Breathing in between the spaces of this busy life

“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”

The third quarter is always the busiest quarter. It’s a little lighter this year without the Asian Spirits party and yet, I manage to shift around the workload somehow and keep myself busy. Managing Wu Wei has become such a full time job that I haven’t been able to blog about anything else. This is not a complaint though. I’m having so much fun even if it’s a little funny how busy non-action (wu wei) is making me!

My life hasn’t been pure work of course. While to my students it may seem like I do nothing but update the Wu Wei Master List and think up new spells and tactics — and that is when I’m not teaching and working in school — I try to keep things a little more well-rounded. It’s definitely difficult to make time for things which may appear to some “to waste time” but it’s essential. While I believe in duty, I’m not one to be bound by it. Nothing could be worse than living a life of subsistence or worst, servitude!

This post is about how I deal with this busy life. It’s about finding spaces in between the things that divide my time, and how I manage to waste time even as I run out of it.

By the way, this post isn’t as serious as it sounds. It’s my way of getting you all up to speed with the shows, songs, books and comics I’ve been paying attention to! 🙂

Every day I report to work at 11:30am. This allows me a lot of time in the morning for either preparation or recreation. Tuesday and Thursday are sacred badminton days so I schedule all my prep work on Monday and Wednesday. By Friday, I only have two classes to look forward to, plus badminton with some students (at least for this quarter only), and then my job is done!

I’m not a TV person. With my time as divided as it is, I can’t sit and wait for a show to come on. This is why the Internet is such a boon for me. Since I download all the shows I watch, I work away while they’re downloading and reward myself by watching them the moment they’re done or the moment I’m free. This is one such service I am willing to pay for and I hope one becomes available here in the Philippines in the future.

I am currently following three shows — Heroes, Smallville and Survivor: China. Barring the worsening WGA strike, I hope to add LOST and Jericho to that list after the mid-season break.

Heroes is good. Four stars out of five. While I saw the Adam reveal a mile away, the flashback episode somehow left me a little wanting. Word is this season ends in the next three episodes. Will they be able to pull all the disparate plot threads together by then?

I learned to not expect anything from Smallville anymore, and that is how I get pleasantly surprised by it from time to time. Somehow, the show seems to ride very well with my emotional undercurrents. It’s odd how much I can relate to a show with an alien lead and his dark, secretive country girl.

Lastly, Survivor: China is a pleasant surprise. It’s pretty good though I think the survivors are being spoiled too much with the reward challenges. “Surviving” seems much easier now, but the heart of the game is still the political interplay. That alone keeps me checking back week after week.

I’m not a movie or DVD person. For me, watching movies is best done in a theater with friends. It is a social activity that is capped with a lunch or dinner afterwards where you pick on what you like or didn’t like. Oddly, downloading movies or watching DVDs don’t appeal to me. While I can be in control of my time through that, I find two hours to be a huge commitment to be just spent alone. The only time I would watch a movie alone is when I need to view it for class.

The last movie I saw was The Bourne Ultimatum. That was around August, I believe.  2007 seems to be a poor year for movies. The only film I’m looking forward to now is The Dark Knight next year.

  With the point of social life being raised, I realize that contrary to how it may seem and how I used to think, I actually have a social life. It just so happens that I choose to keep my circle small, tight and work-oriented. This is a function of time, of course. I get to expand my circle during social functions, breaks, and vacations. I remember beating myself up over this last year, but there really is no cause for concern.

Knowing how I feel about Metro Manila traffic, I found an excellent way to beat it — I listen to music. While that is a foregone conclusion, what I do now is to go through my library one by one. I’ve purchased a lot of CDs through the years and now, through some cleansing ritual of sorts, I listen to each one from beginning to end. Of course, not every CD is a Dizzy Up the Girl, and so this exercise will help me discipline me in buying CDs in the future by sticking to just those I really like.

Among the albums I rediscovered lately are A Boy Named Goo by the Goo Goo Dolls (which is quickly becoming my favorite Goo album) and Spiritual Machines by Our Lady Peace. I realized that I love albums which tell one story. American Idiot and The Black Parade top the list of such albums. Spiritual Machines come in third.


Check out “Naked” from A Boy Named Goo

What I completely lack discipline in, of course, is buying books. I definitely have more books than I have time to read them. Check out my Shelfari to see what I mean. Without a doubt, the only solution here is to extend the day beyond 24 hours.

But there are books which I get to read from cover to cover the moment I buy them — comic books! Thursday is another sacred day where I make my trip to the Mecca of comic books — Druid’s Keep! Here are the titles that top my list these days:

#1 X-Men Messiah Complex event: This huge event revolves around the first mutant birth after most mutants were wiped out by the Scarlet Witch during the House of M event. They’ve been nearing extinction since then, and now they’re struggling to survive. This event spans 13 issues and these are the first X-Men comics I’ve ever bought.

#2 The Sinestro Corps War event: This thing is bigger than Star Wars. Wow. I can’t believe I said that. The Green Lanterns face their most formidable challenge yet — the Sinestro Corps — in a conflict to save not only the universe, but the multiverse! Yummy.

#3 First Born: This 3-issue mini-series by Top Cow looks at the birth of Sarah Pezzini’s child to Jackie Estacado. Or in another words, the child of the two primal forces in the universe — the Darkness and Light. It’s amazing how this company wasn’t in my radar before this event. The wonderful art by Stepan Sejic definitely helps!

#4 Star Wars Legacy and Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic. These two top Star Wars titles are just consistently fun reads especially when you look back at all of them and reread them. Legacy happens 100 years after Luke Skywalker while KotOR (based on the game of the same name) happens 4,000 years before it.

Sorry for the geek out. It feels good sometimes to just be geeky about stuff. One thing I haven’t done much lately is play video games and I plan to do that when the Christmas break comes. I plan to replay the Prince of Persia series again, and finally install my brand new Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties expansion! It’s my Christmas gift to myself which I just bought five days ago but haven’t found time to play. That will change soon.

Whew. No matter I don’t have time for anything else. I’m doing everything already.

My advice? Just don’t let life get in the way. Balance work and play, the two fundamental forces in the universe. Our lives may not be just our own, but we are always in control.


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