Monday, January 29, 2007

Hasta la vista, baby

These are the things I'll be taking:

a gap
an interlude
a pause
a breather
a hiatus
a time-out
a break

No, I am not going to pull a Kiyotoe (also known as The Disappearing Dragon) on you guys. I'll just be taking a few days off. Now, now, don't cry--I'll return next week. Oh, wait, are those tears of joy? Bastards. I'll come back anyway.

As U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur said before he left the Philippines during World War II: "I shall return."

Or, for a more contemporary touch, this cyborg said it best.

terminatorUnless what he meant was that he was going to assume this famous composer's identity.

johann sebastian bach
Have a great week, everyone. Catch you all again soon.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

It's early Saturday morning where I am, and if you're a regular visitor to this corner of cyberspace, you know what that means. It's Blogworld Saturday!

If it's your first time here, welcome. I hope you pass by this way again someday. The following are snippets of posts I've read over the past few days and weeks. They are just 12 of the literally hundreds that I've enjoyed (I obviously can't write about all of them--so many blogs to read and write about, so little time). They're arranged in no particular order, by the way.

Parlancheq's blog posts are amusing, more often than not. But she does write about serious stuff sometimes. Her post on why suing MySpace will not help prevent sexual predators from victimizing children who have MySpace accounts is one example.

Kyels and ZeroImpact came over from Malaysia to spend a few days in the Philippines last month. It was wonderful to see these two bloggers/photographers so excited about their visit here and having so much fun. They took a few pictures of the local sights. You can see how they saw Manila through pictures like this, this, this, and this.

I very much liked Sony's post about lucidity, about the medley of highs and lows in any given year. He's such a romantic, perhaps without even meaning to be. Calling his lady his sunset-haired Goddess...oh wow. His way of writing captivates.

This post about corollaries, or a "proposition that follows with little or no proof" made me think a bit. One corollary that she has deals with going back to what she was like when she was 16, whenever she has a love-related problem. She did this recently, and discovered something about kindness.

In addition to Scott's AELEOPE Google Earth meme, check out his Sunday morning captioning feature. The pictures elicit a chuckle or two. Last Sunday's photo was just crazy.

Justin over at More Cowbell gives either a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down at the entries in Billboard's Top 100 songs for 2006. I must confess, though, that I'm not familiar with a lot of the songs on the list!

I never used to notice the ad links that appear in the window whenever I open my email. But because of the Unreliable Witness' non-meme post about links his Gmail messages, I do now!. I enjoy reading this writer's four-in-one blog. I wish him well in his attempt to become the Ruler of the Entire Known World (excluding Venezuela).

Rach's post about her best friend, who's also her housemate, and the domestic irritations (to put it mildly) she experiences made me want to pull my hair out in frustration for her. While you're there, check out her latest beach photo. It's breathtaking and inspiring.

A post about race and racism over at It's the Little Things has very troubling and thought-provoking content. This is one example of the fruit falling a gazillion light years away from the tree. Thank heavens for that!

Laurzeilei works in the world of fashion, yet some of her views about how beauty is popularly seen nowadays may seem to contradict her profession. Am I a hypocrite for being in the fashion industry, yet wondering why people feel pressure to look thinner, younger, more beautiful?, she asks.

Some people are physically and mentally strong, in addition to being extra thoughtful when it comes to their significant others. Just like Meredic. He pulled up a wall. I can barely pull my ass out of this chair.

I love a good sex post (who doesn't?) and Avery's entry about shagging is such an enjoyable read. What does a philosopher like him say about sex? What advice can he give to enhance the experience or to get the ball rolling? I guess there's only one way to find out!

I apologize for not having been able to visit many of your sites the past few days. I see from my feed reader that I've been missing a lot of great posts! I'll be away this weekend, but I hope to catch up on your blogs real soon. Thank you very much for stopping by at mine.

Have a great Saturday and Sunday, everyone! Stay healthy, safe, and sexy. ;-)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Of superwomen and stones

See my new, super-cool banner? I adore it! It was created by my handsome husband (who's also a fabulous father and hilarious hombre...hey, what's with the alliterations? But the video sends me into gales of laughter whenever I watch it. And yes, we have three offspring)--in under five minutes...and he was chatting online at the same time at that! His ever-reliable friend Philip had a hand in making the banner, too.

The female figure you see up there is an ever-so-slightly tweaked image of a Philippine heroine known as Darna. Filipino artist extraordinaire Mars Ravelo conceptualized her in the mid-20th century; she has become a prominent and much beloved figure in Philippine pop culture. She's been immortalized not only in the comics, but in films and television as well. Following are pictures of some of the Filipino actresses who have portrayed Darna over the decades.

Vilma Santos

Nanette Medved

Anjanette Abayari

Angel Locsin

As a hero, she's above ordinary mortals because she can fly (well, so can I! At least in my mind.), she's super-strong and super-fast (most of you guys have NOT seen me down a bottle of beer, which I hope I still can do really fast if I set my mind to it), and she's invulnerable to weapons (erm...*squirms in chair*...okay, no similarities when it comes to that--my pain threshold falls well within the chickenshit domain).

Just as Spiderman is Peter Parker in his non-superhero life, Darna is Narda, a simple orphan. How does she transform into her alter ego? In times of distress she calls out to her companion, Ding: "Ding, ang bato!" (Ding, the stone!)--swallows said stone and presto! She wondrously transforms from your everyday, wouldn't-look-twice-at-her girl into a scantily-clad, oddly-headdressed vamp with superpowers.

She isn't perfect by any means--what superhero(ine) is? Maybe she has her quirks, her weaknesses, her wackiness. But she does what she believes she's called to do, making use of her abilities and talents (which can be both a blessing and a curse) the best way she can.

Darna's double-edged sword--so to speak--is the stone, which she uses whenever she has to, whenever the situation warrants...perhaps *gasp!* even if she doesn't want to. Do we hear her cry of "Ding, ang bato! laced sometimes with frustration and bitterness? Maybe. But...can she go against her nature? Does she ever even WANT to try to go against it?

Maybe, just maybe, my thoughts and my writing are my "stone." But even if they are, they surely wouldn't play a role in saving mankind.

However, they do preserve ME (even if I don't have the ornate headdress, the breasts, and the skimpy red outfit).

So, what's YOUR stone?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


My deepest apologies to those fans of the television program Lost, whose search engine queries probably led them here. This post in no way deals with your addiction. It deals with mine.

If the head is lost, all that perishes is the individual; if the balls are lost, all of human nature perishes.
-15th century French author and evangelist François Rabelais

Why, oh why are the things that are bad for us the ones that bring us so much pleasure? Why are we so helpless against them in spite of ourselves? We know that they can bring us nothing but heartache (or at the very least, a heart attack). Yet we not only welcome them with open arms; sometimes we go out of our way to find them, embrace them, rush headlong into them. Physical or emotional, they're so damn irresistible.

Junk food addicts know what this is all about: those empty calories that seduce the tongue and palate and bring so much oomph.

Then there's smoking. I know it's a filthy habit, so don't gang up on me, okay? I know it's a bad thing; cigarettes are full of carcinogens and lots of other things that are bad for my the fact that they discolor the teeth and lips and give rise to a most unattractive and unpleasant phenomenon known as smoker's cough.

But... (please don't hang, draw and quarter me for this)

I can't bring myself to quit just yet. I like it, I enjoy it. I ENJOY SMOKING. There, I've said it. I've tried quitting a few million number of times. And I did! During my pregnancies, during those instances when I couldn't seem to draw a full breath and was sufficiently alarmed to get an opinion from a doctor, who all but threatened me with excommunication from temporal existence in the world as we know it. Alas, I puff away like that Magic Dragon of nursery rhymes.

Then there's alcohol. Or more specifically, beer.

Oh, wait. I can't say anything bad about beer. It's healthy (in moderation, but when did I ever give a shit about moderation? Hah!). If I ever win the lottery, I'd buy me all the San Miguel beer I could ever want. (Maybe San Miguel head honcho Andres Soriano III would feel benevolent enough to grant me this wish; being such a staunch supporter of his beer for many years now. Haha! Kidding about the wish, not about being an SMB drinker. Or maybe he could grant me all the getaways I could ever want on Amanpulo Island, a Philippine island that he bought. We have more than 7,000 islands here in the Philippines, most of which I haven't visited yet--and the island that Don Andres owns is just breathtaking.)

Here are some pictures of Amanpulo. And there are thousands more of these islands here that are just as beautiful, but in their own ways. And they're open to the public! One doesn't have to be a mogul of something to enjoy their splendor.

I am lost. In more ways than one. Life is such a fucking beach. (Sorry, I just couldn't resist.)

Oh, well. Here's to wishful thinking. I may have lost my head, but I'd like to think that I still have my balls. What say you, M'sieu Rabelais?

If any of you guys stumble upon my lost sanity, please let me know ASAP. Perhaps it doesn't miss me, but I miss it.

Cheers! And...
(does that sound familiar, HB? Haha!)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Scott's Google Earth Meme, Part V

This is Part Five of Scott's AELEOPE Google Earth Meme. I finally finished it, Scott. Sorry it took so long.


What would memories of childhood be without the bittersweet recollections of one's first crush? Whether he teases you mercilessly or ignores you, there's always that frisson of excitement whenever you see him.

This is the school where I spent my elementary and high school years. The structure at the top right of the pic, the one with the flower-shaped roof, is the elementary school building; the others are the high school and college buildings (but during my day the school didn't offer college courses yet).

The guy in question, the inspiration of my 12-year-old heart (let's call him Reuben, that's close enough to his real name anyway) was my classmate in sixth grade. He was a boy who didn't talk too much. He had twinkling eyes and an engaging smile. And he was cute as hell.

We used to play a game in that little green area behind the grade school building (not the football field) during recess and after school hours. It was pretty similar to baseball; only there were no bats involved. The "pitcher" rolled a soccer ball to whoever was "at bat," who then had to kick it as hard as he or she could and hope that none of the rival team's members would catch it. Whether the "bases" were loaded or not, kicking the ball hard and making the rare "home run" was a cause for celebration.

I rarely played because I wasn't very athletic. I was content to just watch and cheer my friends on. Sometimes, though, they would persuade me to participate. I always chose to be the left fielder or right fielder; I was (and still am) such a lazy git and those positions didn't get much action.

Until one day.

I was standing in position way out in the field, watching the action in front. Then Reuben stepped up to the "plate." He kicked the ball. High and hard. I cheered for him (inwardly; he belonged to the other team). But I noticed something that made my jaw drop and my eyes almost pop out of their sockets. In the space of a few nanoseconds, what seemed like a lifetime of dialogue ensued in my mind.

The ball's coming toward me! Shit! (Except I really didn't think the word "shit"; I didn't start using that word until I was in high school.)

Catch it!

No, don't. He might get mad at me if I catch it. (A player is "out" if his/her kick is caught.)

Catch it!!!!


Just catch the damn ball! (I really didn't think "damn" either. But it was something like that.)

So I ran. I was such an obedient child (even unto myself). Imagine this in slow motion, if you will. And listen to the music if you want to be really silly about this.

I rushed forward, heart in my throat, neck arched, eyes straining to follow the ball's trajectory.

I'm not going to catch iiiiiitttt!!!

Yes, you aaaarrrree!

My arms stretched outward and upward, my mind willing the ball to fall into them. The faintest flicker of hope bloomed within me. Maybe I was going to do it after all.

Then I tripped.

Down I fell, down, down, down. There I lay face down with my heart still galloping, pinpricks of pain in my knees and forearms from gashes I realized I must have suffered from the fall, the metallic taste of blood in my mouth from having bitten my tongue, the skirt of my school uniform hitched up, revealing panties that proclaimed the day of the week in curly letters for all the world to see. Oh, the shame!

Except I didn't feel any shame at all at that moment. Because, wonder of wonders, the ball was in my arms.

You did it.

I did it! Damn right I did.

Maybe it was then that I started to get an inkling of the idea that it IS possible to feel victorious in the most unfavorable conditions. That even when you're down and out and your ridiculous underwear is right there in full view of everyone you can still be a winner.

The bell rang. I got up, kicked the ball to its owner, grinned at Reuben's thumbs-up, brushed myself off, ran to the little girls' room to clean up some more, and headed back to the classroom.

Reuben, wherever you are right now, cheers. Catching your ball sure was memorable.

Bestest Blog Meme Carnival

Mimi Lenox, a.k.a. the Queen of Memes, Collector of Peace Globes, and Dating Profile Doyenne, has issued an edict declaring 22 January 2007 as Bestest Blog Meme Carnival celebration of memes and friendships all over the globe.

This event comes to us courtesy of Bobby Griffin, he of Bestest Blog of All Time fame. Earlier Bestest Blog Carnivals were hosted by perhaps some of the most active bloggers in cyberspace nowadays. (The Bestest Blog Meme Carnival banner was created by Janna.)

So today (or tomorrow, depends on where you are in the world), gather all ye at Mimi Writes and take a gander at the memes or tags that numerous bloggers accomplished in recent months and then submitted to the pencil skirt-clad head honcho of Bloggingham Palace for the Bestest Blog Meme Carnival. (Jeez, seems like a lot of us bloggers have way too much time on our hands!)

Long live the Queen! May she never recover from her meme-itis and blogitis. Hip-hip-hooray! (Or hurrah. Whatever. Means the same thing anyway.)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Scott's Google Earth Meme, Part IV

This is the fourth installment in Scott's AELEOPE Google Earth meme.

I'm pretty sure that each one of us has experienced that WTF?!? feeling at least once. By that, I mean you're ambling along without a care in the world, never for a moment realizing that what you did or what you are doing would affect other people to a magnitude that would probably rate a 9 on the Richter Scale. You're minding your own business, and when you find out that other people are having a cow at what you did (or are doing), you go WTF?!? Was what I did (or what I'm doing) so bad?

I was boringly normal when I was in high school. Dutiful student, deeply involved with the school newspaper, member of the library club. Never getting into any scrapes. I never gave anybody any aggravation...or so I thought.

Until that day in my 14th or 15th year (I forget exactly when). I took my brother-in-law's scooter and scooted over to a classmate's house (somewhere in the area marked B in the photo). It was about 3.5 kilometers (2.17 miles) away from our house (located in the area marked A in the pic). Sounds unremarkable, really. I went over after classes were over, met with a whole lot of other classmates, had a snack with them, let some of them try out the scooter, then with a fond and carefree wave goodbye scooted my way peacefully back home.

But instead of the dinner and relaxing evening I was expecting chez moi, I got the tongue-lashing of a lifetime.

WTF?!? What'd I do?

Several things, apparently. Near-mortal sins that a child can commit according to the parental point of view.

-I used the scooter without permission.
-I neglected to let the house gods (read: parents) know where I was going...or that I was going somewhere in the first place.
-I was missing for what seemed like forever (hey, it was just a few hours!).
-I worried the house gods out of their minds. (In retrospect, this concern was valid. The roads to my classmate's house during that time didn't have that many houses along the way and street lights weren't ubiquitous in that area.)

"What were you thinking?" [they raged.] "Something could've happened to you! Riding by yourself, in the dark, not telling us where you were going! You could've been RAPED! What WERE YOU THINKING?!? Were you even thinking at all???"

Blink blink. Speechless. Flabbergasted. Thinking: "Why the histrionics? Everything was perfectly safe! I'm home now. Nothing bad happened to me." Blink blink.

Fast-forward 20 years or so. That carefree girl who rode a scooter--with no thought of aggravating anyone--has become a mother herself.

And suddenly she understands the reasons for her parents' (seemingly) exaggerated reactions to that jaunt of half a lifetime ago.

Oh, lord. When her daughters reach their teens, please, please let them have the sense and consideration that their mother so obviously lacked in her youth!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

Friday I'm In Love (Acoustic)
By The Cure

Okay, it's really Saturday morning in my part of the world. But what the hell, I like this song. I could almost sing to it. :-D

So. On to this week's edition of Blogworld Saturday.

He's in a war zone, and he blogs about what it's like there. Most days, everything is peaceful, but once in a while things can become scary, to say the least. They know what they're doing, but stay safe, Sgt, Dub!

A shipload of books, that sure sounds like paradise to bibliophiles. Migs tells us about his impressions of the MV Doulos, the largest floating bookstore in the world. And it's presently anchored in a Manila harbor. Not for long, though. :-(

How heartbreaking is it--and how maddening--to discover that a friend isn't really a friend at all? Marlayna shares a recent experience over at It's the Little Things.

Mimi Lenox will be hosting the next Bestest Blog Carnival over at her site, Mimi Writes. This round will be all about memes and tags. Send her your favorite meme, and she'll include it in the Carnival. But you need to be a linkee (is that a legit word?) at Bobby Griffin's Bestest Blog of All Time before you can participate. Bobby's is one great site: I've found a lot of my blog friends through it (and some of them found me via Bestest Blog as well).

"Love means never having to say you're sorry." That's according to Erich Segal's book Love Story. Extend that line just a little to maybe include "Love means being out of this world crazy to the point that maybe we should be institutionalized," and you'll have Steve and Tami Novak down to pat.

I just hate it when people I don't know or those I'm not really close to enter my personal space uninvited. Dan doesn't like it, too, but he's found out that invasion of personal space can be a good thing--only, he didn't realize it until many years later.

I was tickled by H's utterly delightful comparison of safe sex tools, i.e., microbicides and condoms. This gal isn't all angst and dark stories; she has a fun side, too!

I enjoy reading the lists (or pictures) that people come up for occasions like Thursday Thirteen and Wordless Wednesdays. I really identified with a few of Turnbaby's Thursday 13 list! She's a cool person.

Gale Martin (a.k.a. Gem) has Word Wonk Wednesdays, and this week's topic is something that we can all relate to: recently-coined words and phrases about blogging!

I'm glad to be reading CSL's blog. She's a traveler, and her travel pictures inspire me (except for some roadkill pics and the viper in Costa Rica). She was in Oz recently, and shares with us photos of some of the sights there like the sea, food and beer (yum!), and... skinnydipping! (I'm soooo envious.) Tastefully done, nothing too risqué.

Houseband00 has a post that touches on Greek gods and having one's cake and eating it, too. He sounds a bit cynical there. But is he really??? Don't pull a fast one on us, HB! :-D

Last Life in My Universe (Deb, for short) is a young (and gorgeous and talented) woman who has experienced a lot in her life. In one post, she asks if forgetting can be done as handily as forgiving.

The latest season of that train wreck reality TV show American Idol started a few days ago, and this event was given the tongue-in-cheek royal treatment by Mimi and Bud. Oh, these two are so baaaaaad! (But they look so SWEET together!)

Congratulations to Bond, because The Big Leather Couch was named Bestest Blog of the Day on 18 January, 2006. I'm glad The Couch is still as comfy as ever, despite the increase in couch-sitters.

Congratulations to The Thinker for being the best something in the Lone Star State! She's such a gifted writer, I'm really not surprised she won. Take a look at her post about not-quite-teenage angst, which is superb. It's a raw and heartfelt piece of writing.

Finally, a big WELCOME BACK!!! to my buddy Prometheus. The eloquent fire thief is finally up and blogging again. His wit, sarcasm, and sweetness were sorely missed.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Scott's Google Earth Meme, Part III

This is the third installment of Scott's AELEOPE Google Earth meme.

The roof with the black X is our house; two streets away is a school, it's the one with a blue X. It's a sizeable school now, but 30 years ago, it was just a one-story three-classroom building. I went to pre-school there.

This was the educational system back then: three years of "pre-school" (nursery, kindergarten, prep); six years of elementary school (some schools had seven: first grade to seventh grade); four years of high school; four or five years to get a college degree. Today, many schools have a junior nursery level; that makes it four years that a child has to go to school before he or she can enter first grade--which, I think is ridiculous.

Anyway, I didn't have to go through nursery and kindergarten--just prep--because I could already read and write. Prep was a good year for me. It was then that I really fell in love--with books and fireflies.

The school had a big, big tree in front of it. I remember one time when the school asked our parents to allow us to stay late for a "nature" lesson. We knew that it had to do something with the tree. But, majestic as it was, we were puzzled at having to stay late. I mean, the tree was just there and we saw it every day. Why did we need to see it at night?

In a word: fireflies.

That night, it seemed like the tree was all dressed up...a most captivating creature. It looked like it was wearing a million multi-colored Christmas lights, except that the lights never stayed still for long. They blinked; they dimmed and grew brighter then dimmed again; they flitted from leaf to leaf and branch to branch. The tree's trunk was festooned with yellows, blues, oranges, reds, greens. I was mesmerized at the beauty and magic of the sight. The memory of it enthralls me even now.

It seemed like every summer evening after that night found me and my friends and siblings underneath the trees in or behind our street (after a day of playing and after dinner), watching the fireflies, catching them in bottles, setting them free again. Looking back, it seems like childhood was one long summer: idyllic, carefree, innocent. Full of wonder and laughter. Sure, there were tears, but perhaps they're one of the reasons why the fun and the laughter were so heartfelt.

But, as with all things--good and bad, it came to an end. We grew up, the fireflies vanished, never to be seen again, except perhaps in memory. It's been years since I last saw a firefly. The houses that mushroomed in the streets and the cutting down of trees saw to that. Even the gigantic mango trees behind our house have ceased to become the haunt of those beautiful and magical creatures.

My pre-school days reminds me of a whimsical yet inspiring
book by Robert Fulghum: All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (even though I didn't go to kindergarten). Fulghum says that everything he really needs to know about living and how to live and what to do he learned in kindergarten. Such as:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

I subscribe to all of these, but maybe I'd add one more thing--not to his list, but to my own: never again forget the beauty and magic of the fireflies.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lend Me Your Ears

powered by ODEO

powered by ODEO

This audio meme comes courtesy of Wendz, who writes A Baguette on My Table. It's a tag about accents and language, so you'll get to hear some Tagalog here. There's some background noise, sorry about that. Also, Odeo isn't being nice to me nowadays; sometimes the audio loads, sometimes it doesn't. Ah, well. Thanks for the tip, Wendz.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Scott's Google Earth Meme, Part II

Here's the second part of Scott's meme. The Google Earth image is still the same (at least for now). The house I grew up in, the house I live in now, is full of memories. And a big part of those memories is my younger brother. I have an older sister and an older brother--and I love them to bits--but my younger brother and I have this special connection. He was my nemesis; at the same time he was (and still is) my partner in crime.

How was/is he my nemesis? Here are a few examples:

When we were kids, he used to creep up on me just as I was falling asleep and wake me up by waving a finger underneath my nose. Nothing shocking about that in itself, except if you factor in the grim reality that he rubbed the said finger against a part of his anatomy located between the two cheeks below his spine.

He would tease me mercilessly about a crush that I had in elementary school; I'd react with something cutting (even then, I used words to my advantage); the little bugger, at a loss for words, would punch me HARD in the arm or the leg, then run--really fast. I never could catch up with him to hit back. One vivid memory, though, was him jumping up and down on my parents' bed, crying his eyes out as Daddy was about to discipline him for some infraction (which I don't remember now). I never tasted the sting of Daddy's belt myself, being a Daddy's girl. Hehe. But I did get to feel his wrath for my misdemeanors in other ways many, many years later (but that's a topic for another post).

Like I said, though, my younger brother and I were (are) partners in crime. I'm about a year and eight months older but sometimes it seemed (seems) like we were (are) the same age. We could be fighting the previous night but the next morning be in cahoots doing something unexpected, like going for a dip in the small pool outside the front door without our parents' knowledge. They scrambled for the camera when they heard us laughing there in the early hours of the morning. (This picture is the sexiest you'll ever see of me online--TOPLESS! Haha!)

And so the years passed. We got tongue-lashings from Daddy when we monkeyed around and wrestled--for sounding like "two carabaos engaged in a death match" (never mind that we never thought carabaos, or water buffalo, ever did such things). His first girlfriend was a girl named Lizza--which flattered me deeply, though I pretended otherwise. I was the one who called him when Daddy died (he was in school at the time). I married; he married a few years later. I think his wife was a tiny bit jealous of me (still is). We shared almost the same taste in music and films (still do).

He got a job at a cruise line, working his way up to an administrative position in a matter of months. Smart, hard-working dude, he is. He's home on vacation now, but will be leaving again in a few weeks--to make me drool again at the places his job takes him to, the places I dream of going to in Europe (the bugger).

No, he doesn't wave that smelly finger under my nose anymore. Just like he isn't my nemesis anymore (at least, not as much as he used to be).

But he's still my partner in crime.

Cheers, Pangs!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Still in a Funk

Still not feeling up to writing all that much.

Scott, I'll finish your meme, I just need to get some photos scanned before I can do the rest of the tag.

I wanted to do the audio post that Wendz suggested in her comment regarding an earlier entry, but my bloody microphone isn't working. I hope to get the problem resolved within the next few days.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of a gig that yours truly watched Saturday night. The type of music that some of the bands played wasn't really my cup of tea; nevertheless, I had great fun. It was a small-venue show that featured about ten up-and-coming groups. The place was really small; it was like they were performing in my living room. It's been quite some time since I last went to that kind of gig (the small, intimate kind as opposed to arena-type concerts) and I found that I missed it. It's the kind of event where you can't really tell if the pounding you hear and feel is the beating of your heart or the drums or the bass. Maybe being seated right in front of the speakers contributed to that sensation?


The lead vocalist of an alternative rock band called Agos. He's a cutie, believe you me. Besides the looks, he has an awesome voice. (Can you tell that I have a bit of a crush on him? Hehe)

A fun group known as Kiko Machine. Yes, Spiderman (wearing a cape???) is part of the entourage. Haha! Watching this energetic band perform was so enjoyable.

An all-woman ensemble called Matilda. The lead vocalist teaches Creative Writing at a prominent university here (some of her students were in attendance that night). The lady who plays the bass is an acquaintance of mine.

See you guys tomorrow! I'm really off to bed this time. Nighty-night. :-)

Monday, January 15, 2007

In Need of a Mental Laxative

I used to not believe in that phenomenon widely known as "writer's block"--or as my friend Prometheus (whose posts I sorely miss) termed it, "blogstipation." But now I do.

Well, not exactly.

The problem isn't having nothing to write about. There's a plethora of topics, what with these myriad ideas swirling about in the cesspool that attempts to pass itself off as my mind. But somehow, for some reason, I can't seem to pin down these thoughts accurately enough--or long enough--to form coherent words about them. It's like there's something blocking the path from mind to fingertips that my thoughts traverse before I'm able to write about them or type them. Therein lies the problem.

So these fingers find themselves either idle or twitching almost spasmodically (like right now) in an effort to capture those thoughts--and failing dismally. What comes out is just a shadow of what wants to be written, a ghost, a pale and poor imitation. The meat of what I want to say is there, yet it isn't. I feel like a dog trying to bite its own tail: spinning round and round, looking ludicrous in its attempt to capture what's supposed to be within easy reach. Sometimes, though, it succeeds. Who knows how the dog feels then? Who cares? Well, the dog does, at least.

I hope this dog catches her tail tale soon. Every dog has its day. (I just couldn't resist that last one, haha!)

Maybe I need to start sleeping less again.
(Addendum: I've been an insomniac many, many years now. I usually work from late at night to very early in the morning. Sleep for a few hours, then do what I have to do for the day. Recently, though, there have been some nights that have found me lost in snoozeland during normal sleeping hours--and for longer hours than the four or five to which I've become accustomed. It has screwed up my ability to write somehow; hence, my consideration of the idea of sleeping less again.)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

I'm posting this a lot later than I usually do (it's almost 9AM here, Saturday morning) but better late than never, right? For some reason insomnia didn't come calling and I actually slept through the night last night. Hallelujah! Will wonders never cease?

On to some of the week's blogs and posts that I read.

Letting one's guard down and feeling at ease is one thing, but forgetting one's manners is another. Other people's inconsiderate behavior, rudeness--these are some of the things that get Aileen's goat when she goes to the movies.

Mimi Lenox has a weekly competition called Saturday Comeback Challenge over at Dating Profile of the Day. The dating ads are funny, but the comebacks that bloggers send in are even more so! Congratulations to Frank for winning this week's round.

Scott challenged his readers to Google their childhood home and write five entries relating about the results. Well, since Googling my address didn't come up with anything useful, I used Google Earth instead. I must say, it's been fun reminiscing. Still thinking about what I can share with you guys in the remaining four posts. Try Scott's meme yourself, and let me know. I'd love to read what Google Earth or Google Maps images inspired you to write.

Wendz has a fantastic post over at A Baguette on My Table: an audio meme! It's so nice to put a voice to the face and the writing--and what a lovely voice and accent it turned out to be, too. Plus, the way her little boy kept interrupting her was just so sweet.

Speaking of little boys, Sanni's Thursday 13 post just made me go "awwwww." She made a calendar featuring photos of her baby angel, Luis. That Sanni is one talented, determined gal. And beautiful, too!

I was moved by fellow Filipino blogger Migs' post about his sister, who celebrated her birthday recently. This young man sure is one kickass talented writer. His sister is fortunate to have such a brother (and vice-versa!).

We're all fortunate to have good, loyal friends, but does this loyalty have limitations? Should it have limitations? The sage dragon who also goes by the name Kiyotoe wrote about what loyalty among friends means to him, what he does or how far he's willing to go to show that his friends have his back.

And that's it for today. My broadband's back, but it still isn't as fast as it usually is; they say the connection will probably normalize by the end of the month. I sure hope so. *sigh*

Happy weekend everybody! Cheers!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Scott's Google Earth Meme

Scott, this one's for you. Thanks for the idea. *grin*

The house with the orange X on the roof had been newly built when I was born and it was where I grew up. After some years away, it is where I live again today, but with my family. The area wasn't this crowded, though, when I was very young. Back then, it was grass as far as the eye could see. Except for the trees behind the house. Those are humungous mango trees, and they've been there forever (or so it seems).

I think I was in primary school when some of the neighbors started getting their houses built. The neighbors had young kids, too. The perfect playmate age for me and my two brothers (my sister was some years older and had her own clique at school).

I was never the doll- or dollhouse-type of person when I was a very young kid. Oh no, it was always books or my brothers' toys. My older brother had this über-cool Voltes V and other die-cast metal robots, which were all the rage those days (and if we'd known better, we'd have preserved them because such things fetch a pretty price these days), while my younger brother had a huge collection of Matchbox cars--fantastic stuff--none of which survived our childhood.

But most of the time we could be found outdoors, in the street in front of the house, with our playmates, the neighbors, engaged in several street games. There was piko (something like hopscotch), patintero (something like tag, but much, much more complicated), shato (a strategic game that involved hitting sticks), and agawan ng panyo (hanky-grabbing game that favored the quick-minded and fleet-footed). I think we'd start the games after lunch, play through the early evening, stretching out the hours as long as we could before a parent could appear to summon his or her offspring from the street for dinner.

Sometimes we'd spontaneously come up with other things to do during the day. Things like holding afternoon picnics in the park near our house, or just getting on our bikes and riding throughout the subdivision. That must've been a sight here those days: a gaggle of kids cycling madly, boys and girls together, watching out for one another and laughing our heads off. Sometimes those biking expeditions would end at a local clubhouse where we'd cool off in the pool after those rides (no pics of me in a bikini, sorry. Besides, I was just a kid, you perverts). And no death-defying stunts, Scott, unless you count that incident when I was still learning to ride a bike and crashed spectacularly--earning me some very bloody elbows and knees.

Makes me compare then and now. My own kids hardly come in smelling ewwwily of sun and sweat; they have computer games (and other indoor recreation) instead of the street games I grew up with. No day-long biking expeditions for them so far. None of the über bloody elbows and knees that I wore (after the tears) as badges of honor when I was a kid. Hell, I'd probably scream bloody murder if I saw my young ones with such injuries now.

Sad, I know.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Taste is such a subjective thing.

What tickles my funny bone may irritate yours.
What I find delicious you may find odious.
What you think is gorgeous might be "just okay" for me.
What I think is good reading might be just blah to you.

My taste in blog reading is as eclectic as my taste in books and music. Just look at my blogroll (and the list isn't even complete, there are some others that I regularly read but haven't yet added to my blogroll). There's funny, serious, and everything in between.

Hats off to the funny bloggers, I admire your skill. I think it's damn hard to consistently come up with something that's so uproariously funny. It's like you guys are on happy pills all the time, dancing to the mad piper's music, injecting the cyberworld with your own brand of hilarity that translates into laughter in my corner of the world.

Hats off to those who share parts of their everyday lives and do it so well. You have a knack for making what some might perceive as mundane seem so much more interesting. Again, it's a matter of being subjective. What looks to be mundane to one is important to another, and the way it's written (or illustrated) makes me realize that perhaps everything is important after all--just in varying degrees and from different perspectives.

And so I meander my way through the blog world, lingering at this site and that, reading your thoughts, reacting to them; chuckling at the wits and smart alecks; rejoicing with those who share good news, commiserating with those who are feeling bad; marveling at how each one uses the written word in his or her own way to express the inner self.

But every so often I come across writings that stop me in my tracks, rivet me, mesmerize me, hold me in thrall. Perhaps they leave others unmoved, but what I do know is that they touch a chord deep inside me, one that resonates and thrums from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.

I wish I could write that way. I wish I had their voice. I'd like to think that I have that kind of voice. But even if I did, I don't know how to coax it out. It isn't just what is being written about that grabs my attention and doesn't let go; it's the way the writer uses words to conjure unexpected images, crafting their thoughts with nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, figures of speech, as artfully and as naturally as a spider weaving a web.

I am captivated, captured, a helpless but willing victim of their magic.

And I fall deeply, madly in love with the written word all over again.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

1st Tag for 2007

I've been tagged by the soon-to-be-sexier Sanni in Germany; go visit her over at Coffee 2 Go and help her with her get-fit plan: for every comment she gets, she'll do one minute of exercise.

So here you go, San! Thanks for thinking of me...and I'm sticking my tongue out right back at you!

1.When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
Hello, handsome! Hahahaha! Just kidding.
It was actually something like "blech" or "ugh." Don't ask why.

2.How much cash do you have on you?
Nada, zilch. But there's loose change on my desk. Does that count?

3.What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?
MORE! (Actually, WHORE was the first word that came to mind. Tee hee.)

4.Do you label yourself?
Not literally, no. :-D
Sometimes. Depends on my mood.

5.Bright or Dark Room?
Dark. Oftentimes I lie in bed in the dark and just think.

6.Why is there always a missing question?
Maybe because we don't know the right question to ask? Or how to ask it?

7.What does your watch look like?
Me don't wear no watch. I am timeless (literally).

8.What were you doing at midnight last night?
Having an online conversation with someone
HiBang (insane), who wouldn't stop needling me about the glories of dial-up. I didn't have broadband Internet access nearly all day yesterday. I had to use dial-up, it was slow, I gave up, tried again after a few hours, gave up again. (I'm still on dial-up now, that's why I'm crawling my way through blogworld now instead of skipping through it like I usually do.)

9.Where is your nearest 7-11?
About 2-3 blocks away

10.What’s a word that you say a lot?
Is haha a word?

11.Who told you he/she loved you last?
My littlest one. And I never get tired of hearing it.

12.Last furry thing you touched?
Our fat rabbit

13.How many rolls of film do you need developed?
None at all

14.Favorite age you have been so far?
Hmmm. It's either RIGHT NOW (don't ask) or when I was 10, when everything in the world seemed perfect.

15.Your worst enemy?
Mine own self, alas.

Love your enemy, they say. Oh, I do.

16.What is your current desktop picture?

Rose is a rose is a rose...

Took this a few days after Christmas

17.What was the last thing you said to someone?
Gun (my little one asked me what a revolver was)

18.The last song you listened to?
"Afterglow," sung by His Most Awesome Yumminess. *sigh* *drool*
Oh yeah, the band's name is INXS.

19.What time of day were you born?
I believe it was 8PM

20.What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
Say something like "aaarrrgghhhh!!!"

21.Do you consider yourself kind?
Hardly. Well, maybe sometimes.

22.What’s your life motto?
I have several, but this one will do for now: If it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger. Or something that goes like that anyway.

23.Name three things you have on you at all times.
At all times? Hmmm...
My hair. Haha!
Crazy thoughts

I guess I can name only two then.

24.Can you change the oil on a car?
I guess I can if it's on a car. But it would be another story if the oil is actually in a car.

25.When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
Years and years ago, when I wasn't online yet. Writing letters the old-fashioned way was good; I kind of miss doing that.

I tag Houseband00, Shadowfalcon, and Odat. Taggy New Year, guys!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Comment on comments

I'm writing this now because I just know I'm going to forget if I don't. I've been wanting to write about it for some time, but it has always managed to slip my mind until now because my brain is just one wet, limp spaghetti noodle. I promise to go to bed right after this. Almost 11 AM and I'm just about to head off to bed, haha. (HB, see why I don't think I'll live to be an octogenarian?)

One of the things I like about blogging is reading the comments people leave after they read a post. It isn't really necessary to leave a comment, but I appreciate it when you do (unless you're a spammer or if your comment is just a plea for a link exchange). It's like we're having a mini-conversation right here, exchanging thoughts and having fun.

It's also a lot of fun to read the comments on other people's blogs. It's amazing how so many of them seem to spin off from the original post and take on a life of their own, turning into something like chat rooms. Visitor A comments on the post, blogger responds to Visitor A, Visitor B agrees with Visitor A and needles the blogger, Visitor C defends the blogger and laughs at Blogger B's get the picture. Sometimes it gets so good that I go back to a certain post just to see what's been added to the initial reactions to it.

Fun, interesting stuff that becomes truly amazing sometimes.

Beloved Bastards

their laughter
cradles the broken heart
and lifts
the broken spirit
and kisses away
the tears
that spring unbidden
at songs
that bring back
of moonlit moments
the sudden
of innocence

"I'll be moving to my new apartment on Saturday. Will you come? I just want you to see the place."
And we do come. One of us arrived late, but was forgiven after suffering some snide comments, and everything was hunky-dory again.

"Are you asleep? Can we talk?"
...said an SMS text. And they do, and reassurance, comfort, and much-needed advice were given, even though one of them was probably dead tired.

"I need to see you. Are you busy?"
Never too busy for a friend, it seems. An immediate response is given. Sensing the urgency of the situation, all the help that can be given, is. Even if it's just an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on. Oftentimes, it's more than enough.

"I sort of miss her, but I want to throw up when she's here."
"You are such a fool."
"I'll beat you up."
"You're a drunk bitch."
Only true friends are able to read and understand the love and affection within these statements.

"I said a prayer for your safety."
A text message received precisely at the moment it was needed most, coming when it was technically unlikely that it would.

The profound silence that precedes hysterical laughter and cursing when one of them farts in front of another---intentionally.

"I'll always be there for you, no matter where we go, no matter when."
How can one express the deep appreciation that one feels at reading such a message sent by someone who isn't a spouse or lover or family member? One feels eminently blessed at having such a person in his or her life.

Friends. We want to kill them sometimes, but somehow they end up saving us.

Happy Tree Friends - video powered by Metacafe

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

Heyyy, whaddya know, it's already Saturday morning where I am. First Saturday of the year.

Here are just a few of the many blog entries that I've read and enjoyed the past few days. Maybe you'll enjoy them, too.

Act Like a Professional

What's a new year without New Year resolutions? Still a new year, of course. The New Year non-resolutions of Wendz, Helen, and Dan made me chuckle. Then there's pretty Odat's wonderfully tongue-in-cheek New Year's resolutions. I could do the things on her list!

Storyteller par excellence Gale Martin (a.k.a. Gem) recently wrote her 200th post, and I have nothing but admiration for the way she sat down and analyzed the reasons for the growth of Gem-osophy. It's an entertaining look at how Gem makes the most out of SiteMeter's features, go check it out!

Another fine raconteur, Scott, shows how verisimilitude functions in storytelling through his highly exciting and hilarious account of a chainsaw battle that he fought naked with a would-be burglar. Believe it...or not.

It has been said that familiarity breeds contempt. But it can also evoke positive feelings like security and peace of mind. I liked reading Natalie's post on why she finds comfort in familiar objects around her.

Fellow Filipina blogger Nunu's Mum lives in Barnsley, England, with her family, but there are some reasons why they don't want to live there permanently. It took quite a while, but finally they're close to realizing their goal of moving to another country. They just need to see to three things in a breathtakingly beautiful setting in Turkey before they can finally bid Barnsley adieu. Maybe one of you could help them out! I certainly would if I could.

Being on the receiving end of unjustified contempt is a Very Bad Thing. I agree with Shadowfalcon's rant on prejudice and racism in England: personal wealth and race shouldn't be used to determine a person's place in society.

Maybe we should learn from the superheroes in Ian's webcomic, Adventures of the S-Team. These little Lego superheroes are wonderfully diverse, and their shenanigans always make me smile. So does crap in a hat. (I'm really beginning to like that expression, Ian!) Oh, and take a look at Ian's crowning glory. Coooool.

Some of you don't know this, but I'm a big crybaby. I cry at movies, TV shows, music. Heck, even just thinking about some songs and movie scenes is enough to start the waterworks. Reading Turnbaby's post about the movies that make her cry made me remember them and... damn this lump in my throat! I think I need a beer.


If I were a superhero, the only power I'd probably have would be the ability to drink copious amounts of beer. Oh, wait. I can do that already. Haha! But I also like to read poetry. It should come as no surprise then, that I adore Beer Haiku Daily. I loved the New Year haiku and the one about beer's healing powers. Gem, Mist1 and Aisby, I think you'll enjoy this site. You can even submit your own beer haikus!

Speaking of Aisby, she has a post about how troubled she is by school shootings. Who should be held accountable for teenagers' access to firearms? What drives kids to do these things? It's a terrible, terrible thing. An abomination. The issue is especially significant for Aisby because she has just embarked on her teaching career.

Thank heavens for teenagers like The Thinker. This young woman, who seems so wise at 16, is creating a reading list to help her improve her writing (which is already great, in my opinion). Which books should she read this year? She's asking for recommendations, so go and help her out. Her book list puts me to shame. I think I was reading Sweet Valley High when I was 16. Haha!

Maybe the people in Morgen's post about the latest Darwin Awards should be made to read self-help books. I know it isn't nice to laugh at stupid mistakes, but I couldn't help it. These people just take the cake. They're simply unbelievable.

I like the picture that Natalia posted for HNT (Half Nekkid Thursday) this week. No, she doesn't show any of her privates! HNT'ers aren't limited to showing just those. The concept of half-nekkid goes way beyond that. Some HNT pictures (ADULT CONTENT!!!) are very nicely done, though.

Children have imaginary friends; Mist1 dated an imaginary man--a most bittersweet experience for this wonderwoman. Damn, her story turned me off from wanting to try imaginary dating myself. Haha! Matt-man, on the other hand, describes what he'd look like and do if he were to release Matt-tilda, the woman trapped inside of him. If laughter is the best medicine, then Matt, Mist1, Dan, Michael, Odat, Steven, and many others are wonderful drugstores (and the "medicine" they supply is free).

Life is short, dwell not on shit, keep your chin up, embrace the stars. Have a great Saturday and Sunday everyone!

Weekend, you'd better be ready, baby. Because here I come!