Monday, April 30, 2007

Assault Of A Vengeful Vegan Part Deux

Approximating the sly trickery of an obnoxious hyena I quietly sidled up to my Vegan Editor Friend who was preoccupied on checking the merchandise at Rustan’s.

“SHOPPING FOR FURS?!?” I loudly croaked behind her, prompting a choked yelp and a jerky jump.

“Bastard!” she laughed, recovering her embarrassing loss of composure. “I’m picking up a birthday gift for my cousin.”

“How about a leather…”

“Don’t start.” She warned.

“Or a mink. Women love minks. A python bag…”

“Why do you have to be such an asshole?” she rolled her eyeballs.

“Inside every vegan is a carnivore eating her way out.” I chuckled.

“You are one of those people that makes lethal injection seem rational.”

Be wary of vegans. They’d save the cows but won’t twitch on frying humans.

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April Haze

Last week of April was a complete blur. I leapfrogged from various appointments overcaffeinated and sleep-deprived. In this frenzied state of complete haziness I managed to have hysterical conversations with random people and now that sobriety smacked my skull I wanted to bury my head in asphalt.

To cap the various April ordeals, the one I’m so fond of was in town briefly. However I was totally incapacitated to even waste a few minutes over coffee and random conversations. Wasted chances.

April is the cruellest month, T.S. Elliot so writes in the opening verse of The Wasteland.

I couldn’t agree more.

April bequeathed me more doses of plagues than I can cope with.

Missed opportunities are like torture served chilled. Then you add guilt and make it even worse.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Delirious Liaisons

Lured by the prospect of Krispy Kreme and unrestricted, home-brewed coffee we guardedly ambled into the flat of our common friend for the habitual weekend DVD screening assembly. The dramatis personae of our motley crew include an editor (female, straight), her fiancée (male, straight), an advertising creative director (male, straight. Check that, straight-acting), a merger and acquisition financial analyst slash investment banker slash Satan’s stock broker (male, straight), a fashion editor (female, straight), an industrial designer (male, gay), a model (male, pansexual) and me the single confused bisexual (who according to judgmental snots is in deep denial. Charming folks, these snots).

We were greeted at the door of his swanky condo and we should have taken cue of the maniacal enthusiasm pasted on his face and fled while we had the opportunity. This particular friend is a painter (fence, kitchen and roof jobs accepted), art director, graphic designer and one-time model who survived four major ex girlfriends before gargling on expired Kool-Aid and now lives with a hunky international pilot he bumped into (literally) in Nuvo. But that’s another HBO late-night drama of its own for another day.

Someone passed our friend in question a copy of Duda, (a pinoy gay film which is eventually the nucleus of this rambling discourse). Having very recently held a precious copy, our warped amigo chose it to be his selection for our bi-weekly DVD session.

Let me give a background about our outlandish mob of friends have started this informal DVD orgy for almost two years as a legitimate excuse to get together, endure each other, freeload on home-cooked food, trade insults, gossips and body fluids. Kidding on the body fluids bit, of course. The rule is that every session should be rotated among the respective digs of all involved, with the host picking two movies as compulsory viewing and the unspoken rule to lace apéritifs with cyanide in case someone makes a snarky remark on the host’s lapses in tastes.

So anyway, Duda.

The movie is a languid exercise into the human condition. Particularly the pandering homocentric, masochistic, self-humiliating consequence of being, aiiieee!, in love. Let’s toss tact out for a moment and begin with a sour note. I want to smack this movie for not deserving the vulnerable sincerity of the protagonist Cris’(Andoy Ranay) acting chops. His earnest sensitivity is overwhelmed by the lurid over-eagerness of the film to cram in multiple negligible characters/co-narrators concurrently making pithy, disdainful comments on the ill-starred relationship-by-convenience between him and his lover Eric (Paolo Gabriel).

Duda, without any doubt, will get you waived off ten years in purgatory detention. You’ll suffer enough and in no time frantically scan the credits for someone to sue for damages. The narrative is tortuously convoluted with a league of minor characters trying to shove each other out of the frame. The script is clunky, indulgently tacky, and on most parts give you dialogues enough to make your crotch recede into a concave crater as your scrotum crawl in. Sample for instance this immortal line delivered without any hint of mad irony: “I would do anything just to experience love.”

Pure cinema. Your donuts and coffee will likely congest your throat or exit your nostrils.

Cris Pablo’s digital opus cannot be faulted for attempting to portray the delirious pains of having to endure a tumultuous relationship, the meddling of concerned friends, the heroic daily struggles of gay people and their respective values and preoccupations. But fifteen minutes into Duda your soles fall into mild cramps until your lower body fall into coma and lose all sensations.

While two people in our group inspect their cuticles I am howling with glee. This is as purple as it gets. I gather from the mishmash of accounts of the characters (and that omniscient unidentified (until the end) master narrator), that Cris, an investigative TV director is shacking in with Eric, a TV production crew whose declarations of love for his partner is as convincing as the remorseful campaign speeches of Tessie Aquino Oreta. They’re supposed to be living together in pure unadulterated bliss but I doubted it because whenever they kiss onscreen they give me an impression of two squirrels quick-smooching a carcinogenic livewire. It’s a movie, for crying out loud! Kiss like real people and not as if you’re a kingfisher dipping its beak swiftly to test if the pond is radioactive!

Among other telltale clues that their relationship is headed towards Doomville is their selection of apartment palette. I figure a relationship will not amount to eternity if you choose to paint your room canary yellow one side and maroon the other side. A faded hospital green for bed sheets will automatically tell you one of them will eventually dip his wang elsewhere.

And Erik did. Rising to the challenge of the flaccid script, he engaged in sneaky dalliances racking Cris with insane jealousy and rabid doubts. Cris, understandably, goes berserk—like Ivana Trump when she first saw the stains on the couch—and begins tapping the messages and calls in Erik’s cell phone.

Cris later eyeballs his beau’s paramour, bring the unsuspecting twerp back to their nest, get him naked and all worked up and says “May lover na ako.” Conveniently handing the mortified trick a photo album of their happy days.

That’s one wasted boner, if you ask me.

What’s more puzzling than the choices of wall color is Erik’s options of flings and lovers. Maybe he is an honorary member of Boners Without Borders and on a charitable spree because the guys he forks behind Cris’ back are not really upgrade materials. Maybe he’s educating us with insights on the concept of trading down? Among his most glaring conquest is Von, a flaming Chinoy, a bum waiting for migration visa who doesn’t give a toss about humping a cheating boyfriend and when confronted recaps his moral philosophy by declaring “I’m a Christian” without bursting into fits of giggles.

Warped, ironic joke until you realize the film is not being sardonic.

The relationship ripened into unendurable bouts of nagging, confrontations, plea-bargaining, and scores of short-lived reconciliations delivered in abundant monotones you’d want to dive in the plasma screen and yell at everyone to get a grip and repaint their sink a less gaudy color in consideration of the welfare of tortured audeinces.

“Mahal mo ba ako?” Erik demands of Cris after being jilted by a non-responsive fling.”

“Mahal na mahal kita, Erik” Cris quivers with such intensity possible only if he’s tossed into a giant freezer. “Mahal na mahal kita.”

At this point you want to scream and do homicide.

Not only are the lead characters inflicted with deep-seated, scarring issues but they seem to inhabit entirely different bad episodes of Maalaala Mo Kaya strung together by Boy Abunda if he inhaled powdered Valium. Which is a shame because Andoy Ranay and Paolo Gabriel deliver the chops on certain scenes. You'd be moved by the pathetic desperation in the eyes of Ranay, intoxicated with anger, love and fear of loss. Gabriel is effective when furious, and despicable when sweet-talking his way in to purchase survival, and briefly believable as a shocked and vulnerable yound man when he got slammed on the wall in one scene.

The ridiculously fun part is that silly cameos abound in this flick. There’s Rey Pumaloy whose one probable and restrained acting moment is weighed down by a really gluey melodramatic flashback. I think Rey is great but for all our sakes, keep your shirt and underwear on.

John Lapus, screeches with relish as the talk show diva clad in gaudy ensembles and colors so bright you’d have migraine. Then there’s Larry Burns, who, like Victor Basa, is an alumni of Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Annual 69 Bachelors, comically and effectively denting the credible reputation and judgments of that magazine’s editors.

I find the “broadcasted” talk show confrontations ripe with hilarity. In which all the characters go on-camera, looking like sedated parakeets, to slap each other with snide remarks and vicarious disclosures, which prompted the teary-eyed snot-nosed and convulsive meltdown of Larry Burns as he whimpers “Tinukso niya (Erik) akooooh!” While the melodrama escalates we are treated with a Dali-meets-Bride-of-Chuckie moment in a flashback of Burns in ill-fitting suit and bow tie being wolfed by Eric in a veiled wedding gown with sequins enough to blind Liberace.
My vote for the most spontaneous moment goes to that wickedly funny road trip when the flaming gay Lloyd (Jojo Nones) flicked his cigarette in a jar being clutched by snoring Rey Pumaloy which contains the ashes of his deceased lover.

Duda is sheer entertainment if you have the gift of combustible reserves of lunacy and the appetite for ironic absurdity. Since I am equally warped I had a hysterical blast watching the movie.

It’s like overdosing on cheesecake and a massive hernia.

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Bendable Boys

Consumer tagging is an amusing trade. This generation is going overdrive on it, peaking into a fever pitch that makes you wonder what kind of hallucigenics these folks are inhaling to come up with handy, outrageously snappy stickers slash demographic labels to slap people’s foreheads with.

I was deeply bored and desperately attempting to engross myself with something to overlook the numbing tediousness. I picked up a random magazine from the rack and my jaundiced eyes zeroed on it immediately: Carson Kressley, Queer Style Pundit, making a demographic bending pronouncement.

When asked what does he think about the label ‘metrosexual’ he obligingly answered:

“I don't like it. It reminds me of people having sex on the bus. I much prefer something like heteroflexible.”


It reminds me of people having sex in prisons.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Soup Stain

Five summers ago today you fed the potted cacti with tap and a fertile stream of apologetic goodbyes.

I was observing you, half-trance, as I emerge from the burial of crisp white linens and downy dreams. Your words were bounced in soft thuds, inaudible, like quiet murmurs, floating like indistinct adagios from neighborhood recitals. There was nothing but transparent windows isolating us: you innocently enraptured with foliage conversation in that little balcony; me hesitating to climb out of familiar consolations of a snug bed.

If I choose to honor certain memories, that precious image of you noshing the plants with sweet, tender adieu, will come rushing in. I remember visibly that calm April morning as adolescent sunlight sieving through disarray of your tousled hair. An evening later we will barter choked farewells in the airport; a cheerless affair but the precious plants will not be there to bear witness.

In the same vein as the optimistic cacti I was bespoken with a pledge of your much-anticipated homecoming. New York is just a two-year shift, a partial severance from uncomplicated things we have accustomed to like daily aroma of coffee boiling over or the weekend extravagance of oversleeping, sushi and white wine. New York, we rationalized, is nothing but seventeen thousand five hundred twenty hours of transient absence as you hone your aptitude in four hundred ways to slice tomatoes, or the multiple permutations of roe, salmon and wheat bran.

Two years dissolved to three and three years melted to four, drifting into marriage for convenience in quest for much desired assurances of green cards and much greener meadows to build a life.

I now look into that inauspicious morning five summers ago with no smattering of bitterness but a lingering twinge of sadness. Somewhere caved inside me is the inflamed heroic struggle to comprehend, to empathize, and to unshackle you from the obligations of a certain fondness we halved between us.

We can deny the aches and slowly move on but you cannot confine the persistence of certain reminiscences. Waking up today my thoughts raced back to you and all the nuances of three years preceding your departure five years ago. Remember that first meeting in Hong Kong? Emerging from clumsy cyberconversations we finally shared our first cappuccino and mutual fables of homesickness and alienation. I remember you giggling a lot, how you tormented the surly Cantonese boutique girls by feverishly rummaging through racks and not buying a thing, much to their crabby annoyances. I would remember the many nighttime geometries as our bodies explore the variables of physical intimacy.

Moving back home in Manila two years later I cannot precisely bear in mind how we settled for me to neglect a muddled studio and charter an airy, pristinely white tidy bedroom, possessed with windows that funnels the sunrise into the heart of the room.

You remembered I love windows.

If I allow bruising remembrances to flood out unhindered, then I’d spoil myself with another fond memory.

Soup stain.

It happened after V and C, over dinner, sprang upon friends an announcement of their engagement. Another excitable friend L, unheeding of consequential poverty that will follow, chucked all temperance and bought two bottles of obscenely expensive sparkling wine and raised a clever toast that elicited a great deal mirth. We went home at three in the morning, tipsy, laughing silly, our spirits as buoyant as champagne.

That’s when you had that brilliant euphoria to work your magic and like Botecilli drifting in the kitchen you whipped up with grace and determined lunacy that unusual bouillabaisse that will haunt me forever.

The humble grapes, coated with tempura crumbs hover elegantly in a rich mélange of cream of cheese. It was the most exquisite thing. As my teeth minced the crisp crumbs and crush the ingrained grape, its syrupy juices dissipating into the rich tang of blue cheese chowder, I was spellbound, at a loss for proper words.

And you sat there across my ravenous self, your eyes beaming with a smile reminding me of elegant curves of gondolas in Venice. We hallucinated of Venice.

Five Aprils later I surface from unremembered nocturnal reveries and my thoughts race back into that little balcony, the thirsty cacti and the soup stains. I would remember you in much more poignant ways but it would stir buried bruises into wakefulness. Perhaps it is wise to constrain the degree of loss in tolerable measurements.

Somewhere in New York you’re probably deep in slumber as I slide out of bed here on the other side of the earth, stirring my first mug of coffee, soaking in slivers of sunrise as stubborn, indulgent splinters of faint memories of you from five years ago break loose from the recesses of my keepsake drawers and waft drowsily to liquefy with the moist summer breeze.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Some Were Out Where?

Accurate computation is immaterial to the argument but I can fairly say with the confidence of a sedated iguana that of the many people close to me only about two unfortunate friends are possessed of the knowledge that I swing both ways. I didn’t actually come out, a concept that’s totally mystifying for me, but these are keen folks, my friends, who can predict the actual astrophysics of the impending apocalypse with extreme accuracy given only the right circular alignment of strawberry foam on their frappuccinos.

I’m on hyperbole overload but humor me.

It cannot be denied that there are folks out there who may appear to be conflicted poseurs, claiming to be bisexual but silently wish to have their chutes exclusively plowed into mulch. I'd like to have it on record that unlike a few of these charming individuals, I actually have sex with women, in the past, in the present, and if the opportunity is conducive, in the immediate future.

Now I am aware that by saying so I am starting to sound like a conflicted poseur who silently wishes his chute is exclusively plowed into mulch.

The thing is I equally fancy the variance of both female and male sex, prompting my friend to roll his eyeballs and snort in a very ironic monotone, “You are soooo adventurous.”

Ooops, digression. Again.

Let’s switch back to the main meat of this entry: my so-called pretentious puzzlement about the issue of ‘coming out.’ Is it necessary? Am I obligated? For whose relief? If I fuck a dude do I owe it to the whole world to broadcast the most sordid details of my sex life?

I’d like to flatter myself I am open-minded and I expect it from other people too. I do not deny nor confirm questions about sexuality on the premise that sex, regardless of whom you do it with, is a private matter between two consenting adults. Why should I feel duty-bound to tell everyone that I fuck the cute male clerk from the Laundromat, in the same way straight folks have every right to keep their lips zipped as to who they forked in a crowded bar?

I know this is a very touchy issue for some, and I am not denying people’s decision to broadcast to everyone down the street that they prefer sucking dick than muffing clit. My issue is that you are considered a conceited prick in deep denial if you don’t admit your sexual preference.

What for, so people can judge you? Shouldn’t you just keep them guessing and amuse yourself in the process? And what’s with the hunger for knowledge regarding someone’s position in bed? Is he top? Bottom? Versatile? Will someone’s admittance really add up to the great repository of human knowledge barring Kinsey’s revelatory survey? I’d respond to Kinsey, to some random shmuck waiting for an opportunity to label me, no.

A lot of gay people make so much ruckus about being proud of being gay. It’s not necessarily a fault, in fact, it’d admirable the way courage is summoned to punctuate the debate. But has anyone ever considered that by actually acknowledging the label society slap on our foreheads we are not earning any elevated respect at all but a polite pigeonholing and the condescending I told you so shrugs from people who still think cocksuckers are lesser human beings than straight ones?

Is the need to publicize posing more setbacks than benefits for our kind? I can’t help but think about it. I fuck men. I fuck women. But that doesn't necessarily mean I would think less of people who go exclusively man to man or woman to woman. I just don’t feel the need to know. It’s a democracy. I have every right to fuck whom I want as every Tom, dick and Harry in this goshdarn planet.

This breed of personal reasoning maybe perverse but I am not giving in to the petty curiosities of judgmental folks waiting for a chance to inflict their narrow beliefs on me.

It’s not about being closeted; I shall not deny or confirm. It is not cowardice. It is a choice. My choice is as valid anyone’s.

Milking a confession--voluntary or otherwise--out of me to purchase for some respect is nothing but disparaging irony.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Talking Trash

One swift glance over my flat and anyone can safely assume it is an incubator of the most virulent health hazard known to mankind.

I am not sure I caught a certain lethargy bug but nothing seems to motivate me to actually pick up a rug and start dusting off. I feel so lazy in a chronic way and I can’t muster the courage to drag my sluggish ass and chuck a week worth of garbage into the building’s trash chute.

My energy level is on an all-time low, my other blogs remain abandoned, prompting certain fretful friends to fire me frantic text messages demanding to know if their suspicions are right that I stepped on a bar of soap in the shower and is currently on a very rapid state of decomposition.

Thrice last week, one of my best buddies dragged me out for a couple of drinks and though that amused me for a bit, it didn’t zap out the general feeling of ennui. I find myself yawning over conversations that would normally induce hysterical chuckles among us. We bar-hopped, and that didn’t perk me up, too.

Hopefully the alignments of dead rocks floating in space are going to shift very soon and exhume me from this rut.

Industrial design god Ron Arad once said that boredom is the mother of all creativity.

I’m waiting for it to hit me.

Meanwhile I have an abundance of boredom, a mutinous blank mind, and a pungent trashcan that may very well be the reason of my sudden and justifiable eviction.

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Scentsational Silliness

Douglas Coupland’s seminal Generation X not only summarized the zeitgeist of an age following the baby boomers but had marketing pundits a reason to dance far into the night. Coupland’s intent for an alternative literary voice became the convenient signpost for sticker-happy marketers to segment a skeptical generation so averse to being targeted with advertising messages.

Post GenX came hosts of handy labels; prominently Gen Y, who, not only embraced consumerism, they enthusiastically rewrote the marketing and advertising rules by actually telling marketing hacks which buttons to actually trigger their allowance spending.

Scores of other jargonlicious labels followed, all of them shamelessly slapping the youth’s foreheads with terminologies that can only be passed off as something earnest when you’re far into your eighth tequila shot. You just don’t say audience. You say aggregating eyeballs. You don’t say preferential. You say Top Of Mindshare. Why settle for lame shit when hip jargons are far more effective in bullshitting clients into megazillion billings.

Which brings me into the recent article from The New York Times about pundits cheering the new generation-defining jargon. We’re not talking about the Google Generation—a demographic weaned post-MTv, but actually grew up with everything humming in an instant. Googlites are a generation so impatient that when Friendster and Myspace take more than ten seconds to load on the browser the user stabs the keyboards with annoyance and call their computers and broadband suppliers’ motherfuckers. Dial up is nothing but a fossil. So is the career of Onemig Bondoc.

Before I got sidetracked by the habits of the Google Generation I was to rant about the new label pundits are poised to slap the “sexy” new demographic emerging from high-gloss cellphones, Skype, and Youtube. This was reported by The New York Times led by pom poms-weilding folks non other than the era-defining Grunge Generation strategy of Calvin Klein’s CK One.

Apparently the geniuses at CK’s strategic division have inhaled too much sandalwood and musk and their brains got so corroded they settled for a new spinoff of the CK One dubbed CK in2u, thereby proving that brand-naming is out of control. This new scent is laser-guided to detonate among today’s “Technosexuals” or as Lori Singer, Coty’s vice president for global marketing says of twenty somethings. “They don’t want to feel that they are being marketed to or spoken at. They are much more empowered, but they are unshocjable. They have seen everything from 9/11 to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears without underwear. They see everything instantaneously that goes on in the world.”

Technosexuals? I don’t know about you but I have an unappetizing mental image of robots humping.

Is Ms. Singer implying that Technosexuals are the savvier Gen Xers in terms of advertising rejection? Isn't this evolution in reverse?

As promising enterprise CK in2u appears, and judging from the name of the product, the enthusiastic Ms. Singer seems too polished and polite to say that this generation are a bunch of retards that are hopeless in spelling. And Calvin Klein seizes the opportunity to reflect the dynamics of a fucked generation who instead of being force fed with Oxford Unabridged Dictionary would be better off with a bottle that promises getting laid.

Welcome to the new era. You can’t spell, but hey, you smell good.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Vengeful Vegans

Within my clique of sensitive, mild-mannered friends I inhabit the unflattering but totally enjoyable role of being the resident warped asshole. And to live up to the honourable esteem I constantly have the jerk quotient in check. This only proves my long-standing suspicion that you don’t really have friends; you have people who can stand you.

In my defence let me point out that despite my admirable consistency in infuriating my very good pals, nothing can change the fact that I have deep and fond respect for them as human beings. The thing is, such respect and fondness usually gets clouded by the unanticipated wisecracks that sometimes heave off my mouth.

Of course, I am aware that my friends have very good sense of humor and that they are mature, open-minded, smart individuals who can sensibly differentiate the discrepancy in my tonal value whenever I am serious and when I’m lobbing a brutal joke at a treasured target. It’s just that, despite my respectful admiration of their principles and values I couldn’t resist poking half-assed jokes.

Of all the people I love, there’s this particular vegan friend who is the customary recipient of our most infuriating banter.

She’s an editor; intelligent, have a deadpan sense of proportion, and have a potent gift of hilarity. Her only flaw is that, among us, she’s the most passionate advocate of vegan, healthy, principled lifestyle. A certified member of PETA, a believer of the physical and spiritual virtues of yoga, and I’m afraid she’s hell-bent into converting all of us into curdled tofu.

She’s consummate, passionate, and I must say, totally fucked.

Anyway she’s one of the very few people I admire genuinely. In an increasingly cynical, shallow, and twisted world, she’s a rare gem whose conviction on things is pretty sturdy, unassailable even to a fault. Suffice to say she’s one of my favourite preys of snide and frequently, wickedly malicious punches.

Over Friday’s lunch I decided to bequeath her another jab.

“Have the steak.” I helped out, while she’s staring at the menu far more intently than necessary. I know she’s scanning it for something she can graze on.

“I’d spear you with the salad fork,” she retorted, rolling her eyeballs, “but I’m an equal opportunity activist. No cruelty against absolute animals!”

“Seriously,” I persisted grinning at her like a demented hyena, quoting an old Diesel ad, “We should eat more meat, because, hey, cabbages have feelings, too!”

Other friends convulsed with restrained laughter.

“You should have been aborted.” She snaps back.

“I thought you’re pro-life.”

“For you, I’d alter my beliefs and go pro death.”

“Bah! Oscillating standards!”

“Fixed Turd.”

Name-calling among fond people is the real essence of friendship.

While she’s fluctuating her eyeballs upwards and downwards the menu card, I pressed on my pestering.

“I’ll have the stuffed tomato.” She finally settled.

“Just because they were naturally deprived of a mouth,” I taunted her, “that doesn’t mean those tomatoes don’t scream in pain when you yank them off their stalks.” (Mental note: get rich by filing class action suit against vegetarians in behalf of tomatoes everywhere.)

“Quit it, Hannibal.”

“I swear they bleed, too. But hey, I hear you. You’ve made a believer out of me. To honor my newfound deference I will have the garden salad...”

She eyes me suspiciously, waiting for when the other shoe drops.

I kept silent.

Convinced of my newly-embraced faux virtue she proceeded to peruse the menu for an appropriate drink.

“Of course,” I chuckled, “I’d have it garnished with a five pound prime Angus steak.”

She laughed with the rest of us but her eyes had a homicidal glint as they darted from the salad fork to my neck.

I should have been alarmed but I calmly lanced my appetizer. I knew she wouldn’t give in to murderous thoughts. It's a matter of unshakable principle.

Vegans outlawed whaling.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Silence Of A Titan

Following a mild shock, twinge of that indescribable empty feeling of loss slithered up my veins when I read that Kurt Vonnegut, one of my many writing gods, passed away.

Kurt Vonnegut 1922 – 2007 (Photo pilfered from Reuters)

There are so many things swirling at the back of my head to write about in my slavering esteem slash eulogy of him, then it hit me: whatever I write will probably be pitifully undeserving or laughably sophomoric at best.

Over the years I turn to him for snappy comebacks when I can’t urgently come up with something clever to say. And there are gazillions deliciously witty quotable quotes from the body of works by Kurt Vonnegut that I can spew in a given split-second, but let me punctuate this post with my most overused quote by him which is often directed towards the überinflated egos of pseudo artists and creative poseurs (evidently that includes myself) from The Sirens Of Titan which I will once more reproduce here:

“If you really want to hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be a homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts.”

If I am wise I should save myself from further embarrassments and shut up.

But I’m foolish, so I make my mourning public.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Happiness of Thanklessness

Unwittingly, John Casablanca, founder of Elite Modelling Agency has enlightened the world at-large.

I was speed-reading through my stack of abandoned back issues of New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly and New York Magazines when I spotted the succinct interview with him in the latter title.

If one has to be bold in hypothesising, his seemingly innocuous pronouncement slash advice to aspiring talent agents may very well the secret key to happiness in general and I quote him:

“Don’t expect anyone to say thank you.”

How can that be false? Expecting thankfulness is prone to disappointment. Disappoint breeds unhappiness. The absence of unhappiness is bliss.

John, I now bow to your elevated wisdom.

Or I’m just more distorted than I gave myself credit for.

~ ~ ~

Many thanks to Migs for adding me up in the roster of bloggers at!

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Pink Podium

Under the annoying influence of chronic insomnia I stumbled into Pinoy Gay Blogs.

Cyberspace is less gray with a forum like that!

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Our Summers Of Discontent

“War is the province of men!” – Eomer, valiant Rohan Knight from The Lord Of The Rings

~ ~ ~

My Esteemed Liege,

Few summers ago we met in the most unlikely places. In the wastelands of cyberspace we eyed each other with shrill cynicism, preserving our fragile selves with insinuating banters, anonymous detachment, and the most viral humour we can both muster. We resisted the growing fondness doing lithe pirouettes at the corners of our eyes. We are invincible, or so we foolishly convince ourselves, and we stuck to such tacit pact without acknowledging defeat. We held our gazes steady, preserving our respective fortress.

We are aware of our immature, insecure delinquencies, yet we cling on to such unblinking resolution and we paid for it dearly. For the cost of unyielding stubbornness we thoughtlessly forfeited that flimsy, germinating affection.

In the hushed spaces of this graveyard hour I’d like to come to terms and come out clean with my defeat: for my end, at least, and still unbeknownst to you, my resistance retreated long ago. I found myself loving you.

Nothing but imprudent, false hopes could possibly justify the madness of anticipation for mIRC to usher your familiar handle’s arrival. In your honour, I found the insolence to wade through storms of bullshit from other online dwellers, surviving waves of idle talks, in the feverish optimism that any moment now your presence will blink from the other side of the World Wide Web’s ceaseless fence.

My dreams would be beleaguered with your intrusions. Three hundred seconds lapse before you reply on one innocuous text message from me and my heart would sink, despairing, pierced. I allowed myself such dismal descent into private humiliation. I cannot flee. Even on numerous occasions when I succeeded to digress from your enthralling breath, I find myself recoiling my footsteps to that online lobby, where you lord over, your voice crisp, your laughter ascending, puncturing the calmness of unholy daybreaks.

Maybe it was providential that we drifted apart. I cannot precisely pinpoint how it happened, but bartered numbers were relinguished to abandon, and, subsequently forgotten or scrubbed off the directories of our mobile devices; online messengers remain lifeless, ignited only on occasions when we have the need to brush off the cobwebs and sweep the dusts under the rugs of our real life obligations and distractions.

On those early days I have come face to face to a heartbreaking reality: I am not unlike those unwise mortals who came before me. I am vulnerable. And it took me this long to acknowledge that there is no shame in defeat. I was proud. So were you.

Yet I doubt we have forgotten. I certainly have not.

I’d view our off-chance encounter, after many moons of absence, as brutal fortune. The war has been rekindled. Our private war and it's addictive entanglements of the most shrewd and cruel mind games blaze like a mischievous wink. And we’re back with the same rabid tenacity of someone who would never relinquish to downfall. We polish our swords: gauging each other’s armours, looking for flaws to wield our assault.

Our words fling with comic cunning, cleverly outsmarting each other, brandishing our breastplates with restraint and casual detachment. We do this to amuse ourselves, to bide the idleness between the rising and falling of our breaths.

There are no victors in this war, my Liege, only casualties.

We are the casualties, admitted or not. Our wounds run deep. They birth on tender craters on our hearts.

And scatter seeds of aching redundancies in our memories.

Till our next repartee,


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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Glamour Of Sleep

After a short-lived tick of disorientation a piercing pain remind me that I am alive. My eyes flutter into wide-eyed wakefulness, whereupon I realize I dozed off on the floor instead of the downy comfort of the bed.

The coldness of the parquet floor creep up my wakening skin and it dawn into me I am freezing.

Assuming vertical position is a struggle.

My body, more so my mind, is still languidly hotwired to the lethargic bliss of the protracted holiday break.

I dozed off and glide back into the overriding seduction of sleep, where I dreamt of a world plagued with four-day weekends.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

We, Label Whores

Should I allow conceit to rule I’d be more comfortable admitting that occasionally I flatter myself into thinking that I am one of those open-minded people around.

For the record let me say I don’t judge people on first impressions. It's daunting, but I try. I have online profiles and happen to have one in and as many members on that site can attest it is the very incubator of fierce cruelty anyone can possibly endure in cyberspace.

People can be ruthlessly dismissive. And the most unbearable thing is the kind of crushing labels they slap upon each others’ foreheads. Top, bottom, effems, chubs, Bi, Versatile, Curious, Bicurious, shrimps, the list goes on in outrageous permutations and combinations that have nothing to do with the person’s true worth.

Labels to a certain degree serve a function no matter how unpleasant: it pigeonholes, stereotypes, it gives people a handle to grasp on. Nothing is fearful than the unfamiliar but ultimately it's more scary how labels are manipualted into a divisive convenience between the i/us and the unfamiliar.

You would witness how certain people endowed with lucky gorgeous chromosomes or an extra half inch in penis girth and length inflict unspeakable doses of insecurity (and not to mention inferiority) amongst the less-endowed ones. Even the most self-assured smart individual’s ego melt in the ferocious competitive arena ruled by hormones and that simple hopefulness that, maybe, just maybe, people would eventually go beyond sex and elevate the encounters beyond the realm of orgasm. More than anything else, this kind of optimism is the most heart-breaking.

Billions of years worth of evolution and we have come into this: a generation so shallow we might as well have fangs, walk forty five degrees and club each other to pulp with a blunt tree bark.

Everyone online is aware of this sad phenomenon. And everyone seems to be encouraging it, despite the impending vicious callousness it precipitates. When you look at it, all those laborious and difficult years of pioneering gay people demanding for equal rights mean squat in a generation where they show prejudice amongst their very own kind.

You are not top enough. You are too gay. Your pores are too big. I Only date guys who douche with evian.

Which brings us to my sentiment all along, a sort of rehashing of my warped thought on women mag rags and their preoccupation: They’re looking for Love. And they want Brad Pitt. Ditto for gays. No wonder, everyone’s unhappy as before. It’s not too remote from a weekend club scene where you hug in the dance floor while fixing one eye upon the door in the lookout for something better to rush in.

On the other hand, one cannot deny that as far as cyberhunting is concerned everyone has his own priorities. Everyone is entitled to dream for something or someone that would feel that certain void we are all desperately scrambling from.

We want identikit ideals: Gorgeous, tall, toned and bronzed body, cocks that can alternate as a fireman’s hose, virility, reads Neruda, cites Carl Jung and Nietzsche in an argument, drives a top-down Audi, knows his wine, and have the kind of glint in his eyes and a smile that can disarm resistance batallions in Kabul.

There is nothing wrong in aspiration. It just gets ugly if you stand at the other side of the fence.

That’s why it’s sobering whenever I remember Melvin Udall (played with brilliant mad relish by Jack Nicholson) in that poignant-funny movie. After the mind-blowing orgasm has subsided, it’s worth thinking about.

What if somebody who comes along is as good as it gets?

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Ignorance Favors Peroxide

Human nature is ten-fold more bizarre than, say, the mating habits of iguanas.

Notice the previous sweeping generalization guaranteed to incite wrath and contempt among mild-mannered blog readers. I wish I can be more diplomatic this time, but I think I’d say it once here: screw diplomacy.

What slapped my dormant rude chromosome into full wakefulness is a seemingly innocuous remark overheard conversation over at The Podium Starbucks:

Flaming Gay In Beach Blonde Streaks: Excuusssssssseee me, he’s gay. (Referring to the clueless guy several tables away who is unaware he’s the featured amusement)

Not So Flaming Gay In Green Shirt: I don’t think so. Maybe He’s bisexual?

Flaming Gay In Beach Blonde Streaks: There is NO such thing as bisexual.

Iced tea nearly shot out of my friend’s nostrils. We avoided each other’s eyes else we’d burst into manic chuckles and will be caught eavesdropping on public conversations.

Apparently This Peroxide Blonde Twerp is so misinformed and he is gaily reveling in ignorance.

But that triggered a debate between me and my friend, which, had not a bunch colleagues arrived, would probably end up in fist fights.

Barbaric, I know but in certain cases, violence is proved salutary.

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The Duke Of Dullness

As curiosity would have it someone dropped me a million dollar question:

what you mean by "loud cloud" in your blog?

The answer, sadly, is not worth a measly dime: it’s one of those bizarre things that pop in your mind when you’ve had too much caffeine and too little sleep.

I’ll rename it if something better hits my cranium.

In the meantime it’s staying as bland as it gets.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Lucid Interval

Certain mornings you stir out of vague, muddled dreams, and, emerging from hazy disorientation clarity drifts upon you like unhurried footsteps. You allow yourself a brief moment of hesitation, then mumble:

Is this all there is?

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Careless Whimpers

Sometimes I become what I despise: recklessness.

While trawling an online forum I chanced upon an interesting thread and without bothering to give one of the poster’s handle a second glance-over fired off a message:

you're up late.
isn't it too late/too early to look for love?

I realized the horrible mistake when I saw the user’s handle has a numerical extension and my mortification erupted into panic and furiously typed a follow up message explaining that it was meant to be a tease and that I mistook him for someone I usually banter with.

Apparently it’s not my lucky morning because he outpaced me and before I can finish my message I instantly received a miffed reply registering the fact that he was offended and that I am projecting.

I wish I have more legitimate excuse like having too much tequila or have been born with 666 stamped at the back of my skull. I wish I am naturally rotten and don't give a toss about other people's sensibilities. But I don't. And his taking offense is as valid as it gets.

The utter dumbness of my hasty behavior can easily be shrugged off by many but what makes it mortifying is that the recipient is one of the guys in the forum who actually make sense in his postings. And no, I am not saying this to save face; he even posted articulate and amusing replies on a thread I jumpstarted.

How can I be such a full-blown douchebag?

So it peeves me that I am irresponsible and offensive. I am genuinely sorry and aware that being a total skunk is inexcusable.

Please accept my sincere apology and here’s to wishing you well.

Excuse me while I club my head with a paper puncher.

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Habitual Aimlessness, Persistent Drunkenness

Humor me as I saw fit a needless admission of guilt; secondly, a disclosure of a certain difficulty.

Guilt because I have never own up, and have been routinely drifting off from reality. Disclosure because I have never been too candid about anything true.

That is about to change. Optimistically speaking.

Cloaked with the comfort of cyber-anonymity I can be completely honest about certain deep-seated personal issues. I can bleed all my thoughts in the daunting expanse of the online universe without being beholden to restrictive harness of tact, which, to me, is a kind handicap in real life when you can’t be all-too straightforward without precipitating offence.

I am here, right now, in this awkward fork crippled by both the anticipation of adventures and the paralysis of uncertain fears. A certain fraction of me lords over, barking self-assured impositions, armed with a can-do, take-charge mentality that would like to shame my wimpy tendencies. While the other fragments at the back of my head reason out, citing level-headedness, sensibility, temperament.

But when do I ever listen to reason?

By nature, I am intoxicated, plagued with the glamour of fearless aimlessness. And there are snippets and bruises from long ago that keep on recoiling from bolted attics. They surface, startling in between breathing spaces to glue and ground both feet, staring you down, and pinning you into many of your denied vulnerabilities.

Memories like these make me recall that disquieting scene in The Legend Of Bagger Vance. In a believable spark of bitter, distorted discernment Rannulp Junuh, a promisingly gifted golfer weighed down by past war hostilities and an aborted love, monologues:

The question on the table is ‘How drunk is drunk enough?’

The answer is that it’s all a matter of brain cells. You see, every drink of liquor you take kills a thousand brain cells. But that doesn’t matter, ‘cause we got millions more. And first the sadness cells die, so you smile really big. And the quiet cells go, so you just say everything really loud for no reason at all. But that’s okay, because the stupid cells go next, so everything you say is real smart. And finally... Come the memory cells.

These are tough sons and bitches to kill.

I’d raise double vodka tonics to that no matter how improbable the challenge.

But here’s the thing aside from exorcising the pestilence of the memory: Like most online dwellers I resort to shameless self-promotion, make my presence felt, for one widespread, conventional motive: a desired connection with someone in the far-flung nodes of cyberspace to fill a particular emotional (and most often, sexual) thirst. I am however aware that this premise is the most unfair reason to start, as individuals are not to be possessed. Was it Kahlil Gibran, in a fertile torrent of wisdom and inspiration, who once wrote:

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;For love is sufficient unto love.

Yes, the perpetual elusiveness of that one thing much desired but always dodges our frenzied grasps.

But it wouldn’t stop us, in our foolish quixotic hope that it would take another human being to nullify our needy hungers.

If memory serves me right I’d punctuate this rather rambling overture with an insight I pilfered from a rather spectacular Wang Kar-Wai's movie 2064. It is irresistible (especially for a certain breed where I belong) for it’s abundance of bittersweet, soaking melancholy.

In one insightful scene, the eternally relationship-abortive writer (Tony Leung) postulates:

Love is a Matter of timing. It’s no good meeting the right person too soon or too late.

I wish he’s ridiculously wrong.

What really gets you is that he’s absurdly right.

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