Saturday, September 24, 2011

Money or life

hold up


Am I being incredibly stupid and crazy for still wanting to go out at night, on weekends, despite a number of news about people being held up? I don't know. It's just that these people who've been telling me these 'news' are getting on my nerve. I guess I've been watching way too many action films and TV shows about spies and that sort of stuff, that I think I know, as would any person in his right mind, what ought to be done—and more importantly, what ought not to be done—to avoid getting robbed in the streets. Like, perhaps, don't wander off by your lonesome when it's obvious that the streets are almost empty? Or don't walk too close to the sidewalk? And, also, when you do go out, go out with at least a few friends? Dress down and not like you're attending a board meeting of some big-time company? The list goes on.


This is nuts. Although I am not remotely threatened with this kind of thing now, I can't help but feel like... Oh, I don't even know what to feel because I'm a bit annoyed that some people make it an excuse not to go out at night. And I'm not dropping names. I am, however, dropping this: until that unfortunate thing happens to me—God forbid it does—I'm going out at night when I feel like it. And I'm taking all the knowledge, if one can dare call it as such, from all the films and TV shows I've seen.


I'd go into details about what I do and what I don't know when I'm carrying worry-worthy amounts of cash, and I'm walking on the street and strolling at the mall, because that might put me in trouble in the future. And, I guess, that's one of the things one shouldn't do to avoid being held up—or whatever kind of unfortunate thing it is with similar weight: don't talk about the things you do to avoid being held up.

Monday, September 19, 2011

How not to scratch

How do you resist the urge to scratch your face when you shouldn’t scratch it but it feels like you just have to scratch it because it’s so damn itchy and if you didn’t scratch it you’d feel like you’re going to implode?


You divert your attention to something else…


You click from one tab to another—random sites that aren’t really so random since you had them bookmarked.


You unsubscribe to all the activities of certain Facebook friends because you’ve been meaning to do so for the past weeks, and today they just proved that sometimes too much is indeed a bad thing, especially on Facebook—narcissistic photo albums, whiny status updates, recycled quotes that are unintelligent and have not been posted with quotation marks.


You drink three full glasses of water in under one minute.


You clean your computer registry; delete duplicate and out-dated files, pictures, low-quality songs, and crappy personal videos; uninstall unused programs; organize browser bookmarks; hit your browser’s refresh button 100 times per minute, for three minutes; and tweak Windows settings.


You go through your blog archive. Laugh at yourself for having written and posted certain posts.


You organize your music library, tediously edit song information, and download album artworks.


You listen to the noise of the AC unit, take yourself off reality, and imagine it might transform into a tiny robot that’s willing to do your evil bidding.


You bash your feet on the bed.


You press Alt + Tab on your keyboard countless times.


You whistle.


You close your eyes for a few minutes, and get back to staring at the computer screen.


You search for videos on YouTube on BlackBerry Torch. You obsess about it for a few minutes. And click on a pre-made playlist mix of BlackBerry Torch ads from equally BlackBerry-obsessed people.


You survey your room, do a quick inspection of your DVD collection. If nothing’s missing, you and the people in your house are lucky; otherwise, there will surely be hell to pay in the morning.


You find your downloaded copy of The Beach, finish this holy nonsense of a post, and enjoy the film until sleep finally visits you.


If you’re lucky, 30 minutes into the film, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Richard character will have figuratively sung you a lullaby and all you have to do is pray you don’t roll over your laptop when sleep finally takes over your body.

Sunday, September 18, 2011




Sunday. Oh, lazy Sunday. My ears itch (part of the allergy package, you see), because I had to eat fried chicken and pansit with eggs on my sister’s birthday, yesterday. Had to eat because it felt like an obligation for me to ignore red itchy patches on my face, wrists, and ears if only to save my sanity. I’ve never been allergic to any kind of food in 27 years. So you can imagine how bad my tummy feels each time I see any chicken dish, eggs, or any seafood.


Today feels different. For some reason, it feels (yet again) like I am not in 2011. It just feels different, despite attempts at feeling otherwise. Maybe it has something to do with a friends’ hand sanitizer, which reminds me of a really different era, which to her smells like Pledge. And it’s true, partly—it does smell a bit like Pledge, the citrusy scent. But more than that, it reminds me of certain emotions and state of minds, yet again. All I want to do now is laze around—on my bed, in the house, at the mall, out in the streets, on the floor. I want this day to never end. I don’t want it to end partly because it feels like nothing could go wrong; and because tomorrow is a Monday, and it’s back to work again.


I was having a certain dilemma earlier. A dilemma that only reinforced that feeling of being in a different time—should I leave the Blogspot and switch to either Tumblr or Wordpress? But a comment on my Facebook status solved it for me: “tumblr for the lazy days and blogspot for oral diarrhea.” And I thought: Yes! Why not? Since deep inside, I really don’t want to ditch Blogspot; but I do want to have a different, new outlet for when I get that itch to blog, but can’t seem to find the will, focus, and inspiration . So, yes, I think I’m ready for Tumblr. And yes, it does seem like my posts are oral diarrhoea, albeit not in a figuratively gross sort of way.


Sunday. Oh, Sunday. I have a number of things I have and want to do. I have to fix a drawer, change the bed sheet and pillowcases, clean the laptop, throw socks and shirts I will never get a chance to use again because I’ve given up hope in slimming down, prepare laboriously for work, accompany my brother to the barber shop, clean the microwave because it smells of pansit and other unappetizing food, organize my stuff (DVDs, CDs, books, etc.), clean the car; I want to find a good candle I can use for my room, smoke at least one stick of cigarette over a freshly brewed cup of coffee, take close-up pictures of random things, make a draft of the delusional BlackBerry ad I’ve been planning to make, buy another pair of shorts, sleep (although this one seems to be impossible now), watch The Beach, find a DVD of The Beach, read, read, write, walk around the city, find a new theme for this blog.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The day that changed forgiveness



I was planning on writing about forgiveness, because it was what the priest’s homily was about this morning. But I cannot write about forgiveness tonight, because National Geographic channel is showing an in-depth documentary about the 9/11 terrorist attacks on USA (3 different shows about the tragedy that happened); and I am really distracted—engrossed in watching—that I just hope I’m even able to make this piece coherent. The priest didn’t even include that in his homily, which disappointed me. He could have at least attempted to talk about forgiveness in terms of what happened ten years ago, because I think it would have made for a very good sermon. But perhaps the priest didn’t want to dig deeper into it, and instead opted to talk about the same old thing that priests talk about when the gospel is about forgiveness—that we, men, are supposed to not limit forgiveness; that we must keep on forgiving those who offend us. Well, that’s just self-righteous and hypocritical, if you ask me—I say that with awareness that I am no Mother Teresa; I am not even a fraction of the shadow. And not that I’d ever want to be.


Forgiveness is hard. Hell, it’s very hard. I am an unforgiving person. But then again, when I think about it, forgiveness is broad and complex. Forgive and forget? I don’t forgive fully, and I never forget. And please spare me the rubbish that people who hold grudges are only hurting themselves in the process and will never truly find peace in their hearts. Please.


Remember what I told you about my being distracted? Well, now I’m really, really distracted. I think writing about forgiveness will have to be done some other time; I know I haven’t even scraped the surface. I couldn’t even if I tried.


It’s hard to write while you get goose bumps from watching raw footages of the tragic series of events on that day—the day that changed the world. I think that it was the day that changed forgiveness, too; because I don’t think those who have lost a loved one on that day that will ever be able to forgive those responsible for the attacks.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Déjà vu in excess



I am having a major case of déjà vu, or something of that sort. It started yesterday—and quite suddenly, as it must normally be.

There are certain sights, sounds, and smell that evoke a sense of nostalgia—only stronger. So nostalgia may be an understatement. It feels like I am not in 2011; that I am in a certain year from the past. From my attempts at pin-pointing which year exactly it is, which has been really difficult and frustrating, it's like I'm in the years spanning 2006-2008.

It's not that visual type of deja vu, which I read is the usual, if not the only, case. It's a lot more on the emotional state and mental disposition, which, I must admit, is comforting and scary at the same time.

Comforting because it's that feeling of being genuinely happy that seems to fill me. Scary because, at the back of my mind, I know it's temporary. That this state I am experiencing could—and eventually will—go as suddenly as it came. That regardless of how brief this state might be, I might get used to it, ridiculous as it may be on the account of it being transient, because I haven't felt this damn good in a long time. I haven't felt this carefree, invincible, fearless, calm, rational, steady, balanced, sane, and safe in such long a period that it actually, at certain times since yesterday when I am alone, makes me want to cry. And the tears that want to fall are those of joy. I feel like a little kid. But I feel more like a grown-up who doesn't have to bear the troubles of the world.


Today is the second day of this déjà vu, which really makes me question if this is in fact déjà vu. Because as far as I know, déjà vus only for a really short period of time. Well, I don’t care what this is. I'm going to salvage every moment of this—take in the sense of being whole, of not having been broken many times. I will breathe the air of unadulterated happiness, until reality comes crashing back in.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chill out of luck

Exactly 6 in the morning as I check my mobile for the time. The sun's rays have not even made it through the thick light-mint coloured curtains hanging on my window. A candle burns dimly on a table. It's still a bit chilly; a reminder that  despite whatever damage it is that’s happening to the world, it is still cold in the morning. I hear the household talk about my cousin's seemingly good luck that he passed his interview for a job abroad. Yes, he is lucky, because while it wasn't his primary intention to work abroad, it is he who doesn't have any sort of legal impediment; he has all the papers necessary to work abroad and feel like he's a part of the superficial money-value society. Yes, money-value society because, sadly, people are valued based on the figures they are earning, most of the time. And most people think that it is only money that they need. And please, for the love of a chilly morning, spare me the crap about how essential money is regardless of whether you already have loads of it stashed in your bottom drawer or you're slaving yourself to earn some.

I guess it's too early to whine about things I have no control over. It's too early to complain to that higher being above us about how unfair he has been. No, I shan't capitalize the H; it's too early. And so I think it is better that I just stare at this beautiful guy intently looking at his camera. I stare at him because it takes my mind off the things I just blabbed about. I stare at him because he's oblivious to the world, or at least he seems so. And, certain that we shall never meet, not in a million lifetimes, I wonder—what's for breakfast?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Starlight dissection

I have done this on my previous blogs before—dissecting songs, consuming it like a good bottle of libation. And I have done this a million-countless times in my head; when I’m alone in the house or in my room, and I pretend like I’m being interviewed by someone who cares about what I think.


I’ve been listening to Rachael Yamagata’s forthcoming single “Starlight” since last night. And I haven’t been able to get it off my mind. I’m listening to it even as I type this. And more than the melody, I am deeply affected by its lyrics. Rachael does have that ability. And if you know me personally, it’s usually the lyrics that grab my attention. So before I digress even further off what I’m really trying to do… I’m going to do some song dissection—psycho-analysing kind of shit, if you must.



"Something about you is like,
Drinking a cold glass of water.
Everyone needs a place to go to sometimes.
I'd jump from a moving train,
Just to keep you.
Would you do it for me?
As I watch you walk across the street,
I keep wondering why I can't leave.
All the heavens are against me and you.
Do you even know a thing 'bout me?
Do you even think about my needs?
Cause I need you."


These lyrics tug at certain heartstrings. Obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t have picked them out. To me, they speak of how one is torn between loving someone and at the same time keeping his, or her, self intact. There’s an apparent attraction, a pull, which the lover cannot fight; although, at times, it seems like a stupid thing to do. I think, too, that it speaks about a kind of love wherein the lover is admittedly blind enough, so to speak, to do things for the person he loves—as in figuratively, “jump from a moving train.” Or maybe even literally? If sanity has escaped his grasp, that is. But with the question of, “Would you do it for me?” there is a sense of awareness of crude reality; and thereby, hesitation—more like doubt—as to whether the act of selflessness (or is it stupidity?) would be reciprocated.


And there is a resignation over one’s inability to depart from that person he loves—as in, “I keep wondering why I can’t leave.” Perhaps it is true—that love, especially when it’s outside what the norm of society deems chaste and acceptable, will get tested torturously; “All the heavens are against me and you.” OK, I might have analysed that too simply. Well, because society, in my case, does not find it right (despite right being subjective) for a boy to love a boy, let alone be in a relationship with a boy.


“Do you even know a thing 'bout me? Do you even think about my needs?” Tells us that, perhaps, sometimes, despite our best efforts to deny it and to make it otherwise, love can be a one-sided relationship. That in every relationship, one will always love the other more; the other will, sometimes unconsciously, turn passive and just keep accepting—without giving back what is rightful.


And now, as the song plays for the nth time, I hear, “I couldn't see a thing tonight | Not one star | Not one star has shone for you…” and it dawned on me, that maybe the totality of this song speaks about how with relationships in general, we choose to stay even when there’s no reason to. Even when “not one star has shone” for the person we love. And that, more often than not, we choose to “add a little candlelight to get through”—we try to see into the bright side of things, we try to see the best in the people we love—because we’re used to being in that relationship, and we are afraid (hell, we are terrified!) of being out in the world alone again. When we are in a relationship, we live in a bubble of happy things, and we are “terrified to look outside.”


Perhaps I should drink when I listen again to this song and write another song dissection report?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Terrible tandem again



I have the terrible tandem, yet again.


I can blame the cough part to the blueberry cheesecake and coffee jelly I had on Saturday. Not that I’m complaining; a cough is better than a tonsillitis, if you ask me. When I get tonsillitis, I always end up with a fever. And I can’t afford having fever these days, although getting extra attention at home is nice. So, yes, I can handle this cough as long as it doesn’t make me bark like a mad dog.


The cold part can be blamed on my mum and brother’s freezing room. I slept in their room this weekend because a friend of my sister’s came over, and although I normally don’t lend my rightful place of slumber, I felt like sleeping on the floor. Sleep on the floor and hear my mum and brother’s bickering loud and clear. Seriously, they bicker about the craziest things. I should have known better. The room was freezing that I had to wake up at dawn and turn the AC off. I felt like I was sleeping in a chest freezer, while my brother was still complaining about the room being not cold enough. Yes, I do think he can live in North Pole without any problem.


I’m making it a point to drink ridiculous amounts of water. Since morning, I think I’ve consumed 20 litres of water at home and at work. I’ve been taking three kinds of drugs just to make me feel better. And I’ve been drinking boiled oregano leaves, because I believe in herbal therapy as much as I believe in water therapy. If my body doesn’t betray me, this cough should be gone in two to three days, max. As with the cold, I think it’s going be a week or so. Because when one has a cold, he needs an ample amount of rest. I should be in bed by now; even if I was only going to roll on my sides like a kid, the point is, I should be lying down, eyes closed, mind conditioned for slumber. But instead, I’m facing the computer—eyes droopy, nose red and clogged, throat sore. I’m facing the computer instead of resting because I’m a masochist of sort.

Puppy love

puppy love

you keep your legs still while you wait
and your eyes sparkle with sincerity when you speak
the way  you stretch your arms when you're impatient or tired is endearing
it makes me want to curl inside them
you speak deeply of cultural differences and global warming
i could get used to raising bars
and we'd argue over politics and movies
you crinkle your nose in dissent
and i scratch my nape —
that would surely look pretty together
you relish horror films and i would be delighted to hear us scream
and when spicy food whets your tongue i wouldn't have to
worry about what to serve
especially when your throat sores over non-alcoholic beverage
you'll let me have coffee every day
and the frequency excites me
you read grisham, i read saul
the contrast pulls me closer to thinking we could share
stories of facts and fiction
the depth of conversations will thrill me
to the bones
your shirt will look good on me, and so will your jeans
and we'll switch chuckies and boxers
won't that be sweet?
you are musically inclined and diverse
you'll regard my choice highly and ask me to sing
we'll talk about your penchant for things surreal and my holy nonsense
we will sound perfect together
and you'll interest me like no one
you'll make me feel elated when you complain about
my perpetual tardiness
you'll have me lured into your simplicity and complexity altogether
and your mouth will not utter discontent
but warn me of inadequacies
and i will ask you for a push or a pull
and you'll refuse, and i'll put on my tantrums
your tendency to be childish will endear you to me more
when you point out my immaturity and malcontent
i will pick on your dislike for challenges
i will tug at your elbow and you'll cast me dirty glances
and we'll pull each other's ears
these are the things if they could be
such a shame, dear
i don't know you
and you don't know me

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Aftie blue



Temporary blindness. That’s what you get when you stare into a bright, sun-lit street at four in the afternoon. If you’re bored enough, you pretend like you’re facing some white silhouette figure that’s visible even with the blinding light, and you ask, “Am I dead?” But that changes right away as soon as your vision goes back to normal. My eyes are fine now. And I didn’t even get the chance to play pretend and ask that question to myself. It would have made me chuckle, or at least stifle one.


My tonsils are struggling, screaming, “Fuck you, bitch!” Because blueberry cheesecake and coffee jelly froccino isn’t supposed to be paired. But I paired them anyway. If my throat doesn’t hurt tonight, I should really make it a point to light a candle at the cathedral. Please, dear God, please, no. I swear I will not do it again. But it was more of an impulse-order, you see.


I drove around the city for about half an hour, deciding on whether or not I should take an alfresco spot at the coffee shop and smoke a well-deserved cigarette or two, or if I should just stay inside and lounge in one of its rather uncomfortable chairs. I had spent—no, wasted—a good half an hour at the mall, checking out DVDs and books, but the place was crowded and my head started to hurt so I left. After driving around the plaza twice, I decided to stay inside the coffee shop. Because I didn’t have any cigarettes and I was too lazy to go to the store near the coffee shop; because I forgot that my lighter no longer serves its purpose, and should, therefore, no longer be called a ‘lighter’ but a useless piece of material; and because I didn’t want to spend an afternoon by my lonesome fending off Badjaos coming up to me to ask for some change. I’m not in the mood.


So here I am, eating the ridiculously sweet blueberry cheesecake and taking sips of the equally ridiculously sweet coffee jelly drink. Here I am, feeling like a complete idiot, blogging on my mobile phone, aware that the barista is looking at me as if wondering where my friends are. I don’t think he has seen me without any company.


I hear noises. Not sounds but noises—the blending machine, a group of foreigners chatting about god-knows-what, the loud tricycles that pass by, and an elderly Filipino man talking to an elderly foreigner guy. The Filipino man, who looked like a has-been politician who now spends his time talking about his seeming glorious past as a public servant, is yapping about the things he’s written; how they didn’t have any loopholes for anyone to contest; and how it all comes as a bible for whatever topic it is he wrote about. Gawd forgive him, and his loud voice, and the tone of arrogance that comes out of his mouth and hangs on his short beard. I wonder who this person is, what it is he wrote, and why on earth he keeps standing up.


Across from me is a group of tourists—three ladies and a young man. Earlier, one of the ladies was telling the young man, who had been in the coffee shop earlier for them to meet, about their decision to miss on seeing the tarsier so they could go to the beach by sunset. Because, as the other lady joked, the sea was going away and they didn’t want to miss it. And all of four of them laughed. I didn’t get it. Not that I wanted to.


My head hurt even more. And I realized that it must have been because of the noise around me; had it only been the sound of the blending machine that I had to bear. As it is, I’d so rather listen to Joss Stone sing angrily about a former lover than to unintentionally eavesdrop on the Filipino man’s arrogant telling of his writing skills and the tourists’ fascination over Bohol.


My tonsils are screaming expletives now, after I swallowed the last spoonful of blueberry cheesecake and followed it up with the coffee jelly drink. My mobile phone has lost two bars in its battery meter, and I don’t care. It can deplete right now and I wouldn’t even mind. Because I’ve decided that I’m staying home tonight; I won’t need a fully-charged mobile phone to do mobile surfing at a bar or at this coffee shop. I’ve decided that tonight I won’t be chugging glasses after glasses of vodka or bottles after bottles of beer. I’m sure my system can survive on an alcohol-free Saturday night, like it did before.


Tonight, I’m flicking the TV remote control until it explodes, so to speak. I’m jumping from one website to another—click after click, tab after tab—until the mouse, too, explodes. And tonight, I begin to not be a friend to those who shouldn’t even be called ‘friends’ in the first place.


And although I’d like to elaborate on the ‘friends’ part, I now have to go home for a barbecue dinner. I think I’m going to dip the chicken in vinegar to appease my tonsils. But perhaps soaking the chicken barbecue for a few minutes in vinegar until it absorbs the acidity is a better idea.