October 4, 2010 / Monday [682 words]

ABOVE-NORMAL pitch voices and Steppenwolf crooning about a Highway to
Hell brought me out of slumber at 7:00 a.m. It's going to be a good
I slid out of the beige cotton sheets at the same time admonishing my
youngest daughter to finish her cup of warm chocolate.
"Hurry up. We're gonna be late for school," I said gently rubbing her
hair and then telling her 17-year-old yaya to put a little bit of cold
water in the cup.
After doing so for my own cup of hot coffee, I browsed through the
files I downloaded Saturday but which I failed to do so Sunday as I
cleaned up the room and files that have been wanting my attention
since August.
The trip to my daughter's school, run by the local Protestant church,
was uneventful, thankfully. She told me we were 20 minutes early for
the 8:30 class and I asked her why so.
"There's going to be a birthday party," she beamed. I mentally kicked
myself for not bringing a gift she can share with the celebrant and
her classmate whose parents, I know from experience, are going to feed
the 18 students in my daughter's senior kindergarten class.
There and then I remembered forgetting two items even after having
packed the night before the things I planned to bring with me Monday:
my mother's senior citizen ID card and the gift for my daughter's
When I checked my To-Do list for the day, I noticed forgetting to list
these items.
It has been difficult for me to schedule in detail in advance –as in
months ahead– my activities and items to prepare for a particular day.
I can't seem to resign from the fact that as a general assignments
reporter for a newspaper precludes me from doing so.
I have used PERT-CPM and followed Peter Drucker's advice to break down
every project into activities. The latter has been working so far but
it's still not a hundred percent effective since there's nothing
constant in my job except change.
My fellow reporter VG can attest to my meticulous drawings of matrices
on pieces of paper recycled from press releases and hand-outs. I
divide the free white space into seven columns and two rows where I
place the days, dates, and the activities I plan to do so on each box.
Just one call from the desk will make me crumple the schedule rendered
useless because of a reportorial assignment.
I can imagine those in the police beat who can't predict a murder or
suicide of a member of a prominent family. The recent hostage-taking
incident would have thrown a wrench into their schedule.
"Hey, honey about that lunch, can we move it later? Oh, wait,
someone's firing a gun. Raincheck?"
Good thing there's nothing like that over the weekend. For VG,
however, he says he's cursed since many marine accidents almost always
occur either late Friday evening or early Saturday morning, after he's
scheduled a free time with his wife.
"Dear, about that road trip to the north, can we move it nearer the
sea or along the coast line? There's a good place near the Coast Guard
So I rely on lists. I list the activities to do before taking a shower
and where to go after having put on my clothes. I list these almost
two weeks before the day they're planned to be accomplished.
You can call it being anal but the system has helped contain my sanity
in the ever-changing world of hunting or writing the next story.
Listing has also given me the illusion that there is order in what I
do. And it's also fun putting a red checkmark on my accomplishments
for the day –like brewing coffee– and a circle for the things
unaccomplished –like doing research or writing the story bumped so far
ahead of its deadline.
For the more valuable things, however, like painting a smile on my
daughter's face for having me bring her to school, which is a rarity,
it's a list always written in my heart.
News agencies carried reports on President Benigno Aquino III's dance
with the Catholic church on reproductive health issues and the offer
of some fraternities of reward for the capture of the bomber who threw
a grenade in last week's bar examination at the De La Salle University
in Taft, Manila.

New website visited:, which lists the top of whatever,
submitted by readers.
Quote of the Day: "Innovation is not the product of logical thought,"
Albert Einstein as quoted by Mac Taylor in CSI NY's episode on
New word of the Day: "Nexting" (v.) the process of hitting a key on
the keyboard to meet a random person in a video-chat feed.

[Photo of Makati skyline after an evening downpour. Taken via Nokie
e63 from a table of two drunks near Makati Medical Center.]

No comments:

Post a Comment