of pie graphs and (not) giving up

There are things that I do relatively well—such as remembering useless trivia, covering books neatly in plastic, breaking bad news to people, getting free rides in buses and jeeps, fixing leaky faucets, fixing an errant Windows OS, abusing metaphors, making fun of myself, blending in the wallpaper, writing resignation letters, among few other things.

And then there are things that I do not do well—like using the semi-colon correctly, saving money, following instructions and directions, washing my own clothes, going on dates, making small talk on dates, meeting expectations , balancing chemical equations, sports, gaining weight, coming to class on time, coming to work on time, avoiding self-deprecation, among many other things.

This neat taxonomy of things should translate to a neat pie graph, a sort of reference that I may consult in the point of indecision. Say I have to decide if I should go back to juggling work and school. I only need to consult the pie graph and find out that my time-management skills are comparable to that of an infant gorilla, and I would know that it cannot be done. Regrettably, it is not as simple as it may seem.

It’s an affliction of the educated and ambitious middle class to believe that they could better their circumstances simply by redistributing items in their pie graphs, plucking things from the “Do these at your own peril” portion of their pies and transferring them over to their “Do these, you’re a genius” portions. In short, some people think, myself included most of the time, that they can change their fates by conquering their flaws and faults, by becoming wealthier, healthier, better-looking, smarter, or any combination of the four.

These past few weeks, I have been seeing the real Selkirk (hence, the previous blog post). But this was not before consulting my astrolabe, my pie graph, just to keep things in perspective and keep me from doing something that might make me look more stupid than I really am. Quite predictably, I still ended up trying to do and say things that made me look more stupid than I really am. And worse, I am not certain if I should throw in the towel just yet. I just have to keep my competition in my peripheral vision and make sure I do better next time.

This reminds me of my days as a boy scout, when I would go camping for days in Mount Makiling with several other homos-in-the-making. There was this certain jamboree (I cringe at the name now, the term sounds as gay as a basket). And we had been told to chop wood for a campfire. We were given a single axe, which was too big and too rusty that our parents, had they known about it, would have sued our school in no time.

I picked up the axe and proceeded to the waiting mountain of firewood. Then a kid we’ll call Keven Costner, the school bully, came up to me. “Who do you think you are?” the future Downelink monarch asked me.

“I don’t know. But I know you’re worse in this than I am,” I told him, looking at him straight in the eye. Then I hacked at the wood with the axe and sent flint flying everywhere.

 

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30 thoughts on “of pie graphs and (not) giving up

  1. i like the lists. i find them cute and funny. i might as well try to make one. and hey, i was once a girl scout too. but i wonder why i never learned how to cook. haha 🙂

  2. i have to agree with The Geek on that… you see, you have dimples that actually make you look more cunning than naive…. yaiy…. i meant that in a good way… blep.

  3. I was never a boyscout. I was a student leader back in grade school, politician even, enticing the masses of premature dreamers, coercing them into voting for me under the guise that change will be affected in such immediacy they won't have time to recuperate.But unlike textbook-politicians, I did try my vehement best to effect change in the dilapidated system of institutionalized public education.After that short stint, I realized I was too selfish, and weak of stomach, to pursue a career in leadership. And that my organizational skills were far more effective in support to a team.Adapt. Weaknesses are strengths waiting to be distilled.

  4. I love, love, love this post. There were tons of things in it I was able to hold on to, like the bit about covering books with plastic. I can do that as well. And I don't use tape. :DAnd the things you don't do well? Well, you were spot on with my waterloos.P.S. The "Downelink monarch" line made me laugh hard. Someone came to mind. Hahaha.

  5. Think of pie charts and statistics as mere suggestions. You may consult it all you want, but in the end, you will make your moves based on what your mind (or your instinct) dictate at the moment.

  6. @Lance: I have to agree. I guess pie graphs are meant to be simple, not necessarily helpful. As for adolescent bullies, they repress themselves so much that they have to repress somebody else. LOL.@Ewik: :)@Moi: I sometimes let them do the talking, but considering the many things I want to say, I almost always end up with my face hurting from too much smiling. :D@Kikit: Unlike boy scouts, girl scouts aren't exactly required to learn anything. When you're a boy scout, you either learn to sweat it or you get to be called "sissy."@Aris: It was the first time someone spoke up to Keven Costner at that time of my childhood, and I'd always think of it as one of my profoundest achievements. Haha.

  7. @Jeff: I like "cunning." Hehe. Thanks, pren. :)@Red: What, you were never a boy scout? What injustice is this?@Manech: Thank you. The triple "love" I take as a huge compliment. I try really hard to be funny. LOL.You don't use tape? I sense a kindred spirit in you. First, you like Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. And then you're saying you don't use tape in covering plastic? Next time you will be saying you're a huge Tolkien fan, and then perhaps it's time to ask my mom if I had a long-lost twin.As for the "Downelink monarch," it was originally "Downelink queen" and then I decided to be more polite.@Dabo: Now that you have mentioned that, I do want to write for a magazine. None of those Time and Newsweek things, but the racy ones like Uno. A former trainer of mine wrote for Uno. He looks… interesting.@Shattershards: You're right. Up to an extent, graphs are helpful, and then we just forget about them. If all of us had any real faith in graphs and charts and statistics, we would believe that the economy is doing fine. LOL.

  8. i find this, "This reminds me of my days as a boy scout, when I would go camping for days in Mount Makiling with several other homos-in-the-making. There was this certain jamboree (I cringe at the name now, the term sounds as gay as a basket)"and this, "“Who do you think you are?” the future Downelink monarch asked me",very funny. it brought back some of my childhood memories as a kab and then eventually a boy scout. lol.

  9. I was never a boy scout, but I did CAT. Swear to god, it's the butchest thing I ever did. Those pseudo military costumes they made us wear made me wanna vomit, heheh

  10. i was watching news on Q this morning and our pambansang kamao came on the screen lamenting about the injustice these rumor mongers have done to himself, his wife and family. i just couldn't shake off my head what he said:"…who do they think they are???…amazing!"this goes for the bully-bulls, too hehehe

  11. you know… I was contemplating the Downelink Monarch and that could have turned out much differently than it did — namely in a make out session… which probably would have been good for His Highness…

  12. shucks.. i was a boy scout too. i never realized how gay it was until i fully embraced it- the knee high socks, the unnecessary excess in accessories, all that posing and tying. yum! hahayou have a way with subtlety. aylahvet.

  13. "In short, some people think, myself included most of the time, that they can change their fates by conquering their flaws and faults, by becoming wealthier, healthier, better-looking, smarter, or any combination of the four."ouch. tagos naman.

  14. @Max: Write about it!@Andy: I had to go through CAT, too. Fourth year high school. It remains a wonder to me that I survived it at all. @Red: Impressive. I have never bothered to study Elvish–High Elven or Sindar–though the histories of the tongues of Middle Earth interests me endlessly. You would agree that if one's serious about reading Tolkien, it pays to know Gandalf's other names and why groups of Elves are "sundered in speech" from each other. :)@Lance: I can assure you that Keven Costner, the Downelink Monarch, whatever his past mistakes are, is content with the current size of his empire.@Nyl: I know. LOL. The whole boy scout idea makes up for a good conspiracy theory, don't you think?

  15. "In short, some people think, myself included most of the time, that they can change their fates by conquering their flaws and faults, by becoming wealthier, healthier, better-looking, smarter, or any combination of the four."Nyl, I think no one would disagree if I say most of us are guilty of this. 🙂

  16. Victor,I suspect the same thing. Though I haven't read Tolkien (okay, so kill me now), I like Closer. Very much.But thinking about it, even twins have their differences. 😀

  17. I'm comfortable enough knowing that I'm a mean cocksucker. That completely puts the five other things I don't do well to shame. That, for me, is the kind of balance you don't get in a pie chart.Cheers!

  18. some of my closes friend appraise me with the word…MEDIOCRE.can't forget it.haha!little bit bitter on it.hey!maybe i'm not good in everything but at least on SOMETHING!TRYING!nice post!!!:P

  19. mads, the kule blood is strong within you. lol. our bourgeois aspirations can pretty much explain everything, all the deluded concepts and things we, as kids growing up and supposed intelligentsia amassing more intellectual capital in the University, are told to accept as normal.:D

  20. @Lance: I could not agree more.@Manech: You should. Read Tolkien, I mean. I have a suspicion you will like it immensely. On Closer, ah, the lines, the lines. ("What's so great about the truth? Try lying for a change, it's the currency of the world.) :)@Momel: Quite sadly, I am overly fond of pie charts. For some strange reason, I am stuck with them. LOL.@Gege: They are your friends?@Glenn: If the Kule blood were not "strong within me" (LOL), I would'nt've known better.

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