Saturday, April 30, 2011

5 Days of Summer

Day 1: The Labrador and the Parrot Chicken
 
day1-boat
 
I drove for an hour and a half from Tagbilaran to Jagna, biting my lips to fight off sleepiness while the rest of the family talked and talked and eventually fell asleep. My head was screaming, “I need a massage!”
 
When we arrived at Jagna port, a call made to my uncle confirmed my fear—we’d be spending 5 days in Mindanao. It wasn’t going to be exactly five days, but that’s what it felt like—and it was too long. My stomach started acting up. Apparently, my scheming didn’t work.
 
Since I had to wait before I could load the family SUV into the vessel, I boarded last. I had to wait while a black Labrador sniffed inside the vehicle. I couldn’t believe a black Lab could actually look so terrifying up-close, drool and all. While the Lab sniffed, a security officer with a megaphone in hand, inspecting bags of passengers, kept joking about a certain chicken inside a box behind him. He said the chicken was a “parrot chicken” and that it tasted of lemongrass and moringa leaves. I had to stifle a laugh, in case someone was watching from the viewing deck; because I was supposed to show my parents—my father, especially—that I wasn’t enjoying the trip one bit.
 
day1-dog
 
The tourist area was freezing, but my brother didn’t seem to mind. He was happy munching on junk food, and even argued that the AC was just cold enough. If he were shipped to Alaska, he surely would survive.
 
The vessel docked after four hours, which didn’t give me enough time to nap. My skin allergy had also been such a pain that I was bargaining God to take it away immediately at the price of my not having a partner for life—it was that itchy. After half an hour of waiting outside the terminal, my cousin Choi, who would be driving the SUV for the duration of our stay, arrived. My uncle and my cousin’s husband arrived, too.
 
After dinner at my uncle’s house, and helping my cousins ask permission to come with, we headed for Iligan City.
 
It was about a two-hour drive with Choi on the wheels; he drove like a speed freak. Not that I was complaining or surprised. His reputation at driving precedes him. It was hard to sight-see in darkness, so I popped in my earphones and just stared blankly out the window.
 
We arrived at my other uncle’s house at around 10 p.m. And did we arrive to a dark and quiet place, because apparently, he had fallen asleep waiting out for us. As soon as we unloaded our things, we ate cake and salad, and had red wine, followed by beer. My cousins Bing and N, my sister, and I exchanged updates over more bottles of beer, and didn’t sleep until it was four in the morning.
 
 
Day 2: Unknown relatives, butt-numbing ride, and barking
 
day2-boat
 
On the way to Plaridel, we stopped by Oroquieta City for lunch at a cousin’s place. And while the others were enjoying their food, I was constantly coughing my guts out. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the weather was extremely hot, which made my skin allergy even itchier.
 
After another hour of butt-numbness, we arrived in Plaridel. We headed to the wake of an uncle, who was my father’s cousin, and there I, together with my siblings and cousins, was surrounded with relatives—some I knew by face, and some I’d never seen before. All I wanted to do was evaporate into air and be somewhere else—somewhere cold.
 
Mum was mouthing words, like she does sometimes, and expected me and my sister to actually understand. Most of the time, we couldn’t understand. Because it’s not like she enrolled us in lip-reading classes. I made fun about supposedly attending lip-reading classes and flunking it, and my cousins had a good laugh about it, saying I was crazy. 
 
Later in the evening, I had a good laugh witnessing an aunt who seemed to have woken up without any memory of where she was. She went down the stairs and, in the middle of the crowd gather around her brother’s coffin, turned left and right with tussled hair and vacant expression on her face. It was hilarious, I couldn’t stop from giggling. And then, she passed by us announcing she needed to ‘jingle’. And so I baptized her Tita Jingle—my cousins couldn’t get over it. I couldn’t get over it.
 
I snapped at a cousin because I found him ostentatious. I made a remark loud enough for people to hear that, for a fraction of time, his cheeks burned with embarrassment. I’d have apologized if I wasn’t being tortured by my cough and allergy. I made it a point to avoid conversations with not-so distant relatives who seemed pleased to have us around. And then there were rhetorical questions—as I had expected—which I met with half-baked smiles.
 
Adults practiced mass songs, and Tita Jingle, after a certain song, fainted. It would have been really funny if the situation wasn’t tragic.
 
 
Day 3: The funeral
 
day3
 
I woke up grumpy and doubly irritable since I wasn’t able to sleep well the night before. It didn’t help that I had to take a shower with limited water supply. I felt unclean, icky.
 
After lunch, we attended the funeral of my uncle. At the church, I thought I was going to faint from heatstroke. And while relatives were mourning, my mind was off wandering into an alternate universe. But my senses were running perfectly, as I was able to catch grammatical errors in the speech my uncle’s wife gave. I couldn’t help it. Red flags were waving. At the cemetery, I noticed that while others were crying hysterically as the coffin was being lowered into the grave, some were busying having their snacks.
 
In the evening, a small get-together was held at my deceased uncle’s family house. Two cousins attempted performing magic tricks, to which I commented, “That was it? We waited for that?” Parlor tricks, if you ask me. I rolled my eyes a lot that if someone were observant enough, he could tell I was utterly bored.
 
Then a drunken relative started pestering my cousins. Later, he sat beside me and started making a fool out of himself. And I thought that, at least, when I get drunk, I don’t slur. I don’t stop people from leaving, and I don’t make childish threats. I was so pissed that I wanted to nail his hand on the table with my pen. I just wanted to nail his hand on the table. Fortunately for the drunken relative, he left before his luck ran out.
 
 
Day 4: Gin, Matchbox Twenty, Sam Milby
 
day4
 
We headed back to my uncle’s place in Iligan City, and boy was I delirious when I took a shower. Everyone was busy preparing for a party my parents had just thought of throwing. Then my cousins and I pulled out a bottle of gin and lime mix from a cabinet, which turned out to be my uncle’s boyfriend’s libation. It was already too late when we learned the information; the gin and lime had already been mixed. We apologized with smiles stretched from ear to ear.
Earlier, I learned that by Sam Milby is a not-so-distant relative. Perverted. I have always been vocal about my dislike for him—not as a person, but as a celebrity. Finding out the news, my mum started teasing me, saying that I would probably start liking him since we were related. I scoffed. Maybe if we get a chance to meet in person, and I get to know him—as a person, I’d like him. But as a celebrity, I really don’t see a future.
By the time it was dark, the party had already reached its climax, and I had already sung all the Matchbox Twenty songs in the Videoke songs list. Choi was egging me to sing, and I obliged. Then my uncle’s visitors started singing. Apparently, they’ve joined contests and were decent performers. Everyone else, it seemed, was mesmerized. Everyone but me. I simply didn’t like their voices and their choice of songs—way too barrio fiesta kind, in my opinion. Simon Cowell would have puked in their faces. I hate those teleserye theme songs, anyway. So while the others cheered and applauded, I drank glasses after glasses of beer. I wanted to get drunk just so I would somehow appreciate what I was hearing, but the beer seemed to have lost its power over me—thankfully.
 
I went to bed with another series of coughing. I thought my ribcage was going to break. I was able to sleep at midnight, though, after mum put some liniment on my chest. Then at three in the morning, I was woken up by my cousin’s huge voice. She was singing like there was no tomorrow, literally. Well, sort of. Her singing was so loud that I thought of cutting the power of the TV and the audio system. But instead, I willed myself to get back to sleep; the one singing was a good cousin and it occurred to me she was only celebrating that her two restless kids were already asleep. It was her ‘me time’, and I wasn’t that evil to take it away from her.
 
 
Day 5: The Godfather Pizza
 
day5
 
The biggest pizza I’ve ever seen in my life. It was bliss, I tell you. And people may say I’m shallow for feeling bliss over seeing the biggest pizza in my life, but I don’t care. It was big—and I just wanted to eat all of it. But I had to share it. I thought it might have been the highlight of my trip—the pizza. It was delicious. I mean not exceptional enough to make me want to jump off a clip, but delicious enough for me to write about it. Sadly, the ‘hot sauce’ wasn’t hot enough. It wasn’t hot enough that I wanted to chew on real chillies.
 
We almost couldn’t get a ticket for the SUV to travel back to Bohol. Almost. But thanks to the gods—
 
My dad bought Caesar salad-cut vegetables for me. It appears he’s learned about my liking fresh salads—lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and all. I was impressed. I wanted to eat all of it, but at the risk of gluttony, I had to leave some pieces uneaten.
 
I still couldn’t sleep well. I was coughing the whole night. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking how it would feel to finally sleep on my bed again.
 
Woke up at 3 a.m. Got ready to leave real fast. There wasn’t a problem at the terminal. All I had to do was wait for the go-signal to load the SUV into the ship. I didn’t mind waiting for my family to board the ship, because I was preoccupied admiring the sun rise over the bay. And I was busy fending off a man who was hitting on me. Yes. He was driving a van, and like me, he was waiting for the signal to load his van into the ship. At first it seemed he was only being friendly, asking me questions. Then out of nowhere he started looking at me with that certain look I had seen many times.
 
day5-b
 
He was married—for years, he said. He has a kid. But that seemed beside the point when he started dropping pick-up lines that to me sounded really scratched. Then he licked his lips. He kept kicking his lips while talking to me. I kept fending him off. He was persistent—he even tried to cup the bulge in his jeans surreptitiously, behind an open door of his van. He wasn’t hideous, but he wasn’t my type—nor was his behaviour.
 
When we finally got the signal to load our vehicles into the vessel, he told me was occupying a cabin—alone. I tried, but I couldn’t fake a smile. I didn’t know what to feel—sure, I’ve been approached by guys quite a few times before, and in quite a number of manner, but this one gave me shivers.
 
I moved fast as soon as I secured the position of the SUV. I headed straight to the lobby of the ship, asking crew members where my deck was. As I searched for my designated bunker, I passed by the perv’s cabin. He was standing at the door, smiling. He said something about meeting me at the viewing deck, but I was too grossed out to actually listen to details; I spent the duration of the trip inside the tourist section—except when I went out into the viewing deck to smoke. And there he was, sitting on a metal bench.
 
He approached and told me irrelevant stuff about him. Stuff I had no interest in. I realized he wasn’t that gross after all. But I still wasn’t turned on enough to give into his indecency. Apparently, he was from Talibon, some less-than-a-hundred kilometres away from Tagbilaran. When he finished narrating his rather dull existence, I excused myself saying I needed to go to the loo. He wasn’t hideous, I tell you. In fact, he was good-looking. But I’ve never been into those kinds of things. So I wondered if I had ‘I’m easy, so go on and pick me up’ sign printed on my forehead.
 
We arrived in Jagna, Bohol at lunchtime, and I had never been happier. I was humming silently as I drove to Tagbilaran. The thought of it elated me in ways I had never imagined. Sure, I may have overreacted over the trip to Mindanao, and I may have actually enjoyed some moments of my stay, but being back in Bohol made me realize that I was really a Boholano at heart, and there was no place on earth that could change that.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Whiter Shade of Lonely

awhitershade

 

Not many people know this, but one of the reasons why I took up a degree in Computer Science is because of the movie “The Net”. There’s something about the protagonist’s interaction with computer systems that struck interest in me. And although now that interest has completely disappeared, The Net still remains to be one of my all-time favourite movies.

 

Two days ago, I saw the movie on cable TV. And I knew I had to watch it till the end. It doesn’t bore me, really—not at all. I still find it entertaining. But as I watched the movie, it dawned on me that the reason why I still like it is because I can relate to the character Angela Bennett—no, I could no longer relate to the computer mumbo-jumbo, despite its being base; I could relate to the character’s loneliness.

 

I find Angela Bennett a lonely person—a very lonely person. Maybe it’s because it seems that she has no social life, but mostly because she just seems lonely. I especially find the scene wherein she’s eating pizza while chatting with some people online a testament to how lonely she is. Maybe because most nights, it’s what I do—minus the pizza, unfortunately. And hey, come on, she seems to only have one friend, but that’s beside the point. Maybe because I’m just lonely.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When You End Up On The Table

piggies

 

There’s a pig in every one of us. After my mobile’s alarm went off, I got up quickly, realizing Stephen will have been waiting for minutes outside our house. Apparently, he hadn’t been waiting for long.

 

So off we went to the slaughterhouse to buy a pig for lechon on fiesta. As always, Stephen drove really fast. The air was bitterly cold, I started to have chills; and at one point, I heard my stomach grumble—it’s sensitive to extreme cold. Way to go for not wearing a hoodie, I scolded myself.

 

We found a gaggle of men at the slaughterhouse, seemingly entertained by some 20 or so pigs running around inside a pen. Then the bargain started—a man began pulling pigs’ hind legs to show that it was fit for lechon. Several other men, and some women, arrived with pigs in sacks, and some men started transferring the other pigs into another pen by pulling them up the pen through their ears. If you can picture that, then that’s what happened. I cringed—how could they treat these pigs like that? Yes, they’re animal and they’re destined to be chopped or roasted, but, hey, they could at least be treated a little gentler.

 

Those poor pigs—as if it wasn’t bad enough that they’re bound to end up on the table, they have to endure such harsh handling. But, you know, if it’s on the table, might as well eat it. See, this is why I can’t be give up eating meat—especially pork.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Last of the Red Horses

last horses

 

we take

each bottle like it's

the last

bottle will not be so

we take

because we hope that

tomorrow is not just another day

Lost When We’re Losing

lost

 

At one point it seemed we were headed for something beautiful; I don't know what happened to us. Or maybe I just don't want to face the truth.

 

We have been down this road before. You’ve brought me here many times before; I should be familiar with this. There’s got to be a way to for me to find us back on track—where it seemed we were headed. We can’t just lose ourselves at this fork in the road. We should be used to this, so it should be easier each time—but it’s not. Sometimes it even gets harder than the last.

 

Should I wait on the pavement? Give me a reason to wait on the pavement with the hope of seeing your smile one day—seeing you smile for me, at me, because of me.

 

But life is no fairy-tale. That seemingly beautiful path we were taking does not promise a bed of roses. Must I assume this fork in the road for us could lead to the beach regardless of which way we take?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tacos for Beer and Cigarettes

tacos

 

Another alcohol-free Saturday night.

 

I wish I were out. Damn, I wish I were out drinking with my friends. The sky is clear and the air smells of a good Saturday night. I’m supposed to be out drinking with my friends. We’re supposed to be gulping litres of beer and smoking sticks (maybe packs) of cigarettes; talking about the coming event that is the end of the world; getting a one-on-one tutorial on how to pick up a guy from a straight male friend who says picking up a guy is pretty much the same as picking up a girl—pretty much but not completely; exchanging guidelines (yes, guidelines) on how to move on from a previous relationship—although when it comes to this, I only chime in based on my pseudo relationships.

 

I wish I were out, but instead I’m making tacos—a tray of tacos. And I think I’m going to have at least five stuffed in my mouth when it’s done. And because I’m alcohol-free tonight, I have a feeling I’m going to sneeze through the morning tomorrow. I think my system has been used to having alcohol on Saturdays, that it acts up when I don’t drink.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Throwing Pieces

cleaning hands

 

I rarely do intensive cleaning of my room—but it gets cleaned every day, in case that brow of yours is raised at a certain height—but this morning, I almost literally had to turn the place inside-out. Yes, armed with a broom, some cleaning rugs, a pair of sunglasses to block my eyes from dust, a hanky around my nose, and a pair of gloves, I cleaned my room intensely, with the help of my Dorota.

 

I threw a lot of stuff away, most of which were things I had forgotten were in my room—old magazines, scratched CDs, old mobile phones, some mementos of years gone. I wondered if I’ve become a hoarder. Why do I have all these things in the cabinet? This. This. These. What are these? Trash. Trash. Oops, keeping this one. Not this one.

 

When I was younger—say, three years ago—I used to keep things that had even the slightest sentimental value in them; I found it hard to throw stuff. But as years passed, I became less interested in keeping things. And I wish I was like it when it comes to people; I could just throw them away when they’ve outlived their purpose, and when clearly they no longer want to be a part of the present or the future. But life isn’t like that. There are people who remain parts of our lives whether or not they still want to be, and whether or not we still want them to be.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mind Your Smoke

unsolicited shit
 
Just because you quit smoking doesn’t mean you can just tell people to quit, too. It’s completely unsolicited.
 
What—you’re going to lecture me about the harmful effects of smoking? Oh, please. Spare me. First, it’s my lungs; second, it’s my money; third, we’re not friends; fourth, not that it’s any of your business, but I’m not the kind of smoker you assume I am.
 
I’m just saying—you have no right to tell me in the face to stop smoking.
 
See, I can’t even write this properly because I’m still fuming from being told to quit smoking. I mean, come on, I can smoke 20 sticks simultaneously, and it’s none of anyone’s business.
 
I mean, fuck you! Don’t be so self-righteous. Seriously, mind your own lungs. Or mind the lungs of your friends—not mine.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Four for the Sea

sunday 1
Early Sunday morning—woke up at 5 a.m., after I snoozed the alarm twice. It’s the second day of my brother’s ‘sea therapy’ (if one can really call it such) to help cure his cough. He’s been barking like a mad dog for days now, and elders believe taking early morning swim in the sea helps. On our way to the beach, we stopped by to buy some pandesal, just in time for participants of a fun run event to start crowding the lane we were taking. I had planned on joining the marathon, and I would’ve joined if I found it logical how one can run 5 kilometres and call it fun. Everyone in the household thinks I’ll pass out before I even get past 1 kilometre. Their moral support never fails to surprise me.

We drove past my friend Richie who happens to be a fun-run enthusiast. I screamed his name—alright, his family name—and people turned to look at me. We got to the beach in under 30 minutes, because I was amused at the empty road and the sight of the sun slowly peering out of the thin clouds. Heading back home, vehicles started claiming the road; and as we entered the city proper, it shocked me how fast the city seemed to roar with life, when some forty-five or so minutes earlier it seemed lifeless.

sunday 2 sunday 3

Friday, April 8, 2011

Full Enough to Complain

krusher

I wanted to try the KFC Krusher Halo-halo to pair with their Famous Bowl Kung Pao. But the halo-halo Krusher wasn’t available in our area yet, and the Kung Pao wasn’t available either. You know that feeling when you’ve been in line for minutes, and when you reach the counter you’re told what you wanted was not available? You end up with a ticking bomb on your hands, unless you want the line behind you to throw you piercing stares and cusses. I don’t resort to eenie-meenie like some people I know; I close my eyes and utter random food on the menu—OK, maybe not so random.

I wanted a halo-halo Krusher, instead I got a strawberry yogurt Krusher; I wanted Kung Pao, but I got Pasta Alfredo—I wasn’t really happy about it, but by the time I was done eating I was full enough to complain.

Senior Asshole

atm

 

Having spent a part of my childhood with my grandparents, I try to respect elderly people. Sometimes though, that is difficult to do, because some of them are just a pain in the ass.

 

Earlier—still early enough that you could see runner and joggers on the street—I went to the bank to withdraw my grandmother’s pension. As I was in line for the machine, some two old men started a conversation; their voices where loud enough it could put the use of megaphones to shame. I tried to drown their voices out by humming some new tunes in my head. It worked. But suddenly, one of the old men who talked like he was in his living room started bossing the old woman at the machine; he was probably pissed that it was taking quite too long for the woman to use the machine. He had a really loud voice that sounded like he had worked for the military when he was younger. I cast a glance at him, and he did look like he was the stereotypical military officer—tall, broad shoulders, brooding demeanour.

 

The old woman was really taking too long at the machine because it appeared she was doing transactions for 3 ATM accounts. The old man started asking what denomination the machine dispensed, how much the old woman wanted to withdraw. With the last ATM withdrawal, she missed taking the 500 left, and so she asked if she could do one last transaction. I said OK. She was probably distracted by the old man behind us who was really, really annoying; other clients were already making faces at him. The old man said she should just leave the 500 in the account so it would accumulate next month, that 500 was not really that big of an amount. I wanted to snap at the asshole, really. The lady said she really needed the money, but that didn’t stop the asshole. He kept going about how the woman should just really leave the money in the account. He kept saying that even when the woman was already waiting for the cash to be dispensed. I was really tempted to say something to him, but I held my tongue. I cursed silently and prayed for lightning to hit him. Oh I did. Surely, the world would be a better place of he didn’t spend his last years being such an asshole.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Street Tooth

street food 1
 
I don’t think you can call yourself a Pinoy if you haven’t tasted street food; it is part of being a Filipino.
 
My mum warned me about being careful of what I eat—street food, I mean—since she knew I had a certain tooth for street food. She said that if I really wanted to eat street food, I could at least be really careful. And yes, I listened—shocker it is.
 
When you eat street food, you want to check the vendor, the cart, the tools, and all the other things that come in contact with what you’re going to eat. As with the dips, you might also want to observe if the vendor is an advocate of ‘no double dipping’. There are some other tips for eating street food—none of which I don’t think I can share even if I wanted to, because I am distracted by the need of my mouth to chew. If only a cart of kwek-kwek or tempura was outside our house.
 
street food 2 street food 3

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

If It’s Itchy, Scratch It

dog

 

My dog Max has ticks, I know it. Or he could just be allergic to his new shampoo. I switch his shampoo because I wanted better for him. But it appears that just because something is far more expensive, it doesn’t mean it’s far better. This is the first time in his existence that he’s been scratching like crazy. Really crazy, that it really bothers me.

 

I went out to make an improvised anti-itch spray. But if he is indeed allergic to the shampoo, then I only made things worse. Because the improvised spray had his current shampoo in it. However, if he’s itching all over because of ticks, the spray might alleviate the stinging. In that case, damn those ticks! Damn them to hell!

 

I’m buying his old shampoo tomorrow. And I’m going to give him a real good bath.

Up

roof
 
At the rooftop—
 
Yesterday, my cousin Ricki, Betya, and I had a gruelling two hours cleaning it. Cleaning the steep flight of stairs that leads to the rooftop was even harder to clean than the rooftop itself. It was fucking dusty—cobwebs hanging on the walls and ceiling, and clinging to our shirts and skins. But it was good exercise. And despite feeling like I was being punished for not cleaning my room, it was OK. Because now, I get to enjoy the place once again.
 
It’s quite spacious. Bare but spacious. It could sleep ten people, and those ten people could still roll around like idiots. This space needs some plants, I know it. A pot or two would do wonders. I plan on brining my friends up here again when they come over. I think they kind of miss this place, too.
 
If you went on the roof itself—which means you have to do some upper-body exercise by climbing up a five-foot wall—you could see the top of the other houses in the neighbourhood, you get to watch as the sun descends into the horizon. It’s nothing really spectacular, but this place holds a lot of good memories—especially ones I had with Melanie.
 
Earlier, I had a monobloc table brought up along with some plastic chairs. I brought my laptop; desktop speakers, which to my surprise sounded better than when I use it in my room (must be the open space); and a camera.
 
It takes effort to come up here, though—what with the steep stairs. Bringing up stuff is even harder. But it’s like a private space. Here you can be messy—throw stuff around—because cleaning up is a breeze. You don’t have to be afraid of breaking mum’s figurines. You can smoke your lungs out and not worry that the curtains will smell of cigarettes. And here’s the bonus—the Wi-Fi signal is so damn strong!
 
And what better way spend time at the rooftop than with a sick video premiere of Britney Spears’ “Till the World Ends”. The song sounds extremely sick up here—it feels like I’m on the beach. You just have to listen to believe.

The Fox that Let the Hound Run Away

firefox

 

Not all updates are bundled with improvements; some are bundled with huge loads of crap.

 

Such is the case of Firefox 4 which received a great deal of anticipation from Firefox fans. Why? Because it was supposed to be way—supposedly 6 times—faster than the previous version, 3.6.16. But it’s not—it takes too long to start up and load websites, and it occasionally crashes. Needless to say, the previous version didn’t give me that much trouble.

 

I am such a Firefox fan. I’ve tried Google Chrome, but I just didn’t like it. I thought of submitting a report to Mozilla, but realized it would be pointless. Pointless because there already are countless forums airing complaints from Firefox users, and Mozilla doesn’t seem to be paying attention.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wouldn't It Be Nice

roff

Wouldn’t it be nice to leave? To be selfish for once. Would it be nice if I let the world take me in—who I am, who I am not? Wouldn’t it be nice to leave? Let myself come undone as the world stirs me in its palm—steady but trembling. Wouldn’t it feel good to tremble for myself for once? Wouldn’t I feel grand if I let myself float? Wouldn’t it feel liberating if I let the waves crash in on me? To be cleansed for once. Let the ocean cover me, let the sand bury me so I could be uncovered. Wouldn’t it be nice to leave?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Having A Paper Cut

papercuts
 
This is getting freaky. I dreamed of Pam Pastor last night. I was in a coffee shop with her, and she was talking non-stop. Of what, I can’t remember.
 
It could be that I’ve watched her video in XTV way too many times. Or that I’ve been reading her book again simply because I couldn't get enough of it and I can’t wait for her next book. Damn it.
 
I don’t remember where or when I first read about Pam Pastor. All I remember is that I was really happy when I found her book Paper Cuts at National Book Store. I had to have the book. And so I bought it. And I couldn’t put it down. Except that, I did. I wasn’t able to finish the whole book in one sitting—what with all the distractions at home, and my constant attempt to maintain a steady flow of wanting to blog, to write.
 
After I finished her book, I knew I was already a fan. And so came the need to find more about her, her writings, her blogs. Too bad there was no Wikipedia entry about her. So I found her blogs, and I’ve been reading since. I also like that she drinks, and she doesn’t seem to be ashamed of it. Because, really, what’s there to be ashamed about drinking?
 
What I like about her writing is that it doesn’t make my nose bleed, so to speak. Her writing is what I would consider raw, which what really draws me to a writer. She’s really good at what she does, and she inspires me to continue blogging. I like the fact that she stopped blogging for some years because she found it “unhealthy.” I can relate to that in a certain way, with regards to some people acting like they know you because of your blog. You read her material and you feel like you know her, like you could be friends with her. She takes you on adventures and makes you feel like you were there yourself.
 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Egg List

 

egg list

 

I made egg sandwich spread. It would have been an egg salad if they remember to stock up on lettuce, carrots, sweet onions, and lots of mayonnaise. But no, the fresh produce compartment of our fridge contains only some eggplants, chillies, bean sprouts, a slice of pumpkin, some tomatoes, and some other things I don’t know the names of.

 

While I’m devouring slices after slices of bread, I stumbled upon a page in a notebook, and it seems I have to attend to this written list if I am to maintain a steady flow of wanting to write. You know, feed the muse while it’s hungry.

 

1. Most played song on iPod

• Secrets – OneRepublic

 

2. Things you did this morning

• I really can’t remember. I guess it’s time for me to have some brain surgery.

 

3. Things you want that money can buy

• a DSLR camera, iPhone 4

 

4. Things you want that money can’t buy

• zombies, snow

 

5. Things you first look at in a boy

• eyes

 

6. Comfort food

• two servings of shawarma, a damn good pizza with lots of topping, a fucking good carbonara, dark chocolate

 

7. Things you want to change about the world

• awareness and passiveness—sometimes we are aware but we lack action; sometimes we are not aware at all

 

8. Things we’ll find in your room

• laptop, books, original DVD sets, desktop computer, bed, pillows

 

9. Words that describe you

• psychonaut, phobic, explicit, irascible, bitch, neurotic, brutal

 

10. Favourite places

• damn beautiful beaches (Panglao, anyone?), rooftops, sometimes it’s really not the place but the company.

Sticky Rice, Pad Thai, Assholes

pad title
 
Yet again, I committed one of the ‘thou shalt nots’ of drinking—thou shalt not drink on an empty stomach. Yes, sticky rice mango roll does not pass for a meal. And having pad thai—a yummy pad thai if I may, although I am certain the authentic pad thai tastes a thousand times better—halfway through drinking does not change what would be a horrible consequence of drinking on an empty stomach.
 
We spent about 2 hours deciding where to drink—weighing the pros and cons of each place. We ended up where we usually have our fill of alcohol. Maybe next time, we’ll realize there’s no point in trying to ‘drink in a different environment’ when there’s really no other option.
 
sticky ricepad thai
 
Like any other drinking session, I try to learn things. Sometimes relearning things I’ve already learned but had failed to remember.
 
1. Just because the food is cheap doesn’t mean it’s not going to taste good.
2. Rice noodles will look and feel like thick strips of buko, but it won’t ever taste like it.
3. When buying cigarettes for drinking, do not experiment. Go for the one you always smoke.
4. You can’t move on from a previous relationship and all its bitter remains if you’re afraid of getting hurt again. Pain is inevitable.
5. There is a huge difference between ice-cold beer and beer.
6. When someone says he’s going to catch up with you and your friends, it means he really won’t. So don’t wait.
7. Trying to befriend a guy you really like is extremely difficult if he’s straight, an asshole, and thinks your name sounds like a brand of shoes.
8. I can be really rude if the situation calls.
9. Most security guards are dickheads. They like to deliberately eavesdrop on your conversation. But if you’re a bitch enough, he ends up with his mouth open and wishing he just did his job which is attending doors.
10. Some girls walk around like they’re pretty, which doesn’t make them any less ugly.
11. Some fags who are with girls who think they’re pretty are very likely to act like they’re also pretty.
12. If a guy at the other table keeps looking at you, and smiles like puppy, he has the hots for you. You confirm this when he winks at you, and makes your cheeks burn with uneasiness. You confirm that the burning of your cheeks and the wink wasn’t hallucination when he follows you to the restroom and asks where you’ll be after drinking.
13. I am not completely buzzed if I still text coherently.
14. People hate brats.
15. Brats will want to piss off bitches, because that’s one of the few things they’re good at—pissing off bitches.
16. A sports bar isn’t really a sports bar.
17. I am an asshole magnet.
18. Carrying a DSLR camera doesn’t make a person appear sosyal, especially when that person uses it like an ordinary point-and-shoot camera.
19. It’s a pretty normal thing for a person to have 2 mobile phones.
20. Mixing libations, regardless of the ratio, is really a bad, bad idea.
21. It’s always convenient to have mobile credit for calling just in case you forget your keys and get locked outside your house.
22. I am better at drinking than my sister.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

One Form of Counting Sheep

random sleep
 
Four minutes before midnight. A bit sleepy, but my brain still wants to prove itself worthy of being in my skull. My fingers still like to type. This is on my BlackBerry.
 
My BlackBerry’s receiver suddenly worked fine tonight. I constantly try calling my Smart number, and—whoopee!—I could hear the other line. I hope it doesn’t act up again. I hope nobody asks me again why I have it with me when I supposedly brought it in for repair. I don’t want to jinx it again like I did on Tuesday.
 
The smell of the candle I lighted earlier still clings in the air. I missed this smell. I miss lighting huge, white vanilla-scented candles in my room, which I did a lot in college.
 
Typing on a QWERTY mobile does feel different from typing on a mobile with standard keys—in a good way. The sound of the keys under the pressure of my thumbs is wonderful. Still, I’m pretty smitten with iPhone 4 (but an iPhone 3G/3Gs will definitely do). I never should’ve tried that iPhone 4 dummy at the Globe Center.
 
I set the alarm of my Nokia mobile to 4.30, which is four and a half hours away. If I hit the snooze key many times again, I’ll be damned because I need to be up early to get my brother’s report card at school. I probably won’t be in a ‘brisk walking mood’ later—if I do get up at 4.30 (or maybe even 5) so I’ll probably wash the car, which is an even better work out; I sweat like a pig in a sauna when I wash the car. And it needs to be washed anyway.
 
I am tempted to have a slice of cake. I don’t think I’m hungry, really; but I think I just want to chew on something. Should I be alarmed?
 
It’s 13 minutes past midnight. Hello, Saturday! I hope somebody texts me tonight so I won’t have to drink by my lonesome. Maybe I should change my ‘drinking day’. But how could I? it has been Saturday for years now. It’s tradition.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Walking Dead

walking dead

 

I stirred after having snoozed my mobile’s alarm for the nth time when my cousin tried to get me out of bed. I had asked her the night before if she could kindly wake me up in the morning so I could join her and her father in jogging. And so she did.

 

But I was grumpy as hell, as usual. And maybe I scared her off because before I could completely pry my eyes open, she was gone. After minutes of struggling—yes, getting out of bed before 7 a.m. is a struggle—I got up, put on my hoodie, and popped earphones into my ears.

 

The ground was wet from last night’s downpour. And so, wearing only a pair of slippers, I gingerly stepped out into the cold Friday morning. I walked five blocks, turning at every corner that somehow called out to my feet, until I reached the boulevard where early morning people had already begun sweating like pigs. I wondered what time they woke up. There were a lot of people who jogged, walked briskly, and even ran the stretch of the area. The morning sun was slowly peeking out of the clouds as the cool sea breeze blew. There were those who ran in small groups, with their dogs or partners, and in solitary sweating.

 

I tried to take in the view of the morning, smiling back at a guy whose sweat dripped like a leaking pipe. I stopped at the end of the stretch and scolded myself for not bringing my mobile; I could’ve taken some pretty pictures. I felt underdressed in my sleeping shorts and slippers. Most were in their running ensemble, complete with towels draped around their neck or shoulder. Where are my running shoes anyway? Do I even have a pair? You can’t possibly run in your sneakers, can you?

 

Apparently, my brisk walking wasn’t that brisk because I didn’t sweat much. I may have only broken sweat because I was wearing a hoodie. I didn’t make an effort to sweat. But maybe this morning’s reward for my attempt at exercise isn’t sweating out, or feeling my lower muscles strained. Maybe it’s being able to wake up earlier than usual. I hope it’s a start.