about this film, which after all is about love, courage, and redemption.

Side note: In the real world, how a shoe model that has no way of getting sold goes to mass market is unthinkable; more so is the idea of blaming everything on the shoe designer and not on someone higher up the pecking order.

You’re still written in the scars on my heart*

Today, I was doing fine and well…until I heard this:
“I never stopped. You’re still written in the scars on my heart.”
(I hate you Nate Ruess.)

And thought…my god, that was me. I haven’t gotten completely over the pain and the thought of what might have been. Is it because you still keep showing up? Or that I carry the burden of the memory that you left behind? 

I thought I was done with the heartache, but I realised I have been carrying you all along and letting your memory cut through my heart and leave scars that will always be there. Sometimes, pain catches us unaware and the simplest words from a song shake us out of our pretentions that we have finally healed. I thought I was okay, and honestly wished I were, but why is the pain still there?

—————————————-
* Just Give Me A Reason by P!ink ft. Nate Ruess

Resolutions for 2013








Don’t sweat the small stuff. There are bigger battles out there and time is too precious to spend on things that will not matter in the long run.

Avoid drama at all cost, if possible. Corollary to the point above, be it your own or someone else’s drama, there’s no need to be suckered into issues that one, two, or five years from now you would just laugh about anyway. Avoid drama queens and attention w#ores, too. 
Read at least one book per month. Rediscover the love for reading and the much-needed learning it affords oneself, plus  the wisdom that eventually makes for intelligent conversations.
Show up. It does not matter whether the purpose is to participate or just to make an appearance, but what matters is to be there and make oneself count, or to witness the events that unfold. 
Smile. Life has so much be thankful for and be happy about. Or when one finds oneself with nothing much to be grateful for, at least, smile and keep others guessing. 
Choose the company one keeps carefully. There are people whose presence suck the marrow out of one’s life; there are those whose seemingly good intentions one has to be absolutely wary about; and then there are those whose presence makes one feel that the time spent with them are worthy of the moments that one can never get back. Stick to those who are worthy of one’s trust and esteem and leave the shallowness of high-schoolers behind.
Set boundaries. You do not have to be best friends with everyone, for at the end of the day, people are merely  individuals who have their own lives to live and goals to pursue. 
Drink moderately. Sweet Jesus, do I know that by now! Hah! 
Travel. To quote Gandalf: The world is not in your books and maps; it’s out there!

Work hard. People may argue until they are blue in the face that the way to make it in this life is not necessarily to work hard but to work smart, but there just is no substituting for the former. Success takes planning, thinking, and a lot of effort, not office-politicking. 
Take care of oneself. Do not feel guilty about getting pampered, buying that pair of shoes, being and eating healthy, signing up for gym classes. When all you’ve got is you, wouldn’t it be fabulous to get the love that you deserve from the person that matters most to you?
Write more, Facebook/Twitter/[insert social media here] less.

Learn. Whether it’s a new language, a new skill, a musical instrument, a technical knowledge. One never knows when a new ability would come in handy.
Get active. Run, dance, walk; join zumba classes; sign up for that gym membership; swim; do yoga; lift weights; play your favourite sport. The options are just about as endless as your capacity to take that extra serving of dessert, so your body will need all the help it can get from a bit of moving about.

    How to lose your corporate mojo

    By 2002 the by-product of bureaucracy—brutal corporate politics—had reared its head at Microsoft. And, current and former executives said, each year the intensity and destructiveness of the game playing grew worse as employees struggled to beat out their co-workers for promotions, bonuses, or just survival.


    Microsoft’s managers, intentionally or not, pumped up the volume on the viciousness. What emerged—when combined with the bitterness about financial disparities among employees, the slow pace of development, and the power of the Windows and Office divisions to kill innovation—was a toxic stew of internal antagonism and warfare.

    “If you don’t play the politics, it’s management by character assassination,” said Turkel.

    At the center of the cultural problems was a management system called “stack ranking.” Every current and former Microsoft employee I interviewed—every one—cited stack ranking as the most destructive process inside of Microsoft, something that drove out untold numbers of employees. The system—also referred to as “the performance model,” “the bell curve,” or just “the employee review”—has, with certain variations over the years, worked like this: every unit was forced to declare a certain percentage of employees as top performers, then good performers, then average, then below average, then poor.

    “If you were on a team of 10 people, you walked in the first day knowing that, no matter how good everyone was, two people were going to get a great review, seven were going to get mediocre reviews, and one was going to get a terrible review,” said a former software developer. “It leads to employees focusing on competing with each other rather than competing with other companies.”

    Supposing Microsoft had managed to hire technology’s top players into a single unit before they made their names elsewhere—Steve Jobs of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Larry Page of Google, Larry Ellison of Oracle, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon—regardless of performance, under one of the iterations of stack ranking, two of them would have to be rated as below average, with one deemed disastrous.

    For that reason, executives said, a lot of Microsoft superstars did everything they could to avoid working alongside other top-notch developers, out of fear that they would be hurt in the rankings. And the reviews had real-world consequences: those at the top received bonuses and promotions; those at the bottom usually received no cash or were shown the door.

    Outcomes from the process were never predictable. Employees in certain divisions were given what were known as M.B.O.’s—management business objectives—which were essentially the expectations for what they would accomplish in a particular year. But even achieving every M.B.O. was no guarantee of receiving a high ranking, since some other employee could exceed the assigned performance. As a result, Microsoft employees not only tried to do a good job but also worked hard to make sure their colleagues did not.

    “The behavior this engenders, people do everything they can to stay out of the bottom bucket,” one Microsoft engineer said. “People responsible for features will openly sabotage other people’s efforts. One of the most valuable things I learned was to give the appearance of being courteous while withholding just enough information from colleagues to ensure they didn’t get ahead of me on the rankings.”

    Worse, because the reviews came every six months, employees and their supervisors—who were also ranked—focused on their short-term performance, rather than on longer efforts to innovate.

    “The six-month reviews forced a lot of bad decision-making,” one software designer said. “People planned their days and their years around the review, rather than around products. You really had to focus on the six-month performance, rather than on doing what was right for the company.”