Monday, July 30, 2007

Life Is Elsewhere *

(* my apology for stealing your title, Milan Kundera)
July reeled me into a mad work propeller that at times I feel like a sedated tarsier flung into a cosmic time warp. What an insane ride! Infernal deadlines, multiple stress levels, assorted disappointments, emotional downers all contributed to a psychological state which would make Hannibal Lecter look laughably mild. Conversely, there are many extraordinary moments that make me want to burst into the chorus line of a ghastly Mary Poppins song but let’s not go into there. Overdosing on peaches and sunshine isn’t my preferred aphrodisiac. Though, admittedly, I don’t subscribe to the I-Am-So-Fucking-Miserable-I-Wanna-Die school of thought either.

Despite gargling tension for breakfast this past month it somehow sounds peculiar that I managed to not become an antisocial freak. I fear I even maxxed out on my social engagements quota. If any of my colleagues or pseudofriends suggests another function to attend I’d launch into projectile vomiting.The Piedra-Alchemy-Warehouse135 circuit still thunders but sometimes I just want to detach myself from all the rowdy civilized chaos and rake circular patterns on fine sand and stare at potted bonsais till my retinas fall off their sockets.

As the month closes I am looking ahead to the August sunup with great hopefulness and abundant anticipation. I know I shouldn’t, so as not to jinx anything in the process but I cannot help it. Despite the bleakness of things I’d like to flatter myself into thinking that I am insanely affirmative. Sure, it’s unrealistic to a certain degree but dreams fuel our existence. It endows us with a certain purpose. It strengthens our faith and reinforces our deep need for the Almighty God’s divine providence. It makes jumping out of bed less tedious and sculling through slow days bearable.

August will mark a particular departure. And the revival of the much-delayed, long-detoured aspiration. This may seem vague but it’s deeply personal goal that is finally waking up to the promise of a new day.

So now, like many instances in the past, I once again stand in a turnpike. This time however I am not racked with decision paralysis. This time around I am buoyant, my lungs welling with possibilities in pursuit of fresh experiments and creative pursuits. Permutations of anxieties and frights crackle in my wake. I don’t want to look back.

This is not the reigning moment of nostalgia. This is the reincarnation of optimism.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Alive, Barely Blogging

Failure to update this blog can be blamed to any or all of the following: hellish deadlines, healthy sex life, demanding pseudofriends and inconsequential distractions like work and personal relations. And we all know that anyone who yields to blog neglect is vulnerable to a dreadful syndrome which I shall express as the classic put down review of a book: “Once I put it down, I just couldn’t pick it up!” Not that anyone would give a flying bleep except for a couple of online friends who imposed upon themselves the responsibility of blog update mafia. A week in a row without update would produce indescribable hysterics and foul oaths until I cave in and do a grudging entry.

As evident in this entry for instance.

Since I started gutting myself out for public viewing long time ago I have come to grasp that blogging is a civilized way of encouraging exhibitionism and voyeurism. Case in point is how a lot of blogs are written with the author pandering to anyone who happens to read it. Contrary to old fashioned diary-writing where entries are intended to be intimate personal conversation or a documentation of one’s excursions between infancy to mortality, today’s bloggers write to impress other bloghoppers and reduce them into a slavish fan, a blog link exchangee, or—in egotistical cases like myself—a captive, unwilling audience.

It’s incredible. Why this need to show off? What possible excuse is there for all the impertinent lengths one has to go to be liked? Why do we willingly subject ourselves with habitual posting responsibility for other people’s entertainment, diversion and occasional sense of Schadenfreude? Or are we all just inherently sad and desperate to reel people in the bleakness of our deep thoughts or the shallowness of our lives?

I look into this phenomenon with a fluctuating variance of amusement, distaste and wonder.

Then, like most everyone, shrug my shoulders and type the next irrelevant drivel. One day I hope to wake up and not care about writing yet another feeble online junk. One day I’d grow up.

Grow up into what I have no bleeping clue.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Oh, Kick My Balls!

Having a totally fucked up sleeping rhythm has its agreeable reimbursements. For instance you’d be more knowledgeable in thoroughly useless fine points of the ultimate ladder (The Shopping Network), extra conversant on the mating habits of iguanas (National Geographic), ultra proficient in exotic twaddle (Korea Channel), or, if you are slightly twisted, become extra competent in choreographed spasm (The Bollywood Channel).

Having dropped my keys in a friend’s car after another brush with inebriation I decided to spend the night (or what’s left of it) at my sister’s abandoned apartment. Somewhere between five to six in the morning I twitched from erratic sleep and surfed cableville for something to bore myself to sleep.

Then it flashed before my eyes: the very paragon of lustful lusciousness, the very distillation of simmering sexuality, the very archetype of testosterone overload who can induce moist discharges among women and can single-handedly make heterosexual males rethink their mating preference, the very one and only unbeatified patron saint of bisexuals everywhere. Are you paying attention, Pope Benedict XVI ?

Ladies, gentlemen and everything else in between, may I introduce my long-time confidential cosmic mistron...

David Beckham.

Yes. THE David Beckham, the supremely sexy football hero who became the intergalactic face of an odd breed called metrosexuals.

CNN and ESPN, among other violently gluttonous media platforms are rabidly spinning like ravenous vultures on the mania surrounding Becks’ recent uprooting from Spain's Real Madrid to LA’s Galaxy. I have quite forgotten about Becks for sometime now in worthless pursuit of lesser mortals until the CNN coverage “Becks on Becks,” which, if you ask me, is strangely beginning to sound like multiple bird oral orifices on cold inhalers.

For a whopping two hundred fifty million dollars, Galaxy hopes that the megadeal "will inspire kids to play." How very positive: Galaxy hereby instantaneously confers my erotic sweetheart supreme athletic laurels as The Ultimate Poster Boy for Hormonal Sports.

Our courtship, though never made public, initiated like a whirlwind - from his gauche beginning at Manchester United, to the controversial defection to Real Madrid. Of course, being a Demure Oriental I hang on to dear old hymen. Given our rigorous ancestral tradition I was waiting for Dear Becks to chop firewood for my entire clan, fetch water in galvanized iron buckets, feed the livestock, tend to the rice paddies and endure sexual abstinence until the wedding night.

This is particularly excruciating, given our high virility quotient. And it didn’t help that having mutually rigorous incompatible work schedules, plus the awful intercourse moderation, put an irreparable strain on our emotionally torrid relationship. Until it tapered and dwindled into final non-consummation. However, he shot into football superstardom.

Yet Becks, being a passionate lot, haven’t entirely forgotten all these years. He makes it a habit to take off his shirt midfield, or flash his jockstrap under the steady glare of cameras, in the great hopefulness that somewhere in the third world I am tuning in to ESPN and reading Sports Illustrated, and, possibly rethinking his carnal proposal for boiling ménage-a-trois with his now painfully glamorous wife, the equally-fuckable Victoria.

Of course I play coy about the irresistible, tempting proposition. I am a gentleman. And, evidently, outrightly stupid. Although I will never admit on public interviews that, for the record, I have amassed all available copies of Vanity Fair, Details, GQ, VMan and Arena Homme+ magazines featuring his abdomen and happy trail on the cover. This is, reasonably, a very noble attempt to shield pious Mormons from temptation and sinfulness. That’s how moral, unselfish, and deeply spiritual I am.

I remember reading the Vanity Fair profile in my office desk and had to send out an assistant to the cafeteria for ice packets to diffuse a raging erection two minutes before a major board presentation. The janitor had to mop my hormones off the floor to restore some dignity.

And now my beloved is raging stateside.

Fuck ancestral traditions, I’m booking a one way flight to L.A.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bereft, Bothered and Beleaguered

Metro Manila is teeming with astounding inhabitants close to ten million people, which, if we consider the population ratio, gives us a confidence to outnumber and invade Norway armed with mere slingshots and Regine Velasquez shrieking a nerve-grating remake of a Mariah Carey ditty.

Of the aforementioned populace, it is a widespread truth that the ugly-pretty quotient is very much reasonable: go to one of the gazillion sprawling local malls and you can easily spot scores of attractive people in a fraction of a millisecond. Go to a chic event or a trendy party and watch your shaky self-esteem crumble into a doormat. This is not an exaggeration. You can even go to the shanties and you’d bump into displaced demigods and demigoddesses. I feel good about the fact that as a race in general we can gloat over Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia in terms of gorgeous genetics. Singapore can have the financial hub, Malaysia the oil deposits and emerging tiger economy, and Indonesia, well, erm, the record for biggest archipelago on earth while we lord over in terms of beauty pageants! Ha!

I’m kidding.

Hang on. This seemingly aimless ramble leads to the dish of this entry: my pseudofriend Spasmotica.

Spasmotica is attractive, very smart, driven, passionate about things, sophisticated, fashionable, achiever, and chain-smokes like she’s hell-bent to prevail in a frantic census for the title of human Emphysema Central. At her not-quite-midterm age she rose to the top rank and leads the local strategic division of a multinational firm without having to give anyone blowjobs during lunchtime siestas. Although she wants to.

“I’m going to die unmarried!” she moans while tearing her hair, ripping her YSL shirt, and blowing smoke puffs the size of atomic mushroom clouds.

I look up from my brewed coffee and magazine and stare at her, wondering how her parents—a pair of charming, nice, well-adjusted folks—could give birth to a full-blown soap opera.

“And unmourned.” I added, resulting to two hits of a stiletto heel on my shins.

“Whyyyy?! Why is the world unfair? Why am I cursed of being thirty plus and single?!”

As I wince and chuckle she slumps on the table and ponder grimly The Great Cosmic Joke. She’s a philosopher.

Which annoys the hell out of me. Her woes should be my woes. If I happen to have her chromosomes my penis would be terminally callused from overuse. I shouldn’t have troubles proposing marriage to reclusive monks, conscious of the useful detail that my genes alone would do the talking.

But this is Spasmotica we’re talking about. To cheer her up I boredly suggested she dye her hair blonde, have a slavering look of a chihuahua and a dunce, and have a tattoo in her head that spells s-u-b-m-i-s-s-i-v-e.

“Jerk!” was her grateful response. This is my thanks for being helpful.

However the whole melodrama had me thinking: why do people like Spasmotica have such difficulty? Ruling out incest, there are roughly nine million plus potential partners in this raging metropolis and she’s whining over the fact that she’s single and smashing and successful and glaringly impaired in finding a decent date/boyfriend/husband/future widow.

My lame jest on being dunce may have a bit of weight. People are intimidated with intelligence and gorgeousness. Toss in success into the mix and you might as well fence yourself with barbed wires marinated in radioactive carcinogens and ebola cultures.

But why is that?

Why are we inherently stupid for settling on what we can neatly organize in little compartments instead of having a roll and have ourselves challenged with competitive counterparts? Why must we feel superior and have that superiority enforced by picking lesser drones? To feel like we are supreme among maggots? Where is the joy in that?

Isn’t reigning over zombies a sign of deep-seated insecurity? Wouldn’t you want to administrate among slaves or the grand UN council? You can truly feel exceptional among worthy opponents than mediocre herrings. This breed of superiority complex is not entirely bad.

In this spirit I am going to experiment shooting for the pinnacle.

Angelina Jolie here I come!

Ah, the sweetness of ripe delusions!

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Sunday, July 8, 2007

She Glides Like Dewdrops

What purely piques you is the fact that she’s impervious to basic human intuitive sense of narcissism. She’s genuine, timid to a fault, oblivious to her iridescent beauty. It’s quite stirring; it’s quite disarming. She’s heartbreaking even when she’s merely tossing a casual glance, or a languid smile. Coax laughter from her pillowed lips and you’ll be acquainted to the language of a champagne spilling into brooks. Meet her eyes and you’ll behold a drowsy cherub inhabiting Tieopolo’s dreams, her steady gaze tells of sweet melancholy for a far-flung beloved. When she smiles it would race across her face like a beam of light migrating and her eyes would flutter like a million fireworks. Her skin gleams, gently, like a Vermeer portrait. She moves like water. Fluid. Willowy. Graceful. Wispy as the summer breeze. She's possessed of a fawn’s elegant neck and even her tiptoes would remind you of gazelles treading in protracted strides. Falling in love with her is devastation. She’s bespoken to the notorious schmuck populating the rudimentary quarters of her precise opposite. Love is a peculiar thing. It transcends understanding. It rises above the cruelty of things.

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Geriatric Cabbie Of The Apocalypse

Off-kilter is as off-kilter gets but there are absolutely bamboozling universal mysteries that defy sense and human comprehension: Well, I don’t know about you but there’s something tremendously askew about a sixty year old arthritic cabbie croaking all the lyrics to the Air Supply Greatest Hits.

As universal human knowledge would have it, Air Supply is what you’ll get if you combine prostatectomy excluding anesthetics, a steady abuse of helium as inhaler, a terribly inflamed larynx on a vengeance, the Ben Stiller zipper mishap in There's Something About Mary, and self-inflicted mallet hit upon the craniumguaranteed to shred nerves the way a rusty fork scrape across a slick blackboard.

And that’s just the hors d'oeuvre to the great salad of today’s dose of horror.

It began quite unsuspectingly: I dashed out of the building where I live, burdened by five sets of dirty suits. I have a wedding to attend this weekend and I realized most of my suits are dirty. So I figured since it’s too early to hit my first meeting for the day, decided to bring the ones begging for dry-cleaning to the shop.

I live in Ortigas, my dependable drycleaner is a civilization apart, situated in Malate area. Don’t ask. The reason deserves a series of therapy session on its own.

Roxas Boulevard”, I thriftily nod to the cab driver, who, upon second glance, strikes me as a geriatric hawk with the glint of someone about to drive me to a deep cliff. My skepticism is substantiated a few minutes into the ride: instead of hitting the EDSA-Roxas Boulevard route, which is most convenient, he U-turned under the Galleria Interchange bridge and slid through Starmall in Shaw Boulevard. Uh oh.

“Which route are we taking?” I calmly and politely asked though warning gongs erupted like church bells in the hands of an ampethamined Quasimodo at the back of my head.

“Kalentong, Quirino Avenue.” he matter-of-factly replied in an acutely bored monotone. I sunk backseat bracing for a Salvador Dali meets Calcutta experience.

This Charming Cabbie is one fine specimen in abrupt-burst split-second detours. Without forewarning he sharply swerved and plunged towards Addison in Mandaluyong-Greenhills rapidly rearranging my internal organs in the process. Several wrong turns later we emerged back to Shaw, reeling me back from a complete dread of being siphoned into black-holes only Stephen Hawking and Alan Lightman can only dream about.

Then it happened.

He reached for an MP3 Compilation CD (MP3 Compilation CD? Surely a phenomenon from the shelves of Mysterious Mind-Meld itself) and one banal click later All Out Of Love and Come What May contaminated the compact car interior like a livid hurricane involving Gillettes.

My inner Norman Bates twitched to surface.

Negotiating the third-world stretch of Kalentong and several suspiciously unidentified shortcuts spanning the districts of Makati, Paco and Manila marinated in pure uninterrupted Air Supply torment including Making Love Out Of Nothing At All, Every Woman In The World, Having You Near Me, Lost In Love, Even The Nights Are Better, Now And Forever my psychological and emotional quotient is beyond resuscitation. At this point I am increasingly suspecting that we splintered the invisible fabric of the Time & Space Continuum and suddenly got teleported to inhabit a Gary Larson Far Side strip.

It rained, and I swear It fucking poured like Hell Unhinged. It hemorrhaged industrial grade muriatic acid spiked with Boy Abunda’s saliva. And that’s just for appetizers.

Later, in what seemed to be a cycle of reversed Pleistocene experienced through a Pterodactyl’s molars, and having exhausted the hideous Air Supply Discography, the Charming Geriatric Cabbie reached for another disc and I suspended breathing, silently shuddering in anticipation of fortified horror coming my way.

Charming Cabbie didn’t disappoint.

For another forty minutes, or some second before I passed out, I remember hearing the more horrendous sing along to Kenny Rogers’ Coward Of The County.

Watch out tomorrow’s tabloid headlines. Scan the scandal sheets for a curious piece involving a mangled cabbie found in an abandoned taxi in some derelict landfill with a smashed MP3 player still coughing Nazareth’s Love Hurts or Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse Of The Heart.

You’d know who’s responsible.

~ ~ ~

Delightful Dispatch From A Parallel Universe: The Simpsons movie is about to burst into theaters.

God Bless My Beating Heart!

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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Vowel Movement

Evolution is rocketing backwards. Like a backfiring bullet we’re hurtling past civilized language that millions of years later we'd rather prefer to communicate in hieroglyphics. The problem is I am not a professional NASA cryptologist nor I am well-versed in stenography. I am one of those wackos who think medical practitioners professionalize and standardize prescription-writing by intently observing how hens and roosters scratch the ground for earthworms.

So you can imagine my unceasing annoyance over textese—a disquieting phenomenon which might as well be the biblical sign of the mortality of Spelling Bee competitions. Or the decline and irreversible casualty of proper words as everyone embrace abbreviation, attenuation and acronyms with the same mania never seen outside American Idol.

I realize I’m beginning to sound oblique; like I’m a flaming uppity prude who clings to quaint laughable concepts like virginity and hot chicken soup. Tell me: what would I make out of the following SMS:

mt jm n rckwll 3pm. dnt b l8. tc!

Where have all the vowels gone? Is there a cartel enforcing strict prohibition of their use? Should I be a licensed Egyptologist to crack the earthshaking urgency of the message? Should we put out obituaries in honor and remembrance of them poor, hapless vowels?

However most annoying, the thing is, no matter how you want to resist its onslought you still strangely get it. Proof: try rdng ths f y dnt blv m.

Listen, I am one of those relics who send SMS in full, proper words. Whenever I do this people get shocked. It's like I sprouted a fourth nipple or have crawled out of a Franz Kafka novel overnight. If I insist on getting a full text back alarms people to no end. They are probably plotting a signature drive to have me committed.

I blame, of course, hip branding. I have written about the quirky habits of marketers of CK In2U. On closer inspection this trend has stealthily crept into mainstream consciousness long ago and we are too busy to give a bleep. Print Magazine (Or was it I.D?) identified Motorola as the most hip and blatant offender: PEBL, ROKR, SLVR, RAZR, KRZR. How did they come up with vowel-thrifty products? My guess is that the Blahnik-heeled, Gucci-clad, Hermes-tied sophisticates working for the brand place alphabet cards on the wall and begin open-firing at random and see what are the last four letters standing. Then develop a brand around those letters.

Motorola isn't alone in this. As cited in that magazine rant, (which I am re-appropriating here) how about the viral allure of FLICKR? Or Kyocera’s OYSTR? Should we up our hipness quotient and dine exclusively in New York’s trendy restaurants like STK, BRGR, and VYNL, or be seen downing cosmopolitans at BLVD?

Post 911 we see NYFD rose to heroic sheen, breaking the reign of NYPD Blue. We read smart and artsy magazines like 032C and CMYK and erupt into uncivilized rampage over sample sales of brands like DKNY and FCUK.

Hipness is king. And in a textese generation spelling is a handicap to the brisk exchange of instant messaging. Why bother with a vowel when you can bleep F*CK HM and appear interminably cool?

Maybe I’m getting decrepit to assert that humans should communicate in decipherable lingo; that Merriam Webster should not be relocated to the sarcophagus wing of the Met. As the publication would put it: GD HLP THS GNRTN!

Remember that relic of a show Wheel Of Fortune? Contestants who buy consonants only are considered smarter. I’m willing to go out on a limb and say this—considering the language mutation that is getting rampant in textese I want to be on that show and don't give a bleep if I'm perceived as stupid: I’d like to buy a fucking vowel!

Buy? Who am I kidding?! I’d want to hoard them in the same perverted stampede witnessed on obsessive freaks during the first day the limited iPhone went on sale.

And sheepishly lose in a raucous round of amused roars of laughter.

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