Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy sunflowers!

The sunflowers along UP Diliman drive are now starting to wilt. Their once awaited bloom gave many graduates and parents the awe that comes with their sunset orange and golden pigments. They are but one of the many symbols of cliche closing of books and opening of new ones.

Graduation, the word feels like a voice of a stranger on the phone. Though only having graduated one year ago, I believe that I have outgrown the word or maybe I have never even got used to it. I didn't know how to graduate. Just last week I found myself rambling to a good friend that my degree was useless and that may have even found a job even if I hadn't graduated from UP. I wanted to slap myself across the face, in a third person perspective kind of way. A hard and unforgiving slap was in due.

My Facebook news feed has been riddled by graduation posts lately. While most are very inspiring and touching, others are just too much. I'm not trying to rain on their parades, they've earned it. Only, the volume of grad-related posts are just too much for me. I guess, it has to do with my earlier feelings. Again, I wanted to slap myself, also, I wanted to slap others, too.

This may have come from the fact that I think my college life was uneventful. I think, up to now, that I could have done more. 'No regrets' was just a thing I only got to tell myself in the recent past. But I have many things to tell the young graduates, some of my Fraternity Brothers also finished school last 26th of April. I'm not preaching, I really don't like that word.

1. One of the first things that I've learned since I graduated from college is that you don't get things handed to you, not even your jeepney fare. I must admit, I thought college was difficult. Now, that remains to be just a thought I had years ago. You have to work for everything.

2. You can't cram your way into making a good future. I thought back then that I could do the petty procrastination shit that I was so used to. I have never been wrong. Even if I wanted to hustle so much to make get things to self-actualize for me, there was no way it could be done. Hard work pays, big time.

3. Save money. Be a miser. Seriously, sticks and stones may break my bones but having zero pesos in your bank account is not a good thing. Especially if you've just started getting a grip on things. I bet you couldn't even live on the contents of your pocket if you lost your newly earned job right now.

4. In connection to number three, we take the 'live now' thing too seriously. I do, but don't take my word for it. 'Live now' too much and you'll wake up one day with nothing to eat tomorrow. All you've got are the bottles of booze and the nagging feeling of being uninspired and being burnt out. Don't spend everything you have on one go and money is not everything that is spent.

5. Wear your clothes to the ground. I've heard someone talk about dressing up to match your qualifications, it is true for some time but not in the everyday way of things. Nice clothes are a reward and if you already have a working wardrobe, be contented with it. You can have the nicest things in the world and still have an zero in your credentials. Remember to 'self-actualize' as vicioustwist called it. Wear your socks until they have no garters, wear your jeans until they fray at the seams and the rivets pop, these are just material things.

I've so much to add to this but I don't want to sound preachy, I'm already narcissistic, why add another folly?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

just polish the blood and the bruise

"She misses the lips that were the warm reminder of home. She cannot forget, she could only try to. It was just a near distant memory that is a clutch in the heart and a knot in her throat. He could not do anything about it now, she thought. They both thought wrong."

...

There are lots of things that I am itching to write about but can't get enough push to actually scratch for it. Again. It is a recurring thing with me. I'm looking for getting much of my Reality Bites series since people I know are a'buzzing. They make such great character references.

Breathe in the music, it's all you got for now. Jake Smith, Matt Lynott and Tommy Andrews are the men behind the name. They make such great music that I feel is unappreciated and don't get much attention that they should have. They have that integrity that make the songs so personal for each listener. Even the faintest melody of their songs pluck at the emotions and stir them up for ya good, like old mountain liquor.

Go for a listen.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Reality Bites 1 : Beef steak

I've been planning on working on a different tag of work to be put up on this blog. As my frequent readers know, I ramble about the most narcissistic shit on this space. It seems to me that I've been putting up more posts that start with "I" and feature me and my fucking rants as the starrrs. It gets fucking old.

One thing that I'm looking at is writing about people that I know. This idea came up since the people I know that are worth writing about have no background in writing or they think they suck at it, obviously, they haven't even tried writing or reading the shit I post here. That's why I think it's appropriate for me to tell their stories. Use their experiences as a glass of reality that we can peer through with thought and maybe, some introspection.

People have beautiful lives. Though they ruin it with contempt, free will and greed of varying degrees. I've been thinking of which person to feature in this series. It's difficult work since there are a lot of people who have stories that are worthy of storytelling. Then, last night happened. My uncle died.

Fuck yeah, ACL. Fuck yeah, vicioustwist.

Advice to Young Men from an Old Man
May 21st, 2008 | Categories: Random | by Michael Williams

Generally I don’t look to Craigslist for advice, but I remember reading this post a while back and some of these things have been with me ever since. I am by no means advocating everything that is said below, and have never taken a political or any other sort of position on this website. So read this with a grain of salt and take from it what does or does not appeal to you.

++ Date:2007-02-15, 9:08AM PST — Advice to Young Men from an Old Man ++

1. Don’t pick on the weak. It’s immoral. Don’t antagonize the strong without cause, its stupid.

2. Don’t hate women. It’s a waste of time

3. Invest in yourself. Material things come to those that have self actualized.

4. Get in a fistfight, even if you are going to lose.

5. As a former Marine, take it from me. Don’t join the military, unless you want to risk getting your balls blown off to secure other people’s economic or political interests.

6. If something has a direct benefit to an individual or a class of people, and a theoretical, abstract, or amorphous benefit to everybody else, realize that the proponent’s intentions are to benefit the former, not the latter, no matter what bullshit they try to feed you.

7. Don’t be a Republican. They are self-dealing crooks with no sense of honor or patriotism to their fellow citizens. If you must be a Republican, don’t be a “conservative”. They are whining, bitching, complaining, simple-minded self-righteous idiots who think they’re perpetual victims. Listen to talk radio for a while, you’ll see what I mean.

8. Don’t take proffered advice without a critical analysis. 90% of all advice is intended to benefit the proponent, not the recipient. Actually, the number is probably closer to 97%, but I don’t want to come off as cynical.

9. You’ll spend your entire life listening to people tell you how much you owe them. You don’t owe the vast majority of people shit.

10. Don’t undermine your fellow young men. Mentor the young men that come after you. Society recognizes that you have the potential to be the most power force in society. It scares them. Society does not find young men sympathetic. They are afraid of you, both individually and collectively. Law enforcement’s primary purpose is to suppress you.

11. As a young man, you’re on your own. Society divides and conquers. Unlike women who have advocates looking out for them (NOW, Women’s Study Departments, government, non-profit organizations, political advocacy groups) almost no one is looking out for you.

12. Young men provide the genius and muscle by which our society thrives. Look at the Silicone [sic] Valley. By in large, it was not old men or women that created the revolution we live. Realize that society steals your contributions, secures it with our intellectual property laws, and then takes credit and the rewards where none is due.

13. Know that few people have your best interests at heart. Your mother does. Your father probably does (if he stuck around). Your siblings are on your side. Everybody else worries about themselves.

14. Don’t be afraid to tell people to “fuck off” when need be. It is an important skill to acquire. As they say, speak your piece, even if your voice shakes.

15. Acquire empathy, good interpersonal skills, and confidence. Learn to read body language and non-verbal communication. Don’t just concentrate on your vocational or technical skills, or you’ll find your wife fucking somebody else.

16. Keep fit.

17. Don’t speak ill of your wife/girlfriend. Back her up against the world, even if she is wrong. She should know that you have her back. When she needs your help, give it. She should know that you’ll take her part.

18. Don’t cheat on your wife/girlfriend. If you must cheat, don’t humiliate her. Don’t risk having your transgressions come back to her or her friends. Don’t do it where you live. Don’t do it with people in your social circle. Don’t shit in your own back yard.

19. If your girlfriend doesn’t make you feel good about yourself and bring joy to your life, fire her. That’s what girlfriends are for.

20. Don’t bother with “emotional affairs”. They are just a vehicle for women to flirt and have someone make them feel good about themselves. That’s the part of a relationship they want. For you it is a lot of work and investment in time. If they are having an emotional affair with you, they’re probably fucking someone else.

21. Becoming a woman’s friend and confidant is not going to get you into an intimate relationship. If you haven’t gotten the girl within a reasonably short period of time, chances are you won’t ever get her. She’ll end up confiding to you about the sexual adventures she’s having with someone else.

22. Have and nurture friendships with women.

23. Realize that love is a numbers game. Guys fall in love easily. You’re going to see some girl and feel like you’ll die if you don’t get her. If she rejects you, move on to the next one. It’s her loss.

24. Don’t be an internet troll. Got out and live life. There is not a cadre of beautiful women advertising on Craigslist to have NSA sex with you. Beautiful women don’t need to advertise. The websites that advertise with attractive women’s photos and claims of loneliness are baloney. All they want is your money and your personal information so that they can market to you. The posts on Craigslist by young “women” seeking NSA sex, and asking for a picture are just a bunch of gay troll pic collectors. This is especially true if the post uses common gay lexicon like “hole” as in “fuck my hole” or seeks “masculine” men, or uses the word cock (except in the context of “Don’t send a cock shot.”) There are women on Craigslist. They are easily recognizable by their 2-5 paragraph postings. Most are in their 30′s or older.

25. When you become a man in full, know that people will get in your way. People who are attracted to you will somehow manage to step in your path. Gay guys will give you “the look”. Old people will somehow stumble in front of you at the worst time. Don’t get frustrated. Just step aside and go about your business. Know that these are passive aggressive methods to get you to acknowledge their existence.

26. Don’t gay bash. Don’t mentally or physically abuse people because of who they are, or how they present themselves. It’s none of your business to try to intimidate people into conformity.

27. If your gay, admit it to yourself, your parents, your friends and society at large. Be prepared to get harassed. See rule 14. If someone threatens you or assaults you, call the cops. Have them arrested. You have no obligation to self sacrifice because of who you are. As a gay person, you’ll have more social freedom than straight men. Use it to protect yourself. Be prepared to get out of Dodge if your orientation makes your life unbearable. Move to San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, or New Orleans. You’ll find a welcoming community there.

28. Don’t be a poser. Avoid being one of those dudes who puts a surfboard on top of their car, but never surfs, or a dude with a powder coated fixed gear bike and a messenger bag, but was never a messenger. Live the life. Earn your bonafides.

29. Don’t believe the crap about the patriarchy. More women are accepted and attend college. More degrees are awarded to women than men. Women outlive men. More men commit suicide. Men are twice as likely to be victims of violence, including murder. If you consider sexual assaults in prisons, twice as many men are raped as women (society thinks prison rape is funny). The streets are littered with homeless men, sprinkled with a few homeless women. Statically,women are happier than men. The myth that girls are being cheated by our educational system is belied by the fact that schools are bastions of femininity, mostly run by and taught by women. Girls outperform boys in school. It is the boys in school getting fucked over, and prescribed Ritalin for being boys. Real wages for men are falling, while real wages for women are rising. Just because someone says something enough times, doesn’t make it true. You have nothing to feel guilty about.

30. Remember, 97% of all advice is worthless. Take what you can use, and trash the rest.

vicioustwist | sanfrancisco |02-15-07

...

This is from A Continuous Lean, those who are familiar with the site will know the happiness in my heart after reading this post. It's from a man of taste, style, provenance and impeccable nature.

Forgive the grammatical errors, the author of ACL intentionally left the errors in place, much as I have done to retain the essence of the article. I think the post is highly motivational and consists of real talk points for young men as well as other members of our society. 

Though placed in an Americana setting, the salient point in the article ring true. The many fallacies and legends are falling apart, much like the decaying notion of what it takes to be a man.

I thought myself as someone who has grown into something desirable, as per my preferences but as days go on, I realize that I am far from the man I want to be: words, actions and thoughts wise. And that path to discovery that I am still to take excites the hell out of me. It always will. Even if I get to that age when I still try to kick my way out of a headstone.

There are indeed many things that make a man. But don't take my word for it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

i never really read newspapers until now

Bureau Chief's office, c2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer Northern Luzon Bureau

This photo was taken about 3 years ago. I was doing my journalism internship at that time. I barely scraped by if not for the help and guidance of the magely editors at PDI Northern Luzon Bureau. This was the look of our Bureau Chief's (BC) office. I bet it still look like this and I really hope that it still does. His book collection, to say the least solicits awe along with the martial law memorabilia, including a newspaper snippet of his picture being the alleged assassin of Ninoy Aquino (still hadn't asked him about the authenticity of that snip of paper, I dare not ask the wizard.)

I specifically remember reaching out for a copy of Chernobyl Diaries out of the crammed shelves. It was like picking off at a wall of great pieces, it felt transient and lasting at the same time. I also remember a story from the book, the wife was telling the story about his husband who worked at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, he was greatly exposed to radiation. She carefully narrated the way she cut her fingernails down to the nub, slowly hiding the edges of her nails. The beauty was in the details, the housewife turned full time nurse for her husband told the story on how her fingertips bled. It was an effort to keep herself from hurting her husband. She told of how she once flayed the soft skin on her husband's arm. Her nails were too long and sharp.

It was a chilling reminder on the effects of that blow up. And how it still affects the citizens of ghost town Chernobyl. It also was a good example of how good writing can take people to places they can only imagine and are too afraid to even plan a visit. Reading some of the stories in that book added to my own wall of simple dreams and aspirations, I wanted to be a writer. But I easily acknowledged that I couldn't keep up with the dailies, I will never be a print journalist. It was true.

Our BC was also a professor at the University. He gave me a fitting grade for my performance: 2.75. I barely scraped by but I loved being in his class. It was a glimpse at the old school experience of working on a press room. The experience felt like it was a photo with  coffee colored sepia effects.

That is all.

Friday, April 12, 2013

midnight drive

I think I'm going to rewatch the full two seasons of How to Make it in America. Just to get a kick in the balls. Soon, New York. Soon.

This always gets to me. I don't know why. I know some people who tell me that it's a whole lot different when you get uprooted from where you came from. I believe them. I think it's true and that you can't just get taken away from all that you are, were and currently represent. It'll be suicide but you just get this lump in your throat and it makes you want to throw yourself into that uncertainty. Just because it is a thriving desire and you know the rewards are greater than the risk.

Fuck. This. Shit.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

rationalize

We sat and lounged all day. It was a dark afternoon, it was raining but the day felt like it was beset with burning coals, raining on the aluminum roof. It was a lazy day but the smoke kept coming. The long streaks of immeasurable physical symbols of after sex rituals. 

She gon' do you so good that other tenants will want to have a smoke after she's done with you. 

Motherfucking lines that are so fucking cheesy that you can't help but to smile tightly. Then release the air trapped in your nose to complete a scoffing effect. Wiseguy motherfuckers.

She lay motionless in the bed. It was a mess. Really. It almost feels like an understatement to me. Her clothes line the floor in a familiar way. More like a trail of islands in a vast surrounding of sea and waves. The sheets were the ones who took the beating, they caught the brunt. They are an old gift from a failed lover and I made sure it became the witness of the many things I swore I'd do to get back at her. It was a canvass for me. I was the brush and the this girl was one of my palettes. It was redemption in the most physical way possible. Violence is too easy, though I can't say for sure that what just happened this morning could not be classified into that area. It was a haze of controlled anger.

The sooner I let go of that feeling, the faster it burnt. White knuckles are a common thing these days. No, it is a necessity. The way that each tendon tightens into a burning white sensation that translates to a euphoric but abrasive state is something I pride myself with. I wear it like a crown, they, on the other hand, are not aware of this laud they give me.

It's nothing personal. Though I feel that it is some kind of vindication for me. This is some narcissistic shit but who else can talk to me about me but me? They are too busy making schedules, keeping up with meetings, memorizing the points on their reports. Let's get busy.

We were okay, not happy, just okay. She hates bearing all the decorations of pre-made love I get her as gifts. She didn't want gifts. She just wanted me. And I wanted her. It is in that simple mechanism of a relationship I should have remained. But fuck me, I wanted to make things detailed with my OCD and self-loathing. There should have been none. I am angry and that makes it worse. Rambling was a way that I did to open up a dialogue that should've happened. I dwell on the "what could haves" and the "what ifs." They are piling up like the dirty laundry. It engulfed the hamper of my self-loathing.

She loved lazy afternoons like this one. I hate myself for remembering it. I'm just wondering, does she think about me as much as I still do about her? I fucking hate her to the point that this resurrected vow for vengeance is channeled through things other than her just to show her I don't care. But it kinda gets old. Drugs and relapses are always in business. Actually, they are a growing partnership. You'll find branches everywhere. Look at the time, I have another appointment by 5. I better wake her up.

sound proof boards, i tell ya

I.
I rarely go to the movies. It's something that is hard enough to do when you've got a hundred fucking things to juggle with such little time in your hands. I wish I had the weird ability to create a clone that could help me with all this shit that I've got to do. But that would make nothing our of everything.

II.
A friend and colleague always told me "Go big or go home." What a fucking loser but I love him for telling me that. He was always just drifting away in his own shit and smoke, a fetid smell that stank and felt like crusty grains of orange speckled rust always came to mind when I think of him. Much like the razor that was used to cut him right open. Poor bastard, too proud to ask for help. I could've helped him that afternoon. Instead he chose to be gutted like raw fish.

III.
Being a moviehouse mainstay is not easy. You never really know who to hit unless you see them in the transient light before they enter the dark corners of the cinema. I can't really make out what they carry or if they did, will those things make a pretty penny. Heck, it's a dying business really. I don't really know what keeps me from coming back to this old dead-end job. Sure beats trying to make deliveries, I'd tell you that.

IV.
Some dudes really just want to get up even after you get at them real hard. Ya'know? It's like they're looking for a worse time than what you've already given them. It's a familiar taste in my mouth, seeping blood into my tongue after an elbow clipped me in the lip, I returned the favor with a hard overhand smack on his right ear. That sure will make his drums buzz. Now, if I could just find that wallet of his. Here it is. Cheap fuck. But not bad for his taste in lighters. I used to have a Zippo that looked like this. I used to.

V.
Business is hard, just like any other business. On a good day, I can make a few runs and not get hit or caught. This scarf is a handy mask. It keeps them guessing. My favorite spot will have to be the comfort room stalls. I can get real sneaky in those. Pop a monkey mask and most just freak out though I still get to use my iron knuckles once in a while. It gets messy when I get myself a bleeder. Chips of bone and teeth are not a pretty sight for your date, it looks troubling and disturbing. Imagine having to put up with that thing in front of you and still trying to make small talk. I couldn't eat a spaghetti bolognese with that, thank you.

VI.
I get to see a lot of creeps in movie houses. The dark room perfect for their choice of creepery. Fucking assholes waiting for justice on their faces. I wish I could get a baseball bat in when I hit a place. It would be awesome to just bust out of a stall and go all ape shit on his face, then his legs from the shin down to the ankle. It will break like a twig snaps as you step on it. It'll get stepped on real hard. Then, I'll get the loot to make it a mugging. Fucking amateur.

VII.
I remember this one time, this asshole kept on trying to score a grab on this girl's breast. She kept saying no and that she wasn't comfortable with the whole idea of groping inside the cinema. He insisted. She still said no and hit his hand with the blade of her hand. He flinched. What a bitch, he must've thought. He went down for a piss. I followed. His date wondered where he'd gone to after that.

VIII.
Sometimes it just gets tiring. I just want to quit while I'm ahead but who would keep at it if I stop now?

IX.
I read too much fiction. I used all of those to wipe my wares after. They soak up good but I still have to use rags to make sure they're clean to the nooks. I hate this part. It makes me feel dirty all of a sudden. If only girls could just stop going into movie houses just to get violated. But where's the fun in being clean? If only dudes would just stop being total dicks and secret rapists. That would be more boring. I'll have plenty of time to kill.

X.
The afternoon my friend got sliced into ribbons was the first time I had a slow day. I was kinda feeling that he'll get done real good but I hadn't imagined it to be that way. He picked the wrong catch that day. I still have that rusty razor.


Monday, April 8, 2013

round two

this is how we die
nakaw mula sa kaibigang balikbayan
Heto na naman nga at nagpopost ako ng litrato ng ininom namin noong sabado lang. Kagagaling ko lamang ng Bicol upang bumisita sa mga kamag-anak at ito ang sumalubong sa akin. Hindi naman ako umaangal pero hanggang ngayon ay malabnaw pa rin ang dugo ko dahil sa dami ng alkohol na aming nakonsumo noong araw na iyon.

Masaya ang pagsasalu-salo namin. Bumalik kasi ng bansa ang isa sa aming pinakamalapit na kaibigan, treat nya ang alak at sagot namin ang pag-ubos nito. Plastado kami nang maubos ito. Buti nalang at maraming yelo pangkontra na rin sa sobrang init ng panahon. Wala kaming litrato habang nagkakasiyahan dahil abala sa pakikipagkwentuhan.

Minsan naiisip ko kung totoo bang tinatanggap ko na ang responsibilidad ng isang pagiging young adult. Napapansin ko kasing hindi naman nabawasan ang pakikisama ko sa mga kaibigan ko kahit na nagkaroon na kami ng mga trabaho at kanya kanyang pinagkakaabalahan. 

Tumatanda kami pero parang hindi umuusad sa responsibilidad. Ang ginagawa ko nalang pag ganoon ang naiisip ko ay tinatagayan ko pa ang sarili ko nang mas mataas na shot, boom, tapos ang pagninilay-nilay. Sinasamantala ko lang ang panahon hangga't kaya. Mabuti na yung ganoon para sa'kin. 

Mas mahirap naman maghanap ng ganitong samahan kesa magpapayat at magbawas ng bisyo. Maswerte talaga ako sa buhay ko. Pakshet.

2 weeks

Noong nakalipas na dalawang linggo ay halos hindi na ako pumasok sa opisina. Hindi ako hinahanap ng boss ko at talagang wala na kong nagagawa na pwedeng ilagay sa portfolio. Pakiramdam ko eh wala na akong nagagawang mabuti o di kaya'y nakukuha mula sa kasalukuyang trabaho ko. Nakakainis ako at ang kawalan ng oportunidad upang palawigin ang sarili. Non-productive talaga.

Buti nalang, yung dalawang linggong nakaw sa aking trabaho ay hindi naman napunta sa wala. Nakasama ko ang anak ko at mas nakapagbonding kami nang maayos. Kahit na puro "Ayaw, daddy" ang sigaw nya e nagkakakulitan naman kami. Nakakaaliw talaga ang bata kapag lumalaki na. Hindi ko lubos maisip na magtatatlong taon na siya. Ambilis. Gumugwapo pa si loko kahit unti-unti nang numinipis ang ngipin nya dahil sa formula milk nya. May katamaran din kasi siyang magsepilyo at nakakatulugan ang pagdedede.

Habang papauwi ako galing Baguio matapos ang isang linggong pag-ibig kasama ang aking anak at ang kanyang mommy, naisip ko na malayo na nga ang narating ko simula noong mga panahong sinubok ang tatag ko bilang isang tao at bilang isang lalaki. Mag-aapat na taon na rin pala nuong nagsimula akong tumulong sa negosyo ng pamilya ng mommy ni Gab bilang bantay sa puwesto nila sa palengke. Marami akong natutunan sa lagpas isang taon na pagtulong ko sa kanila. Mas naalala ko iyon noong nakita ko ang mga kargador, nagbubuhat rin kasi ako ng mga kaban ng bigas noon at nagkakamada kahit papaano.

Mabilis lang talaga ang panahon. Ngayon ay nasa isang dead-end job ako, dati naman ay estudyante lang na sumusubok guamawa ng paraan para sa isang parating na baby at pamilya. Napapaisip ako sa mga nangyayari, palagi naman e. Matapos ang post ko na ito ay susubukan kong ilabas lahat ng mga isipin ko noong nakalipas na dalawang linggo. Susubukan kong sumuka ng mga entries. Napapabayaan ko na ang talaarawan kong ito. Paano nalang pag may Alzheimer's na ako? Pano ko malalaman kung gaano ako kadaldal noong kabataan ko.

Alam kong walang patutunguhan ang post na to. Pasensya na at pumupurol na haha