Saturday, November 26, 2011

What goes around



Despite the various hair-splitting definitions of different religious beliefs on Karma, I think it can be maintained simply as the fruit of one’s actions—you do good things and you’re rewarded with good things, you do bad things and bad things come back biting your ass. I believe in Karma. But if I were to explicate as to how much I believe in it—how greatly I allow my belief influence my actions—things could go awry.


There are countless passages that try to approximate what karma is, but nothing says it better than karma being a pain in the crack—yes, “Karma’s a bitch.” The most vivid—and perhaps the earliest as well—recollection I have of karma getting back at me, dates back to when I was just in kindergarten. Yes, the fact that I can clearly remember it amazes me.


My parents took me out to a modish little fast-food place that evening. It was known for its spaghetti and burger. It had an alfresco set-up, with white-and-red picket fences surrounding the area; the tables and chairs were made of steel; and on a corner was a small playground that had a couple of swings and a sliding pond. Like any other normal kid, I went to the playground and sat on a swing. It was fun, I am certain; although now that I think about it, I can’t quite understand why kids are fond of playgrounds. On the other swing was a girl who had been there before me. We were playing by ourselves. I was in my own world, that I am certain of. The next thing I knew, the little girl got thrown off her swing face flat on the ground, and I remember laughing so hard at her. Yes, I was mean even back then. I kept laughing even when she was starting to cry. And I only stopped laughing when someone pulled her up. I guess I stopped laughing because I was afraid of being scolded. I continued to push my weight back and forth like a pendulum. And then karma got back at me—I got thrown off the swing as well. And the moment I hit the ground, I remembered how I laughed at the girl. Had I been older and educated about Karma then, I would have scolded myself and muttered “Karma’s a bitch” with clenched teeth. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that night; every time there’s talk about Karma, it always comes to my mind like reflex.


We generally associate Karma with the bad things. We don’t go doing good deeds and thinking, ‘hey this is good, I’ll get good Karma’. I think there may have been a time in a not so distant past when I thought of Karma before I did something I knew was bad. Now, despite the primitive knowledge that a deed is bad, I rarely think about Karma. I rarely put into consideration the socially accepted cosmic belief that the bad things I do will eventually—and certainly—come back to me.


But Karma has its ways. It has its ways of reminding me that no bad deed goes unpaid. Sometimes it strikes back at me so soon that I can’t help but feel terrified. Like after I say profanities behind my mum’s back after an argument, I’d hit my foot on the side of the bed or I’d burn my tongue while drinking coffee; I let greed and my hunger for revenge take over my mouth and I don’t leave food for others because I was mad at them, I get a tummy-ache; I scheme my way out of family gatherings so I could go to a bar with my friends, and I either get stood up or I get shitfaced after five bottles of light beer.


But sometimes, Karma doesn’t seem to be doing its job at all, especially when it’s supposed to get back at other people for doing me wrong. I can’t help but think it takes sides, so I sometimes give it a little push, you know. When it seems to have forgotten a few people on my list, I don’t complain—I take the ‘bitch’ part into my own hands; it comes out naturally after all.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Smoke and pans and touch phones

It is twenty-eight past 11. I am writing this down on my BlackBerry. And with such trivial information, I am trying to convey my mobile preference. Today my brother got the Samsung Galaxy Ace which he had been eyeing for weeks. Patience was wearing him down as the stores ran out of stocks; he had set his eye on the Galaxy that he pestered me on the weekend about doing a follow-up at the store for the availability of the unit. I got to fiddle with the phone the whole afternoon; I wasn't that into it. Except maybe for the fact that it runs on Android OS, which practically screams, “Apps, apps, apps!” I played Angry Birds, but only for about 3 minutes because I got bored.

I must say I still don't like touch phones. I doubt I ever will. Why? Because I like to type. To me, tapping just doesn't do it. I have this attachment to physical keys, qwerty keyboards, which gives a sense of relationship between my fingers, err thumbs, and the words I type. Fiddling with the full-touch gadget made me appreciate my mobile even more.

My room smells of cigarette. I smoked one stick by the window, making sure all the smoke I puffed went straight outside. Failure. Because I couldn't control the wind. Some of the smoke I blew out my mouth and nose came straight back to hit my face. But I like this room smelling faintly of cigarette. It smells like a cabin room in a ship; a hotel room; the entrance to a bar, where the moment you open the door, cold air with a hint of cigarette greets you. I like the feeling those kinds of places evoke; I feel safe, in an odd and totally twisted way. I turned the AC full-blast, in an attempt to copy the total feel of those places. Success. My mouth tastes of cigarette, what else. But I am too lazy to brush my teeth again. But somehow, perhaps a tooth fairy is rejoicing. Sort of.

Some burglars took some of our pans which were kept outside, much thanks to the limited storage space in the kitchen. I woke to my mum's worried tone this morning. She was annoyed, that was more like it, really, that the items stolen were still in tiptop condition and were still supposed to serve their purpose for god-knows-how-long. She was alarmed that someone was able to get into the vicinity, to climb the wall. She got paranoid and had some storage drums, which contained valuable electrical stuff, moved into our help's room. Boy were they heavy. I thought my arms were going to snap. She had the walls at the back reinforced (for lack of a better description) with old aluminium steel sheets, which would make it harder for anyone to climb. She said that the rusts on the steel sheets will hopefully give tetanus to anyone who'd attempt to climb it. In the afternoon, she bought a new set of really huge pans to replace the ones stolen. I think she’s no longer fuming now, but she’s still a little paranoid.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A sneeze, not a flu

twitter sneeze


Four months ago, I signed up for a Twitter account. And I find it only fitting, given the reasons why I signed up in the first place, that I post something about my personal take on the micro-blogging platform.


At first I was biased against Twitter because the fact that it only allowed the user a 140-character post was beyond mean. And for someone who seems to have a lot to say about anything and everything (which most of the time borders on being logorrheic), I didn’t find it useful. But I wanted to try it on for size; I wanted to actually use it before I completely dismiss it as trash.


Twitter is a tool for expression. And its potential is best maximized when your friends are also on it. It is for people who have the pathological need to post status updates on Facebook every half-hour, and those who like to post quotes and useless bits of information about their daily lives. Because on Twitter, it is socially acceptable to post updates every 30 seconds, sometimes 5 seconds. On Facebook, however, it is a nuisance.


Twitter is an information tool—given that you subscribe (“follow”) to reliable accounts such as @inquirerdotnet. When Bohol was placed under storm signal last month, I got immediate updates via Twitter.


I am still not a big fan of Twitter though, mainly because of the 140-character limit on each post that I still can’t get over until now; because even its message feature is limited to 140 characters. I don’t think I’ll ever be a big fan of Twitter, because more than it being a tool for expression and information, it is where useless information flows steadily like honey out of a jar. But I am keeping my account because of certain accounts that are worth following—informative, witty, provoking.


And, yes, I am keeping my Twitter account because I have delusions of grandeur—of one day being able to publish a blook, of receiving hundreds and hundreds of follower requests from people who will have read the blook and who think I am brilliantly mad.


And lastly, I’m keeping my Twitter account because sometimes I, too, feel the need to post updates every half-hour but I know better than to post those on Facebook.