Walang malambot na kama, sa killer kong insomya baby
A few weeks ago my buddy Jonas asked me to mention his latest venture on this blog. He's recently established a company that distributes herbal supplements, and their first product is Sleepasil, a supplement for improving (what else) sleeping habits.
Anyway, I had meant to blog about it earlier, but I wanted to test the product out for myself, because I really do have serious sleeping problems. Just take a look at the timestamps of my last few posts: 05:33:00 AM, 02:55:00 AM, 12:47:00 AM, 11:12:00 PM, 05:54:00 AM, 03:44:00 AM.
So I figured I'd try Sleepasil, and then I'd blog about it if it's effective (of course, if it turned out to be a shitty product, I'd never mention it). I finally got around to buying it last night. I got ten pills (12 pesos each) at Watson's in Gateway.
After wrapping up work at around 4AM, I figured I could take a pill right then, just in time for bed as soon as I got home. But once I got downstairs, I got this pang of hunger, so I ended up buying a chicken caesar sandwich from 7-Eleven. The sandwich came with a free soda, and while it probably wasn't the best thing to be having after having a sleeping pill, I downed all of it anyway. I'm an idiot that way.
I felt relaxed as soon as I was home and in my bed. This was about 4:30AM. I stayed relaxed (and awake) until about 8:30AM, before sleep mercifully came. This was the part that wasn't very good.
Ok, so why am I writing about this? Because when I woke up (at around 11:30AM) I felt so refreshed, and I didn't feel drowsy at all. I'm not even talking about the drowsiness you get after a sedative, but the regular drowsiness you get when waking up normally. I just felt so... fresh.
(I even had a vivid dream. Oddly enough, it featured Tim Cone and the rest of the coaching staff of the Alaska Aces, who were trying to figure out how to break the team's four-game losing streak in the PBA Philippine Cup. It's probably because I watched Alaska a couple of times over the weekend, in person last Friday when they played against Purefoods, and then again Sunday night on television against Ginebra. There was a moment in Friday night's game when Alaska's useless assistant coach Luigi Trillo started chewing out and shouting at Willie Miller. The incident struck me as funny, because, c'mon, what the fuck could Luigi Trillo possibly teach Miller about basketball? But I digress.)
So, yeah, if you're having sleeping problems, especially if you want to have a really restful sleep (or if you want to have a dream about the Alaska Aces coaching staff), check out Sleepasil. I think they're still giving away free samples at their blog if you ask.
If listening to Paris Hilton so much that my ears get herpes is wrong, then I don't want to be right
I was in a cab on my way to my Marketing finals a couple of weeks ago when this pop song started playing on the radio. It was catchy as hell, and I was humming it for most of the three-and-a-half hours while I was taking my exam. After dinner, I decided to go online to look for the song, and imagine my surprise.
A friend and I were talking about Paris Hilton last night (I can't tell you her name because she would kill me).
Friend: "I hate Paris Hilton. She's untalented blah blah blah..."
Me: "You want me to Gmail you a copy of her latest song?"
Friend: "Yes please!"
(a few minutes later)
Friend: "Hehe, I stripped all the file information from the song para hindi siya lumabas sa Last.FM profile ko."
Also, Mika pointed me to the video for the song, which makes the video for her first song tame by comparison. I haven't seen anything this hilarious and disturbing since, well, Paris Hilton's sex video.
A couple of weeks ago, I finally signed into this social networking site for books called Library Thing, which I'd discovered through an officemate. The next couple of days saw me spending an inordinate amount of time and effort keying in ISBN numbers into the system, and now I've cataloged all my books. (Well, not really all of them... I haven't cataloged books that have been borrowed and not yet returned.)
Anyway, while going through my books made me realize a few things about my collection. It's not particularly big (about a hundred and twenty books or so), but I estimate I acquired about eighty of those in the last fifteen months. Of these, I've read about sixty, slowing down the past few months because I started grad school. That rounds out to about four books a month, which I'm quite proud of. I haven't read this much in my life. A book a week... yun din yung excuse ko ngayon kung bakit wala akong girlfriend.
Also, by my count, I've spent about Php20,000 on books over the same period. Kaya rin wala akong pang-date. It's not really something I feel bad about, given that if I didn't spend it on books, I'd end up blowing the cash on beerhouse visits with Alekos, so books really are a better investment (although, I have to admit, that the derived pleasure is probably a push).
Anyway, when I did my catalog, I resolved to at least rein in my spending on books. So how did I fare? Well, I got this email listing my recent purchases off Avalon:
"The Last Temptation of Christ by Kazantzakis (BANNED!!)". The final bid price was for P400.00. "The Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman". The final bid price was for P550.00. "The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy". The final bid price was for P300.00. "Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris". The final bid price was for P250.00. "Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales (Gaiman Chabon Hornby)". The final bid price was for P400.00.
At 24, I still haven't gotten over the delusion that I could become a writer one day. Reading Chabon's A Model World, or any other of his books, for that matter, fills me with a terrible sense of envy. He weaves such terribly beautiful words, even as he talks about doomed love, dysfunctional relationships, and people falling apart. I could only dream about such eloquence.
In the story "S Angel", which is about a young man preparing to attend his cousin's wedding, he writes:
Ira never went anywhere without expecting that when he arrived there he would meet the person with whom he was destined to fall in love.
Later on, he describes Ira's cousin, the bride:
She seemed pleased enough--smiling and flushed and mad to be wearing that dazzling dress--but she didn't look like she was in love, as he imagined love to look. Her eye was restive, vaguely troubled, as though she were trying to remember exactly who this man was with his arms around her waist, tipping her backward on one leg and planting a kiss on her throat.
Even later, we see Ira spotting a friend of his cousin's, an older woman, with whom he becomes infatuated.
And yet, it was her look of disillusion, of detachment, those stoical blue eyes in the middle of that lovely, beaten face, that most attracted him. It would be wrong to love her, he could see that; but he believed that every great love was in some measure a terrible mistake.
In another story called "Ocean Avenue", about a couple who could only be happy as they made each other miserable, Chabon opens with this line:
If you can still see how you could have once have loved a person, you are still in love; an extinct love is always wholly incredible.
In another story, Chabon's hero is married to a beautiful immigrant to help her acquire citizenship:
I admired her. Initially, it was only that--a marriage of admiration and desperation, made for neither money nor love... Had I not breached our contract by actually falling in love, we would still be in Texas, counting the days, but here we are, in the capital of France, waiting for her heart, or mine, to undertake a change.
Sometimes, I try to write that way, but all I can come up are corny lines like this:
He was swamped with deadlines to beat at work and papers to write for school, and it wasn't until the end of the day that he would think about what he'd have for her desk the next morning. He was old enough and, for the most part, smart enough to know that happiness shouldn't be tied to another person. And yet, there really was no getting around the fact; thinking about her was the happiest part of his day.
I was just browsing through Avalon.ph tonight, and realized that I'd read and owned a lot of the books listed. So if you're looking for great reads (it's always a good time to pick a good book) and great bargains, here are my recommendations: