Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Life's Simple Pleasures

Tagged by Katz, here are life's simple pleasures for me:

1. Doing something I hate and then finding out I actually enjoyed it, i.e. researching on complete lists of UN Treaties and Ratifications on Global Security and Terrorism. Cool, huh?

2. No filing backlog.

3. Resurrected friends on Friendster, and reminiscing about the times when we were still at the peak of our stupidity (with the excuse of youth of course).

4. Mushy text messages and unexpected visits from B.

5. Whipping up a large batch of tuna casserole to feed the hungry.

6. New DVD sets of my favorite TV series and movies.

7. New books. I love the smell of paper.

8. Colognes and perfumes, tsinelas, make up, toiletries...nice useless things, not necessarily expensive.

9. When I'm late for work and there's no traffic.

10. Getting the last good table in a restaurant.

11. A hug from B after a long time of not being able to see each other.

I'm tagging Dylan, Jessica, Daday, and Raf.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Token Da Vinci Post


So there.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pop Culture vs. Sunday School

"What was the name of that guy swallowed by a whale?"

"Uhm...Marlin?"

"Marlin?"

"Yeah, Nemo's dad? With Dory?"

"Actually, I was more like thinking of Jonah."

"Oh. The other guy."

Stripped

I'm losing it.

I don't mean my sanity, but perhaps it's just a matter of time. I'm talking about my spirit, my joie de vivre if you will, the part of me that makes me rise above the bumps and pits of life.

I have stopped taking pictures. When before I could waste three rolls on a scene, now it's purely social. I can't visualize, I can't figure out the right mix of aperture and shutter speed to make the pictures halfway decent, my lenses have gathered molds, and worst of all, I just couldn't bring myself to care anymore. That's right, I don't care if I couldn't take pictures.

I can't write like I used to. Not that I wrote well, but now it's like I don't want to write. I don't have anything to write about except things like this, and there's just so much rant that people can take.

What's happening to me? I take my Berocca religiously so the lack of energy is a little bit of a puzzle. These days I just lock myself in the room to crash on the bed while watching House or Friends or some other movie. Sometimes I read, but I can't concentrate. I'm perpetually tired, but I can't sleep straight through the night. When I wake up, I don't feel rested.

I'm thinking that I'm just physically sick, but what if it's all psychological? I know I'm batshit crazy sometimes, but to be clinically diagnosed of something is not my idea of fun.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

In The Mood for Nothing

It's the weather. Ever since Saturday I have been my sluggish self, getting up at noon, moping around, just lying in bed watching DVDs. I had to drag myself out of bed to attend Ana's wedding though, going through the whole process of transforming myself from cave witch in ratty clothes to decent human being wearing makeup.

I survived the day, but not without The Migraine. I don't know, maybe it's a severe form of head rush from lying down for 48 hours then getting up and actually doing things. The Migraine pushed its way in before lunch, just a mildly annoying knock, then progressed to a ball crane crashing inside my skull. By the time the reception ended I was ready to sacrifice the newlyweds to some god if it guaranteed the pain will go away.

It was also Mother's Day, so after the dinner I went to meet my family to go to my grandmother. I wasn't much fun, I was busy trying not to throw up on my cousins while I helped them cut out job ads from the classified ads, while issuing directions how to get to Salcedo St. in Makati.

It's now three days later, and I'm still in hibernation mode, but the reality of bills coming in prevents me from going on full hibernation. I just want to curl up in bed while Ross and Rachel fight in the background.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Evolution of Darwin

The first time I saw him was in 2000 (fuckers, I can't remember); he was in the middle of all his suitcases, he just came back from Australia where he got his undergraduate degree. And I was a bedspacer of his aunt, where I lived for eight years. He was just staying the night so the next he could fly to Cotabato where his mom lives.

He eventually came back to Manila to find work, where he realized an Australian university degree does not necessarily translate to high-paying corporate jobs instantly. He used to crash on the couch of the small two-storey apartment, it only had two bedrooms and one of it was being rented by us. It was a wonder the cats didn't eat him. The cats in that apartment were about to take over the planet, they outnumbered us 5 to 1.

When he did find work he moved out, but was still a regular fixture at the apartment, having his meals there or just to watch TV. (I also remember this one instance where a newborn cat fell down on the bowl of sinigang they were eating, it was really gross.)

Because he was a common face, it was inevitable that we would be friends, or at least talk. It was never a waste of time, he was smart, we could talk about the same things that interested us. We started graduate school at about the same time, but when he took a pay cut leaving the corporate life just to have that opportunity to work in advertising as a copywriter, the studies had to take a backseat.

I remember that phase in his life, to say that he wasn't happy about it was an understatement. He got constantly pressured, he got sick, he hated his boss -- I won't be surprised if one day he'd fall into a breakdown.

Then he got the courage to quit, and looked for other windows to open. (I still believe you don't wait for the windows to be open, you have to wrench them open.) Remember that saying when you want something really bad, the universe will conspire for you to get it. He got a job at a network, doing something he loves.

I went out with him and another mutual friend last year to catch up, and I can say he's ok where he is. Lately we don't get to talk much, so I was surprised when I saw his name as one of the participants in the prestigious Dumaguete Writing Workshop for poetry.

I'm so happy for him because (i) someone I personally know is a participant to that workshop I can only dream about; and (ii) he's there for peoetry nonetheless, something that I cannot do.

I remember one of our conversations, we were looking up the list of the 2002 Palanca awardees in the newspaper, and he said "Malalagay din ako dyan." Well, I really think that's true. Someday, someone I personally know will be a Palanca awardee for poetry.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hugh Got Me

Well, that thing I asked you before, the Dilemma thing? I swear I made it up but turns out House himself said the same thing. And if you're still skeptical about what I said about the one-liners, check this out.

You really should watch House, I really regret not jumping on the bandwagon soon enough. Thank God for DVD sets, I'm making up for lost time. The bitches of Wisteria Lane and the kids of Central Perk are momentarily forgotten, because the sarcastic sonofabitch is the Man.

I heart Hugh.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Doctor Doctor I am Sick

Dilemma: If you were dying but don't know it yet, would you rather have a doctor who's kind and fatherly to tell you, or a genius who can save your life but is a sarcastic sonofabitch?

I just discovered House, I was in a hurry so I got the second season already, and now I'm hooked. Dr. House, played by Hugh Laurie, is a diagnostician specializing in infectious diseases. Every case is treated as a detective's hunt for the mastermind of the crime. I'm no medical person, but somehow I don't gross out on some of the scenes.

He's addicted to Vicodin and walks with a cane because of some blood clot that caused his leg muscles to atrophy. He's anti-social and you'd get the feeling that he's not into emotions. Understatement.

House is a wisecracking ass that does not do well with his colleagues, but he has the brains to back it up. If he were my boss I would have poisoned him before walking out, he's that rude sometimes. But you know how these things go, if it's not about you it's suddenly funny. His one-liners really make you "I have to remember that one, I can use it someday" but since I don't have that kind of brains to back up that kind of sarcasm, I probably won't have that many chances to do so. Besides, I might end up dead in an alley somewhere.

Cameron: I took an oath to do no harm.
House: It's not like they made you sign it.



I have to get that Season 1 DVD set, I suddenly have withdrawal symptoms. And remind me to get a new DVD player, because the one I have is on its last few remaining breaths.

Monday, May 08, 2006

My Movies

Create your own Movie List @ HotFreeLayouts!

Touching Base

Recently people from my past kept turning up; I was able to find my long lost grade school classmates, QueSci classmates, and friends from college as well.

It's a good feeling to know that these same people who just used to sit beside you in class, were just as lost as you once upon a time, are all doing well. Well, the best part is they remember me, ha. I wasn't exactly Miss Congeniality when I was in school, mainly because I really didn't give a rat's ass about other people's business and my aunt forbids me to go out and join parties. I think a dark part of her firmly believes that the mere act of talking to a boy is dangerous -- what if the boy sneezed and impregnated me?

In grade school, I read a lot and much preferred to stay in the classroom while everybody was screaming their lungs out during lunchtime. I did play of course, but I wasn't a hardcore in any of the games we played. One of the fun times I distinctly remember was the Great Tug of War, we started with two on each side, then kids started joining in and we ended up having like 30 kids on each side pulling away. One classmate went home with her blouse ripped at the side.

First year high school was a tragedy, I was undergoing rough times at home and it reflected on my school life. But it was fine, I was glad to get out of that school. I had a fun time in Bacolod though. I lived the much-touted "high school life", minus the boyfriend because my grandfather would rather gut me than see me walking home with a boy. I had my share of crushes, heartaches, parties, BFF conflicts, and lifelong friendships were established.

In college, my first night out without adult permission was in senior year when my group lived in the same house while doing our thesis, and the party was pretty tame. I didn't have a boyfriend or anybody to flirt with, so any activity in that area was crossed out. (I did get one much later on, but the parties were over and we were about to defend the program we made.)

And then I graduated, moved on and led my adult life where I paid my own bills and was responsible for everything I did and its consequences. I can't say it was a bed of roses (nothing is) but I had a fucking great time. I lived a life of borderline debauchery (I exaggerate, ok) and hedonistic pursuits. I didn't have savings for the first five years because I was constantly following fun wherever it went. I was making up for lost time.

Now I wake up one day and I'm 30 and realized that I'm not getting any younger, and so was my friends. Looking around me, we've all grown up. What do you know, we all turned out to be responsible citizens, good parents, hard workers, and basically all living the lives of mature adults. Although, of course, there are the exceptions.

It's nice when after all these years you see or talk to each other again and catch up, and reminisce the days when you didn't have a care in the world except that paper in Philosophy, or whether your crush is going out with that slut. We're now able to laugh at all the stupid things we did in the name of love/grade/pride, when back then we wished the ground would open up and swallow us forever.

I'm kinda glad the ground didn't do that.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Rent

I am a Rent virgin. I haven't seen the musical nor know what's it about. Finally, I got hold of a DVD of the movie version. The original Rent cast performed in the movie, with the exception of the roles of Joanne and Mimi. Joanne was played by Tracie Thoms, and Mimi by Rosario Dawson. I didn't know Rosario could pull it off, she who was the intergalactic princess of Men in Black II, and as Valerie in Josie and the Pussycats. Oh, but she did.

I loved it. It is not a feel-good story, almost everybody was poor or have AIDS or HIV-positive. They all lived the life of bohemians, relying on their art to survive. My favorite was Angel Dumott Schunard (played brilliantly by Wilson Jermaine Heredia), a drag queen with AIDS and a street drummer. He and Tom Collins, a philosophy professor in NYU, fell in love when Angel rescued him after being mugged.

But it's the story of hope and love and friends sticking together, in the midst of poverty and illness. Of having that one big break before their time's up. For others it's in the form of writing that last great song, or making that documentary, but the lucky ones get their one great love.

Aside from the wonderful "Seasons of Love" (or 365,000 minutes as my brother would call it), I liked "I'll Cover You", sung by Angel and Tom.

I'LL COVER YOU

Live in my house
I'll be your shelter
Just pay me back
With one thousand kisses
Be my lover - I'll cover you

Open your door
I'll be your tenant
Don't got much baggage, to lay at your feet
But sweet kisses
I've got to spare
I'll be there and I'll cover you

I think they meant it
When they said you can't buy love
Now I know you can rent it
A new lease you are my love
On life - be my life
Just slip me on
I'll be your blanket
Wherever - whatever - I'll be your coat

You'll be my king
And I'll be your castle

No you'll be my queen
And I'll be your moat

I think they meant it
When they said you can't buy love
Now I know you can rent it
A new lease you are my love
On life - all my life
I've longed to discover
Something as true as this is

So with a thousand sweet kisses
I'll cover you
With a thousand sweet kisses
I'll cover you
When you're worn
Out and tired
When your heart has expired

If you're cold and you're lonely
You've got one nickel only
With a thousand sweet kisses
I'll cover youWith a thousand sweet kisses
I'll cover you


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Oh, Kids

I am the eldest grandchild in my mother's side, her being the firstborn, and me, well, her firstborn. So it's inevitable that I would have kid cousins below the age of seven.

I have a blast hanging out with them if I have the time, since they can be really fun. However, sometimes the things they say just puts you in that state where suddenly logic and reason are nonexistent.

The following are exchanges, not necessarily addressed to me, unless otherwise specified.

"Ang ganda naman ng baso nyo, magkano ba yan sa dollars?"

"Ate, nung pinanganak ka ba, mataba ka na talaga? Ang laki ng braso mo."
(I was really tempted to reply, "Hindi, ganyan lang katawan ko tulad sayo dati. Tataba ka rin. Bruhang to.")

"Bakit ang arms mo white, yung face mo black?"

"Nung una mo kong makita, nung baby pa ko, alam mo na ba na maganda ako paglaki?"

"Tito, bakit sya ang naging asawa mo? Maganda ba sya dati?"

(While passing by Jollibee and telling them that I have no money to feed them)
"Hmmmm...ang bango. Ang sarap ng amoy. Naaamoy mo ba ate, ang sarap ng amoy ng spaghetti at chicken. Sige, aamuyin na lang namin."

"You're ugly, you know." (Talking to their yaya)

"Mama, bigyan mo na nga ako ng 50 pesos ngayon para hindi na ko hihingi sa yo ulit."



Now tell me again why I still want to have kids of my own.