Saturday, January 28, 2006

Blogging A Million Little Pieces

If i sound a little angry for the next few words or so, please excuse me. Somebody shook my core.

I've just put down a copy of a druggie's memoir, which is fast becoming one of the most controversial (read: publisher's goldmine) books in America today. James Frey's A Million Little Pieces is controversial, not because it now holds a enviable place in the little book club by the lady with the Midas' touch, Oh hail, Queen Oprah, or because Frey was acclaimed to be the literary genius of his generation, but because he prided the book as a memoir, when in fact, or should i say in truthiness, he exercised a little creativity, which according to some, has no room in autobiographies. He embelished, he got rich quick, now he's getting screwed.

I, on the other hand, personally like the book. It did away with most adjectives and adverbs, much to a lazy audience delight (ahem,ahem). If there was a chair in the room, he just said there's a chair in the room. He did away with most punctuations as well, did not care for grammatical forms. Most of the time i got confused on who was talking got confused where the sentenced ended where he was in the facility whether he was daydreaming or sleeping or daydreaming or hallucinating whether he was angry or happy or out of it or together. If you got confused on my last run-on-over-under-beneath-beyond sentence, that was how i was feeling most of the time while immersed in the book. I was confused. It shook my core. He's my freaking idol.

I love him because he puts it out there. Yes, there are times when i use friggin, and freakin' and all this pseudo-curses when i know, like him, fucking would be a more appropriate term. I reserve the right to swear for a general patronage's sake when i know cussing will get my message across quickly, though not painlessly. He moves the reader, me, without lifting a finger. I cringed when he removed his toenail with his barehands, as he took of his 41 stitches on his cheeks with a nail clipper and as he had root canals without anesthesia. I don't remember how many times i had to put the book down to take a breather or drink some water, but i craved for the book not long after. I don't give a damn that he embelished. He fucking rocks.

He didn't have to romanticized the fact of being a druggie to raise appeal for the book. He didn't give you the sense that he was to be your hero, that you know him after you turned the last page. He didn't know most answers. He didn't even know himself. He was funny without trying to be. It was funny, as it was tragic. It tickles your funny bone, though it's breaking his in half. He didn't tear, shred, or filter to make it more palatable to your senses. He serves them straight up, no rocks, no salt, no chasers. He describes his pain as an addict, all the while describing yours because you feel it too. Everybody has an addiction. Crack, alcohol, meth on one end of the spectrum, companionship, love, acceptance on the other. They all bring us our needed, much craved for highs. It's just a matter of picking your poison. At the end of the day, some fess up to it. Some are just chickenshit to accept it.

My blog turns one today. I never thought i'd see the day. I've never committed myself to something this personal, this intimate, for the longest time as now. I know i'm going to be as naked as the day i was born when i started this blog, but it has been one good (free?)therapy. I've written a couple of drafts before this one to celebrate one year of emotional binge and purge. The first one sounds cheesy, the second, scary. If you know me well enough, somewhere here in this post is me. Part of me, definitely not entirely, but still me. So to my blog, thanks for archiving my emotional rollercoaster, and those who read, thanks for taking a ride.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Endings, in limbo...

I didn't sleep a wink last night. I chanced upon something and it kept me awake. My body wanted to be dead weight, but i just tossed and turned on my bed. I tried to keep my mind off of it, and i did, for a while, but it just kept on coming back. There was pain, a slight pang in the chest, very subtle but long enough to steal my sleep. You hear about hearts getting broken, I thought mine did, but no, it didn't. I just felt pain, physical pain.

I knew what i was getting into in the first place. I went into it knowing what to expect and knowing what i'll get out of it in the end. There was nothing in the beginning, and at the end, nothing would be left. Never expected more, never asked for more. Expecting was just setting myself for unwarranted pain. Asking would just be all for vain. I knew what i was ready and capable to deaI with, and i asked not an ounce more. I had it, but i didn't, and i was fine with it. I knew what i wanted and all i wanted was just one chance. I took my chance, and i got out. Got out --- first. Got out --- unscathed.

Or so i thought. Three years down the road, and i chanced upon something. And it stole my sleep. I would like to think that a couple of hours of uncomfortable sleep was all it took from me. I'm starting to think it took more. I thought i just wanted a chance, i had it, and i let go. Three years had passed, and i find myself still holding on. I thought i let go, but the sleepless night i had last night proved me wrong. Maybe a great part of me did, but that little spot that bore the pain of last night sure didn't. I asked for something that wasn't bound for me, i had it and I got more than what i bargained for, but it was nothing that i wanted. I let go three years ago. Three years after, and i still am not done...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Altogether Now: Para Sa Yo, Ang Laban Na To...

I knew it. He won like i said he'd win. I cried like i said i'd cry. And unlike that fat guy who credits Pacman's win to his lucky jacket, i wouldn't dare think my prophesy did the trick. Give the man some credit. He earned his due. And earn he did.

Always been a sportsfan. I don't care what sport it is, as long as it's on, and as long as i have a clue on how it's played, i'd watch it. I never seriously participated in anything particular. I could pin bowl. I could swim. I always beat beb on arcade hoops, and i still stand by what i said that that one time he beat me at arcade racing was an unfortunate fluke (he's gonna kill me for broadcasting this) . But for the most part, i'm just a spectator. My lack of strenght in whatever form keeps it that way.

So, not surprisingly, I was the most excited person in the house the sunday morning. It was my one day to sleep in, but i didn't, and that's perfectly ok. I watched all the undercard matches. I cheered when Jimrex knocked the lights off his sorry opponent on the first round. Didn't care a bit about the following bouts, but i watched anyway. Afterwhich, the poor neophyte singer screwed up the national anthem bigtime, tried to cover her tracks but failed miserably. Newbie. Shouldn't care. Didn't. Then, there it was. The match successfully hyped up to the delight of media empires. I knew ads and plugs would be as many as the stars in the sky, but i refuse to care either. Everybody gets an obscene amount of money by the end of this fight, so let's just get it on. ...Well, everybody knows how the fight went, so i don't have to give a blow-by-blow, but here's the sidelight, at least in our side of the world. My pop watched me watch the fight more than he did the fight itself. Up to now, he still can't get over the fact that i was screaming like a freakin' idiot on the screen like i was on team pacquiao. "Di ka naririnig nyan. Sabi na nga ba mali gawa sayo." Is my dad implying that there was a genetic typo, me getting an X rather than inheriting his Y chromosome? But as with many things that day, i'd let that one slide. I don't care. He won like i'd said he would, and i cried just as i said i would. And hope to the heavens to let that freakin' jacket burn, preferably with the owner in it.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

When geekdom finds me

I will never --- ever --- be cool.

Stressed out with work after being sick and tired of being 'sick and tired' in my bedroom the past week, I found my spirit partially lifted by fiber boards, screw drivers and photocopies. This is my curse. Yup, can't stress it nenerd-aks na naman ako.

* * *
Do-it-yourself kid strikes again!

With my sister, who makes me look like a superwoman when it comes to procrastinating, finally getting her act together, i gladly offered my help in finding her a cute little work table for her cute little store. Off we went to the mall, and we got one of those inexpensive fiber board modest tables that would perfectly fit the humble space i appropriated for her in my shop. Since we had to take a trike back to the store, we had to buy it broken down. This fact disturbingly excites me cause im seeing an opportunity to flex my barely-there carpentry muscles. This, just plainly disturbs my sister, seeing her thousand bucks going down the drain. Have a little faith, my dear sibling. Who's your sist-ah?
I could hardly contain myself while cutting up the ties that hold the box. To my horror, the instructions came in one eight by eleven paper, in pictures! No words, just letters and numbers and diagrams. My father, who can smell fear a mile away, eggs us on. "Kailangan matapos yan ng 20 minutes, pag hindi mag se-self-destruct yan." He. He. He. Very. Funny. He gave up a hearty laugh when our little project looked like a table in five minutes, only for us to find out we skipped steps 1-7, having read the diagrams backward. Very. Funny.
After a mindblowing (turtle?) pace, the table finally looked work-ready in 45 minutes. We gave ourselves a pat in the back and checked each other for broken nails. My father gave us an approving look and joked that if not for our healthy behinds, we would be his boys. Again. Very. Funny. But i built a table with an Allen wrench and a Philips screw driver, so i couldn't care less. I am just one happy grease monkey.

* * *

Geek flash: I just realized how geeky i was in highschool when the smell of a couple of photocopied papers gave me some warm fuzzy feeling because they remind me of periodical tests. Earth swallow me now!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Not Planning Ahead

Should i finally take the plunge?

No, im not getting married. I love beb with all my heart, but the idea of finally "settling down" with someone for the rest of your freakin' life at this moment still doesn't "settle" with me. At 23, and with the average Filipino lifespan of 85, that means having to sleep with and wake up seeing the same face and smelling the same morning breath for, i don't know, you do the math. I'm sure i'll get to that tipping point someday, but there are things worth more pondering time now than that plunge.

I am not big on plans. I am not one of those people who see themselves married at 25, living in cookie cutter houses in those newly developed preppy subdivisions where soon, their three properly interval-ed kids (two years apart) can play with their english speaking playmates at one of those fancy preschool (hahaha i went too far). I, on the otherhand, used to be one of your annoying classmates who, when asked in your Hello Kitty Slumbook about my ambition replies "I want to be somebody someday." Heck, i don't even believe that. I just dont want blank spaces. Plus, i just love aliteration.

The thing is, I go where the wind blows, so to speak. Unlike those people in caltex commercials, i don't go by short, medium, or long term goals because like the government, i know its just another way of putting yourself up for bigtime disappointment. I am so used to making the best of what fate is hurling at me, that seeing myself at a definite somewhere someday is beyond me. So far fate hasn't given me a letdown, and i'm starting to think i'm getting the hang of things.

After graduating, let's just say i'm not where other people pictured me to be. I've been putting a lot of dreams on hold, some are mine (which fire i keep fanning to keep them burning) and more of others, my kin. I appreciate their tolerance of me going about things at my own pace this past couple of years, but something happened last week, and well, they found an opportunity to nudge me to a very, umm, concrete direction. Well-meaning as it is, i am not sure i'm ready to go down that road, lest i be sure i really want it. Don't get me wrong, if i put my heart into something, i'm damn sure i get it right the first time. It's just that if i swallow this bitter convenient pill down my throat, i might as well make sure i apply myself well, otherwise, it's just a waste of effort on all involved. Now, that's disappointing. So hence the question, should i or shouldn't i?

No, I am not asking for a sign. I don't believe in signs. He has enough on His plate, and bothering Him with an eclipse or a psychedelic butterfly or a plate of that heavenly decadent cake from Gayuma (although i wouldn't mind the latter, as gift of course, rather that an ominous sign) is too selfish of me. Besides, i wouldn't recognize a sign even if it bonks me in the head.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Hand me some kleenex...

I finally found a way to lose those pesky holiday pounds. Actually, more like it found me. Caught a bug last week, made my throat itch like hell, a usual sign of not-so-good things to come. As luck would have it, the itchy throat snowballed into a massive asthma attack. Never have i had it this bad since highschool that memories of our moldy, white-flower smelling school clinic are coming back to haunt me. (sidenote: in my highschool clinic, being one of its most frequent visitors, i have learned at an early age that white flower can solve any ailment one might be nursing. Headache, whiteflower. Indigestion, ahhh whiteflower. Dengue, who knew? White flower. If our school nurse had it her way, the cure to AIDS was just a dab of white flower away. Amazing, really. ). Suddenly, i find myself in a weeklong forced leave i have yet to recover from. Ohh yes, deep inside, i've secretly yearned for an excuse to get off work for more than the weekend, but seven days in, i've started longing to go back to work (Loser, i know). I can only do so much with a sidebar, and messing with my blog for more than my average thought train length can honestly induce me to vomit, seeing my angst, --- errr creativity can only go so far. And although dropping a significant chunk of holiday generated flab is seriously welcomed, still, this is not the best way of starting out the year, especially when i'm claiming it as early as now that it's gonna be my year. I'd better get out of this episode soon. I wonder if white flower would do the trick. Our genius school nurse would be beaming proud.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

On myself in '05

If you think back, and replay your year, if it doesn't bring you tears of either joy or sadness, consider it wasted.
- John Cage, "Ally McBeal"

With the benefit of hindsight, 2005 wasn't at all wasted. Cried buckets full of tears over sheer frustration, hair, loss of sanity, and a bunch of other dramas that colours my life. Rolled over laughing at feel-good movies, friends' dramas and their loss of sanity until i had gas. I carried over a bag full of lessons, some of which i bet will be learned over and over down the road, stubborn as i am. But i think some are worth noting down, for posterity's sake. So here's a few bits and pieces of what i learned about me in 2005...

1. I love AM Radio.
No, not love, i adore AM radio. Bad AM signal could ruin my day. I've never been much for local tv, but when it comes to AM frequency, i'm certified kapamilya. I'm a newbie TNTM (tawa ng tawa mag-isa) for Ted and Korina's Antics, especially their Tambalang Kitchenette. Botchok Strikeland, you're the man! But when it comes to making my day, Gerry Baha and Anthony Taberna crack me up the most. Too bad their show sounds more like radio commercials sprinkled with social commentary, not the other way around. That's saying how good they are. They're so in demand. I'll visit them in prison when the government finally had the balls to put them in the slammer. hahaha.

2. I require more maintenance than i thought i did.
I always thought i was a low maintenance kind of girl. No, i don't need hour by hour updates. The boyfriend doesn't need to report to me where he is every minute of everyday. He doesn't even have to see me on a weekly basis, not that i don't miss him or anything, but if he has something much more important to do, i do not hesitate to give way. But once in a while, the needy, clingy dna gene in me kicks in and i begin to blurt out phrases like, "look at me, i need attention". I throw tantrums and then some. I can't help it. I'm human. I am a girl.

3. I am quite a risktaker according to friends.
This is worth debating over. But apparently, my friends think im some daredevil. Yeah, there are many times i've put my liver on the line, just to prove i could take it. But that's not their point. There are concrete stories of me being nonchalant about the consequences of my actions, but forgive me if i don't chalk them up now. They involve stupidity. I think I've shared enough of those. Read previous entries.

4. I am a sigurista, according to my mom.
Now, this is a revelation.
Actually, it's not. It's just came to me when someone finally said it to my face. I need to follow up on things i've asked other people to do. I am not for macromanagement, whatsoever. I love getting my hands dirty. It's just that I want things done my way. Ok, you can say it, I'm a control freak. Sue me.

5. I am a bitch...errr... beach person.
I've always preferred pool over beach for years. I was a water baby since i was four. If i was asked to do something to save my life, i hope it would be to swim. My swimming instructor was a madman, making me do 10 laps in an olympic size pool at age 5. Too bad, my relatives got too overprotective of me over UV rays or i could have been an olympian (hehehe to dream is free) I'm so used to swallowing chlorine that salty ocean water bothered me. Well, obviously that's not the case anymore. Now, i prefer seeing the sun rise over the blue horizon and the sand exfoliating my feet. I love the feel of waves massaging my weary muscles and the sea breeze touching wisps of my hair. I'd take the romanticism of the beach anytime over the coldness of water filled concrete walls. Anytime.

6. Writing is very cathartic.
Well, this i knew all along. I could always pinpoint the exact moments in my life when i wasn't feeling particularly chippy, mainly because tucked in a box somewhere in my room is a piece of paper in a notebook, tissue, post-it or even a receipt with my down trodden emotion written down on ink, date-stamped. I guess giving in to my exhibitionist tendency, hence the blog, just stresses my writing as therapy point. Besides, rationalizing is way easier when it's slapping you in the face. Archiving is very rewarding. After a few months, your core-shaking drama becomes entertainment.

7. Being a better friend is easier said than done.
Aside from the memory gap i had a few months back (sorry, kulang sa beans, sa pork...), gotta pat myself in the back for, at least, trying. So ok im not a big texter, (this, to the point that my friends would rather text my boyfriend to reach me coz he replies and i seldom do) but im trying to be, i swear. And the few times i do (admittedly), i reply with more than 40 characters, again not with the usual "K", so lay off me and give me some credit. Plus, i made major effort to reach out to a very dear friend, which surprised me more than it did her. i should've done that a long time ago. The reason why we drifted apart still escapes me, but i'm glad we're making up for lost time. It's like reliving who i used to be. We all need a little of that once in a while.

8. That my emotions still gets the better of me.
Yup, my moments. My tearducts had some year in '05. I cry when i'm happy. I cry more when i'm sad. I cried when i watched Lance Armstrong win his 7th Tour de France and I still can't help but turn on the waterworks when i see that heart warming Chowking christmas commercial ( i still can hear it... "sana ngayong pasko... ay maalala mo pa rin ako"). I'd probably cry when Pacquiao win his rematch with Morales (yes, im dead sure). I'm such a crybaby.

9. I am not cut out for sales.
Taray queen, that's what my sister calls me. I think i have enough stupidity to deal with from my lonesome self alone, that those hurled by others get to be shielded by my ice-queen facade. I'd like to think that i got a piece of my father's entrepreneurial mind but my temper's got a shorter fuse than his does. Patience is a virtue i have yet to learn. It still puzzles me how i survive day after day. Somebody must be looking after me...

10. Despite all the things that needed much more attention, God still finds a way to look after me.
2005 was a very difficult year. It was more of a teacher than a friend. And i couldn't have gone through all those things if somebody bigger than me wasn't cheering me on. I know i have more tough times ahead, but i wouldn't be that worried, he always provides. He's given me family and friends to see me through, and that's enough reason to put my trust in him. I have never doubted, i never will.

So here's to more lessons, passions and loves in 2006. I can't wait.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Usher in 2006

I've been missing out on the fireworks three years running, so this year, i made sure i was wide awake to see the year turn over, even if it takes two toothpicks to help keep my eyelids up. Actually, those weren't necessary. New year's eve started with our annual family mass at Auntie Baby's place. I brought along beb to feed him (we have good food, cause good cooking genes run in the family, yabang) and let him see Fr. Eric Santos celebrate mass. Fr. Eric Santos has been celebrating new year's eve mass with us since forever. It has been his panata, and he's more like family to us now. He's one of those priests who have been known to fill churches because of his funny antics, and unlike most of them, he has real comedic timing. And the priest can sing, too.
After mass came the food. We had morcon, caldereta, and my personal favorite lately, embutido (i made beb cook embutido for me. I was waiting for it for a whole year, but it came, and it was worth the wait). Beb went crazy with the soup with tripes and sea cucumber and abalone which sounds a bit yucky but, i promise you, it's to die for. After getting a serving of homemade suman and tsokolate, beb had to run to avoid burning tires and exploding lolo thunders on the road. After digging on a few more ube halayas and doggie-bagging some lechon for paksiw the next day, we had to run home, too, to burn our house down --- eerr--- to drive those evil spirits away with some kick ass fireworks. And we had everybit of them in the entire bang and boom spectrum. It ranged from the 5 minutes of sheer boredom...

we have three dozen of these babies... 12.05

To the let's-stand-back-coz-it's-damn-scary...

it's actually called Happiness, i'd rather it be labeled Fire-Hazard

To the simply spectacular...

I swear i could hear the EK theme song...

Bidding goodbye to 2005 and welcoming 2006 was a blast, no pun intended. But even the brightest of fireworks captured in megapixels couldn't beat this...

priceless... 01.06