Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday's Feast 104

What's the funniest dream you can remember having?
I was in college then, I dreamt (at least thrice) that Jao Mapa was my boyfriend. Isn't it funny? Me and Jao. Right, as if we'd have clicked. We have different interests, I really doubt it. What do you mean that's not why it's funny?

If you were a dog, what breed would you be, and why?
A mutt. A little something of everything.

Continue this sentence: "I get confused when..."
I get confused when I see people actually wanting to shake politicians' hands. I think kicking them might be more appropriate.

Main Course
Name two things that need to be done, but you are procrastinating in completing.
Only two things? Are you sure? I could give you lots but it won't make me look good so ok, just two. One, filing this mother load of loose papers which I know will bite me in the ass someday. Two, paying my phone bill so I can have Internet again.

When was the last time you tried something new, and what was it?
Last week. It was a pair of lovely lovely shoes, really gorgeous and really expensive. I just tried them on, I can't afford it.

Little Baby Bear

Just look at him. Does he not make your heart melt? If I ever had the money to buy a purebreed, it would be a chow chow. It's my favoritest dog in the whole wide world, plus they are the only ones with blue tongues. But I'm worried it might eat me if I can't afford to buy dog food anymore because all my money went to buying it.

The grooming is also something to think about, a chow chow has like four billion tons of fur in its body and boy, are they gonna shed. Do I have the patience to comb his coat every day, to take him to the vet for grooming, and dress him for Halloween?

I know Sarah of Barenaked Media said she doesn't want to read about dogs, but she doesn't read me anyway and who really cares because I DON'T HAVE AN EFFING NEWSPAPER COLUMN.

PS: This post is dedicated to celebrity columnists who blogs on national broadsheets for a hobby. We don't care what you ate yesterday or which of your best friends got engaged/married/promoted or what beauty products you use. Well, maybe we would, if you wrote BETTER.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

i carry your heart

i carry your heart with me
by e. e. cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)

i am never without it
(anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Friday's Feast 103

I owe one.

Fill in the blanks: I ____________ when I ____________.
I choke when I cry.

Name something you use to make your home smell good.
Scented candles, incense and Glade. But we don't use it often, only when the house smells like fried fish or vomit. The vomit smell comes from outside, people! Especially when it rains, I don't know why. We would have long fired the yaya if our house smelled like that from the inside.

If you could receive a coupon in the mail for 50% off any product, what would you want it to be for?
A brand new car. Are there coupons for that? I am seriously considering getting a car, but I can't afford a brand new one. If I get a second hand car on the other hand, I might spend more on maintenance and repairs.

Main Course
Besides sleeping, what do you spend the majority of the hours of your typical day doing?
Daydreaming about the following:
1. Winning that 150 million peso jackpot in the lotto. So I won't need coupons.
2. Meeting Dennis Trillo.
3. What it's like to thump people every time they piss me off. Would it be satisfying, or would I hate myself?

What can you hear right now while answering these questions?
Friends laughing at some email joke. Music from somewhere. Someone coughing his eyeballs out.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Of Creatures and Bedtime Stories

The fifth M. Night Shyamalan movie, the Lady in the Water was a bit too far out for me. I'm no moron, I usually get his movies. The Sixth Sense was a breathe of fresh air for horror flicks; with a minimum of gore and special effects he managed to scare the shit out of me. In one scene I got so startled I banged my hand against the arm rest, resulting in a bruise that didn't come off for weeks.

Unbreakable was a bit of a challenge for me, I am not really a fan of comic books and the underlying psychological make up of superheroes. But I got it, I thought it somehow made sense, the universe being a world of opposites to create balance.

Mel Gibson helped me get through Signs, and I used to be fascinated with crop circles when I was younger. I first read about it at a neighbor's house, in this set of books that came bundled with encyclopedia sets, the one featuring supernatural topics from vampires to aliens to Uri Geller. Unfortunately I cannot remember what the title of that set is.

I liked The Village, in fact I just watched it again last weekend. The ending was a twist I didn't expect, and the plot was something different. And yeah, because the perpetually brooding Joaquin Phoenix was there.

Now Mr. Shyamalan comes up with this bedtime story that came true in the most unlikely place, an apartment complex in the middle of nowhere. A lonely super is going about his daily life, then this lady suddenly jumps up out of the pool and into his life. Coincidences always happen in movies, so of course there is someone who can explain what the lady really is and her life story. I am generally accepting of these situations, and usually Nighty can weave it cleverly in the story.

Then it all got too much and suddenly the whole complex was involved playing some sort of a role in the great mission of stamping the lady "Return to Sender" in the forehead. There were just too many creatures and the bedtime story snowballed into a full Saga of the Tarot Cards. There was a Guardian, Interpreter, Guild, Healer, and a Vessel.

I'm sure some people will disagree with me, that I don't get it. Ok, I am not a movie critic, I don't know what those framings mean or symbolic things appearing or director's trademarks or anything. But isn't the point of making a movie making people understand your idea? Not everybody can review a movie properly, you go to school for that, at the least a workshop.

And get this, Nighty played a major role in his latest movie. When before he just appeared in cameos or had a few lines, here he was like The Chosen One Who Will Die Early So He Can Be Great Someday. There was somebody who said Nighty is making movies so he can star in them. He was ok, I guess he knows what to bring out in his scenes since he is the FREAKING DIRECTOR.

Paul Giamatti is reliable as ever, but the crying scene I don't like. Too acted out, in my opinion. Bryce Dallas Howard may be the new Bruce Willis, this is her second movie for Nighty after playing the blind girl who saves her fiance's life in The Village. Bruce Willis, then Bryce Dallas. Who's next? Brace Rollos?

There is a pattern, people.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Reaching the Bottom of the Pit

I know I suck at Math, but this is good. They have reached the bottom and has since started to dig. Click to enlarge.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Too Much Time on my Hands

When you're sick, you notice a lot things:

1. Berocca tastes a little like vomit when you put it in tepid water.
2. Food doesn't taste as nice.
3. It's ten times as miserable if you're sick and nobody is looking for you.
4. You can watch Friends to be entertained, but not the episodes where Chandler proposed to Monica, or Emma being born, or the last episode where everybody says goodbye to one another. 5. If you're sick and a bit of a hypochondriac, you should not watch House. What if this cough is really cancer, or this fever is a symptom of psittacosis? Not good.
6. Planning your imaginary wedding is better than planning your funeral, then crying about it.
7. I can eat stale Chiz Curls without gagging.
8. Reading about Humbert Humbert when you have a 39-degree fever can be scary.
9. I can wonder for a long time why my plants keep dying in my room. I rationalize by saying it absorbs all the negativity that's meant for me instead. I conveniently ignore the fact that it goes days without water.
10. It's hard to keep track of the times you took your medicine if you're woozy from the fever. I'm sure I took an antibiotic twice.
11. I have a lot of gadgets. i could die in the midst of all the chargers and plugs, either by choking or electrocution.
12. I hate Love of the Condor Heroes even when I'm half-conscious. Majika should be taken with E to be appreciated in all its 3D glory. All those colors on an E trip, just imagine. Not that I've experienced it, I just read about it.
13. Fever is a great way to lose weight. I don't know how, but maybe because of the heat?
14. There is nothing to watch on free TV. I'm still thinking how to get free cable.
15. My muscles turn to mousse if I don't move for three days.

System Malfunction

My wiring had snapped, it short-circuited right in my throat. Want to know what it feels like? Beat your knee with a very sharp shredder, pour alcohol in the wound, then set it on fire. Transfer the subsequent pain to your throat, and there you are.

The first day was unbearable, whenever I swallowed or attempt to speak it felt like a knife was stuck in my esophagus. I sounded like Cookie Monster on steroids, and nobody would touch me with a ten-foot pole.

As in an infection I also had fever, cough and cold. I surrounded myself with my army of frontline medication -- I had antibiotics, vapor rubs, gargles, lozenges, the works. I was miserable, I kept dreaming about Hugh Laurie sticking a tube into my throat because I couldn't breathe. I know I said I heart House, but he was sticking a metal contraption in my mouth and if that doesn't scare you, I don't know what will.

I kept taking my temperature because I feel funny whenever I get up, the room kept on spinning, and as I live in an apartment that has stairs I had to ensure I didn't die from missing a step. It borderlined on 39 degrees and that's pretty high for me.

All that I can tolerate, after all I get sore throats like three times a year. One of my doctors recommended I get a tonsillectomy because it can be fatal when the bacteria goes down to my heart (plot for Sharon and Ariel's "Ikaw", by the way). But I really didn't trust her because for one, the cut off for candidates for tonsillectomy is six incidents a year, and also because I'm afraid she's just a sea witch who wants to get my voice so the Prince can fall in love with her instead of me.

The most memorable throat check up I ever did though, was with a doctor who had a rain stick in his clinic. His decor theme was "Pretentious Africa with touches of Northern Luzon". I doubt if he'd ever been to Sagada or Banawe, he was this frail-looking softie, with a pasty doughy skin. Anyway, he was checking my lymph nodes while I was gloriously coughing into his face, and he asked me when my birthday was. I told him, then he said "Ganyan talaga ang mga Taurus, prone to throat problems".

Doc, pwede na rin po bang magpahula?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Under the Weather

Me no write today, me sick. You come funeral mine. Ok? Ok.

Artwork by Andy Hammond

Friday, July 14, 2006

Friday's Feast 102

Name one thing nice that you could do for someone else today.
I just greeted two people a happy birthday, and meant it.

When was the last time you were frightened by the weather?
Everytime there is thunder and lightning. When it gets really bad I fight the urge to get under the covers and cry.

What would you say is the most useful website or blog that you visit?
Google! Google! Google! It redefined the meaning of "search", even became a verb, as in "google it" meaning to find something. You can find anything in Google, as long as you know the right keywords. It's also not just pages, you can also search for images, a brilliant touch.

Main Course
Who was your favorite singer/group when you were a child?
Jologs time. Of course there was that painfully embarrassing Menudo phase, but I was really young then (like 7) I didn't know that I was jeopardizing my future. But then again, Ricky Martin came out of it alive so who am I to talk?

There was also the Madonna stage of her Like a Virgin days, where half the girls in my school would have something like a multicolored giant bow wrapped around our heads. We looked like walking gifts. I guess I was lucky that I was still in grade school when that fad hit, because just imagine what the high school girls wore. Fast forward 15 years later and they're showing that picture on your wedding reception slideshow.

The New Kids on the Block phase followed for me, but just shortlived. I think there was even a Debbie Gibson/Tiffany phase. It was all a blur though, because I discovered the Beatles, Apo Hiking Society and the Bee Gees.

Do you have any rituals? If so, what are they?
I cannot sleep if I don't wash my hair. I can't go out without taking a shower first. When I take a shower, I have to follow a certain order so that I feel clean. Those are just a few, I must have some more but I can't remember them.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

La Vie Boheme!

I sit here in my cubicle eight hours a day, five days a week, the highlight of my life being the 15th and 30th of every month. Everyday at 8 in the morning I check in, turn on my computer, put my bag inside my drawer, and contemplate on my tasks for the day. I go to lunch at 12 noon, come back after an hour and resume whatever it is I'm doing for the day until 5 p.m. It's like that every single day, except when the gods of cube farms decide to break the monotony by throwing me some sort of a short-lived illness that would make me stay home.

While my work is far from idiotic, and looking at the bigger picture I help make the world a better place to live in, nobody will drop dead if I don't type that memo right away. My world is in black and white, full of jargon and acronyms that pepper conversations at work. Identical file folders with color-coded tabs fill my days. It's a good thing I live in a busy city and my personal life is a prism of colors, otherwise I would have started living out my dark fantasy of pushing people down the stairs on a whim.

I have long wondered what it would be like to have the courage to give this all up; the stability of having a permanent income, life insurance, health care plan, and giving my mother the option to either buy a car or a house and lot when I die.

Seeing movies like Rent and Moulin Rouge romanticizes the bohemian life, Hollywood makes it look like it's ok to be poor as long as you're in touch with your art. (By the way, just because you're a permanent fixture in underground bars and on a first-name basis with all the musicians does not make you bohemian. You still sit in a cubicle 8 hours a day like I do. Neither are you an artist just because you feel you're misunderstood. Idiot.)

I have profound respect for people who earn their living purely by practicing their art of choice. Writers, painters, musicians, actors and other kinds of artists fall into this category. I know I can't do it, I like predictability when it comes to money in my pocket. I can't live not knowing where my next source of income will come from. That is also why I will never be a businesswoman, but that's another story.

I will also not know the joy of doing what I really love to do. Money is only secondary, it's a different feeling when you see people genuinely liking your work. It's a different kind of high, knowing you have brought pleasure or entertainment to people you barely know. It's like reaching out and actually touching them, their soul, evoking all sorts of emotions within.

For the true bohemians, here's to your success. You have my respect and admiration for following your heart despite all the uncertainties of this world.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Crazy Beautiful

The Bayanihan Dancers Drama Special, topbilled by FHM's sexiest Angel Locsin and Katrina Halili, airs everyday from 8:30-9:00 p.m. at GMA 7.

You might argue that there is no such program, but you're being technical here. The working title of the project is Majika, to protect the identities of Ramon Obusan's minions. To further confuse the public, they designed the title logo to be a sort of palindrome, but instead of spelling it backwards to read the same thing, you have to rotate it. I don't know what's it called, but I'll google it later for my own peace of mind.

As I sit here typing this entry, the Bayanihan Dancers are currently in their Singkil costume as redesigned by Project Runway rejects on an acid trip. They are reenacting the scene where the princess suddenly turned to the handmaid and unleashed her inner monstrosity because the handmaid dared touch the prince.

Normally, I would side with the handmaid on this. Like, she can't help being pretty and just last year, she was THE sexiest female as voted by perverts. This year she fell to second place, edged out by the princess who used to have wrinkly abs but was yelled at by her manager so she got that Gold's Gym membership on discount.

But this time it's different. The prince we're talking about here is Dennis Trillo, He Who Lords Over my Dreams. I'm still waiting for the time I finally meet him in a dark alley. I have a plan outlined already, I will stab him with a syringe filled with Ativan then I will drag his limp body to a waiting car. Then I will get out a marriage contract and ink his thumb and press it to the dotted line above his name. He's of legal age so I'm guessing he won't need his parents consent, right?

Hold on, somebody's at the door. I think it's the police.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Fringe Benefits

When I was in high school I couldn't wait to go to college, not because I wasn't having fun, but because I thought that finally, I can begin living my life. Then I got to college and surprise! My life was still the same, except that I get to choose my teachers and my schedule but I had more homework to do.

Life did change, I started working, i.e. putting in 24 hours a week at the Registrar's Office. My work was relatively easy compared to the other student assistants who handled college and postgraduate records. Whereas I am responsible for a cabinet and five filing cabinets worth of school records, theirs was a floor-to-ceiling warehouse of files. I helped maintain files for the grade school and high school section of the university.

In exchange for tuition and a monthly allowance I reported for four hours a day, six days a week at the office. I typed up grades and released Form 138s and honorable dismissals. At the end of the school year I handed out report cards, I get to be mean to bratty kids who thinks great hair will make life easier. Ok, some days it's true, but that's not my point. Anyway, I'm just mean to them when they force me to hand out their cards during lunch break, and when I'm closing shop. If they're nice and all about it I give in, but it's when they bare their baby fangs that I lose it. I make them come back the next day, hah.

It was fun working there for four years; we can easily investigate backgrounds of people who interested us. Nobody we had a crush on was spared; we knew their birthdays, their parents' names, their addresses and phone numbers, and whether they were worth our time. Yes, we judged people by their grades. Oh God, look at this first semester grades, is he stupid or was he just sick a lot? I bet he's stupid. Why? Because I saw him talking to that slut.

But the best part of it all, after we assess their worthiness by looking at their English 101 grades, is knowing their schedules. (Digression: We look at English subjects because we cannot stand bad grammar and wrong spelling. We don't care about Math, why be the first to cast a stone; but if that person gets consistently high grades there then it's love.) I would bet my pinkies that all student assistants who ever worked there were at one time or another guilty of memorizing somebody's schedule so they could "accidentally" bump into them.

I didn't do that though (I swear), I was too chickenshit to actually face my crush of the moment. Remember that phase in your life when you felt you will really and seriously die if your crush so much as glance your way? Well, I was like that and I already knew it was jologs back then, but what can a girl do? I was content looking at them from another building. Even from that distance I was sure they can feel me looking.

Usually that kind of infatuation lasts just until I see his grades. Then it's either "How difficult is subject-verb agreement?" or "Dammit, he can actually write a technical paper." Very rarely does the latter happen anyway, so usually we just open a new file.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Friday's Feast 101

When was the last time you visited a hospital?
In the beginning of July, when B was admitted due to stomach pains. I spent two nights in the hospital.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how ambitious are you?
Oh, man, I don't know. Maybe a 7, I don't have lofty ambitions like other people. Instead, I take on opportunities I know I can handle. I can't have that one seemingly impossible goal like having a car by 25, a house by 30, getting married by whenever. I contemplate on what I can and cannot do, and build my plans around it.

Make a sentence using the letters of a body part. (Example: (mouth) My other ukelele tings healthily.)
NOSE: No one sees everything.

Main Course
If you were to start a club, what would the subject matter be, and what would you name it?
It would be called the X-Files, a group of people dedicating their life to hunting down lost files. They'd probably find half of it on my desk anyway, if they look really hard.

What color is the carpet/flooring in your home?
In the living room it's just plain old boring red cement, polished to a high gloss. Because red wax is used to polish it, we all get red soles on our shoes. Now it's all covered in white linoleum, to make the room appear bigger. In the bedrooms it's wood panels, the kind you see in old houses.

In my mother's house it's marble, the cheap kind, but nobody polishes it.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Flow of Infinity

It's not very different from spinning the wheel, rolling the dice, or picking out a card.

If you're really into it, you can calculate your odds. But how do you even begin to write down the X's and the Y's to arrive at A, when you don't know the formula?

It doesn't have one.

You pick one from an infinite number of choices, and it's a touch-move thing. There's no turning back.

Making an intelligent decision is futile when you don't know what you're up against. There really is no intelligent decision. Might as well smack your head against the wall -- if you bleed, that's just a bonus.

You're in it for the pain. You don't even like pain. But it's deemed necessary to survive.

You think you have it, but you don't. It's all just an illusion, created by the swirling mass in your head to prevent you from spiraling downward into the vortex of self-pity.

It's never a good thing, self-pity. It can be a quicksand of emotions, and if you're not careful, it will swallow you whole. You are careful to avoid it.

But you have been avoiding too many things already, something has got to give. Hopefully it's not you, even though you are just being held up by the tiniest string of hope; and if that breaks, would anyone catch you?

Catch me.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I Yell Injustice, Then You Shoot Me

Everybody who is not a retard knows that we can't have everything. There is always one thing that is held back -- and although ideally we should be drowning and overwhelmed by all that is given us, most often we choose to ignore that and instead focus on that other thing that lies just beyond our reach.

Ingrates, we all are. We pout and we mope and we throw tantrums because we want that, yes that one. We slam doors and refuse to eat dinner because we are denied one thing, a thing we most probably will tire of after a while. We're probably not sure if we really want it, or just do because we can't have it.

Man by nature will never be content, there is always another step to climb, another feather to add to his hat. We often confuse contentment with happiness, how many times have we said "I'll be happy if/when..."

I want this one thing so bad, I can taste it. I dream of it at night, and constantly reminded of it by day. It hurts not to have it. Right now, I can say that I'm willing to do anything, anything at all. I'm not the only one affected by this, but also the people around me.

I don't know if I want it that bad just because I am having a hard time getting it. Sort of like seeing something you really want in the store but not being able to buy it, no matter how many times over you can afford it.

I know that we should be careful of what we wish for, we might just get it. But this is one thing I know I will not regret having. I want this not for any other reason except that I know I deserve it.

I just wish that, if it's not meant to be, I wouldn't want it so badly. I wish for my heart to stop aching for it. I wish that...I wish it would be given to me.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Morning Rush

I am an advocate of saving the environment, more popularly known as a carless person. To get places I rely on vehicles driven by people I do not know, and of course that technological wonder we call the train.

It is not a walk in the park though, most often than not I dread having to take the train during rush hour. When I was in my old office, I used to take the LRT. Very convenient, our office was right beside the station. But since more schools are located in the LRT route, that means more students in the train. More people to squish bodies with, and not in a good way. Thank God they thought about the women's coach.

I have witnessed several altercations among passengers, because the morning rush defies the laws of physics, specifically that one stating that only one body can occupy a given space at a given time. I have discussed one such thing in my old blog, but for those who are not aware that I have an old blog, here's a summary:

"Why did you push me?" (While trying to hit the other with a can of Pringles)
"I did not!" (Trying to cover her face)
"Shet on you!"
"Double shet on you!"
"Triple shet on you!"

It was not a first-hand account though, but the source is very reliable. One time, my expat boss who takes the LRT going to and from work, arrived at the office holding his barong at the side, asking for needle and thread. Turned out the entire side of his shirt got ripped up going out of the coach.

When I moved to my new job at the end of last year, I had to take the MRT instead. For the three years before that, my experience in riding the MRT was limited to weekends and about once a week in the afternoons before five going to UP, so I don't really know what rush hour is like. Imagine my surprise when one morning I showed up on the North EDSA station -- people lining to go up the platform almost took over half the road. They're that many.

I'm not a big fan of crowds, I get shortness of breath and I panic. In times like that, I hail a cab. I'd rather spend a hundred bucks than die in some stampede. Later on, a friend suggested I get off at GMA Kamuning station instead, less crowd, and you can wait for the skip train if it's really a crowded day. I've been doing it since.

Now, there is this station called Cubao. I'm starting to hate the passengers there. It's nothing personal of course, but the Cubao crowd is notorious for pushing harder, intense jostling, and they possess that set jaw of someone determined to do things. They don't hear cries of "Don't push, there's no more room", instead they will elbow their way to a space that will fit their shadow. When the train nears the Cubao station, people would hold tighter to their poles and straps, and dig in their heels. It's not for the faint of heart.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Life's Quiz Show

You definitely know the answer but you can't hit the buzzer to shout it out because you know it's not gonna make you win.

You don't know if winning is what you want. You're not even sure you want to make it to the next level.

But you can't stay there, passing up your chances. Eventually you'll have to say something or you'll be thrown out of the game.

Thing is, are you so dumb to screw it up intentionally, or will you have the courage to answer the question -- knowing the right answer would lead to you doing a consequence? A consequence you are sure you will not like at all.

Life is hard enough for us to be keeping scores.