24 not-so-random things

so i found this file in my drive. back in february, i answered a "25 random things about me" survey when a friend tagged me in facebook. i recall thinking that the list was far too random. but then again, there was nothing extremely novel about the things i said about me. i've basically given a summary of things that i've frequently said on the blog. and i think that's what prompted this new list. it's a list of not-so-random things. the choice of subjects is fairly deliberate, though not necessarily carefully done. these are things that i've probably not explored in great detail in the blog. so notice that there is nothing here about mountaineering or travel or photography. i don't think i can even provide links to a previous entry or subject. anyway, it was supposed to be another list of 25 things. but the reason it had taken too long in the burner is that i couldn't even get to write 22 things. i added a few more beginning yesterday. here it is:

  1. I consciously mark people who do not fulfill commitments, whose declarations are empty bravado, who back out of a plan at the last minute, and make up false alibis about sick relatives and urgent work-related hindrances. I never ever believe them, and will not invite them to join me whenever I hatch ideas because I hate people who break promises. No commitment is too big or too small for me, and I always expect delivery.

  2. I am a man of my word. I would rather not make statements, even small ones, if I know that I cannot pursue them. I stick to my declarations, and will not deny that I made them at some future time when it inconveniences me.

  3. When leafing through random magazines or newspapers to kill time, or while waiting for my turn to get a haircut or something similar, I always start at the back, and put the material down once I am at the beginning. I wonder whether this has any psychological implications.

  4. I have trouble sleeping. To be more specific, I have trouble keeping myself asleep. Unless I’m stone drunk or drugged, I frequently wake up at least twice in the early hours of the morning. Sometimes my dreams are too intense, and sometimes I wake up when water drips from a faucet. This “disorder” makes me all the more groggy when I finally have to get up because I’m not well-rested despite being prostrate on the bed for at least 7 hours and I often feel tired and sleepy throughout the day. I just looked it up, and it’s apparently called middle-of-the-night insomnia. I just bought a bottle of 3mg Melatonin. I hope that helps a little.

  5. I am actually very shy. I do not consciously crave attention and deride being talked about. Although I would volunteer to do my spiels and skits at no one’s initiative, I would hesitate to perform when prodded. One of my greatest fears is public humiliation.

  6. Unlike most people, I do not judge persons I have just met, and do not decide based on a first meeting that I like or dislike that person. The default is that I like everyone… until they cross me, and that’s it.

  7. I can make friends with everyone regardless of their status and stature. I do not discriminate based on a person’s education and material wealth, or lack of either.

  8. Despite number 7, I do not strike conversation with strangers on the bus or on a queue unless I need to ask a question. But I will pursue a conversation with anyone who initiates it, unless it’s a general complaint about the Philippines going to the dogs.

  9. Except in court and in meetings with other lawyers involving a matter of legal importance (and on those occasions, it’s usually already presumed, so I would even say, rarely), I have never, ever, introduced myself as Atty. Alman. I do not append that title when I write my name on guest books or when I fill out forms or when the fact of my being a lawyer has nothing to do with the circumstance. Lawyers, doctors, and other titled professionals who tattoo their special prefixes and suffixes to their names are insecure.

  10. I am so bad at math, simple arithmetic sometimes eludes me. I think it’s because I began with a fear of numbers, and consequently never managed to develop my mathematical abilities. Or it could have been the awful tutor I had as a Tulong Dunong kid in a public elementary school.

  11. My English often misleads people to assume that I was schooled in exclusive private schools and was raised by an affluent family. But the truth is we are not rich at all. I worked through college and law school, beginning with a job at Wendy’s, then as a student assistant, then as a staff of a research institution. I would have never finished school if I didn’t get scholarships. My English is the result of having a good ear, good reading, and a talent for accents.

  12. My first email account was the one assigned to me when I matriculated at the National University of Singapore in 1997. But my first web-based email account was one I created that same year using Rocketmail. When I entered law school the following year, I shifted to Justicemail. Then when the UP Webmail became available, I used it until I breached its 10MB capacity, and moved to Gmail late in 2004. In all of these email addresses, I never really used odd, cutesy, pretentious, or descriptive usernames peppered with adjectives or titles or numbers or strange words. I just utilize my birth name, to make it sound “official” and “permanent”. I never felt the desire to be unique or “with the times”, because these are things you outgrow.

  13. My parents were Marcos loyalists during the turbulent times of the late 80s, when Cory Aquino rose to power and it was generally uncool or unhip to associate yourself with the late dictator. But I don’t blame my parents, and I think history is now kinder to the visionary that Marcos was.

  14. I wouldn’t want to put a label on it, but I am a neo-Nationalist, in the sense that I am a new patriot, in my own, post-colonial, post-war, post-First Quarter Storm, post-EDSA kind of way. I love this nation with a passion, and I have not given up hope on the country, unlike many people of my generation. I have no plans of migrating, because I honestly believe that this country needs people like me, and I owe much of what I am to the Philippines. Although, I will confess that it wasn’t always that way, and as a kid, I dreamt of snow and apples and a Green Card. All that has changed now, and I am damn proud of being Filipino, and not just because it’s recently cool to be patriotic and wear T-shirts embroidered with the Philippine map. I’ve been proudly proclaiming my roots long before it turned into a fashion statement.

  15. I don’t feel comfortable discussing politics or religion with most people because I have very wild ideas when it comes to matters concerning faith and social order that might not be appreciated by most. And I deride pseudo-intellectuals who dish out mediocre and simplistic arguments as though they were so unique and original. Nevertheless, I welcome discussions and debates with people of erudition. If I’m appalled by a person’s simple-mindedness, I would shut up and not share my opinion hoping it would end the discussion. There is no use arguing with people of lesser intelligence.

  16. I happen to be a very good listener, and I can keep quiet when other people enter into their moments.

  17. I am extremely observant, and I notice subtle changes. I think that as a writer, this “skill”, as it were, is far more important than a masterful grasp of language.

  18. I was in UP from June 1993 until September 2002. That entire time, I was fortunate to have never witnessed a fraternity rumble. The only form of fraternity-related (almost) violence I saw was when we went to eat lunch at the Persian House at the UP Arcade during law school, and masked men holding pipes and baseball bats appeared at the entrance, staring down on my good friend and batchmate, Lord Villanueva. We were a huge group, but we were unarmed. I distinctly remember that Lord went deathly pale, but he was immediately hugged and surrounded by the girls around him. After a tense 2 minutes, the men walked off. I denounce all forms of violence in the strongest possible terms, and I don’t know what possesses these bullies to regress into blood-thirsty barbarians.

  19. I have never really thought of myself as fashionable or fashion-forward. My rules on style are simple: wear what makes you feel comfortable and what doesn’t make you feel awkward. Nevertheless, my officewear often gets positively noticed. Since 2002, I have had all my office and formal wear sewn, pants included, by my tailor (I’ve only had two, see 20 below, only the first one decided to change his trade). I choose the cloth and the buttons myself at Kamuning, and proceed to the tailor where I’m measured, with simple instructions like I want it slim and fit but not snug, etc.

  20. I am both a creature of habit and a seeker of change. I don’t normally change barbers, but suffer from chronic taste fatigue syndrome and cannot have the same kind of breakfast everyday.

  21. When I was a lot younger, I would resent my two older brothers whenever they would tune in to a basketball game instead of the shows that I wanted to see. But these days, I’m the one more interested in the sport. But I really only bother about two teams: the Barangay Ginebra Kings in the PBA, and the UP Fighting Maroons in the UAAP. I couldn’t care less about everything else.

  22. Despite what I have said in 6 and 7 above, I am a stubborn snob insofar as social networking sites are concerned. I decline friend invitations from people I do not know, or those I do not remember. Do not expect me to approve your request to add you as a friend if I have no memory of our friendship, or if you are hiding under a pseudonym that I have not been informed of. Also, I do not add people to my list even if they are in fact my friends. They would have to add me. I’m such a diva, that way. Besides, it isn’t about having the biggest web of friends – it’s about having a meaningful network of contacts (that’s taken from Multiply).

  23. I know that other people’s online time is precious and I respect that, so I am not in the habit of forwarding chain mails or jokes or touching anecdotes or prayers and petitions or hilarious photos or e-cards to all my contacts at one time nor do I flood inboxes with messages which may not be relevant or useful or important or material to everyone in my list. I send very specific emails to individuals or a group of people, or carefully-chosen emails to interest-specific e-groups. I think people who routinely forward things that made them chuckle or fight back a tear are neither thoughtful nor sincere. They may even be rude, insensitive, and trivial.

  24. I think of the mobile phone as an evil (albeit a necessary one). Unlike some people, I don’t mind being disconnected every now and then, and I do not feel inexplicably sad if I do not receive a message for a long time. I normally say my name in an SMS to someone whom I think might not have saved my number or who may have deleted it after a certain lapse of time, so I find it rather rude to receive a “Hu r U?” if I expect that person to keep me in his or her contact list. There are actually nicer ways to say that all of your contacts been accidentally deleted. Also, I usually ask people if I can call them because I know that they might be busy and I might be disturbing them.