Saturday, May 28, 2011

Of knots, mud, and exes

wedding mud
 
It took me an hour, give or take, to finally decide on what colour to wear to the wedding. The motif was green, but since I had waived my post as a groomsman, I didn’t think wearing green was going to be a smart choice. Wear green and blend in, or wear a different colour and stand out but risk being the centre of attraction—and not in a good way; it was a difficult choice. I hated blending in on occasions, especially formal ones. So I wore a pomelo-pink polo shirt. But I shouldn’t have worried too much. In fact, I shouldn’t have bothered one second. Because some people wore purple, black, yellow, dirty orange, and all other colours.
 
My friend Joiz and I arrived late at the church. The bride and groom were already signing the papers, and in a matter of minutes, we were called for photo-taking. I was never big on posing for a photo while a huge crowd watched, but I smiled anyway. I smiled even if I wanted to drag the guy at the podium down; he was irritating, what with his pedestrian way of hosting the event. I could only roll my eyes. And I thought I was the only one who noticed, but Joiz and Cherry were also annoyed by him.
 
The road to the groom’s residence, the venue for the reception, proved to be difficult. Well, difficult, doesn’t really do it justice. I had to drive through a hell of a muddy and narrow road to get there. The black SUV appeared like it had been spray-painted light brown.
 
Jed’s wedding paved the way for a little reunion for us college friends. We reminisced about our college days—going to class drunk, picking on classmates who deserved to be picked on, classmates who we missed and those who we really didn’t give a damn about, professors who might as well have sung lullaby because her discussions were so uninteresting, smoking days, Jed’s war with Badjao kids. I do miss college. After an hour or so of waiting for the beer, and another hour or so for the alcohol to take effect—except for Cherry who got tipsy after just a few glasses of beer—the laughter became boisterous, the conversations became unrestricted and adult-oriented.
 
I wanted to get drunk. I really did. But somehow, the beer didn’t have any effect on me. It might have been because of the hot weather, I think. The drinking could have continued until evening if we weren’t committed to other things. So before someone else could slide her tongue down an ex’s throat (which I would have enjoyed for various reasons; not that having taken incriminating pictures, which could very well be used for blackmail should I get really offended by future actions or non-actions, wasn’t entertaining enough), we bid congratulations and good-byes.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Idiots and electronics

cleaningpc
 
At a government office.
 
An idiot was cleaning her computer screen with alcohol. I mean—what an idiot! Who cleans a computer with alcohol?
 
It appals me when people don’t know how to handles gadgets or other electronic devices. But what I find more appalling is when people don’t know how to maintain them. I mean—how misinformed can you be? Besides, manuals come with every electronic device you buy, the least you can do is read it.
 
Now that I think about it, maybe some people know how to handle and take care of things, but they neglect that knowledge when it’s not their private property. In this case, maybe that idiot of a girl knows that it’s a rather idiotic thing to clean the monitor with alcohol, but since it’s not her computer, she just didn’t care.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Brother computer

brothercomputer
 
My brother is a computer addict. No, let me rephrase that—my brother is addicted to the Internet; he doesn’t use the computer sans Internet.
 
He spends way too much time online—playing online games, socializing with his friends via networking sites, downloading movies, watching streaming videos of anime and Eminem.
 
The moment he wakes up, he plugs in the Internet and router. And after he’s taken a shower and eaten breakfast, he starts his ‘duty’, as mum likes to call it. And once he’s sat down, there’s no taking him away from the computer; he’s glued. Except for loo breaks. It’s like there are special relationships between the plastic chair and his ass, his eyes and the monitor, and his hands and the mouse and keyboard.
 
He usually starts his duty at 9 a.m. and sleeps past midnight. You call him for lunch and it takes him a good 15 minutes or so before he leaves the room. And he only leaves his post after you’ve ranted on him about lunch. After his 10-minute lunch, he immediately goes back on duty. He doesn’t take afternoon naps because, as he once said, time is too precious to waste on sleeping.
 
He started using a computer at a very young age. He learned how to play a computer game even before he could speak. So I guess it’s not surprising that he’s pretty attached to using the computer—a lot. And ever since dad gave him a laptop, he’s gotten even more preoccupied with using the Internet; he uses the desktop computer for online games since his laptop cannot handle too much graphics, and his laptop serves as his tool for downloading movies, and interacting with his friends. Just recently, he signed up for a Twitter account.
 
Yes, his current addiction to the Internet must be because it’s summer. When classes start, he’s no longer allowed to use the computer except on weekends or when it’s for school research. If it weren’t for basketball, I doubt he’d ever go out of the house. Right now, I think his greatest fear is not being able to go online.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Evil white Gaga

gaga
 
I dreamt of Lady Gaga last night. See, this is why I should no longer drink beer; lately, I’ve been having really strange dreams after I drink beer. Guess it’s time to switch libation. And maybe stop this paunch from growing. Hitting two birds with one stone, so to speak.
 
Gaga and I were having dinner. And she had this crazy eye make-up on. Her hair was snow white, done in a maw hawk sort of style. Her eyelashes had been adorned with diamonds, and her eyes were crazy black. Her lips were painted red like a geisha’s, and when she smiled, her front teeth looked like a rabbit’s. She was wearing a white dress with low, I mean really low, neckline. But that was all I saw since she was sitting down and the table covered her chest down. Her skin was white, really white.
 
Apparently, we were discussing about what to do with the guy we kidnapped. We kept him in a room big enough for him to jump around in, if his hands and feet weren’t tied up. He had no shirt on and his jeans were faded blue. He was barefoot.
 
Gaga was not that much of a talker; she just stared into nothingness most of the time. I did most of the talking; she would just nod her head. When she talked, she wouldn’t cast a glance at me, like she was a robot or something. She suggested we strip the guy down and convince him to dance for us. I argued ‘convince’ wasn’t the word, because we kidnapped the guy in the first place. I told Gaga ‘coerce’ was the word, and she said “whatever.” It was perverted, and I liked it.
 
That’s all I can remember from my dream. And oh, we were having pasta. And the room we were in was painted white. Maybe it wasn’t Lady Gaga after all. Maybe it was The Evil White Queen. Or perhaps it was Lady Gaga trying to channel The Evil White Queen. Whichever it was, it was sick—but not in a twisted kind of way.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Four one one

fouroneone


for pulchritude cannot escape witness
endless paths cannot taste sweet
i rest in bedlam once more
picking roses out of the swamp
for words cannot be taken but pronged

for this vast and vapid cradle cannot sail
obscure unceasing drift
precious no more than professed ambivalence
for unseen cannot equate unseen
i gaze unblinking

Cats can

cat
 
Days ago, a blogger was convicted of animal cruelty. In 2009, he blogged about having killed a cat. Although he had taken the post down—and eventually his account in Multiply—a screen capture of the posts exists in cyberspace. Apparently, the Internet doesn’t forget. I’ve read the post, alright. And I agree with the comments that flooded after it—the act done, err crime was seriously sick. Demented. The self-proclaimed ‘cat serial killer’ needs serious professional psychiatric help.
 
I personally don’t like cats, but it doesn’t get to the point where I want to kill them. Sure, I may sometimes throw stones at cats that poop on our lawn, but the intention is not to actually hit them; but to make them aware that our lawn in not their toilet. And I rarely hit them anyway.
 
I sort of grew up with cats outside our house, because back in Manila, our landlady owned 30 cats, give or take. It was like living with Catwoman next door. The cats would be fed on a huge tire that had been cut in half. They made crazy sounds when they were about to be fed or when they were horny, you know, and it drove me nuts because I couldn’t sleep at night. The cats would lay on our landlady’s porch—purring, licking their fur off, pouncing on each other.
 
I don’t like cats, but sometimes they amuse me. Sometimes I find their behaviour rather funny. I even have some pictures of cats that I took with my mobile. So while some neighbourhood cats like to occasionally drop their shit on our lawn; some like pissing off our dog in the wee hours of the night, thus causing him to bark incessantly, and eventually requiring me to get out of bed to shush him; and some like to sleep on top of our car, leaving stubborn paw prints on the hood, I still don’t want to hurt them. And I don’t see why anyone would want to kill a cat, or any animal for that matter.
 
Justice was served two years after the crime was committed. And the punishment, I say, was too light: two months of community service—taking care of abandoned animals, cats especially—and a fine of two-thousand pesos. Are you kidding me? Forget about the fine, although it may do some help for maltreated animals. What the Cat Serial Killer needs is a supervised psychiatric evaluation.
 
If anyone else gets a thrill out of killing animals, why not take it out on mosquitoes, roaches, and ants? Sure, they’re technically insects. But—oh, you get the point.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Losing my religion

religion
 
I am not religious.
 
This may come as a surprise to those who know that I come from a family of Roman Catholics, that the very first books I read were Bible Stories for kids, and that as a child I spent Sunday mornings watching ‘The Flying House’.
 
My father is a devotee of St. Jude Thaddeus that my brother was named after the saint. He also raised funds to be able to help the renovation of the church in my mother’s home town. He wrote an article about how St. Jude has helped him in times of hopelessness, which was published in a local newspaper in Manila. My mum, on the other hand, prays a lot. She says she prays even when she’s taking a shower or paying visits to the loo. She instilled in us, her children, fear of God. Grandparents from both my parent’s side are also devout Christians (okay, except for my mum’s father who rarely went to church). My aunties and uncles are religious, far as I can tell. In fact, they’re quite so religious that during reunions, I have to make things up if only to avoid being asked to join in prayer sessions.
 
So sometimes I wonder why I am unlike them. Maybe I got it from my lolo. Maybe. But growing up, I had a strong religious upbringing. I studied in a Catholic school in high school and college, but that’s beside the point, really. And in my elementary years, I was a member of a group called ‘Legion of Mary’ that held prayer meetings every Saturday. Yes, I go to church (as often as I can- say, at least twice a month). Yes, I visit the adoration chapel, and pray the rosary . But I can’t call myself a religious person. Spiritual, yes; not religious. I believe in God, of course. I venerate saints. But something in me just cannot hold claim of being religious. I guess I just look at God in a different way. I look at religion at a different angle. Yes, one quote sums this up: "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car."
 
Some people are offended by how I practice my faith. Even my mum sometimes cringes at how I talk to Jesus as if he were some stranger I met on the street. Is it completely weird and unacceptable that I’d rather watch a Chinese cooking show even though I don’t understand a single word the chef utters than a broadcast of the Sunday mass at some cathedral? Am I really “refusing God” from my life by turning down invites to join some religious group?
 
I am pretty much ambivalent about religion. Like I said, I’m not religious. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I have a great deal of opinion—more like criticism—about my chosen religion.
 
I have my own perception of God, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I don’t judge people by their religion. Religion, for me, is a choice—a preference—much like how one chooses to practice his religion.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I baptise thee

bap
 
The old lady in an ugly pink dress has been complaining about the baptism sponsors being late. No argument about that. But she’s been complaining way too much that, I think, I won’t be able to restrain myself from giving her an in-your-face retort just so she’d put a sock in it.
 
If you ask me, I really don’t think pre-Jordan seminars are necessary. It’s a complete waste of time. Yeah, yeah, yeah—godparents need to know that being a godparent comes with certain responsibilities that go beyond giving gifts on occasions, and parents need to be taught that it is their primary responsibility to guide their child into a Christian way of life. All that blahs. But having attended such seminar does not make one a good—or better—parent or godparent. Besides, if a godparent or a parent has attended the seminar, what guarantee does anyone have that all the things he’s heard at the seminar will not be forgotten as soon as he’s left the room.
 
I know I am not in the position to criticize, but the church needs to straighten its rules on requirements for baptism. But that’s not really just the issue. The church needs to reassess its structure—the whole structure. And it needs to stop being too self-righteous.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thirteenth

13

 

I’m wondering—

 

There must be some sort of commemoration for the day after Friday the 13th, Saturday the 14th. For starters, those who were ‘unlucky’ on Friday the 13th should at least acknowledge—over a bottle of libation, perhaps—that Friday the 13th might actually be an ominous day; those who didn’t have any ‘bad experience’ on a Friday the 13th must also celebrate the previous day’s lack of power to turn things ugly; and those who aren’t, in any way, threatened or paranoid over Friday the 13th surely must have celebratory drinks in honour of those who spent the day worrying and being stupid.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Early morning stain

dd coffee
 
Lampposts were still on and the streets were free of reckless and irresponsible tricycle drivers. I drove around the city, windows down, and smiled at the scent of the crisp early morning air. The city was calm, like water on a kettle waiting to boil. It was Tagbilaran on a different angle, on a different tone. I drove around at a slow speed, as the sun’s rays started to brighten the sky.
 
5 a.m. There wasn’t much to see—joggers on the side of the road; habal-habal drivers on a corner, chatting and laughing boisterously; security guards with droopy eyes sitting on a stool or pacing around their station, some leaning backwards with shut eyes and open mouths; some sidewalk vendors; some badjaos sleeping outside closed buildings; blinking traffic lights. Blinking traffic lights and streets without tricycles? What joy!
 
I grabbed a cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts. Empty parking space—lovely. I drove around again, No Doubt blaring on the speakers. This time, the city was beginning to awaken—people were already outside their houses, sweeping; a fast-food worker buttoning her uniform as she crosses the street; a ridiculously thin man puffing cigarette, walking as though he’d just finished drinking a case of beer; two girls walking briskly, chatting.
 
I stopped by the boulevard to drink my coffee. I’d have gotten out of the vehicle if my coffee didn’t spill on my shirt. And the klutz award goes to— After I finished my coffee, I decided to head home. On the way, a fairly good-looking guy without a shirt on smiled at me. I flashed back a smile. I looked at the side mirror as I continued to drive, and there he was looking at my direction. I’d have pulled over and walked up to him if my shirt wasn’t stained with coffee. Lovely.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The season of terrible tandem

terrible tandem
 
Almost everyone in the house is carrying a water bottle and refilling it every 10 minutes. Because almost everyone has got cough and colds, the terrible tandem as I’d like to call. But it’s the cough that’s been such a pain in the throat, literally.
 
Even I have the terrible tandem. I’ve had it for a week or so now, but thankfully it’s gotten better. I don’t bark, err cough as often now, and it’s no longer dry. Much thanks to the gallons of water I drank, and some good rest I allowed myself despite the strong urges to watch DVD marathons and dissect songs.
 
They say when a person has a cold or a cough—worse, both—his body’s immune system has gotten weak, and that a good amount of rest and water intake should be considered. Well, whose immune system wouldn’t get weak in this kind of weather, anyway? One minute you’re burning under the sun, the next you’re soaking wet from the rain. And no, weather forecasts don’t help you prepare for the erratic weather. Weather forecasts are as useless as TV Patrol’s daily text poll.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Burnt

burnt

 

there is you
another nail under my foot
there is you
a drop of acid on my tongue
but i'll hold on
although it may seem nothing
and crazy and stubborn
because there is you
even after you've left me
even after the goodbyes we said
there is you
an itch under my skin i have to scratch
but there isn't you
beside me when i turn
there isn't you
to whisper unheard before words
but i'll hold on
even though i shouldn't
because there isn't you
even when you swear you're here
running on my mind
there isn't you
but i'll hold on
because i like burnt bread on my tongue