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We Called It “Badminton”

I just received an email from R, a dear friend in L.A. that had me laughing my pants off.

Reminded me of when we still lived together in this huge apartment ages ago. We had another flatmate then, M, and we absolutely loved poking fun at her. One of our favorite sources of amusement was the steady parade of men she had in her life. Cute and petite, she had them coming in droves and the various devices she used to persuade us that they were just "friends" would have R and I laughing ourselves silly.

At one point she started going home late after outings with X, her "friend". She’d go off in sporty outfits and come back exhausted, claiming to have just ended a strenuous badminton workout with friends. This went on for days on end, with her going home later and later. R and I remained firmly stoic, keeping our wisecracks in check even though there were nights she’d forget her cover and leave her badminton gear behind (sometimes she’d even go off in high heels with nary a bag of gear in sight).

One Sunday morning though, after having gone home at 2am, she sidled close to me on the couch croaking something about the show I was watching. Concerned, I checked if she had a fever and asked her in alarm if she had a virus. She shook her head and replied in strangled voice, "Hindi. Sakit lang talaga ng lalamunan ko, salamat sa badminton."

R was off in the kitchen cooking but immediately, with deceptive casualness, moved closer. R’s eyebrows were wiggling at me suggestively when R said to M, "Grabe naman ang badminton na yan, umaabot talaga sa lalamunan." Hilarity threatened to overwhelm me and I said to the hapless M, "Well, what do you expect? What is badminton after all but ‘volleying a cock back and forth over an extended period of time’?"

When M finally got it, her mouth fell open in semi-shock and laughter. She was sputtering in mock indignation for a full 15 minutes before we all finally settled down.

I never could hear about people playing badminton without inappropriate mental images coming into my head.

So you can just imagine how I felt when once over lunch in Greenbelt, Marc Nelson started talking about how he enjoyed badminton and how he was sure that I’d love it.

Oh Marc, I’m SURE I’d enjoy it with you.

Now I can only pray that he doesn’t read this blog.


When I was in high school, we called it "ikot-ikot".

On Saturdays, we’d hang out at this village and when a couple would come back HHWW (Holding Hands While Walking) after having disappeared earlier, we’d ask them, "O, nawala kayo?"

They’d always reply casually, "Wala, ikot-ikot lang."

I’ll bet. Vertically or horizontally?

In law school now though, we call it "studying".

"Wanna study?" has become shorthand for "Let’s have long conversations over coffee and cigarettes, and talk about you and me and anything but law. And when we discover how the hours have gone by… let’s ‘study’ a little bit more."

Oh yeah, "studying". 😉

Aimless Living

I used to be able to spend entire days doing absolutely nothing. Yes, even during the school year.

For some reason, at summer, while gloriously anticipated, when it finally comes, the nothingness weighs heavily on you.

I’ve known freedom for only a few days now and already the emptiness of my days is getting to me.

It’s not like we do nothing but study during the school year, in fact, there are days when we pointedly refrain from engaging in activity that could be remotely considered as academic. Maybe it’s because avoiding studying is more significantly a choice that we make for our sanity. While doing nothing for days on end is just… insane. Haha.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking forward to June in the slightest. The inactivity before then just might kill me, that’s all.

I guess it doesn’t help that nothing good is on TV. 😦

My reunion with television is always much-anticipated and as soon as I get home and set my bags down in my room, I reach for the remote control and turn on my favorite appliance.

So you can see why it would be such a letdown to find that the only decent thing on is an ancient episode of Knight Rider, starring no less than David Hasselhoff himself!

Though, to be fair, it has to be conceded that he was a real hottie during his younger days.

Oh my gawd, what is happening to me??!!!???

Slowly going insane…

Late one evening, while going through the cases for the next day I ran out of orange highlighter.

You have to understand, this was no minor problem. I have a strict colorcoded pattern when I highlight cases. I use five different colored highlighters, 4 different colored pens in varying points and multiple-sized post-its. I am as OC as most law students are when it comes to school supplies and the use thereof. Running out of one color when I have 2 inches left of cases to read is nothing short of a calamity.

I was all set to run out only to remember it was 11pm and National Bookstore was already closed. I was aghast. What to do, what to do?

The normal person would go on reading and use another highlighter, maybe even make do without it.

But whoever said law students are normal?

I picked up my pink highlighter and tried using it to highlight the important facts but my hand wouldn’t budge. I tried again. I couldn’t do it. Pink was just so wrong! Pink was for jurisprudential support, not facts!

I tried again with blue. But it felt like such a betrayal, using blue to underscore causes of action when el azul was designated for lower court rulings.

I knocked on my neighbor’s door and asked if by any chance one of them had an orange highlighter I could borrow for the evening. No, not yellow, I already have yellow. No, not green, green is for the ratio. I want orange! I need orange! Oh please, doesn’t anyone on this floor have a freakin orange highlighter? How could anyone survive without an orange highlighter??!!!!

Whoops. There goes friendly neighborhood relations.

On the bright side, being known as the crazy orange-highlighter-obsessed lady in the 4th floor is better than being known as the naked-lady-who-almost-burned-the-building-down. But THAT’S another story for another post.

I never did finish reading my cases that night.

Good Lord. What has law school turned me into?

The world is passing me by…

While I was in the middle of reading a looooong case, its digest due in a couple of hours, my phone rang.

It was R. Good friend, great hangout buddy, ultra reliable harbinger of fun and drinking mayhem, inventor of the glorious, infamous Tisay that had us crawling all over Rastro.

He then tells me that he’s leaving for the US next month. As in 5 weeks from now. And he may never come back. As in, I may never see him again. Ever.

And then it hit me, the last time I had gone out with him was more than a year ago.

So many things we never got around to doing together. He was supposed to teach me how to play tennis (he’s a TENNIS PLAYER, as opposed to being just a tennis player, haha), teach me how to drive (let’s face it, not knowing how to drive at 25 is pathetic), and introduce me to the wonderful world of Ultimate Frisbee. I’ve never even been to his new pad and it’s been more than a year since he moved.

Of course, if we’ve somehow drifted apart, it’s all entirely my fault. Unlike most of my other friends who’ve given up all hope of ever pulling me out of the bog that is law school life, R has persistently maintained the belief that one day I’ll wake up, decide that I’m still cool and I still want to have a life, and take him up on one of his offers to hang out. In my defense, I too faithfully believed that I WOULD one day make time for the man who helped me enroll in UP and somehow make my way through the intimidating maze that is the Diliman campus (hey, for someone who has absolutely no sense of direction, UP Diliman is positively scary!), who picked me up from my evening classes regularly during the first few weeks of my I’m-lost-and-utterly-clueless-somebody-help-me first semester and drove me all the way to my condo in Mandaluyong and who will never be forgotten for having introduced me to the gastronomic delight that is the UP isaw.

Of course, I never did. 😦

We have 5 weeks though, and like he said, 5 weekends left. It might mean sacrificing a little gym time, a little volleyball time, maybe a little study time. It’ll mean a little less sleep, a bit more exhaustion and a lot more stress. But it’s Kuya R and I do love him.

In a way, it’s a wakeup call. How many more friends have I left fallen by the wayside while I let myself get completely sucked in by law school? Plenty.

When my law school friends ask me why I make time for volleyball, dance class, the gym… why I read constantly and maintain a blog… why I’m sneaking in guitar lessons in between typical hellish weeks in law school… when I should be putting in more study time and maybe vying for the top spots. I always say, that while I do study, put in the hours and obsess over school like everyone else, I try to remember that it’s not just about getting good grades, it’s about living a good life.

Hmmm…seems I haven’t been living as good a life as I thought I was.

RESOLUTION: Nurture relationships past and present.


I’ll start by going to Tagaytay with my AYLC friends tomorrow. AND finding a way to sneak in a little quality time with my buddy R in between that, studying AND the Conflicts of Law tournament.

A woman pulled in 20 different directions at any given time… that’s me. 🙂

And yet another reason NOT to become a lawyer…

So… here’s a horror story related by a Manhattan lawyer-turned-writer:

Before I became an attorney I worked as a paralegal at a New York
City (VERY white shoe) law firm. It was the go-go 90s. Associate
salaries were going up by astronomical sums every year, everybody was
working around the clock. As a paralegal I kept a clean change of
cloths, shampoo, toothpaste and a toothbrush, a blanket and a pillow
in my file cabinet…just in case. I used those items regularly.
Other people did exactly the same thing.

I worked with a tenth year associate (she made partner by year 11) who
worked on my matters and also was running a huge litigation. She
lived in New Jersey and had over an hour commute. She would generally
make it in the office by 8am and leave by 9 or 10pm. Everyday. She
was married and had two small children. She was a nice woman, but
horribly pulled in 17 directions.

Apparently (and I obtained most of this information from her
secretary) she was in the office (as usual) checking her bank balances
and noticed that $100,000 was missing from her joint investment
account. She called her husband to find out if he knew anything about
it. Her husband, a junior partner at a small firm in NJ, took her
call. He knew what had happened. (the following is a reconstructed
conversation based on hearsay and conjecture):

Wife: Husband, are you aware that there is $100,000 missing from our
joint bank account.

Husband: Yes, I took it out.

Wife: Why did you take the money out? You should have asked me before
you did that. What did you use it for?

Husband: I didn’t ask you because I knew your wouldn’t approve.
Besides, I bought a condo with it.

Wife: Why did you buy a condo? Where is it? I don’t understand.

Husband: Wife, I left you more than a month ago. I’ve moved in to an
apartment with my secretary. I was wondering how long it would take
you to notice.

Apparently he had always been a light sleeper so when she came home
late she slept in the spare bedroom and had sort of just moved in to
it for that past four months. In the meantime he was around on
weekends when she was home (working from home) so she saw him. It
never occurred to her that he had left. They had been together since
law school.


Sometimes, I wonder what it is exactly that I’m getting myself into.