Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Eh-hum # 271

Cougars on the prowl and the last of the Spurmo(s)

Once you give a certain phenomenon a name, it becomes acceptable or at least less of a taboo to most people. One of which is the concept of a “cougar”. Of course, am not talking of the large exotic feline also referred to as a Mountain Lion, but close: women in their mid-30s (and beyond) who date younger men (10 years their junior usually).

Cougars, I mean, these ladies are literally on the prowl for, ehem, fresh meat. Well, I am not saying its wrong; women can date whoever they wish, as long they are of majority age (statutory rape should work both ways). But I find it all too confusing. I mean, why would an independent, successful and smart lady would date some eye candy whose mentality has not gone beyond college, bank account is virtually non-existent and foresight still under construction? Wouldn’t they be a liability rather than an asset? Could this be all about sex and not feeling one’s age? Isn’t it creepy that you and your teenage daughter have the same taste in guys?

Because how they are portrayed in the media, especially in the US’ entertainment industry, cougars are here to stay. I am sure they are couples out there who have the same set-up, but since they are not involved in the circus that is Hollywood, they are able to work out their differences without all that drama. Several weeks ago, my sister and I were figuring out who among the Philippine showbiz personalities fit the typical cougar category. “Kris Aquino?” I suggested. She made a face, “She has to have sex appeal”. Oh. Right. Sorry, Kris.


All this talk about feisty females brings me to another topic: Spurmo (what in God’s name are we doing to the English language?). Hmm. Without looking at the spelling, one could think we are talking about a man’s, uh, “boys” having the capacity to swim up the stream to meet their, uh, “date” and thus procreate. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Yes and No, it is actually an acronym: “Straight, proud, unmarried male over 30” (well, it should’ve been called SPURMO 30, like a questionable household appliance). Characteristics of the archetypal Spurmo are as follows:

1. Checking out a woman means checking out if she has a wedding ring;
2. Your ex-girlfriends have “real” children to take care of (not men pretending to be boys);
3. You avoid the hot ladies in their early twenties because they tend to call you “tito”, “kuya”, or worse, “sir”;
4. Most of your earnings go to handsome sports car, car accessories, high-tech gadgets and other similar merchandise;
5. In your opinion, Cindy Crawford is still the best looking supermodel that ever lived;
6. In pop culture, Hannah Montana is still a child. Thus, you relate to her one-hit-wonder of a father; and
7. Recession has nothing to do with the economy, but with your hair.

The Spurmo is a single, successful fellow who does whatever he wants because he can pretty much support himself. Of course, there are some disadvantages, like being labeled as a “stud muffin”, being constantly set-up by your friends’ wives’ single girl friends, and dwindling number of serious drinking buddies since most of them are now family men. But do not fret; with dedication and hard work, you might end up being the local version of Hollywood’s alpha male and super spurmo, George Clooney. I said might.

(The topic on “spurmo” is taken from a local men’s magazine, MANUAL. This is what happens when your friendly neighborhood Starbucks ran out of more sensible reading material. But it was entertaining nonetheless).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Eh-hum # 270

Subject to change without prior notice.

Yep, I am working again. Let's just say they made me an offer I can't refuse; the compensation is (way) better than my previous job and the office is within walking distance from the train station. More importantly, I will doing some REAL research work, thus there is room for professional growth.

Higher salary means more responsibilities. While I'll be able to save more, balancing work and school will be challenging. But what's life without any? I just hope to finish my MA by 2010.


An opinion article online caught my attention the other day. It reminded me of a conversation I had with a Navy officer last year, regarding the very confusing role of Representatives (or Congressmen/women) in local governance. Here an excerpt of the article I am referring to:

"On the other side of the spectrum is the Quezon City government under Mayor Feliciano Belmonte. The city has been spending for the maintenance, improvement and construction of new roads although they are national roads that ought to be funded by the national government through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), according to Mayor Belmonte in a private interview. But because the DPWH is not provided enough funds by Congress (most of taxpayers’ money go to the legislators in the form of pork barrel funds and kickbacks), it cannot keep up with its responsibilities. So the QC government, the richest city in the Philippines (P3 billion in the bank), through a combination of high taxes, efficient tax collection and judicious spending, has to tide over the DPWH with loans in order to finish road projects.

For example, the QC government has paid private landowners for the right of way for the long-delayed Congressional Avenue that will connect Edsa to Luzon Avenue that, in turn, connects to Commonwealth Avenue. Congressional now connects to Tandang Sora and will soon be connected to Visayas Avenue in the west and to Luzon Avenue in the east. The whole stretch will be completed, according to the DPWH, in the first half of 2009 after the relocation of squatters who have flocked to the road right-of-way.

Meanwhile, the QC government has also bought the right-of-way to connect Commonwealth Avenue to Quirino Avenue in Novaliches. From there, the road will connect to NLEX. Thus, travelers can proceed smoothly from southern Luzon through C-5, through Commonwealth and Quirino avenues to NLEX and northern Luzon. That would reduce travel time from north to south and cut the shipping costs of goods.

Some QC residents have expressed the wish, though, that the good mayor spend some of city hall’s abundant money to rid the city of squatters that give it problems in peace and order, health and sanitation and give the city the title of “squatter capital of the Philippines.”

So, if the Office of the Mayor is spending for all the projects in his or her city (plus money coming from certain Departments, like the DPWH), then why do our lawmakers need so much pork? More importantly, how do they spend all that money (making laws couldn't be that expensive) ? If both the local government and our dear Representatives have funds for infrastructure projects and other basic needs, why are many cities/municipalities, especially in the provinces, still underdeveloped?

Or am I missing something here...eh-hum

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Eh-hum # 269

Happy New Year, Folks (and hope you all had a very Merry Christmas)!

Hopefully 2009 will bring more (from a good friend's text message) "Peace in your Heart, Health in your Body, Wealth in your Life, and Joy in your Home". We remember the good, the bad, and the very ugly of 2008; we only do so because we can learn from our mistakes and be inspired by our successes.

Life is not supposed to be easy. Where's the fun in that? But for all of last year's challenges that made us stronger, failures that made us wiser, and the people we know and loved (and still do) and just met, life with all of its imperfections is a journey to be enjoyed as well.


A post-New Year post (eh-hum) would not be complete without a little 2009 fortune predictions. I am not one to believe, but it wouldn't hurt to know (after all, we do live in a mysterious world). For those born in the year of the Monkey (our kanji above), here's what to expect in the year of the Ox:

Monkey people didn't have any significant performance in 2008, the Year of the Rat. They felt that someone or something blocked their luck all the time. In the year of 2009, there are many Lucky Stars coming to Monkey people. So they have complete new luck and they can expect good news from career, money, reputation, love or happiness area. However, some tiny Unlucky Stars hiding beside the Lucky Stars in 2009. That means Monkey people shouldn't show too complacent and too conceited, because their enemies are still around. If Monkey people make any mistake, then they might lose their reputation, power or wealth.

Career: There are three major Lucky Career Stars appearing in 2009. Those signs indicate you will have an extraordinary and outstanding achievement in your job performance or business development. It's time that you show people about your talent, wisdom, skill. Many people will accept your idea and proposal. Your plan or project will show significant progress and impressive results. You have good chance to gain more responsibilities, own higher power and even win a job promotion. When you have better performance or hold a higher position, then many people become jealous to you. Someone might try to look for your shortcoming or mistake in order to impede your working progress and to damage your reputation. Fortunately, since your keen perception and quick response, you are able to a plan to protect yourself. Also, your supporters will help your to remove the hamper.

Money: There is a Lucky Money Star showing in this year. Since you have a good career luck, your salary fixed income will be satisfactory. If you work for someone, you might earn an extra bonus. If you own your business, then the company sales will have a significant growth. However, the Money Star is not a Windfall Star. The money won't come from gambling, heritage, gift or lottery. It's required your hardworking and time to earn all your income. Another sign show that you have a chance to lose your personal property and no way to recover it. Or an unexpected accident causes your money loss. Therefore, it's safer that do show off your wealth in 2009.

Love: One very Auspicious Star and a Happy Star are gathering in love area. That is the sign of success, happiness, joyfulness, smooth or marriage. If you are single, then you have opportunity to find your dream companion and enjoy the happy love life. If you are already in love, the relationship with your lover will become much closer. If both of you are ready, then you can consider the marriage. If you are married, you and your spouse have a endless love. A new born baby might come into your family. However, if you are a male Monkey guy, you have the chance to meet opposite sex outside. If you don't give in to temptation, you will get lots of argument with your spouse.

Health: Although you have many Lucky Stars coming in your astrological cycle. There also are some Unlucky Stars around you this year. This brings up the health issue. The career will make you busy in 2009. You will feel tired very often. If you have too much nightlife and too less exercise, then you will get sick easily. As long as understanding the health might become the problem, then you should limit unnecessary social life, keep healthy eating habit, maintain good sleeping quality and exercise routinely, then you will have a healthy life in the year of Cow.

Fortune: Monkey people have excellent career luck in 2009. They will work very skillfully and proficiently on their daily job. Their wealth will increase because of good job performance. However, there still is a potential unlucky event coming. Monkey people still need to pay attention on words and deeds. If you can spend more time in helping others, then you will win the good reputation, which could bring you more money in. The feeling of wealth, power, happiness and satisfaction will all come to you.

If you want to know the fortunes of the other Chinese zodiac signs, click here.


Are in the mood for some reminiscing? If yes, may I suggest you visit Time Magazine's The Top Ten of Everything in 2008 list online. The top ten lists are organized by subject matter: (1) news and science, (2) arts and entertainment, (3) business, technology and sports, and (4) pop culture. Very informative and enjoyable.

The last list I viewed was 2008's Top Ten Editorial Cartoons. If I had to choose my favorite, it would be this one:

Eh-hum, need I say more?