Bhutto was assassinated because she was a woman

“…it was a reminder of what we face. Bhutto was murdered because to her enemies she was Westernised, a traitor to her culture and an American stooge. She was murdered because she had vowed to bring secularism and democracy to Pakistan. She was murdered because she was all these things, and a woman.”

— The Australian

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How to deal with jetlag

Jet-lag was one of the many banes of my travel experience. This is something I could relate to and should have read earlier:

“I’d never have chosen to spend the next 160 hours out of sync, but now that I’m here, I’ll see where it takes me. The rules for handling jet lag are not so different from the ones on the back of your medication: do not operate heavy machinery while under its influence and do not make important decisions (unless, being a C.E.O. or head of state, you have to). Expect dizziness, headaches and tiredness; do not write checks, compute taxes or make any proposals of marriage in this state. Exposure to direct sunlight can be highly beneficial.

“Jet lag remains one of the great unmentionables of long-distance travel, as if not to speak of it is to help it go away. But it remains one of the great unavoidables, too, which many of us treat like man-made cycles of the moon (or that February cold we have to put up with). The heart of travel, though, is that the sights are always less important than the eyes you’re seeing with — and jet lag, if seen in the right light, can open up the world.”

New York Times

It takes about five to seven days for me to adjust to the new time zone, whether I few in east or west. Mayo Clinic offers some advice to travelers who are crossing several time zones:

  • Get plenty of rest before your flight.
  • If you’re traveling east, try going to bed one hour earlier and one hour later if you’re flying west.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after your flight.
  • Get some sleep on the plane if it’s nighttime at your destination.
  • Try melatonin supplements.
  • Grin an bear it. Your body will adjust eventually.

Next time, I would surely get more sleep before hopping onto the next plane since I don’t get to sleep that well in cramped plane coaches, and getting upgraded to business class is a long shot. The couple of nights prior to my trip were mostly spent packing, but I guess I’d be wiser next time and try to not bring too much stuff. I don’t know if I’d be traveling again anytime soon, but just in case.

No Starbucks planner for this year

One of the many outcomes of being away for a month was that I didn’t have much of a chance to blow my money on Starbucks. Unlike in the previous two years, visiting the coffee shop everyday was practically a must if only to collect 21 or so stickers to get the planner for the next year.

When the excitement over the coffee-flavored planner died down, I’d often forget to bring the thing with me. Most of the time, it ended up languishing in some dusty corner of my room for weeks on end until I’d remember that I had one. This would make me a bit guilty since I worked and spent on it anyway. And so then I’d lug the planner around, often adding an extra bulk in my already overstuffed bag.

The 2006 planner was so-so, but it came with coupons for discounts and freebies that could be availed on certain dates. The 2007 planner was more fun, but the ring binding was horrible. I’d often find myself re-adjusting the ring bind to make sure that the leaves wouldn’t fall out when I opened/closed the planner.

starbucks 2007 planner

I heard mixed reviews of the planner for this year. Some said the paper used was sub-standard while some praised the ruled pages. But since I’m more of an Outlook Calendar and Google Calendar user, I figured that I could pass on this year’s planner and do all my scheduling stuff online. Also, I keep a small journal in my purse for short lists and reminders, or to write down a few thoughts. This works better for me.

starbucks 2007 planner

Or maybe because I’ve changed priorities lately that’s why I’ve not been as interested in this year’s planner as I was in the previous years. I want something I could use everyday, doesn’t take so much space in my bag, isn’t heavy or bulky. Something small and shiny, like that.

Or if I still end up getting interested in another planner, then there are a lot of enterprising Pinoys out there who collect these planners and then sell them on ebay.ph or sulit.com.ph.

Photo credit

Huh? There is Christmas

I had to ask what day Christmas would fall on, not because I was in a celebratory mood but because I wanted to know when my days off would be. I was just glad to know that I’d have FIVE whole days free. But due to the two days of productivity lost thanks to the flight back to Manila and two more days spent nearly entirely on following up network setting activations and some stuff about tech setups, I figured I just might have to cancel my planned extra holiday.

I don’t know if I’ve been too self-absorbed, too dazed, too tired or I just didn’t care at all, but I nearly missed the fact that Christmas was fast approaching, like, in a couple of days. I attended a Christmas party in NYC, but that was about it. While everybody was in a jolly Christmas-y mood in the past week and filing leaves left and right, I was just too tired to bother. I don’t know which was worse–not knowing Christmas was just a few days away because there were ten million things you had to attend to, or not really caring at all about Christmas because you realize that there are a lot of *other* things you still have to attend to.

Whichever it is, I don’t have a lot of high hopes for the holidays. One good thing about not being too caught up Christmas, though, is that as of last checking, my bank account is still a little intact. I have to settle my phone bills, my internet connection, cable TV and credit cards, but otherwise, there are checks still waiting for me in January and more gigs in line waiting or my attention if only I’d have the discipline and the focus.

So anyway, I have one more extra day to do whatever I wish, which is basically watch Enchanted, Elizabeth and The Golden Compass before the dreadfully dull, insipid cliches parading as “films” hijack the local movie houses for the yearly Metro Manila Film Festival. Seriously, movie-makers or whoever you people call yourselves, the reason why the local film industry is on its knees is not because the public prefers the dibidis sold right under the NBI offices in Quiapo, but because local films suck. We’ve just had enough of Mano PoEnteng Kabisote, and Shake Rattle and Roll. We’re tired of watching the same films with the same formula over and over again.

Back in Manila, Back from America

After a month in NYC and nearly 20 hours of flight from JFK, I’m back in Manila. It feels weird to be back, but here I am.

One good thing happened on my flight back: Cathay Pacific upgraded my flight from coach to business. Too bad, I was already too tired and too sleepy to enjoy the softer and wider seats and more leg room. After downing a glass of champagne and finishing fruits and a slice of cake, I doze off and woke up with just a couple of minutes to buckle my seat belt before touching down at NAIA. Glad I signed up for Asia Miles, which I think was responsible for the upgrade.

Thanks to Mary for showing me around Central Park, Union Square and Bryant Park; for joining me at Sephora and helping me find the perfect foundation and lip color; for taking my photos. Dude, we should have hit Duane Reade first for the much cheapo Revlon/Maybelline stuff.

Thanks to the people from the mothership for endorsing me to the client, arranging the travel and accommodation details and making sure I would survive my first taste of winter.

Thanks to mothership-New York for being responsible for the account and the trip, and for the Christmas party.

Thanks to le client for this wonderful New York experience. The CAs, the bosses and the rest of the colleagues there have been wonderful.

Thanks especially to friend Keng for picking me up at JFK, spending Thanksgiving with me, showing me around Midtown East, taking my photos, talking with me about life’s bigger issues, the dinners, for lending his Metrocard credit and the Millionaire book, for the bag, for being a shopping buddy (I spared him the agony of watching me try on a dozen pairs of shoes), for the sweater (LOL! Good thing you forgot it in the hamper), for bringing me to the airport and…and… everything! I’ve lost count. Sometimes, you just don’t understand things the way you ought until you talk to someone who went through the same experience and felt the same pain. Kitakits ulit, wherever.

Thanks, Scott, for Wintuk and the Radio City show.

Thanks, too, to those wonderful strangers who helped me figure out the commuting challenges as I rushed from New Jersey to downtown Manhattan and back.

Thanks to offshore TDPM for…Hmm…I don’t know. Well, just thanks.

I’m waiting for my pizza and coke order before attempting to nap. I can’t even afford to prepare a decent meal because the apartment looks too depressing, as if a tornado tore through it while I was away. So there’s a note to myself to hire a cleaning boy/lady from the homeowners’ association since there’s no way that I could clean the place without contemplating suicide. I’m not suicidal and I have better things to do in my life.

Things to look forward to: badminton, Christmas break, hanging out with friends, finding the time to read, deliveries and TV series. And oh–January.

Good Lord, it even feels weird now that I don’t have to wrap myself in four layers of clothing to go out. I miss wearing winter boots already. I even miss the sub-freezing cold.