Wednesday, February 10, 2016

040: Mar de Gras

img_20160209_060534.jpgTomorrow being Ash Wednesday, I brought the palms from last Easter Sunday to church to be ground to ashes. Believe it or not, I am actually looking forward to Lent. Lent is a challenge, a marathon waiting to be run. It's forty days long so it's for the long haul, not a short sprint. Lent takes commitment and at the end of it is Easter and sweet victory.

I've got my Lenten resolutions all set, too. Ever since my lifestyle change two years ago, it's been less about food and more about other sacrifices. I've become more of a vegetable eater now so meat is easy to give up. But the things that I am attached to? Twitter and Reddit. The things I want to improve about myself? My temper and my tardiness. That's all going up on the side bar and I'll be keeping count this year.

Emily spent nine hours -- nine hours! -- at the LTO. She was trying to get her driver's license changed to her married name. It's supposed to be a simple process, right? But it took them nine hours. She started at ten in the morning and was the last one called at close to seven in the evening. In the meantime, they called the names of several people who didn't even go up. Went through fixers, probably. The worst part was, they promised to give her her old card back at the end of the process so she could use it for her passport application. When she asked for it nine hours later, they all played dumb about the person who promised her that. Emily screamed and that got them all scrambling. Still, no card at the end, just a slip of paper.

When I finally met her near Ateneo, she was still crying.

To assuage hurt feelings, we went for another round of barbecue, fish balls, and ice cream at the Roxas night market. Today is Fat Tuesday, after all. Just one last bit of indulgence. Emily felt better after that. No more Mang Danny's, though. Today we tried the vegan ice cream and another dirty ice cream vendor. We preferred the taste, actually. No more Mang Danny's. The line is just not worth it.

My project to set up an open data archive is picking up. Did another couple of sales pitches to potential data providers and they looked keen on the idea. This is like my very own startup. It won't make me rich but I believe this idea can change our part of the world.

First day of official election campaign today. The city government blocked off Ponciano Road where they set up a big stage and several projection screens. The traffic in the afternoon was horrendous. I gave up trying to ride the jeepney to school and went around Gaisano Mall instead. Then I walked from the mall to Ateneo.

I don't think they really needed to block off the road. When I went around the area at six in the evening, just when Cayetano was giving his speech (projected on multiple big screens), the crowd was really sparse. They could have all fit in the park in front of Marco Polo. But hey, I guess they wanted to make a statement. You go, gorilla.