Monday, October 26, 2009

Staying Home On Vacation

Last Sunday, Oct 25th was supposedly my departure date for my Philippine vacation that I've been planning for a year now. For reasons beyond my control, I decided to cancel that trip. I know I have hurt the feelings and expectations of some of my closest friends and families but I had to decide to be with my mother during her knee surgery. Fortunately enough, my loved ones agreed on my decision and understood why I had to cancel that trip.

So here I am on the first two days of my two-week vacation. I decided to use my vacation days anyway because they were already approved by my supervisor. I originally requested three weeks off for the Philippines but I decided to use up two weeks and cancel the last week. I was thinking that I deserve to have some time off for myself because my work schedules until the end of this year will cover all the holidays. I'll be working on major holidays like Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. I'll be all hospital-bound, ready to save lives while the rest of the world is partying.

My mom's surgery was done and the huge task of physical therapy is just beginning. The physical rehabilitation would last at least six months depending on her improvement and how her body is coping. So far her Physical Therapist is quite impressed on her progress. According to the therapist, my mom was more flexible on her affected knee than he previously thought. Although my mom suffered intense pain and swelling a day after the surgery, she is doing better right now. She can now move around a little bit but we need to help her to prevent her from falling. She is now regularly taking aspirin to prevent blood clots which is the biggest risk for people who underwent surgeries on their extremities. She only takes her pain medication when there is pain and so far on the average she only takes one pill a day.

How will I spend the next two weeks off from my work? I intend to make these days as worthwhile as possible. By saying "staying home" it doesn't necessarily mean that I'll confine myself inside our house. I plan to go out around town or maybe to the next town nearest to Las Vegas. This way I could be physically away from home for a short period of time and could return home by the end of the day. My dad also took some off from his work so he can also watch over mother. I planned to watch Michael Jackson's movie "This Is It" which will open this week. I got tickets already for that show. Since its Halloween weekend, I planned to go out with some friends and have fun. I might also be doing some projects on my computer which I've been putting on hold for quite some time now. I think this is the right time to do all those unfinished jobs that I put aside long time ago. There are still places in Las Vegas that I haven't been to, so I planned to go there armed with my camera and video cam. I think some friends from California will be coming over next weekend and since I'm still off by then, I could be with them also and show them around. So far, this is my plan for the next weekend. I'm just trying to keep myself busy while trying to enjoy myself as well.

Monday, October 12, 2009

An Advice to a Friend Who Wants To Commit Suicide

My best friend is on a self-pity mode again and I remember that he jokingly mentioned (I hope & pray it's only a joke) to commit suicide. Well, I just read one of Bob Ong's books entitled "Ang Paboritong Libro Ni Hudas", in English translation: The Favorite Book of Judas. In that book, Bob actually had mentioned how to commit suicide in style. So, I guess I shall share this to my friend contemplating to do such a thing and to those who are thinking to exit this world of the living prematurely. This advice therefore is based on Bob Ong's book and therefore the idea is not mine originally. By the way this is only intended to lighten the mood of my dear friend and I hope he would not take the idea of killing himself too seriously or I could not forgive myself.

The first step is to come up with the real reason why you want to kill yourself. Well, I guess my friend, you have a valid reason. To tell you frankly it's not valid reason for me but for you it's a good reason enough. Come on, we need to agree for the real reason, in fairness, okay? If your reason is that nobody wants to love you, there are a lot of people in your life who loves you. Besides it's their great loss if they don't have someone like you to love. This is what I've been telling you and the book's author agreed with me. If your reason is because you're broke…nah! You're not broke…you've been to concerts of your favorite rock artists. How can it be a question of money?

Once you have a valid reason or should I say we agreed on that particular reason to murder yourself, it's time for you to decide how you'll do it. Please don't make a mess on yourself. I hate to clean up your room from blood splatters or brain remains clinging on your wall if you decide to shoot yourself in the head. Aarghh!!!..that's painful, man. The classic way since the beginning of time is to hang yourself with a rope. If you need help to tie the knot, I volunteer to do it. I've been a boy scout so I know the different kinds of knots effective enough to efficiently tighten on your neck in an instant. Taking poison is another way to kill yourself. Be sure to take the most potent of all poison to ensure you die instantly. If you take the less potent kind, there is a chance to survive and man staying in the hospital for treatment is very expensive. Considering you're an artist, you always wanted a dramatic exit as well. Let's try something that will land you in the headlines. Bob Ong suggested having yourself hit by a train or jump in a very tall building. In your case, you may go up to the Stratosphere Tower and jump from there. By the way, you need to pay $7 to go up the tower. Don't forget to your local ID and you still can get discount. While you're already on top of the tower and ready to jump, please ensure that you'll instantly die when you hit the pavement on the ground. Remember, it's painful if you survive, hospitalization is very expensive, but the bright side of it, you might land in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest fall.

Don't forget to write a suicide note. Bob suggested using a scented stationary using your own handwriting but no erasures. This might give the idea that you're actually not sure to kill yourself or not. In your suicide note, you can break hell and say what you want to say. Express your all out hatred to everybody in this world. Write about how you hated your life, your family and friends (except me), your teachers and mentors, your lovers, your neighbors, your co-workers, your job, your boss, your country, your president, etc etc etc…hey this is America, and we have so called freedom of expression. Don't forget to make it short though and direct to the point. People might find it boring and won't finish reading it. They might miss the portion where you ask forgiveness of what you have done and the main purpose of enticing dramatic reactions from the readers like crying and wailing out might not be accomplished. You will wish to come back to life and kill yourself again in a more dramatic way. Also make sure everybody can see the note you left for them, stick it on your forehead.

This next step is your expertise. Select your theme song. I know you have a wide selection of these songs based on your habit of downloading latest albums of your favorite rock artists from Taringa websites. I could not say more on these. Again, you're the expert. You can also specify how to stage your burial. But before you go, can you also suggest for my theme song when my time comes? Just a favor, ok? Don't tell me through dreams or you just appear in front of me as a ghost…remember I'm not good at entering haunted houses. I laugh aloud instead of screaming.

Choose your wardrobe. You'll only die once so you must choose the best suit. You can bring your trademark cap and your favorite jewelries. You can also bring along your favorite guitars if you wish. Be sure to stipulate all the details in your suicide note….oh this might make the note very long to read….just send an email to me instead.

Choose a quality and nice coffin. One that will not easily rot in the passing of time while your six feet under. Installing an air conditioning is optional. You may want it Wi-Fi enabled so that you can still tweet from down there. How about the color? Hmmm…your wish is as good as mine.

Choose a nice spot in the cemetery. This is a lifetime investment…or should I say death time so choose the spot you want to rest forever. You might want to be cremated but what do you want us to do with your holy ashes? Maybe use it as a foot powder?

Choose the date you will die and the date of your burial or cremation, whatever the case may be. Be sure it falls on a holiday or any special occasion so that your family and friends won't forget your death anniversary. At least they could greet you happy death anniversary every year.

It seems like you have a lot of preparation to do before you kill yourself. I know your days are filled up of other important things to do. So, you might as well forget this crazy idea. Just come back for this list in case you finally decide doing it in the future.


Age of Chivalry

I have witnessed the medieval transformation of Sunset Park here in Las Vegas for the annual Renaissance Festival. Presented by the Clark County Parks & Recreation, October 9 through 11 were the days the noble men and ladies together with peasant people, complete with renaissance regalia roam the land once again.

This is the first time I attended this kind of festival or should I say "Faire". My good friend brought me to several festivals happening here in Las Vegas and I think this one is the best. All the festival staff and crew, entertainers and vendors as well as the attending public all wear medieval garb to make the event more authentic. About three (3) weeks to Halloween, I think people were all prepared for the costume parties and trick or treating already.

Tents were set up to depict medieval villages offering crafts, entertainment and food galore to visiting lords and ladies. There are a lot to do in the "faire" aside from eating. Shopping is one of them. There are a lot of crafts, costumes and other stuff for sale depicting the renaissance theme. One particular item I was interested in was the door harp, a musical string instrument that you mount at the back of your door. As the door swings open or close, it produces gentle chime sounds filling your house. It is said to bring good luck to your home. If you need more information about this or interested to own a door harp, just search it online. Entertainment includes comic shows, jugglers, magicians, performing bands, re-enactments of famous medieval events in the time of King Arthur. There were jousting and fencing tournament/shows, too. You can show off your horseback riding prowess as well as hone to perfection your shooting skills in archery. There are lots of food stalls where you can satisfy your giant hunger and thirst. I was particularly surprised how big those turkey legs were. In the distance I thought those were large ice cream cones and my eyes started to scan the area for the ice cream stand location. I ended up having a grilled salmon burger although I was also contemplating to try the ostrich or elk burgers that they were offering. No, there were no snake fritters or cricket crisps…at least not in that shop.

Overall, I enjoyed that festival. Looking forward to next year's Renaissance Festival and should I try wearing a medieval costume next time around?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Autumn Arrives In Las Vegas

Where else can Las Vegas appreciate the beauty of season changes without going out of the valley than in the Botanical Gardens at The Bellagio. Once again I would like to share the Fall 2009 exhibits which boasts autumn foliage and colors all over the venue. You've got to see them to fully enjoy the Fall scenery and landscapes.
Here are some pictures I got during my visit over the weekend.