Monday, October 31, 2011

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Happy Halloween, ickle ghouls and goblins

Halloween with its costumes and trick-or-treating isn't a Filipino practice, but if we insist on dressing up, I would like to see more children as manananggal and tikbalang.  Our monsters are as fascinating and terrifying as any vampire or werewolf.

Side photo: A A Wild Sheep Chase sheep shirt! (found in Artwork for P150)

I'm reading Un Lun Dun by China Mieville to keep things sufficiently eerie. What are you reading this fine ghostly night?

Friday, October 21, 2011

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Today is Hanna Day

This is for Banana on her 25th birthday:

You are a dreamer,
a cumulus cloud chaser.

You are a storyteller,
and yes, "your bed is a raft."

You are a wordsmith,
Long Live the Oxford comma!

You are a paperback lover,
a book devourer.

You are a green Post-it note,
"Don't forget the cake."

You are a music mastermind,
secret mix-tapes playing in your head.

You are a true original,
a rare vintage LP.

You are a lion-heart,
and life is a waltz.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

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Home again.

Interverse, did I not tell you that I was back home? That's right, again. I'm here to do some data gathering for a special problem for my terrestrial sampling methods class (Did you also feel that I am sharing unnecessarily here? Because I'm typing this and I have a feeling you won't really care.) Anyhow, plunging on shamelessly, the sampling is done! Yes, this morning, while it was shining and John Hay smelled all of pine and dew. We saw a black labrador and lots of ferns. So many ferns.

This is my mother. She was my RA for the day, even when she could have been sleeping in on the weekend. She's the best.

After, the boys met up with us and Pa took us out to Army Navy for lunch in that new Convergys place (My fine Baguio folk, please. Do not roll your eyes at my belatedness, this place is still novel to me.) I had the steak burrito, and was satisfied as always. However: Army Navy, you know you totally strum my guitar, but you seriously need to rethink your condiments. I am nuts about your cream thing, but more salsa I say! Plus, your lemon wedge is not so much a wedge as half a wedge. Acid is the secret source of your burrito's power. Give me a full wedge!

(Before I forget: my baby brother is taller than me and there are unknowable things happening to his voice.)

And then, Booksale after. It was on sale more than it usually is because the rest of SM is on sale. So:
What was a Bukowski doing there? For only P127 too. And finally, a copy of What Was She Thinking? (Notes on a Scandal) because it was only P45 and didn't have the movie cover. I can be obsessive like that. Also, Booksale is cheeky (read: bookmark). That's why we love them.

At the end of the day, we dropped by the SM Supermarket. Boys and girls, maiawawannak idiay. The tocino and the tapa were not where they normally are. I wanted to sit quietly in a corner and wait for my father to come get me. Because that is what you are supposed to do if you get lost.

There is an art to packing groceries. When I was younger and there was no SM Supermarket, we used to shop in local grocery stores like U-Need or Victoria's or 5 Cents Up or Sunshine. The bag boys could fit everything we bought in three bags or less. They were genius packers, efficient in their use of space and quick with their hands. They would momentarily approximate the relative sizes and shapes of the items, and find the perfect nook for them in each white plastic bag. When you carried the bags, things didn't stick out to poke you in the leg. The bottoms would be flat so the bags would be upright when you put them down. And the eggs were always on top. When you had too many items for plastic bags, the boys would suggest you would be much better off with a box. Everything would fit neatly in there too, tied up with straw, a perfect handle knotted at the top for easy transport. In SM, they just toss things thoughtlessly into huge plastic bags. Weekly grocery shoppers tend to end up with six or seven loads. It is a wasteful process. Remember when we said we would stop using plastic?

Later, dancing hippos. I am tired of looking at plants.

Friday, October 14, 2011

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Living for today

You guys. Isn't that the most boring cover ever? But Jeffrey Eugenides, I am your bitch. I will believe everything you write.

Internetz, I am all kinds of busy, y u no leave me alone?

Today, my brain clicked. I think it is the result of the seemingly unrelated bunch of images and videos and news stories I've been encountering while trawling the interwebs.I was like the Intersect, except MUCH slower and I still don't know kung fu.

Randomly, have you seen Emmanuel Kelly's rendition of "Imagine" on The X-Factor? The YouTube video has been shared and re-shared on Facebook all day. The info box said: "BEWARE...Make sure you have lots of tissue beside you." I scoffed, Challenge Accepted. And you guys? I cried. (My friends will tell you I cry at anything. They would be right. So I really don't know what I was Challenge Accepted-ing for.) That John Lennon. He knew his shit. And that boy. He can sing.

Anyway, my brain. It is as if twinkly lights have come on one by one in my head and, outside looking in, I feel like I'm looking up at the Sagada night sky in January. I'm thinking more clearly, and I'm inspired. I remember why I'm doing what I'm doing. It will be useful in the coming days and weeks when I will be a writing machine.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

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Superheroes and some mention of my ovaries

A semi-productive day.

Jeepney rides have always done wonders for my cognitive processes. On my way home this evening, I had an epiphany about my thesis. I've had epiphanies about my thesis before, but this time, I feel like maybe I've found the Golden Ticket. Anyway, I have written the idea down and it will soon be fodder for the gods of Academia. No worries, that's just the way things are. I expect my brain will be sufficiently chewed out before this whole operation is over.

Female pop tarts, it is lady time. There is a reason PMS can also stand for Perchance to Maim Someone. One minute, I am stuffing my face with unicorns and rainbows, and the next, I want to break someone's face. It is that week: death glares, gnashing teeth. And I know it, too. I'm aware my rage is irrational the way we realize a dream is a dream. It is Inception in my ovaries.

There will be rain again soon, and its name is Ramon.

And finally:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

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Evasive maneuvers

Internetz, I have been blue. It's almost the end of the semester, and there are many papers to write. I'm responding with my usual blend of Procrastination. There is a little bit of Cycling, and much Avoidance (and evidently, an overuse of Capitalization). I've been reading (things mostly unrelated to school and/or work), writing (see: reading), and, I'm ashamed to say, spending too much time on Facebook. I while away the hours until there is nothing left of the day, and I spend most of the night feeling guilty. I realize my lack of productivity and wallow, boxing myself into a corner. Then, to shake off the bad vibes, I find other means of distraction. It's a vicious cycle.

Monday, October 10, 2011

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I am back in The Big City. Seeking refuge in Trese 4: Last Seen After Midnight and a big bag of potato chips.

Friday, October 7, 2011

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Ickle weblings, hearken! Join me in my elation. I am home.

It has been a strange week, where I was unable to identify my emotions and I have been dragging my feet. I texted Lem to complain about my waning academic drive (a different story), and he assured me that all would be well when I'd get home: "You'll have a few days to refocus here." He was right. As soon as the cold enveloped me, my mind started to clear.

I have always loved October. While September is the cusp of the seasons, October has always signaled the arrival of true cold. This is when the air starts to become crisp, a preview of what December and January will be like. The colors of the city thrum with an animated glow, and I feel my blood come alive. This is how I know things are never as bad as they seem.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

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Steve Jobs dies at 56

Steve Jobs transformed the way we listen to music, how we communicate, and how we perceive media and technology as a whole. But more importantly, he was admired by his peers and respected by the people who worked for him. The man was a visionary.

Steve Jobs passed away today. He was only 56.

Reading is the best medicine

Sunday, October 2, 2011

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The Specialist's Hat by Kelly Link

"When you're Dead," Samantha says, "you don't have to brush your teeth."

"When you're Dead," Claire says, "you live in a box, and it's always dark, but you're not ever afraid."

Claire and Samantha are identical twins. Their combined age is twenty years, four months, and six days. Claire is better at being Dead than Samantha.

Read the rest of this deliciously creepy story here.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

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I was an island

Believe me, I'm just as surprised as you are. I'm back after only a week of silence. I thought I should take advantage of this random bout of diligence.

This is what the world looks like now: A theater teacher shrewdly uses Joss Whedon's Firefly to demonstrate honor and principle, and is threatened with criminal charges. In the Philippines, government officials are so obtuse and out of touch, they think it's okay to Photoshop themselves into disaster photos. Yes, the world is one big facepalm.

Space Ghost is not amused. [Image source]

There was another typhoon today. I hear Baguio has been having a hard time of it. My family and many of my friends live there, and I am thinking of them. The Philippine name for Typhoon Nalgae is Quiel. It is a strange name. It's the sort of thing fantasy anime fans might name their first born.

It is quiet in the house tonight and I am looking for something to watch to ward off the blues. Earlier today, I found out that Edgar Wright has included Rushmore in his Criterion Top 10. Coolio. I have been itching to watch it since. Acquiring it now because, apparently, I do not have Rushmore among my files. I am not sure how this could have happened, and now I am worried about the state of my Bill Murray collection.

Kelly Link has been an excellent companion during these stormy days. Her stories are smart and spine-tingling, and her writing is just delicious. Really, I can't get enough of it. I am putty in her hands, dazed by her literary swag. First, she makes me laugh. Then, she makes my skin crawl so I am forced to look behind me. Then suddenly, she comes up with a paragraph that is absolutely heart-breaking, like:

Jeremy's father's office is above the garage. In theory, no one is meant to interrupt him while he's working, but in practice, Jeremy's father loves nothing better than to be interrupted, as long as the person who interrupts brings him something to eat. When Jeremy and his mother are gone, who will bring Jeremy's father food? Jeremy hardens his heart.

Kelly Link, I can't even.

In music, I have been listening to more or less the same stuff. Except I've been enjoying a lot more of Allison Weiss. I like her poetry: "I was a wolf, dear, apart from the pack/ But you answered my cries in the dead of the night/ And told me that you had my back."

My Supernatural download has finished, care bears. I'm off to commune with the boys. I'm like a Twi-hard, but for these guys. Later.
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