1/12/2020
Six and a half years

I'm absolutely convinced that it hasn't been that long since I last met Icka.

I have this memory of us meeting at Megamall. This has to be a work day. I remember I had to sneak out of work to meet up. I remember that I already had lunch by then. I definitely remember that her mother was there. They were having lunch at Dulcinea, which means I was in the awkward position of not being hungry and yet not able to turn them down to eat. Well, maybe I did say no, but Icka's mom insisted that I have some of their churros.

"It's all right," I distinctly remember her saying. "We haven't touched that yet."

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1/01/2020
Empathy

I'm pretty sure customer service representatives are taught to, at the very least, sound like they understand their customers' predicament.

"Uh, I'm sorry to hear about that, sir."

The problem is, it doesn't really feel reassuring, especially if you're the customer calling for the nth time in a week, demanding answers for a problem that's remained unsolved for months. Like, say, if you're a PLDT customer who's had virtually unusable Internet for weeks, more often off than on.

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12/31/2019
Best of the decade

"Oh, right, it's time for the best-of-the-year pop culture lists. I completely forgot about that."

It's been eight months since I closed the music blog, and it seems I've forgotten how to do it. Gone are the days when I'd keep an eye peeled for album announcements and single drops - as if I have done that properly. A part of me wanted to be on top of everything that's going on, but I gave myself a bunch of disclaimers so I have an out when I fail to do so, which is pretty much every single time. This is about the music I have come across, whether it's really new or really old. Or something like that.

That philosophy applied as well to the blog's best-of-the-year lists. Rather, a list of my favorite songs of the year that passed. I don't listen to everything - I cannot listen to everything - so I cannot claim, even to myself, that I have a somewhat definitive take on what really was good from the twelve months or so that passed. So, a list of my favorite songs of the year. Sounds pretty simple, but for six of the blog's seven years I crammed the list, racking my brain for a couple of hours as to what songs I've listened to a lot over the year, and then figuring out whether it fits the criteria, because for all we know, it was actually released the year prior and I'm just really late to it.

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12/24/2019
The imprecise art of making it sound like Christmas

I mentioned this in passing half a year ago, about how there are songs that make you feel warm and songs that make you feel cool. Well, that, I never had that down precisely, perhaps because, unlike Shalla, I don't have some sort of synesthesia.

Well, after seven years together I sort of do. There was one point when she described GFriend's first Japanese single as "warm", and I immediately understood her. But then, the radio stations I choose to play still raise some heckles, at least if the volume is too high, to the point that she has expressed at least three radio stations she can more or less tolerate.

Two of them are in the French language. One is FIP, this brilliant station that, perhaps unlike every other station, programs its music with no regard for genre, but rather for flow. There are instances when it's on an indie stretch, but there are instances where it's in between classical and exotica. But it does seem to love its vintage funk and its playful jazz. It just sits in nicely with those honey-voiced announcers saying whatever they're saying in between.

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12/18/2019
Yes, we bought the Muji "tabo"

I'm bad at shots like these.

There were two ladies standing by the shelf, doing heaven knows what exactly. One of them was on the phone, which meant broadcasting to the world that she has the iPhone 11 Pro. (No impact, because a lot of people already seem to have it.) The other was just, I guess, staring at the contents of the shelf.

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