#30DayWritingChallenge: Losing.

Day Twenty-Four: Losing.

During the Nineties, Battle of the Brains was one of the more popular game shows on local TV. It was a weekly quiz show where different schools would send a team of delegates to compete with each other, answering questions from various categories (Science, Arts, Current Events, etc). During sixth grade, I was sent to compete in the Elementary School competition of the show with two other classmates.

Battle of the Brains

I’ve been in several inter-school quizzes before: Math Quiz Bees, Science Quiz Bees, Campus Journalism Meets. You can say I was the mental counterpart of school athletes. I was hopeless in sports and physical activities, but I was quite good in competitive quizzes. During grade school, I realized that it was an easy way to win high grades and exam exemptions from teachers. I still joined inter-school competitions in high school, but my more conservative high school teachers were not too impressed by it; my high school grades dipped because I was mostly a very lazy student.

Prior to the show, our team was put in a relatively intense training. Teachers sometimes pulled out from class so we can do mock quizzes and they timed us when answering various questions.

During the show proper, I remember being underwhelmed by the studio. It was much smaller than I expected from what is shown on television. It was grubbier and not as “high-tech” as how we thought it would be.

We lost. (This entry’s title was a giveaway, wasn’t it?)

We were second place, with a very close score with the winning school. Partly it was because of a True or False question that was initially answered incorrectly: I thought, because of only two options for an answer, answering incorrectly invalidates attempts to “steal” the points. The team that won was not above taking advantage of an answer that was practically given away.

#30DayWritingChallenge: The stupidest thing I ever did.

Day Twenty: The stupidest thing I ever did.

What is with these superlatives?

Can one always categorize all the experiences one went through with one’s life and separate the smart from the stupid. Following that, one must then rank, with considerable amount of objective accuracy, which one is the least stupid, which one is the next, and so on.

But this is day twenty and I’m two-thirds done with this challenge. Great time for me to even start complaining about the daily topics. Admittedly, these little asides are just ways for me to introduce what I will be writing about, as well as maybe pad my posts a little.

So. Stupidity.

#30DayWritingChallenge: My worst birthday.

Day Eight: My worst birthday.

I drew a blank on this one.

I can’t say I’ve had a bad birthday, ever. Boring birthdays, maybe; but never bad. The normal personal Mercury Retrograde field that surrounds me (as in, there is an even tinier Mercury perpetually revolving around me in reverse) seems to give me a break during my birthdays.

So I can list some good birthdays I can remember but, for the life of me, I can’t remember a bad one.

I didn’t grow up with my family throwing birthday parties. We were a lower class family (in the beginning) and we could not afford it. I always thought that birthday parties were a strange amusement held by other people. By the time I was old enough to know why my mother would only cook pancit for the family during my or my siblings’ birthdays, it did not bother me that much.

The strangest birthday I had was when I was thirteen. Previously, my birthdays fell a week before the start of classes. On the year of my thirteenth birthday, the academic calendar changed and moved the beginning of classes a week earlier.

It was my first day in high school. The grade school I went to did not continue to high school, so I was in a new school with a new set of classmated. During the entire day, the teachers kept using my birthday as an example for the little forms we submit that has our personal information.

“So if today was your birthday…” the teachers would begin. I was amused and uncomfortable in case they found out that someone in the class was indeed celebrating his birthday and every subject from that point on will have a five-minute interruption as everyone sang “Happy Birthday”.

Good thing that never happened.

When I became an adult, I started celebrating my birthdays either by inviting some close friends over, or by going off the grid and disappearing for a day.

Birthdays are strange days. A part of me is always amused at how another part of me stresses out days before it arrives and plans out what to do. I mean, for the rest of the world, who cares if it was your birthday, right? One can spend his entire birthday sleeping and it will hardly make any difference in the larger scheme of things.

But fuck the larger scheme of things. One great thing about the human experience is how easily we can overlook that and just think about ourselves. Birthdays are wonderful!

Anywho. Today is the birthday of several friends. Maligayang bati, Alek, Jes, Randy, at James!

Shinji holding a birthday cake.

Image of Shinji Ikari holding a cake was taken from Tumblr.