Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Good guys

Hindi maganda ang naging simula ng weekend ko. Nung Biyernes, tinamaan ako ng trangkaso, at hindi ako nakapasok sa opisina. Na hindi naman problema, dahil matagal-tagal na akong hindi hindi-pumapasok sa opisina (kahit Sabado at Linggo). Sabi na lang siguro ng katawan ko na kailangan ko na talaga ng pahinga.

Na hindi naman nangyari, dahil nang Biyernes ng gabi (actually Sabado na nang madaling-araw, mga 1am), may tumawag sa akin, merong emergency sa opisina. Hindi naman ako pinapunta sa opisina, pero pumunta pa rin ako para masiguro na maayos na ang lahat.

Feeling ko responsable talaga ako, dahil kasalanan ko yung nangyari. Kung kwinento ko sa 'yo yung nangyari, sasabihan mo rin ako ng, "EH KUNG HINDI KA BA NAMAN ISA'T KALAHATING TANGA..."

Nakakatawa, usually, nasasabi lang yun sa akin pagkatapos kong magkwento tungkol sa katangahan ko sa panliligaw...

Umayos naman ang weekend kahit paano. Lumabas kami ng mga kabarkada ko galing high school para i-celebrate ang birthday ni Alekos. Nag-dinner kami sa Bodhi, yung vegetarian restaurant, sa may Greenhills. Maayos naman yung pagkain, pero buti na lang isang beses lang sa isang taon mag-birthday si Alekos.

Mukha namang masaya yung mga tao eh.

Ang superfriends, pero dahil nasa Ohio si Jona, si Urk na yung pumalit. Jona, tiwalag ka na raw.

Pagkatapos ng dinner, umuwi na si Aissa (dahil may asawa na siya, kasama nga namin nung dinner) at si Sarah (dahil ba mag-aasawa na rin siya?), habang naiwan kami para mag-inuman. Sa paghahanap ng lugar, nakarating kami sa Salo sa may malapit sa ABS-CBN.

Tulad nang nakakagawian tuwing nag-iinuman, napunta ang usapan tungkol sa lovelife. Nakakatawa yung hirit ni Joan, na isang law student, tungkol sa mga plano niya pagkatapos niyang mag-graduate next year.

Joan: "Hindi muna ako magba-bar exams, mag-aasawa muna ako."

Us: "Uh, Joan, 'di ba wala ka namang boyfriend ngayon?"

Joan: "Bah. Details."

Tapos pumunta ang usapan tungkol sa mga theory ni Jonas tungkol sa mga relationships. Pinipilit niya kasi na ang number one na hinahanap ng babae sa isang relationship, more than anything else (taena, kaya nga number one eh), security.

May point naman siya. Pero kami ni Alekos, tumatawa na lang kami (sabay calculate kung kelan namin makakayanan bumili ng kotse).

Tapos maya-maya, uwian na. Bago tumayo, sabi ko na lang kay Alekos, "Sa huli, pare, mananalo tayo. Alam mo kung bakit? Kasi tayo ang good guys."

Lasing na ako nun.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Quark tells us all about the MTV Pilipinas Awards, which was apparently taped yesterday:

HALE AND CUESHE PERFORMED ONSTAGE TOGETHER! holy moley!i almost wet my pants! and KC introduced their set by giving a definition of Pogi Rock. whoever wrote the show's script is a genius. does anyone have a pic of what Cueshe was wearing that night? brilliant! 'truly madly crazily' guy was wearing a trenchcoat and 'if you stay i'll understand' guy had A PIN ON HIS CROTCH. to quote GVSB, "amazing! sensational!"

and then to cap it all off they both do a rendition of Pogi Rock Legend AFTERIMAGE's "we are next in line" and Champ was actually hanging his head in shame ( i swear i have never seen him so wistful). the poor guy was wencing while playing the chords (wencing... get it? wency cornejo? no? fuck you.)

But I'm most looking forward to the show because of this tidbit:

Gary V is still the man and Sugar Free did a good job of covering 'Di Bale Na Lang' and 'Heto Nanaman' even though Ebe forgot the lyrics of the former.

Yep, Gary V is so totally the man.


Saturday, August 27, 2005


A friend asked me the other day, "Are you a writer?" It reminded me of this anecdote about John Cusack; he was at a bar with Cameron Crowe, and a young lady came up to him and asked, "Are you Lloyd Dobler?"

Cusack replied, "Well, yeah, on my better days, I am." It's exactly what I should have answered my friend when she asked me her question.

Last week, several friends and I were out for drinks. Rico started his rant about how going to Pisay for high school screwed him up pretty badly, and how he would have been better off attending other schools.

We all have issues about high school, I said, but at the very least, our neuroses have made for very funny blog entries.

Which would explain the popularity of blogs, I guess: more and more people with issues now have access to the Internet. Here in the office, for example, most of the members of my team already have blogs. There's Ian, our graphics designer, who often writes about his cool hobbies; Kage, one of our content managers, who writes about her fascinating travel adventures; KC, who puts on her poetry hat for rainy afternoons; and Daryl, whose presence makes me not the most lovestruck person in the office; and even Sir Joe, our team's most senior member, a multi-awarded journalist (and all-around good guy).

And that's only in my row, so you can imagine the fun we have here at work.

A handful of other colleagues have blogs as well. You've got Darwin, copywriter by day and bard by night; Wanggo, who shares with us his indulgences; Berna, who tells us about the episodes of her life; and the lovely Fay, who finds freedom from her eternal business to share with us a piece of her mind.

For me, it's quite refreshing to see these people, or at least read about them in a context other than what I see at work. I find it fascinating, and think to myself, Wow, it's good to have issues.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


A text message exchange between me and Karl earlier:

Karl: "Pare, ano score [ng UP-Ateneo game]? May shoot kami eh."

Me: "Talo tayo pre, tambak."

Karl: "Hehe, hindi ka na talaga magkaka-girlfriend niyan."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Evening Stars

I felt the lumps in my chest slowly building up, almost literally, as I started walking from the gate of their village to their front door. I'd tell myself that there's just something about the lights that lit up their street, or the santan bushes that lined up each house along the way, but it was honestly just the thrill of seeing her.

I've been down this street a million times, and I remember thinking after the first couple of times that the feeling would probably go away, but it never did. The feeling just never got old, I guess.

A friend told me that it was all about Emily's personality. She said that it was Em's inner beauty that shone through, so that even though you wouldn't notice that she was pretty the first time you saw her, you'd see just how beautiful a person she was over time.

Of course, I thought all of it was baloney. Em took my breathe away the first time I saw her.

I finally reached her door, and pressed the switch to ring the door bell. As I did, I remembered the first time I saw her. She smiled at me, and she asked for my name. I could remember my heart stopping for a second, and I could swear for a moment there I couldn't remember my own name. I did manage a smile, though. It would have been cute, too, except for the fact that it happened to me, thus making it pathetic. I did manage to tell her my name, but the rest of that afternoon was a blur. All I could really remember from that meeting was her smile.

And that made me smile. I've known her for a long time now, two years now going on forever, but I still remember her smile from that afternoon, and it still always made me smile.

Like right now. I was standing there in front of her door, smiling like an idiot. I was trying wipe the silly grin off my face before--

"Hi!" she said as she opened the door. "What are you smiling about again this time, mister?"

"I'm just really happy to see you." She'd always catch me with this smile on my face, and she'd always ask me that question. I'd always tell her the truth; she'd never believe me.

"Liar! Come in," she replied, while breaking into one of those smiles herself. She was only wearing houseclothes, and her hair was nowhere near fixed up. Still, she looked like every bit the princess.

She let me in, and I took my familiar chair in their porch. She turned on the porch lights, before taking her seat beside me. "So what have you got?" she asked, pointing at the plastic bag from the supermarket I had placed on the table.

"Ice cream, as usual."

"My favorite flavor?"

"Of course. By the way, did you catch The Strokes on Conan the other night? I sent you a text message about it." Her sweet, chinita features, complete with the matching dimples, and her petiteness denied the fact that she was a true blue rock chick. She didn't dress up like one, either, preferring to dress up in cute girly outfits, but you'd always catch her listening to a CDs of bands like the Deftones and Rage Against the Machine, and she's spent afternoons with me while we raided my dad's collection of vinyl records of The Clash and The Sex Pistols.

"I got it, but I was busy," she answered. "I can't believe it. What did they play?"

"'Last Nite', I think. Don't worry, I taped the show. I'll bring it over next time."

"Aww, thanks."

"So, how's your Tatay?" I always asked her about her grandfather, who was a doctor in Quezon. It started during lit class, where we were classmates, while we were discussing "Faith, Love, Time and Dr. Lazaro." I made an offhand comment then that the doctor in the story reminded me of my grandfather, who was a doctor in Batangas, and she said that the story reminded her of grandfather, too. We both happened to be close to our grandfathers (we both called them "Tatay"), and we both knew that they spent their early years at the Quirino Medical Center as interns. Then, it turned out that the two doctors were actually friends before they went off to the provinces. It was one of those happy little coincidences in life.

"Tatay's ok. And how's your Tatay?"

"Same old, same old. He's having trouble staying away from sweets, though. It's so much harder to tell off doctors about their health."

"Tell me about it. I don't even want to get started on Tatay and his smoking."

"Yeah. And you, how have you been?"

"It's been terrible. Lots of stress at school, I had, like, a million papers at school. And to top it all off, I boarded a jeep last Monday that had its speakers blaring and guess what they were playing?"


"Air Supply. Air f'n Supply."

I laughed out loud. "At least it wasn't the April Boys. What song was it?"

"Well, it was 'Here I Am' and it's been playing in my head all week."

I smiled, and with my best April Boy impression, I started belting out the really cheesy lyrics of the Air Supply song (rather badly, too), "Just when I thought I was over you, and just when I thought I could stand on my own..." I did that just to tease her, but midway through the my number she joined in the chorus, and we had our videoke session right then and there. By the time we finished our little ditty, we were already laughing so hard.

"Damn that song," she said, but she was smiling, so sweetly that it was impossible to see any sign of the contempt she was professing.

"Yeah. But you made it through your hell week."

"Yeah, I know. I almost couldn't believe it, but it's over."

"You know, you're a superhero. You should be flying around in a cape or something."

"Uh, I don't exactly fit Joseph Campbell's description of the universal hero."

"Well, you don't have to be universal."

"Speaking of that, I was wondering, do you believe in meaningful coincidences? I mean, it's just seems, so, I don't know, supernatural? And it was Jung who came up with that? But I like to believe in it."

"I don't think it's really that supernatural. For example, sometimes I'd think about somebody, and that somebody calls me up, and it was a meaningful coincidence, right? But what about all those other times when you think about somebody and they never call up?"

"Yeah, but you know--" she didn't seem happy with my answer.

"Well, yeah I know. Here's what I like to think about, though. Of all the people you could have that meaningful coincidence with, of all the people you'd think of, of all the people who'd call, why does it have to be that person? I mean, I guess I also like to believe that there's a little bit of magic there too." And she smiled. She liked that answer better, I think.

Then, there was silence, the good type of silence, where you just sit around and think about happy things and then smile when you remember those happy things. I was thinking about that moment when I fell, and I mean, fell really hard. It was during the same lit class we had together, where I had asked her to look over and edit one of my essays. She handed me back my paper the next day, and instead of the corrections on my run-on sentences that I was expecting, my manuscript was filled in the margins with little notes about my essay. There were the reactions to the stuff I was saying, the little "Hahas" and the smileys below the funny lines, and some intelligent discussion of what I had written. I remember that week being particularly stressful, and those little notes on the margins meant the week for me.

It was certainly a very nice thing to do. And soon enough, surely enough, I was smiling thinking about it.

I looked at her, and I could see that she was smiling too. She was gazing at the stars, which were particularly bright on the moonless night. Finally, she turned to me, asking, "Aren't the stars just lovely?"


"'Yeah'? 'Yeah' is all you could say?"

"Well, what else could I say?"

"I don't know, something deep and poetic, you know, like you always do. At the very least, doesn't it remind you of that drawing in 'The Little Prince'?" I gave her a copy of "The Little Prince" for her last birthday. I always thought that no one should become a grown-up without reading that book. I wasn't actually surprised that she almost became a grown-up without reading it yet, because before her, I had given copies of the book to three of my friends. It was a nice, cute gift, a children's book, and it always seemed to make the recipients happy, especially after they read it.

"Well yeah. But you know what? I hate looking at those stars."

"Wow. Hate is a strong word."

"Uh, I guess. But you know, I just, well, I don't like looking at them, not because they're not beautiful, because they are."

She was now looking at me intently, very interested in what I had to say next. I continued, "It's just that, they make me sad. I look at them and see how beautiful they are, but they never really become mine. They just become part of moments, which soon become gone, forever, except probably in your mind. And then you never know when you'll see them again this beautiful, it could be tomorrow, it could be next month, next year. And seeing something so beautiful, and to realize it could never be yours, it just..." my voice was cracking, and for some reason I was having a really hard time saying these words, like they hurt or something.

"It just breaks my heart."

"Well," she said, like she understood me completely, "it's the most beautiful and saddest landscape ever. But who told you that you can't have them? As a matter of fact, I'm selling some of them right now. Take your pick, which star do you like, I'll give you a discount."

I gazed at the sky for a moment, smiled, and then asked, "Do you know what constellations those stars are part of?"

"No idea. I just make 'em up as I go along. Besides, I think the Greeks were drunk when they made up all these constellations. I mean, could you make out a dipper up there?" she said, pointing at the stars. "It takes quite an imagination, but it's not hard to do really. Some people see a dipper, I could see a rhinoceros up there."

I laughed. "Don't you find it funny how our conversations always, always, just seem to border into delusion?"

And then she laughed. "Yeah. Don't you just love it? I can only be delusional when I'm with you."


And then there was another bout of silence. This time, I was just looking at her, and there was one of those moments that you read about or hear about from poets or sensitive singer/songwriters. Her hair fell on her face, and you'd never believe how beautiful she looked as she gently brushed her hair away.

I knew she was looking, but I didn't even try to hide my smile.

"Hey, what are you thinking about?" she asked.

"Nothing. Have you seen 'Chicago' yet?"

"No, I haven't. Heard it was really great."

"Yeah, it is. Wanna catch it with me this weekend?"

"Uh, sorry. I can't. You know, boyfriend."

"Oh. Yes. Of course."

And then there was another silence, a different, lonely type of silence. The sadness just became greater because this silence was all too familiar. In fact, the first few times it was so silent I imagined myself hearing something breaking. Of course, I couldn't hear the damn thing breaking anymore now; it's already broken.

Which is why I keep coming back I guess. Broken, like a record, playing over and over again.

A beep on my cell phone brought me back to earth. It was from 233, asking if I wanted to be a text millionaire. I usually hated receiving messages like these, but this one was definitely welcome. "Hey, gotta go," I said, forcing a smile as I put my cell phone back in my pocket. The rest of words during the goodbye part were pretty standard stuff.

I walked away from her house without the magic I had earlier in the evening. I still smiled as I walked away, as I realized that I had turned into an Apo Hiking Society song, which then kept playing over and over in my head until I got home.

April 2003

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Dream, believe, survive


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Sign #7421 that I'm spending too much time in the office

Kinikilig na ako sa Attic Cat.

Sa kanya pa rin babalik, sigaw, ng damdamin...


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Si Luz, nung isang gabi


Kung pangarap niyong mag-artista, eto na ang pag-asa niyo. Click lang sa www.starstruck.tv at i-download ang application form!


Monday, August 15, 2005

Bleeding maroon

Kanina, natalo yung UP sa UST, 92-85 sa overtime. Sayang yung laro, dahil ang laki ng hinabol ng UP. 12 points ang lamang sa kanila ng UST bago pumasok ng fourth quarter, at sampu ang lamang nung 3 minutes na lang. Nakahabol nga ang UP, kaya nga nag-overtime, pero kinapos na lang talaga sila.

Minsan iniisip ko, ang lovelife ko, parang basketball team ng UP.

Kung tatanungin mo ako kung meron ba akong pag-asa sa kung sinumang bagong babae na magugustuhan ko, para mo na rin akong tinanong kung meron bang pag-asang makapasok sa Final Four ng UAAP ang UP ngayong taon. Technically, oo. Technically.

Minsan may panalo, minsan merong talo. Minsan, sa isang stretch mas maraming talo, minsan mas maraming panalo, pero nananalo lang ng kung ilan para maging buo ang loob at magkaroon ng pag-asa. Minsan nga, maniniwala ka na pwede talaga.

Kung maglaro lang ng ayos si Marvin, hindi yung tangina parang nami-miss niya si Jolens habang nagdi-dribble.

Kung maayos ko lang masabi yung mga iniisip kong sabihin at matawa siya kahit corny yung mga joke gimik ko.

Kung mahilig lang siya sa mga geek na mahilig sa libro at walang kotse (malay mo, yun yung type niya).

Kung mag-improve yung shooting ng mga guwardiya natin sa perimeter para ma-open up yung ilalim para sa mga big men (malay mo, magka-milagro).

Baka pwede...

Pero sa huli, kapos pa rin. Kulang sa diskarte, kulang sa experience, kulang sa depth, kulang sa height, kulang sa talent, at kung ano-ano pang ibang kakulangan na pabago-bago lang ng pangalan pero hindi naman nagbabago ang epekto. Tapos, 'pag tapos na, hihirit na lang ng, "Next time na lang!" at magtataka, dahil ba't nga ba umasa, eh UP Maroons yung involved, at ako yung involved, at sa simula pa lang, wala naman talagang kapag-a-pag-asa?

Tapos magjo-joke na lang, para naman hindi masyadong malungkot, tulad ng "Aba, kaya nga tayo UP Fighting Maroons, hindi UP Winning Maroons" o kaya "Aba, kasalanan ko ba kung mahilig siya sa panget?" Tapos magtatawanan at mag-iinuman at maglalasing hanggang limot na ang lahat.

Haay. 4-4 ang record ng UP Maroons ngayon. Kahit natalo sa UST, meron pang pag-asa sa Final Four. Sana makapasok tayo this year.

Sunday, August 14, 2005


Finished reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay last night, and it is, in a word, amazing. It's the story of two young men, Josef Kavalier, a Jewish kid who flees from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, and his Brooklyn-born cousin Sam Clay, as they dream up The Escapist, a hero dedicated to liberating the innocent all over the world. I would say the book is a close examination of the complex relationships between the creators and their hero, but that doesn't do the whole book justice. In the book you read about how the two men battle their inner demons, fall in love, conquer the world, get battered and badly beat up, get their hearts broken, and finally escape the chains that have bound them, in a manner worthy of The Escapist himself.

A few pages before finishing the novel, I was struck by how much reading a wonderful book is rather like falling in love with a beautiful girl. You can't get enough, and you know inevitably that somewhere along the way you're going to get your heart broken, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, but whether it ends well or it ends badly, you know it's going to stay with you for quite some time, and you could only be so lucky.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Gagong gupit

Last night I got a haircut. My brother Mikko said I look like I'm in grade 4. Btw, he's in grade 6.



The happiest person about my haircut was my mother. I believe her exact words were, "Hindi ka na mukhang adik."

My poor mother. She used to have such high hopes for me, like I dunno, becoming a hotshot corporate lawyer, or a famous politician, that sort of thing. Now she's just happy to settle for me not looking like the antichrist.


I was looking for something in my old journal when I came across this old entry from around a year and a half ago. Figured I'd post it here, kasi, pa-cute ako eh.

My baby sister woke up early today excited for a classmate's costume birthday party, even though it won't be until 4pm later. After she woke up, she walked into my room, where I wrapped my arms around her and sat her on my lap and asked her about the party.

Me: "Sino ka? Ano yung costume mo?"

Her: "Belle."

Me: "Ahh, bell. Paano yun mamaya, magri-ring ka dun?"

Her: "Ehhhh! Hindi yung ganung bell!"

Me: "Eh ano?"

Her: "Yung sa 'Beauty and the Beast.'"

Me: "Ahh, ok ah, Beauty and the Beast, bagay sa 'yo, mag-maskara ka na lang para mukha ka talagang man-ster!"

Her: "Ehhhh! Hindi naman monster yun si Belle, tao yun!"

Me: "Tao ba yun? Mukha lang talaga siyang man-ster, ganun? Eh ba't sa picture?"

Her: "Ehhhh! Hindi!"

Me: "Eh ano?"

Her: "Siya yung babae dun!"

Later, my mom makes her tell me about her cultural presentation later this month, which would involve her class singing a Japanese song.

Me: "Ah, alam ko kung anong Japanese song yung kakantahin niyo... Voltes V!"

Her: "Ehhhh! Hindi!"

She then proceeds to sing the song for me.

Her: "Yare en soran soran soran hai hai!"

Me: "Haik haik!"

Her: "Hai! Walang 'k' yung hai!"

Me: "Hi hi!"

Her: "Hindi hi, hai!"

Me: "Hi nga!"

Her: "Ang kuliiiiiit!"

Even later, my mom makes her sing her alma mater song. She sings in a very soft voice.

Mom: "Ano ba 'yan, ang hina naman ng boses mo, mas malakas pa diyan yung boses ng ipis ah."

Her: "Ehhhh!"

Me: "Oo nga, narinig ko nga yung ipis kanina kumanta, 'Yare no soren, haik haik haik!'"

But she looks really pretty in her princess dress (complete with 'em long white gloves). She really could pass for Belle. It almost makes up for the fact that she has to go through life with an ass for a kuya :p

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Back story muna: Nag-disband kasi yung team ng Shell sa PBA, so magkakaroon ng dispersal draft para sa mga player nila. Pero bago sila mag-disband, nag-trade muna sila ng mga player. Yung mga player na nakuha nila sa trade, yun yung papasok sa dispersal draft.

Nung isang araw, ini-trade nila si Ronald Tubid sa FedEx para kay Jerry Codiñera, kaya nasa dispersal draft na si Jerry ngayon.

Sana makuha siya ng Purefoods ulit.

Come on... take me out!


My insomnia's still bad. I got home at around 11 last night, was sound asleep before midnight, and was back up again by 2am.

I continued on Kavalier and Clay, which is really, really good. No wonder it won the Pulitzer Prize. I'm still only halfway through the book, but that's not really so bad; it's a 600-page novel.

(I need to get myself a proper bookmark. I have this weird habit of using random stuff as bookmarks: post-it notes, 20-peso bills, business cards from computer dealers, my cellphone, tissue, Tapa King delivery pamphlets, this Tofi-luk wrapper my sister left in my room last weekend, etc.)

Put on Franz Ferdinand on repeat last night, just to sort of continue the Glaswegian theme of the week. Every time I listen to their record, I end up acquiring a new favourite track. Last night (or early this morning), it was the song Michael, the rockingest song on the album, and also the most ironic. It features roaring guitars, and frontman Alex Kapranos in his sexiest, most manly voice, singing, "This is what I am, I am a man, so come and dance with me Michael!"

I remember Bill Simmons once wrote about the defining songs of the '80s, and one of his criteria was that "It should make you question your own sexuality for about 0.87 seconds before you say, 'Ah, screw it, it's a good song.'" Franz Ferdinand's sound comes straight out of the '80s, so I guess this still applies. Screw it, Michael is a good song.

Btw, if you're a fan of the band (and really, you should be), check out the mp3s section of FranzFerdinand.org, which contains live recordings, acoustic versions, and various remixes of their songs. It's all good, although none of the stuff there is as good as the stuff on the actual album.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


"Have you got any soul?" a woman asks the next afternoon. That depends, I feel like saying; some days yes, some days no. A few days ago I was right out; now I've got loads, too much, more than I can handle. I wish I could spread it a bit more evenly, I want to tell her, get a better balance, but I can't seem to get it sorted. I can see she wouldn't be interested in my internal stock control problems though, so I simply point to where I keep the soul I have, right by the exit, just next to the blues.

-- galing pa rin sa High Fidelity
Insomnia's getting worse. I've barely slept the past couple of days, so I've been coming into the office really early (at least for me). 10am is such an ungodly hour. It's a terrible feeling, being at the office with little sleep, having a headache all day, and feeling like you're going to come down with something at any moment. I left work early yesterday and I was in bed by 9pm, but my body wouldn't cooperate and I was up by midnight. I wasn't able to sleep again until it was about 8am, and I got another three hours of sleep.

Ack, I feel like shit right now.

At least last night, or more accurately, this morning, I started reading Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay (couldn't sleep, so might as well). I'm really liking it so far.

Speaking of good reads, as much as I like my friends equally (well, mostly so), I have to say that Alekos is my favorite read. He just cracks me up (read his post about his kidney ultrasound, "Great pair 'o kidneys you have there Mr. Orendain!", ha ha).

Then again, it's not fair, because he takes, like, 6 weeks on end to come up with each post. Jesus, I mean, if you can't come up with something funny to say in 6 weeks...

Which makes me wonder, maybe I should just blog monthly as well? At least my posts then would be angst-free, and maybe even actually funny.

Monday, August 08, 2005

High Fidelity

The rest of the weekend went well enough for me, and by that, I mean I didn't have to go back to the office anymore. I spent most of my Sunday nursing a slight fever, sleeping, reading, and still listening to Belle and Sebastian.

The only break was dinner, where I got to listen to my brother Osep tell the whole family about his UPCAT experience earlier that morning. Hard to believe he's already about to enter college. I know Frank remembers him as that little baby my mom tagged along during high school freshman dorm open house, when Frank was my roommate. That was some 11 years ago.

I did finally finish Written on the Body, and it really pissed me off. I am angry at Jeanette Winterson's conceit, stringing together a bunch of flowery words to tell a crap story, and then passing it off as a novel. I guess it's good for Winterson fans, but I liked her much better when she said, "Trust me, I'm telling you stories." She barely did on this one.

While I was in the middle of grappling with Body, I actually found time to re-read High Fidelity. I always thought About a Boy was a better-written, funnier, and more complete novel, and it certainly helped that it actually had a plot.

But I always was able to relate better to High Fidelity, and after re-reading it, I still do. It's not just the music ("Top 5 Elvis Costello songs") and the pop culture references ("Top 5 episodes of 'Cheers'") and the wry humour, although those things certainly make the book such a fantastic read.

What sets the book apart, really, is its honesty. It's been described as a man's confessional, and that's the perfect word for it. Hornby paints a picture of a regular guy and it's not exactly pretty: at different moments he is shallow, insecure, self-absorbed, petty, stubborn, cowardly, and well, he's a bit of a bastard. And despite all that, I could totally relate to what he's going through, and why he acts that way, because I can be shallow, insecure, self-absorbed, petty, stubborn, cowardly, and well, I can a bit of a bastard myself. And no, he's not a bad person, and neither am I.

I know why it drives Rob crazy when his ex-girlfriend hooks up with a guy who's into new age shit and bad music, and why he'd want to date a musician just so he could have his picture on one of her future albums, and why he gets that sick need to run away every few months or so just when everything around him settles down.

It's a brave effort, and the end result is an accurate map of the male psyche. I remember once, thinking, as a joke, that maybe I'd just make the next girl I go out with read a copy of the book, just so she could understand me better. Maybe I would. That way, just like Rob with his records, the book could do all the honesty and self-expression for me.

A while back, when Dick and Barry and I agreed that what really matters is what you like, not what you are like, Barry proposed the idea of a questionnaire for prospective partners, a two- or three-page multiple-choice document that covered all the music/film/TV/book bases. It was intended a) to dispense with awkward conversation, and b) to prevent a chap from leaping into bed with someone who might, at a later date, turn out to have every Julio Iglesias record ever made. It amused us at the time, although Barry, being Barry, went one stage further: he compiled the questionnaire and presented it to some poor woman he was interested in, and she hit him with it. But there was an important and essential truth contained in the idea, and the truth was that these things matter, and it’s no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently, or if your favorite films wouldn’t even speak to each other if they met at a party.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Wrapped up in books

I will say a prayer, just while you are sitting there
and I will wrap my hands around you, I know it will be fine
We've got a fantasy affair, we didn't get wet, we didn't dare
Our aspirations, are wrapped up in books
Our inclinations are hidden in looks

I'm at work right now, doing some maintenance work for the site, the type of thing we needed to do at an ungodly hour when no one's browsing. Daft as I am, our sysadmin told me that we'd be doing the work on Sunday morning, which I took to be Sunday night slash Monday morning, so I was in my room earlier reading when I got a call from him at about midnight, asking me where the hell I was. He really had meant Sunday morning, like, after Saturday night. I hauled ass and was in the office around 20 minutes later.

It's alright, the work, I mean, nothing too heavy, and going over some of the old code, I was amused by my own cleverness with the system's design, especially because of the fact that I didn't have a hard time applying patches. Reminds me of that old quote by Linux guru Bruce Perens, "There's justice in programming. If you do it correctly, it runs. If you don't, it doesn't. There's none of this messiness of human relationships."

My weekend, or what passes for a weekend for me nowadays, had been going pretty well. I'd been listening to Belle and Sebastian on repeat for the last couple of days now. I think I've finally found the perfect context in which to play the record. I'd been getting it wrong all this time, I'd actually been playing their record too loud.

The best way to listen to Belle and Sebastian is to be all alone in a room with total silence, and then turning the music down almost until it's an intimate whisper. It's only then you fully appreciate their snarky, understated, and absolutely delightful cleverness. It's really best for when you're staying in bed a little later on a weekend morning, or when you're daydreaming in the afternoon about that girl you fancy, or of course, when you're wrapped up in books.

I did get in a bit of reading over the weekend. I'm halfway through with Jeanette Winterson's Written on the Body, which isn't going down very easily. I don't know, it's probably my mood? I know Mika and Nicole absolutely adore the book, but I can't shake the feeling that Jeanette Winterson is absolutely in love with the words she writes, in the same way that you get the feeling that some announcers on television are just absolutely in love with sounds of their voices. I definitely liked the other Winterson I'd read, The Passion, better, although I guess Winterson has around 80 pages left in Body to change my mind.

(But, I must say, I loved this one line, "Wallowing is sex for depressives." How true!)

I also re-read About a Boy, and I found it much funnier now. I usually don't like re-reading stuff I'd read only recently (and really, it's only been a couple of years), and besides, I've still got tons of other books on my reading list. But the book goes down easy, and I was done with the book in a couple of repeats or so of the Belle and Sebastian album.

Another wrinkle I noticed about the book was that it wasn't so much about growing up or fatherhood as much as it was about the boys daring to take the next step. And why were they so willing to take the next step? Well, apart from the fact that they really kinda had to, they were also crazy about a couple of girls. So while the cover says "About a Boy", when you think about it, like the rock and roll song, the story really is all about the girl.


On a much happier note...

I asked her out for a date. I think.

She said yes. I think.


Get over yourself.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Last night

I met up with Ellen last night at Greenbelt. She was to return my copy of High Fidelity, but it really was just an excuse to meet up and talk over dinner.

We agreed to meet at Music One, and I came away with a couple of CDs, Belle and Sebastian's "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" as well as an old Joey Ayala album that only cost P150 and had Walang Hanggang Paalam. Heh, boring set of CDs, I admit, but it's all good. They're also significantly different from everything I've been listening to lately.

On a side note, I first heard about Belle and Sebastian from the film version High Fidelity, it was the music Rob and Todd were playing before Barry came in and played his Monday morning mix tape.

We didn't take long, since Ellen still had to go back to her office, so we just talked about the old bunch, Lynn, Mika, Macy, and Richelle, and how it's been so long since we've all seen each other.

(At na-realize ko, bakit nga ba puro babae yung mga kaibigan ko sa Internet?)

I was surprised that Ellen got me a Nick Hornby pocket penguin, which contained a couple of his short stories. The first was Otherwise Pandemonium, a science fiction story written in his classic style, while the second, Not a Star, was a typical Hornby story, this time about a mother discovering a weird secret about her son. It was hilarious.

Mukha akong tanga kanina dito sa office nung binabasa ko, tawa ako nang tawa mag-isa. Thanks Ellen, I loved the book!

*** *** *** ***

Naalala ko tuloy, the other day, Jona and I had this short exchange over Y!M.

Jona: "Ano ang ibig sabihin pag ang boyps, may collection ng both Hornby at Coupland books?"

Me: "Uhm, maraming siyang issues?"

Jona: "I figured."


Raul Roco

I was really sad when I heard that the former senator passed away this morning. He was the first person I've ever voted for to lead my country.

Mababaw, pero tawa ako nang tawa kanina dahil dito

1."The more the manyer."
2."It's a no-win-win situation."
3."Burn the bridge when you get there."
4."Anulled and void."
5."Mute and academic."
6."C'mon let's join us!"
7."If worse comes to shove."
8."Are you joking my leg?"
9."It's not my problem anymore, it's your problem anymore."
10."What are friends are for?"
11."You can never can tell."
12."Well well well. Look do we have here!"
13."Let's give them a big hand of applause."
14.Been there, been that."
15."Forget it about it."
16."Give him the benefit of the daw."
17."It's a blessing in the sky."
18."Right there and right then."
19."Where'd you came from?"
20."Take things first at a time."
21."You're barking at the wrong dog."
22."You want to have your cake and bake it too."
23."First and for all."
24."Now and there."
25."I'm only human nature."
26."The sky's the langit."
27."That's what I'm talking about it."
28."One of these days is not like the other."
29."So far, so good, so far."
30."Time is of the elements."
31."In the wink of an eye."
32."The feeling is actual."
33."For all intense and purposes."
34."I ran into some errands."
35."Hi. I'm ..., what's yours?"
36."What is the world is coming to?"
37."What is the next that is?"
38."Get the most of both worlds."
39."Bahala na sila sa mga batman nila."
40."Whatever you say so."
41."Base-to-base casis."
42."My answers have been prayered."
43."Please me alone!"
44.'It's as brand as new."
45."So... what's a beautiful girl like you?...."
46."I can't take it anymore of this!"
47."Are you sure ka na ba?"
48."Can't you just cut me some slacks?"

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Nung isang beses...

Nung isang beses, kausap ko sa YM si Jules Ledesma. Tapos nakita niya yung picture ko na naka-eyeliner ako, so napunta yung usapan sa mga goth at new wave na banda. Na-mention ko sa kanya na yung paborito kong banda, yung The Killers, new wave na new wave yung dating.

Tapos kanina, nag-text siya sa akin, tinanong kung anong banda yung sinabi ko sa kanya. So reply naman ako na The Killers nga yun. Tapos text back si gago, "Dude, yung Cueshe astig din."



Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Greatest Games

IGN.com released its updated list of the greatest video games of all time. Interesting choices. Agree, disagree, or spin-a-win?

# 100 // River City Ransom
# 099 // Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
# 098 // BattleToads
# 097 // F-Zero
# 096 // Mafia
# 095 // Herzog Zwei
# 094 // Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six
# 093 // Quake II
# 092 // Dragon Warrior
# 091 // Virtua Tennis

# 090 // Master of Orion
# 089 // Alone in the Dark
# 088 // Final Fantasy VII
# 087 // Thief II: The Metal Age
# 086 // Final Fantasy X
# 085 // Prince of Persia
# 084 // Ultima VII: The Black Gate
# 083 // Contra
# 082 // Gunstar Heroes
# 081 // Freedom Force

# 080 // Baseball Stars
# 079 // Shining Force II
# 078 // Star Wars
# 077 // Archon: The Light and The Dark
# 076 // Tetris Attack
# 075 // Crimson Skies
# 074 // Syndicate
# 073 // Return Fire
# 072 // Galaga
# 071 // Half-Life: Counter-Strike

# 070 // Pokemon Red/Blue
# 069 // Lakers vs. Celtics and the NBA Playoffs
# 068 // Starsiege: Tribes
# 067 // Rayman 2: The Great Escape
# 066 // Homeworld
# 065 // MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat
# 064 // Advance Wars
# 063 // Sonic the Hedgehog
# 062 // Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
# 061 // Sam & Max Hit the Road

# 060 // Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle
# 059 // Bionic Commando
# 058 // Super Smash Bros. Melee
# 057 // Mike Tyson's Punchout!
# 056 // Final Fantasy III (VI)
# 055 // Fallout
# 054 // Panzer Dragoon Saga
# 053 // Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
# 052 // Metroid Prime
# 051 // Grand Theft Auto III

# 050 // Wing Comander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi
# 049 // Grim Fandango
# 048 // The Secret of Mana
# 047 // NHL 94
# 046 // Super Mario World
# 045 // Battlefield 1942
# 044 // Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
# 043 // Soul Calibur
# 042 // Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec
# 041 // System Shock 2

# 040 // Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution
# 039 // DOOM
# 038 // Madden NFL 2004
# 037 // Wave Race 64
# 036 // Command & Conquer: Red Alert
# 035 // Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty
# 034 // Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
# 033 // God of War
# 032 // Resident Evil 4
# 031 // SimCity 2000

# 030 // Halo
# 029 // GoldenEye 007
# 028 // Half-Life 2
# 027 // Burnout 3: Takedown
# 026 // Final Fantasy II (IV)
# 025 // Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
# 024 // Tecmo Super Bowl
# 023 // Super Mario Bros. 3
# 022 // Half-Life
# 021 // Deus Ex

# 020 // Ms. Pac Man
# 019 // Metal Gear Solid
# 018 // ICO
# 017 // Star Control 2
# 016 // Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
# 015 // Super Mario Kart
# 014 // Rome: Total War
# 013 // Chrono Trigger
# 012 // X-COM: UFO Defense
# 011 // Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

# 010 // Super Metroid
# 009 // Star Wars: TIE Fighter Collector's CD-ROM
# 008 // Street Fighter II
# 007 // StarCraft
# 006 // Sid Meier's Pirates!
# 005 // Super Mario 64
# 004 // Sid Meier's Civilization II
# 003 // Tetris
# 002 // Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
# 001 // Super Mario Bros.

Monday, August 01, 2005

She and I

She likes crossword puzzles too. How crazy is that?

I can't believe, in today's age, in the era of irony, one can still like someone so earnestly. Scares the bejesus out of me.

She starts talking about "Catcher in the Rye" and I'm spellbound. She makes several good points about the book, and even though I never really liked Holden Caulfield, I find myself just nodding in agreement. I was going to bring up "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" but I was having too good a time just listening to what she had to say to interrupt.

I think I'm most scared of being regular, of being ordinary, or rather, that she finds out that I'm regular, that I'm ordinary, that I'm no different from any of all the other boys who inevitably end up falling for her. Pretty bleeding ironic, considering I've spent most of my life, really, just trying to blend in.

She liked my "Siopao na Special" story well enough. I'd made her read a revised version, much different from the one I had written earlier, although the storyline remained the same. She did find it quite sweet. She has a ton of things, to say, however, with how the story was laid out, and with the continuity of some of the elements. We discuss the story for something like a couple of hours. Who knew deconstruction could be so sexy? She makes a lot of valid observations, and I find myself in agreement with most of them, except for a couple of points where we end up having a couple of little arguments. I don't remember the arguments anymore; I was just happy she spent all that time thinking about a silly little story I wrote back when I was young and stupid.

I don't think there's a more wonderful feeling than being right about someone, especially someone you like. When a boy sees a pretty girl for the first time and she steals away a little bit of his heart, his mind couldn't help but try to paint a picture of what she'd be like, because he can't help it; he's been thinking about her constantly. So when he finally gets to know her, more often than not, he ends up a little bit disappointed because what he finds isn't quite as pretty as the picture he had drawn up in his mind. But on the rare occasion when she turns out to be every bit as smart, every bit as thoughtful, every bit as sweet, every bit as, well, spectacular, there isn't a more wonderful feeling. It's jarring, really.

She tells me about her hobby of mixing colors. She says she never really learned how to paint, or at least paint as well as her sister does, but she finds solace with the way the colors blend together, and with how she's able to express herself with the different shades she comes up with. Although I've never tried it, I understand, and make a mental note to try it one of these days.

I was living a happy enough life before she came along. After my last relationship, I firmly believed that one should live life as though it were complete regardless of whether there was someone else there to share it with you. And so, for the last three years, I've been living my life as though it were complete even though there wasn't someone else to share it with me. And I managed well enough; I'm good at buying books and buying CDs and getting into cool parties and hanging out with the right crowd that soon enough, while life wasn't exactly on fire, it wasn't quite lonely either. And then someone like her comes along, and everything falls into pieces. Everything else seems so gray in comparison. And I admit, she rocks my world. I just find myself wondering if she had done so too soon.

She says she used to write, poems and stories and whatever else she could think of in little journals that do not exist anymore. She tells me that when she read my story, she thought about how much she missed writing. I said, why not start again? She said maybe she would. Maybe she would.

I like her. I like her so earnestly it's not even cute or funny or [some other teenybopper concept]. Well, maybe it is. But I like her. The thing is, every other boy in the world seems to like her as well. I doubt if they like her half as much as I do though. I doubt they've ever heard her voice crack out of passion when explaining some concept, or hear her voice turn into a whisper when telling some childhood story, or even see how pretty her eyes look when she stares into me in silence as she listens to the words that I say.

She insisted on paying for our ice cream, because after all I had paid for the fish balls, and we get into a half-assed argument over who should pay for the couple of cones of dirty ice cream we were munching on. Of course, I cheated and gave Kuya ice cream vendor the money even before she had the chance to count hers out of her coin purse. Then a couple of street kids went over to us to beg for some change, so she decided, with the money she'd counted off, to buy the kids ice cream instead.

I know it's probably my imagination, but when we're stuck in a room with everyone else and we start talking, it's like we were the only two people there. I honestly end up wondering why she hasn't been bored by me yet, and well, maybe she has been, but she'd been too polite to say it. Liking someone, especially as earnestly as I do, tends to bring out your worst fears and insecurities.

She says the sweetest goodbyes, she really does.

I find it funny how even a silly little text message can make a whole weekend.

She likes crossword puzzles too. How crazy is that?


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