reaping the cost of solitude

Thursday, May 01, 2014

How To Excel At Being A Boss Despite Your Incompetence

If you're an incompetent boss and often find yourself sitting on your ass with a to-do list devoid of creativity, the quickest way to add fresh bullet points to your list- as well as eradicate idle time- is to call a meeting. Everyone knows this, but still- the power to call meetings on a whim is the pinnacle of manager ego-trips where you can effortlessly summon the ranks and have them drop everything they're doing for the chance to brown-nose you. Others won't be as eager, so the trick is to coerce them into thinking these meetings are in fact "serious business", and by that I mean you're taking it very seriously.

Being the incompetent, uncreative boss that you are, you might run out of stuff to talk about. To avoid this, set an agenda so broad you could literally talk about all day. The more tedious and boring, the better. (IMPORTANT: Be careful not to fall asleep during the meeting. It can prove disastrous to your image!) Luckily, picking an agenda won't take as much brain cells as you might think. It's a matter of setting the stage for a free-flowing discussion and see where your employees can take it. Keep it simple and observational- for example: you might remember seeing dirt in one of the rest rooms and say "I saw dirt in one of the stalls in the rest room the other day. I think housekeeping needs to be improved." Encourage everyone in attendance to give their 2 cents, have an open forum and let them share similar experiences. By the time the discussion has veered off topic and everyone starts debating who would win in a Pacquiao-Mayweather boxing match, you will have wasted a huge chunk of your morning (and everyone else's). Repeat ad nausea until you've had enough. Ready your memorized pablum to close the meeting with. (Always impart some sort of moral lesson to bookend your meetings- people love it.)

If you still have time to burn after the meeting's over, you might want to obsess about housekeeping a bit more. Take a stroll around the office park. Take into account mess, grime, clutter, etc. Be as meticulous as possible! This isn't only an effective time sink, but also shows you as a strict boss who cares about the little details. Any boss, competent or not, who's meticulous down to the tiniest detail often excels at what he does (in your case- lying). Before long, you'll be heralded as some kind of multi-tasking genius- especially when your on-site inspections are contrasted with your day-to-day "important" office meetings. Plus, you're getting your much-needed exercise during office hours!

Boy, he's been in and out of meetings all day and he still manages to check if there's dirt in the bathroom! He sure is one helluva multi-tasker!

By this time, you should approach an unsuspecting worker near the vicinity, confront him about the mess, and give him a lengthy lecture about how cleanliness is next to godliness until either one of you falls asleep standing up (again, try hard it won't be you). Remind him that your findings will be discussed in tomorrow's meeting.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sometimes News Articles Are Comedians - Part 1

Sometimes news articles are comedians.
Armed men in camouflage stormed the grounds of the Gonzaga, Cagayan town hall during the flag-raising ceremony and killed Mayor Carlito Pentecostes Jr. at around 8 a.m. yesterday.
Police said the armed men scattered leaflets with a message in Ilocano: “Hustisya para iti kaaduan, dusaen dagiti utek ti dayuhan a minas iti Cagayan (Justice for all. Punish the brains of the illegal mining operations by foreigners in Cagayan).”
Pentecostes’ relatives and close political allies believe politics and mining could be behind the killing.
You don't say.


The full article can be found here.

Violence in Malapascua

April 19. We were at a dinner buffet by the beach after a long day of snorkeling. People had already begun helping themselves to a second serving when we heard the first gunshot. We looked at each other and quickly faced the direction where we thought the sound came from. Another gunshot. And another. Then another. No one knew for certain that these were indeed gunshots, which sounded more like a set of puny, out-of-season firecrackers; but people were starting to feel alarmed. The noise ultimately came from a little scuba diving shop right beside the restaurant and the people nearby started moving closer to take a peek and see what was going on. Everyone else was paying attention now.

"Our manager is being shot!"

Chaos broke out. In a rush of panic, everyone frantically left their seats and scampered to safety. People were spilling their drinks, fumbling over chairs and tables; and those who had never used their legs to run in the past decade or so began running now. Some ran back to their rooms and locked themselves in, others took cover in the sand dunes, and the rest just ran off into the dark. In seconds, the place was completely deserted, but everyone kept a watchful eye from a safe distance.

Two or three more gunshots could be heard. Some fearless (or crazy) bystanders every now and then would sneak up close to take a peek only to run away seconds later. People in the shadows were now on their phones, trying to contact the police. All everyone knew at that point was the manager was being slaughtered inside his own dive shop and the police had yet to arrive.

After 15 or 20 minutes I saw the first policeman. He was dressed in civilian clothes and was carrying a rifle - which looked like an M-16. He took a glimpse from afar, surveyed what he could, always moving back and forth, and decided to move closer. I did not see anything else from my vantage point, but no gunshots were exchanged and no noises could be heard. A few moments later, one or two people came into the open and began flailing their arms to all the people who were watching at a safe distance, and when we got the message, everyone started moving back to the dive shop to see what had happened.

The gunner was already handcuffed. He was the security guard of the dive shop. A Filipino. Not a resident of Malapascua Island, but he allegedly hailed from Samar. He shot his European boss (I'm not sure of his exact nationality) using his standard-issue revolver. He emptied all eight (or six?) bullets, stopped and reloaded the remaining three bullets he had on him and emptied it again. He was out of ammo when the police arrived. He was drunk. And drunk he showed up for work. Apparently, the manager had nothing of it and fired him on the spot. He was handing over his uniform, and was also about to hand over his service firearm when he decided to shoot the manager instead.

The manager was carried all the way to the beach where a boat bound for Maya waited. He was still breathing. There were no hospitals nor clinics in Malapascua so he had to be taken to the mainland to receive proper treatment. The gunner, met by scorn from the multitude of onlookers, boarded the same boat together with the policemen and collectively vanished into the dark.

We would later learn that the manager died from his injuries before they could reach the mainland.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Rewind: The Sunset Through a Window

Ah, the sunset.  I take great pleasure from staring at that orange gob of light before the earth completely devours it.  It would've been better if it weren't for the neighborhood rooftops that block the display of warm colors at its grandest, when it starts to trace the silhouettes of the mountains. No matter, it works regardless, and my complaints are minimal. I lay motionless. A guitar within arm's reach. Here. This is my room on an afternoon. Welcome.

A few years from now, I will be leaving this place. And even later my family will follow suit. This room, this house will be deserted. It will be dirty with dust and cobwebs in every corner, floors will give in to the slightest weight, and windows will be host to vines that go in every direction in the midst of broken jalousies. The sound of crickets will be louder. The croaks of frogs, much easier to discern. All these new creatures and green foliage will marvel at this ancient man-made fortress while through its windows, the sunset will continue to paint it orange. Always.

This room will be an old storyteller one day. It will share a story of sadness & joy, of music & dissonance, of love, and of a boy, who once stared through its windows at that emanating gob of light to the west.

~ July 2008

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rewind: A Completely Pointless Dream about Ghosts

I had the weirdest dream.  I was 5 or 6 and son to an army chief and lived off in some army encampment in the great forest.  I couldn't really remember if we lived a normal happy life, but then the riders came.  They were clad in medieval suits, the ones you saw on knights in a period movie.  I heard the sound of metal banging against metal.  I could tell they weren't barbarians for I saw that their leader carried a certain valor to him.  But they killed swiftly.  They took the life of everyone I cared for, including mine.  I couldn't really remember that one swing of the sword that ended me, but I knew I was dead because I started to see ghosts.

The ghosts ganged up on me.  They took me to a place where I "waited it out" for the next decade or so.  It was an old mansion.  I could still remember the carpet and the wood sculptures on the stairwells.  I could remember small rooms underneath its labyrinth, ones I had to crouch to see.  But the ghosts were the ones that really fascinated me. A select few never tried to scare me and some looked more like real people than ghosts. But the more grotesque ones scared me - one look, a glance, and you had the cliche idea of a ghost: pale, floating, scary-looking. I remember there was a flying ghost of a child with a body severed from the waist down, and he constantly tried to get near me like a beggar would in a street. So did the other ghosts. I didn't know what the deal was but I could see I was important to them. Like a prophet, or savior perhaps, the key to finally move on to the next netherworld, and I had no idea why.

So what did ghosts do each day in a cold dark haunted mansion? They wrote. All of them had notebooks, scraps of paper, the underside of a magazine cover--- anything really, as long as they could write on it. And they wrote all day. They would always come to me asking for pens, which of course I didn't have, and it's also probably the reason why I was so scared because I got to see every single one of them approaching me. At times I would turn back and run, but they would call me out and say they were not a threat and meant no harm. And I never did have any pens, but they would always find that last lead off a pencil somewhere and they would continue scribbling the day away.

One day I was among them whilst they were writing, they had all their heads down as if in deep concentration.  I peeked.  One wrote phrases I barely understood or remembered.  One wrote his signature over and over again.  Others wrote poetry.  And they all wrote on random areas on the paper.  I asked one of them "what's the deal with all this writing?" He said, "it's the only thing that connects this world to the worlds above".  I did not forget that. It was the only medium that could send out pleas for ghostly freedom to the gods. Most of them remain unheard, and I realized you had to be lucky. They pushed on anyway, like old people buying lottery tickets everyday hoping to finally hit the jackpot.  The "jackpot" in their case was a mystery. The ghost continued that they were writing even more now that I'm here.  They say I was a prophet and that I was the catalyst to all this mumbo-jumbo.

I couldn't really remember anything else except the return of the riders. Strange because they saw the ghosts. I don't know if they were ghosts themselves, but they looked battle-hungry, and they were all looking for me. I had no idea why. Their leader, the one that killed me, stormed through the entrance with a flail and immediately went looking for me and once he found my hiding place, he rammed the wood panels from which I hid underneath until he coaxed me out.  I ran, but I couldn't run as fast as I normally did. I was held by a strange wood-like figure. In no time, he was before me- and I was ready to die a second death. I waited for the death blow but it did not come. What he did though, he drew his sword and started sawing at something I had no idea was on my body before. I had chains just between my thighs and my butt. Thick metal chains. And he sawed and I cried.  It felt like I was the subject of a medieval circumcision. But once the last chain was off, he said to me... "now you're free".

Wild applause ensued. Including the ghosts. Then I woke up.

~ June 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Procrastinating Couch Potato

He awoke drenched. It was a hot afternoon and the couch was damp with his own sweat. The electric fan was useless. Still groggy and half-naked, he began to recount his bearings- what day was it anyway? He made a quick glance at the calendar on the wall and learned it was a Tuesday. Just another Tuesday.

He had taken a nap on the same couch yesterday, and the day before that, and on Saturday too. Fact is, he had been napping for as long as he could remember; and the couch was beginning to smell funky. As with most couch potatoes, he was oblivious to the scent.

He turned on the TV and quickly leafed through the channels looking for something worthwhile to watch. He stopped at the Fashion Channel, like he did yesterday, and the day before that. He watched as one slender model after another pranced on the walkway, his eyes fixated on their breasts jiggling with each gallop. This semi-erotic ritual of his wasn't limited to the afternoons. He watched these exact same models gallop well beyond midnight.

God, these ladies are gorgeous. He thought.

Swallowing his saliva, he turned off the TV and slowly went back to a supine position on the couch. He cuddled to one of the couch pillows and made mental notes of the stuff he was supposed to do today:

Pay bills.
Run errands.
Do groceries.
Spend the rest of afternoon at the driving range.

He had always thought himself classy, and, in his mind, being a golfer drove that point home. Everyone else was playing basketball, soccer, tennis. Not him. He played golf. If he had to fill out a form that asked for his sports or hobbies, he was proud to write "GOLF" in there every time. He felt elite doing so, the same way horse back-riders felt when writing "equestrianism" on the same form. He was convinced he was part of the social elite - the rich - since golf is not a typical sport enjoyed by common peons. Furthermore, being associated with the latter is essentially social suicide.

He wondered if any other "elite" people had been at the driving range today.

If only Benjamin did a bit of golfing we'd be the classiest father-son duo at the driving range.
(Benjamin hated golfing.)

His mind continued to wander off onto something else. He began thinking about how much money he had spent on those damn near-worthless lampshades. For a second he considered adding "return lampshades and make cashier wish he/she wasn't a cashier" to his itinerary- on a whim- but ultimately decided against it. He then thought of other stuff: one had to do with getting rid of rats in the house, another with getting a haircut. He continued to think all that he could within his capabilities as a sweat-soaked half-naked man in boxers in a hot afternoon. Then his eyes started to cave in.

And so he spent the rest of his afternoon sleeping on the couch; same as yesterday, and the day before, and Saturday too.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bacon & Eggs and Cold Conversations

The seat sent shivers through him. It was morning, and he had just taken a nice warm bath. Benjamin was dried up and seated before the dinner table now- a dinner table with breakfast on it- still trying to swallow the drowsiness from the night and waking his sleeping appetite. The breakfast was the bacon and eggs cliché. It smelled nice. At least it did.

He kept his distance from his father. They both lived together for as long as he can remember but they seldom talked. His father was across the table with a couple of pills strewn beside a glass of milk. Father started scooping rice and made a delicious mess of eggs and bacon on his plate. Swallowed one pill and started talking.

“Doesn’t Joseph want to work in the same industry as you?”
A light shrug. Joseph was a friend, but more a drinking buddy than a friend actually. He worked in some bank.
“I mean, industries like yours should interest him. It’s managerial.”
Managerial. That word somehow sent a small puke in Benjamin's mouth.

A brief silence followed by the clinging of silverware.

He felt his father had always wanted to talk to him, but he always remained quiet, replying with no more than half-hearted shrugs and nods. It all comes naturally to him. At times he felt sorry for his father and wanted to at least make an effort to answer his questions properly. "How hard can it be?", he thought. But there’s nothing more awkward than taking five minutes to come up with a reply. In his mind being awkward was worse than being cold. It was the norm in the household after all.

After drinking his milk and taking his share of vitamins, he stood up. Wandered about the room and looked at the morning paper for awhile. He had not changed into his work clothes yet. His father was finishing his last slab of bacon when Benjamin started up the stairs.

“Do we have a small screwdriver?”, Benjamin was finally saying.
“What about the one you had in one of your drawers?”
“I couldn’t find them. I need to fix the mouse. It’s got dirt inside and it’s a pain to use.”
"I'll check..."

His father immediately stood and started to walk at moderate speed, likely headed towards his room to look for some tools he probably stored there. Benjamin could tell his excitement.

“Not now. I think I’ll fix it later. Maybe tonight.”
His father stopped, looked confused for a moment.
“Oh, okay”, his father said and headed back to the table.

Benjamin was all dressed up when he came downstairs. He had a white polo shirt, dark pants, and squeaky black shoes.
“I’ll be on my way now.”
“Okay.”
His father was still at the dinner table, chewing some left-over peanuts from the fridge.

The road was strange today. It had fewer cars than usual, especially during the morning rush hour. He was playing some Zero 7 and turned the volume to a good 30, drowning the sounds from oncoming traffic and the outside world. He stopped listening to radio a long time ago. Felt he had to be very selfish with his music. It was his brush and paint. It was his landscape.

He awoke when he felt something warm flowing from his neck. The impact had dislodged his jaw from its sockets and it had uncovered a fountain of blood. It was hanging now. He had not seen so much blood before. His neatly ironed white polo shirt was in shreds, dyed dark red from the newly opened faucet. A crowd was forming around the misshapen vehicle with a figure inside. A bloody disfigured creature. Benjamin could make out random buzzes of electricity. The throbbing of the warm flow of liquid. The sound of worried gasps and murmurs. All fading in unison.

He lay motionless. He felt no more.

Father was still at the dinner table, now with a set of screwdrivers before him.  He wondered what he should be fixing today.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rewind: The Vending Machine

Do you have a coin? I love coins. I love how they're shaped round and how they vary in thickness and diameter. I love how some are mint shiny, some with little dents here and there, even the ones that have accumulated respectable amounts of dirt & rust through the years. I love them. I love them all.

They may seem so common, so usual, almost superficial that you pay them the tiniest respect, but I adore them wholly; for without them, I would lose my purpose. Yes, they are the very reason I function. I'm a creaky, obsolete vending machine. I specialize in candy. Sweet & chewy. Hard & sour. With or without nuts. Caramel & nougat.  I have all sorts and you can have them all! But bills are beyond me- I need coins. Tingly and simple.

Yes, that feels good. Thank you. I see you've chosen a chocolate bar as you carefully push the buttons on my chest. 421. Snickers. Your confident touch is gentle, I like it. Something turns inside me, and the candy falls on the base of my hollowed insides and slides conveniently to my retrieval slot. You absent-mindedly snag and unwrap the goodie and take one delicious bite after the other... But wait, don't you want another one? Dark chocolate or almond perhaps? How about some gum? Hey... where are you going? Wait-

~ February 2008

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

What I've Learned from Driving in the Philippines

If there's anything I've learned from driving in the Philippines, it's that Filipinos are the most impatient drivers. Anyone who's ever tried driving through the city will immediately notice.

FACT: There's always someone trying to cut you off.

Lanes? Who cares? Forget everything you learned about lanes or how only the width of a single car can fit in one. Out here, 2 or even 3 cars can fit. Chalk it up to Filipino ingenuity. And as long as your car is not physically occupying a space in your lane, no matter how small, it's basically up-for-grabs. Filipino drivers, especially those driving public transportation, literally go nuts when they see an empty space in front of you. They must have it. Even if it only means they'll be closer to their destination by 2-3 feet - doesn't matter to them. Not even if traffic is at a standstill. Screw your space and screw you! If all else fails, they can always drive through the sidewalk. (Yeah, screw you pedestrians too!)

For someone who at least tries to practice courtesy on the road, it can be infuriating to be constantly screwed over by these undesirable folk; so much that you yourself end up adamant about not letting anyone cut you off. You then become accustomed and later immune to this road dynamic and after years of getting cut off and avoiding getting cut off, you eventually end up cutting off everyone else instead. Might as well cut or be cut, right? I'm afraid my highly-regarded road courtesy will deteriorate to that point someday, but I'm optimistic it won't. All you need is a lighter foot, some good music, some horrible singing and you'll be the happiest driver around. Eager and more than glad to yield to the cutters - yep, that name sounds about right -  the darned cutters.

Besides, blocking off a cutter is even worse. Not only do you set yourself up for a no-eye-contact contest - once the lights turn green, I guarantee you'll involuntarily participate in a mini drag-race with the alleged cutter. You then begin to tremble in a fit of rage, start to black out, and become a fuming road monster who refuses to be screwed over by this little bitch cutter. Around this point, a road mishap is likely; or if you're someone who likes carrying a pistol inside your car for some reason, this is about the right time to demonstrate your excellent marksmanship skills after several days of practicing at a gun range in Danao; OR ... both you and the cutter get away unscathed. You then drive home, eat dinner, brush your teeth, watch TV, and wonder if it was all worth it.

It's in your best interest to just be awesome and butcher all of your favorite songs.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Rewind: How His Father Died

I could hear the uncontrolled coughing from somewhere inside the house. I followed the loud cracks and my search abruptly ended in the bathroom. There he was- crouched with his head over the toilet, now coughing and vomiting huge amounts of blood, and he's cleaning it off with the frequent splash of water from his bucket. I stood there aghast, asking if he's okay like any surprised person would do, not knowing how to remedy the situation at that very moment. I am utterly overwhelmed with shock with each painful hack and crackle of blood from his throat, and the splatting sound on the floor. More vomiting. More blood. Only then did it dawn on me: I needed to get this man to a hospital.

He was still trying to clean the mess he's made when I tried to hoist him up. I could see what was running through his mind at that moment:

What would my wife think?
What if she finds there's blood all over the place?
I need to clean this up.
Damn cough.

I pulled his arm around my neck and told him not to bother with the mess-- told him to save what remained of his strength.   As we drudged towards the front door, I immediately felt his strength waning, like a baby finally feeling secured, nestled in the arms of a mother after an arduous task of crying for milk or warmth.  He was done crying. Somehow I provided the milk.

Once we got out of the house, he asked me to stop. He pulled himself down on the front porch and vomited blood some more. This time, he could barely sit up. I held him up when he told me, "I'm going to die from this." These words resonated in my head. Please, anything but those! My sense of urgency peaked, followed by a shot of numbing adrenaline, and I was able to carry him like I was carrying a watermelon. We headed to a neighbor's house and demanded we borrow his car. He offered to drive us seeing we were all bloodied up.

The ride was fast and noisy as we made our way through traffic. We were on the opposite lane mostly. Hazard lights on. Constant honking. The cars, speed, and noise were intoxicating as I occasionally checked on him, to see if he was still okay. He was breathing short breaths now. A few moments later, the car's horns stopped working- strangely. That was when I noticed he had lost consciousness.

It's going to be okay.
He's going to be okay.
I kept telling myself.

I was still carrying him when we arrived at the hospital. The emergency room. Nurses, doctors- who knows. I remember a nurse made the reach for his pulse and then said, "Nothing.  I think he's gone..."  Those words had never sounded so painful. She proceeded to ask me what happened and I explained everything; as if recalling each detail could somehow bring him back. I had absolutely no clue what else I could do. Waiting wasn't even an option. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. But my mind went blank. It shut itself down as it frantically tried to process what had happened.

The next thing I knew, I was in the morgue, sitting beside him. Crying. Talking to him. He looked as if he was just sleeping peacefully, and the illusion calmed me down a bit. I had to close his eyes with my fingers several times though, since his eyelids kept opening up. And as I did this, more tears came rolling down my face. I continued talking. Gibberish. I couldn't remember a word. I just kept on talking.... talking.... talking...... talking........

Death prevailed. It was bloody. It was short. It was impatient. It left me with nothing but a hollowed sense of helplessness before it, as it handed over my biggest loss.

~ October 2008

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Rewind: I Find Comfort in an Old Tree

I find comfort in an old tree. It stands in the open, conspicuous and proud among the little plants and shrubs. It stands today at the exact same spot it did yesterday, and quite possibly will continue to do so well beyond my lifetime. I am happy to see it because unless the forces allow it to be stricken with a freak lightning in the next 30 seconds or so, I know that at least my chances are high that I'll see it tomorrow unmoved. It's a small consolation; a shred of comfort at an age where everything seems to dissipate without notice.

~ August 2009

Saturday, April 05, 2014

What I Feel After Watching 500 Days of Summer for the Nth Time

"To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die."
I've come to realize there are two types of good films. One being your run-of-the-mill, critically-acclaimed, entertaining films; while the other not only shares the same qualities as the first, but also changes you. Such is the case for this movie. It alters moods, changes perceptions, and makes you feel its fictionalized world is somehow in tune with your own reality. And it helps that music is used to perfect effect here, guiding you through the different galleries of emotions throughout the film. It's a well-balanced examination of unrequited love, one that becomes more apparent on subsequent views. It's perhaps the best attempt at the subject matter by any movie.

Time and again, after subsequent views I emerge from it a little bit different. A bit altered. A bit off. A bit more grateful and enthused. And somehow a bit mad. It takes and gives back a piece of me each time, and it's remarkable to see such an exchange happen between a person and a piece of media.

It's been 5 years since the movie came out, and I've no doubt it will stand the test of time, never to disappear into the abyss of the post-contemporary. It's strangely depressing actually. In every respect a classic, the central characters are immortalized and frozen in time, always emanating youthful exuberance and delivering on the film's victory of fiction. The real world, in contrast, rots. And as the decaying world watches a joyful Tom walk through the park to "You Make My Dreams" and later joined by Summer huddled in a silly game of tourettes, we are eternally reminded of our own mortality.

I never get tired of this film.


Thursday, April 03, 2014

500 Days of Summer: The Chronological Timeline


You must know that 500 Days of Summer IS one of my all-time favorite movies. For those who haven't seen it, it had a scrambled timeline to contrast between the good and bad days in the couple's relationship as well as to reflect how normal people remember things in the past - usually jumping from one memory to another and not necessarily in chronological order. Fortunately, someone was obsessed enough to put it together. All credits go to sunsjk @ IMDB for putting this up.

DAY 1: January 8, 2006 - Tom sees Summer for the first time as she's introduced in the department meeting. Instantly smitten.
DAY 3: January 10, 2006 - Summer is declared a bitch by the office grapevine, and Tom seems pretty neutral about it. Makes sense, as he doesn't know her yet.
DAY 4: January 11, 2006 - The elevator ride. We discover that the heroine shares his musical tastes and can sing. Hero doubly smitten. Onward.
DAY 8: January 15, 2006 - Office party for Millie's engagement, though the wedding doesn't happen for another year (see DAY 402). Tom and Summer finally have their first real conversation, successfully covering the exposition bases about Summer's move to LA and a little bit of Tom's history.
DAY 11: January 18, 2006 - Wii tennis with Rachel.
DAY 22: January 29, 2006 - Tom declares that it's off, though he's really just too chicken to ask her out. Even as a girl, I've been guilty of this myself. I like a guy, I drop clues, I have this beautiful, perfect vision of how the relationship will pan out, then try to act all cool once I realize he isn't responding to anything I'm doing.
DAY 27: February 3, 2006 - "The whole office is going..."
DAY 28: February 4, 2006 - Karaoke night. McKenzie outs Tom on his crush. Summer is more amused by it than anything, but her interest in him is finally visible.
DAY 31: February 7, 2006 - And that's probably why she kisses him in the copy room three days later. And goes to his apartment after work, then to dinner with him. The first official day of their romance, I suppose.
DAY 34: February 10, 2006 - IKEA, when things were so fresh and playful. Then sex. Sex on the fourth day of the relationship? I must be really old-fashioned.
DAY 45: February 21, 2006 - Two weeks in and they're talking and laughing on their cell phones at work, despite being 20 feet from each other. Ah, the silly things new couples do.
DAY 87: April 4, 2006 - Record store and shower sex. The movie skipped March completely, but we can safely assume our couple has only grown closer. Still playful and fun.
DAY 95: April 12, 2006 - Tom shows Summer some of the great architecture around town. I love this stage of their relationship, where they're just quietly in tune with each other. This is also their first time on the bench together, and both bench scenes have this soft, whimsical quality that I love.
DAY 109: April 26, 2006 - Tom's first time in Summer's apartment. Very telling that she was at his place on day 1 of their romance, but it takes him 2.5 months to see her place.
DAY 118: May 5, 2006 - Still going steady, though Tom's starting to question what they are. He goes to Rachel's soccer game and gets a pep talk there before driving somewhere with Summer, back in downtown LA. She sweeps his uncertainty under the rug, where it will fester later. Dun dun DUN...
DAY 154: June 10, 2006 - Tom's "I love Summer" montage.
DAY 167: June 23, 2006 - "I love us." Both still on Cloud 9.
DAY 191: July 17, 2006 - Art gallery date, followed by the movies. This is the only transition scene we get, the only scene that isn't completely their puppy love stage or their distance stage. They've been together several months and are probably bored of their usual routine, but can still have fun together.
DAY 259: September 23, 2006 - Bar fight. Big jump. We can only conclude that Summer has gotten increasingly bored with Tom, as she's only half-heartedly listening to him now. Somehow, she went from comfortable to disinterested in these two months. They made up and went to the park the next day ("Penis" game), showing that they can still get along, but the relationship is definitely different.
DAY 282: October 16, 2006 - IKEA, this time not so fresh and playful. In the month since the bar fight, they haven't managed to recapture their old magic.
DAY 290: October 24, 2006 - The movies (The Graduate), record store again, and finally, the breakup over pancakes. It was an 8-month romance.
DAY 303: November 6, 2006 - Tom receives the e-mail o' doom from Summer. It's that awkward post-breakup stage, where you try to act like friends and keep in touch. Such a horrible stage.
DAY 314: November 17, 2006 - Tom sees the French movie alone, still depressed.
DAY 321: November 24, 2006 - Tom is moved to the Sympathy department. His depression has lasted exactly 1 month now.
DAY 322: November 25, 2006 - "I hate Summer" montage.
DAY 345: December 18, 2006 - Blind date. Two months since the breakup and Tom is only slightly more functional.
DAY 402: February 13, 2007 - Train ride to Millie's wedding. Four months since the breakup and Tom seems to be his old self again. Sees Summer on the train, however, and immediately reverts back to schoolboy mentality. They rediscover their friendly, easy chemistry, which I thought was nice.
DAY 408: February 19, 2007 - Rooftop party. Sometime in the 7 days since Millie's wedding, Summer's new boyfriend has proposed to her, and she's accepted. (But even if she started dating him in, say, November, after she broke up with Tom, that still only puts them in their fourth month together. *whistle* When you know, you know, I guess. That was the point, right? :D)
DAY 440: March 23, 2007 - Tom's alcohol and junk food binge, even though it's been a month since he found out about Summer's engagement. Has he been in this state for a month?
DAY 441: March 24, 2007 - Alcohol and junk food binge continued.
DAY 442: March 25, 2007 - Tom quits New Hampshire Greetings.
DAY 450: April 2, 2007 - Tom goes to one of Rachel's soccer practices for another pep talk. Still pretty down, but he's found some solace in sketching again. Let the healing begin.
DAY 456 - DAY 476: April 8 - April 28, 2007 - Job search. At some point in these days, Summer's wedding occurs.
DAY 488: May 11, 2007 - The second and final bench scene. I think it happened, I don't think it was Tom's imagination, but to each their own. I thought it was a great conversation, and a necessary one for both Tom and the audience.
DAY 500: May 23, 2007 - Autumn. Finally.