Full Disclosure

This post started with a mention of not eating pork in my #food channel on my video games guild slack.

I’ll be honest with you, I have never been to a Jollibee. I think I’ve had ships that pass in the night encounters where I saw one in a shopping mall or drove past one on my way someplace else.

It’s not that I didn’t know what it was. I remember my friends in the Old Neighborhood talking about it. Remarking on how weird or how good or how things are different, between Here and Over There. These were the friends whose families “went back home” to the Philippines once a year.

My parents decided that a Private Catholic School Education was more important, this is one of those sacrifices that they made. For reasons unknown to me then, but clearly financial in retrospect, I never went back “home” to the Philippines.

I forgot about Jollibee for a while and then I got to college. I was attending a Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue in Boston. Jollibee again.

Same conversations. Rumors of one opening stateside begin to circulate. I come back to DC and spread this news to other Filipinos, who in all honesty, get pretty excited about it.

I enter the workforce and three decades pass.

In the background of my life, Jollibee gains a foothold stateside.

In my #food channel a link pops up from one of my Filipino friends. Jollibee is opening up a half hour away.

Slowly a plan forms in my head. It’s weird that the plan involves multiple risk models, but this is the time during which we find ourselves.

And then, “A 46 Year Old Filipino Man Tries Jollibee For the First Time Ever”

Tagged ,

For the first time in forever

Today is the first day in a long time that I’ve felt like singing. It’s been such a long time since I’ve felt like singing. What a terrible thing to write.

Today is also the first day in a long time that I’ve felt like being visible again.

Let me back up a bit.

Back when I decided to take a sabbatical from social media. I was just getting sick of reading everything over the course of the previous administration.

Every lie.

Every unjust, hurtful statement.

Every… you know, I’m going to be honest, this was just about every time anyone associated with the previous administration opened their mouth and said anything.

My personal reserves ran dry.

So I decided to take a break. I reviewed the last thing I remember posting. It was a picture on Instagram of a board game I played at a friend’s house. I ducked out, announced nothing, and decided to use that time differently.

I focused inward. I threw myself into personal non public slacks, private signal messages, and worked on building better relationships with my relatives and my found family.

Just about a year in, about a month before I was set to return, a pandemic happened.

A Pandemic. The kind of thing that happens in history books. The great plagues of yore. And even then, it’s only something I’ve read about. Surely we live in a time and age where we know how to handle these things because of science, and reason.

Now, 400,000 people are dead. Clearly, I was wrong. I was wrong about a lot of things. About my neighborhood, about America, about my career.

Time passed and life changed. In some ways better, in some ways worse, in a lot of ways different.

I thought I was going to make it to the second year, but well, here we are.

The first day in a long time that I’ve felt like singing, and it feels wonderful.

Somewhere an AI Analyst weeps

I’m going to analyze my Spotify Playlist that an Artificial Intelligence made for me. This is over the past year so buckle up.

I had some quick observations but then one long form analysis so enjoy.

  • Lots of what can be described as High Energy Dance
  • Slightly concerned about the party like it’s the last night of our lives theme
  • Yes Far East Movement Still exists
  • K/DA had five releases this year
  • Have you spoken to your child about doing your Homework While Listening to Lo-Fi Chill Hip Hop
  • I got that summertime sadness, but I found love in a hopeless place just staying alive one more time.

One More TimeDaft Punk

This song just seems like a strangely appropriate anthem for the year. The song starts with a lo-fi sample that seems stuck in time. Did someone hit the jukebox and the song started over? What day is it? Are we at a party? Where am I?

The sample sounds like a cd skip in rhythm. Each time it starts over, the song is slowly added to. This time the sample gets upgraded. Now there’s a vocalist and different filters. Each iterative loop starts with the same sample, but adds something else.

The song ends simply by fading out, but still lingers. It’s ongoing, maybe it’s moved on somewhere else but it’s still going.

And of course the Title and oft repeated lyric, “One More Time.”

Thoughts on a picture

A probably mid to late 30s Filipino Father with a beard and mustache poses in front of a Christmas tree with his son, the author of this post. They have a striking resemblance.
Dad and myself in front of a Christmas tree circa 1982-84 I’d guess.
I am terrible at estimating child ages. But this picture inspired this post.
Also this is how I imagine I’d look with facial hair. (top)

This is the picture that got me thinking.

I grew up with my dad as my primary male role model. I would almost say only.

When I was growing up, there was a period of time where it was just my Dad in the afternoons taking care of me, all the way until we got home at night together.

My parents couldn’t afford childcare. After school my father would take his lunch break, pick me up. I accompanied my dad back to work, where he’d work the rest of his second shift.

I remember I hanging out in the back of a jewelry store until it was time to go home or my mom picked me up after work.

I would watch as my dad sold jewelry, greeted customers, and dressed a certain way. I learned how to interact with people and how people interacted with him. I knew all the staff and would just talk with folks and learned how to use a ribbon machine for gift wrap.

It’s made me wonder how much of an impact he’s had on my life, and then, after that, on to other people’s lives. I know we’re not the same people, but by the same token, he definitely played a major role in how I started learning how to be who I am. The person I’m discovering and keeping track of now.

I want a lot of you reading this to know that my father helped shape the first “me” you met, but who I am now is in no small part influenced by all of my interactions and experiences with you.

I think I turned out all right.

Thank you.

Paying it Forward

I’m approaching the end of what I consider my Office Hours.

It started earlier with laundry, then some cleaning up. Paid some bills, took a look at some lighting (for video calling) I could send my mother. Finished off the last of the immediate errands with the help of Meredith.

Had a long talk with my mother about making sure that my brother and I had current copies of the advanced directive and maybe just trying to figure out what to do with things in a safety deposit box.

It’s strange but I feel like I’ve done enough to make life just a little bit easier for my Future Self.

It’s a weird time y’all.