Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sex. Moan. Where?

Once upon a time, there was a group of islands out in Southeast Asia. Named after King Philip II of Spain, the country was a Spanish colony for approximately 300 years until near the end of the 19th century, when control was transferred to the United States after the Spanish-American War. I love the Spanish and I love Americans, but come on guys, why the obsession with conquests? (That was a rhetorical question, okay?)

Anyway, there was this little town called Sasmuan in the province of Pampanga. But maybe because the Americans here during the American Occupation had too much time on their hands or maybe they were thinking of things other than home at the moment (or maybe because they thought it would be easier to pronounce and a lot more fun to hear) the town's name was changed to (get ready for this)...

Sexmoan.

Yep.
Sexmoan.
Oh, you damn Yankees! :-)

Sexmoan was only a short distance away from Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Base (the latter was bombed by the Japanese just a few hours after Pearl Harbor, by the way). But then, why would anyone go out of his way to visit a town (intriguing name notwithstanding) when just a few minutes away, in the red light districts near the bases, one could have all the sex and moaning that could ever want? Anyway, in 1991, the town reclaimed its original, more respectable name, Sasmuan. So, alas, Sexmoan is no more.

End of short history lesson.

There are many, many other places in the world that have funny names. Such as:

-Batman, Turkey (Ohh, the possibilities! Turkish batcaves, Turkish batmobiles, Turkish batgirls, Turkish robins...a Turkish Alfred!)
-Beclean, Romania
-Bitche, France (I'm sure Wendz and Doc don't live there, though they might have visited.)
-Blue Ball, Pennsylvania (I'm sure Gale Martin doesn't live there.)
-Boring, Oregon (I'm sure Scott doesn't live there either.)
-Clit, Romania
-Cocklick End, UK (Hahahahaaaaa!)
-Condom, Gers, France (I bet this is one safe place to be.)
-Climax, Michigan (Sounds like this city rocks!)
-Die, France
-Dildo, Newfoundland (Sounds like this place needs more men. Or maybe more men who know how to give a girl a good time.)
-Egg, Austria
-Egg, Switzerland
-Feces de Abaixo, Spain (How elegantly vulgar. Well, it isn't really vulgar, maybe it's just my mind that is.)
-Fertile, Minnesota
-Fucking, Austria (Ahhh. I've seen this on some other blogs, but I still think it's amazing. This one just fucking takes the cake.)


-Gland, Switzerland (Funny, in a clinical sort of way.)
-Hell, Grand Cayman
-Hell, Michigan
-Hell, Norway (So when someone tells me to go to hell, I hope he/she is referring to this Hell.)
-Intercourse, Pennsylvania (Hmmm. Austria still has my vote.)
-Kinki, Japan (Probably nary a boring moment there.)
-Kissing, Germany
-Petting, Germany (And when you finally have enough of Kissing and Petting, you can jump over to that effing town in Austria.)
-Poo, Spain
-Semen, Indonesia
-Slut, Sweden
-Twatt, Scotland
-Vagina, Russia
-Wank, Bavaria (*giggle giggle*)
-Wankdorf, Switzerland
-Wedding, Germany (Awww... that's a sweet name)
-Wet Beaver Creek, Arizona (I know there's a joke here somewhere. Maybe Dildo is its sister city?)
-Worms, Germany (Ewww!)

I'm sure there are lots more out there. I got a good laugh out of some of these names. I hope you did, too.

Oh, Austria is now officially on my travel list. Haha!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Manic Monday #3



What is Manic Monday?
A multi-blogger meme, in the spirit of Wordless Wednesday, Thursday 13, Friday Feast, and Photo Hunters Saturday.

How to participate?
Visit Morgen's It's A Blog Eat Blog World any time after 4pm EST on Fridays to discover Monday's theme word. This will be a word with multiple definitions.

Use one of the definitions to inspire your Manic Monday Post = perhaps a photograph, a story, a joke, or a stream of consciousness paragraph inspired by the word. Be creative, and have fun with it.


************
yel·low

*a color like that of egg yolk, ripe lemons, etc.; the primary color between green and orange in the visible spectrum, an effect of light with a wavelength between 570 and 590 nm.
*cowardly.


Staring in the mirror
Unhappy
at still seeing the self she wants to hide
In spite of the adornments she rarely uses:

the low-cut little black dress
the strappy high-heeled shoes
the pearls in her ears
the perfume on her wrists
and between her breasts

Tools that women have been using
throughout the ages:
for strength
for courage
for deceit

The dark eyeliner on her lower lids,
does it hide the sadness in her eyes?
The warm glow of Guerlain Divinora,
does it mask the trembling of her lips
as she thinks about the words
that she must utter tonight?
Words that need to be said
Feelings that need to be expressed
However much they go against
what her heart is crying out for

She sighs
Turns out the light
And walks out into the dark
Hoping that her armor
is strong enough
to protect her
and him.

The two of them,
from themselves.




Odat, How Odd!

I was tagged with this somewhat odd meme by the peace-loving but bubbly and effervescent Odat (makes her sound like some sort of champagne, eh?).

I think it's a kind of free association thing...mention the first thing that comes to mind after reading the questions. So...here goes:

1. A song?


Rock Me Amadeus
By Falco
BestAudioCodes.com

This is probably the only song that I will ever sing (and maybe even dance to, given enough beer) in front of people who are not members of my family (read: during karaoke/videoke. And since this song is never in the karaoke/videoke song lists, I'm home free!)

2. An 80's rock album?
Staring at the Sea: The Singles CD, by The Cure (are they classified as a rock band???)


Then and now, Robert Smith rocks.

3. A singer?


JD Fortune, lead singer of the Oz band INXS. *drool* 'Nuff said.

4. A man?
I can't mention JD again? Bummer. Okay, my dad then. He was a MAN among men. Imperfect, sure. But he was intelligent, enterprising, had a wicked sense of humor, and was a mean driver (I mean that in a good way, though).

5. A woman?
My mom. Loving, smart, caring, nurturing, funny (in a good way).

6. A writer?
Ooohh, I have to mention at least two. Just two, okay? Gabriel García Márquez and Milan Kundera.

7. A book?
I just have to mention two again: Love in the Time of Cholera, by GGM and The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by MK.

8. A word?

COURAGE


9. A movie?




Somewhere in Time, starring Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve. Cheesy, yeah. So shoot me.


10. A wise statement?

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

-From "Invictus," by William Ernest Henley


11. A colour?
Orange. I've always liked this colour since I was a kid. Sorry, Avery.


12. A flower?



Jasmine... sampaguita in the Philippines. This small, nondescript-looking flower may not have the flamboyance of more well-known blooms like roses and tulips, but the scent sure overtakes them by a mile. The nose knows.

13. A fictional character?
The Little Mermaid

14. A name?
Lalaine

15. A guitarist?
Steve Vai

16. A guitar?
Bass. Oh, wait. Can I change my answer to question #15 to John Taylor? :-D



17. An Age?
Innocence

18. A famous historical character?
Attila the Hun: Famous invader and plunderer. The endearment "hun" (short for honey) always makes me smile--and wince inwardly! But that's probably just me being a smartass.

19. A flavour?
CHOCOLATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

20. A meal?
Caesar's salad, pork spareribs stewed in tomato sauce and cheese, buttered stringbeans and carrots on the side, served with rice, and slices of succulent ripe mango for dessert.

21. A country?
Spain

22. A city?

Manila




23. A monument?


Rizal Monument

Jose Rizal is the national hero of the Philippines. Educated in the Philippines and in Spain, he was a doctor, a novelist, a poet. His efforts to free my country from the Spaniards (who colonized us for about 300 years) were made largely through his pen. Brilliant writer who influenced so many others in the fight for independence. He was imprisoned and then executed by firing squad by the Spanish in 1896, in Bagumbayan (now Rizal Park, where this monument stands). Ahh, Spain. How you shaped us and continue to influence us still.

There you go, Odat. This was fun, thanks!

My Internet connection has been crappy all night--it comes and goes. Hope it stabilizes soon.

My Manic Monday post will come later. Wishing everybody a good week ahead.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

That bugger Benjamin Disraeli certainly had some good things to say. Such as: "Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action."

So...dream, but follow it up with action. Nothing will happen if you just sit on your fat ass.

But...is non-action also a form of action? Restraining one's own self from doing something that one wants to do with all her heart can take strength and courage, too. So if every action has an equal and opposite reaction, what effect has non-action--which, for all intents and purposes, is a strong action?

As usual, I'm thinking these thoughts while bathed in the pale light coming from my computer screen, not voicing them out loud to anyone (unless you count Barrel Man as someone). That's not to say that I don't have a voice in the offline world. It's just that not everybody hears my real voice. To a friend who took the time tonight to listen (whilst sipping coffee and juice) to a shadow of this voice, my deepest and most heartfelt thanks. :-)

Ohhh, guess what? It's Saturday in my part of the world. Here are just a few of the many posts I've enjoyed reading over the past week. I present them in no particular order.

-Big hair, almost-in-your-face-crotches...what do these musicians have to show for in comparison to more recent musicians? Not much, according to this witty and always enjoyable Indian blogger, Iz.

-You are in a land far from home, making your way around innocently, intent on soaking in the sights and the sounds. Your vacation is almost ruined because of airport security and a damned safety pin. Yep, such a thing happened to Morgen when he was in Egypt. By the way, Mo recently celebrated his 40th birthday by, among other things, making 40 blog entries in one day. Gaaaadzooks! Amazing, Mo!

-Speaking of 40, Matt-man's post about his pledge to forego meat for approximately 40 days and 40 nights, or the whole Lenten season, is simply terrific--and irreverently so. He's done the meat-less thing before, he can do it again! And I'll stop wishing meat-filled dreams on this good pal.

-We've had our share of celebrities-in-the-news lately (unless you're cut off from media of any kind, then how come you're on the Internet and reading this blog?). Janna, renowned Photoshop enthusiast and blogfriend extraordinaire, tells us how her perceptions of some celebrities were changed--or not--according to how other people see them.

-Time and tide wait for no man, so it's been said. But why is it that extra-shitty shit happens to people who probably don't deserve it? The question: "What the hell happened?" is one that the spirited Wendz asked recently. (Okay, she didn't actually say hell...I just added that.)

-For many people, including Houseband00, a song like Fairground can evoke feelings of nostalgia, regret, happiness--sometimes all three things at once. It certainly is a blessing how something that happened in the past can live on vibrantly in our minds and hearts. How true love can continue to burn deep inside despite the interruption of the bastard known as the Grim Reaper.

-A new blogfriend known as Debo Blue has a thought-provoking post about how time slips away. Sometimes, though, we find that it's more than time that just passes us by. We all of us try to find solace in our own ways during such times. Does the west star bring solace, inner peace, memories of love, happiness and togetherness?

Memories. They can be joyful, they can inspire melancholy. Those of the bittersweet kind, though, can leave us feeling uncertain. And to these memories, I respond with something I got from Debo Blue's blog: "Don't cry because it's over; smile that it happened." But then...sometimes it isn't really over, is it? Sometimes good-bye just means "Until we meet again"--in a crappy sort of way.

'Til next week then. I wish everyone a weekend filled with joy, hope, acceptance, and love.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Pisces

Millions upon millions of fish swimming in the ocean, darting this way and that, several hundreds of them even breaking the surface of the water as they leap into the clear, crisp air and enjoy flight for a few seconds before gravity pulls them back down into their cool, heavy blue home.

This was the dreamland (or dream-sea) I was in during those few hours of slumber this morning. It seemed so real: I could still feel the weightlessness of being in the water and the sensation of the fish brushing against my arms and legs as I swam with them. This dream was weird because I'm not a strong swimmer at all and me swimming in the open sea is just as likely to happen as a cow jumping over the moon, or a mermaid suddenly sprouting wings and flying off into the sunset.


Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid has always been my favorite fairy tale--a haunting story of love, happiness, sacrifice, and loss. I know that the Disney film version was very successful all over the world, but I never could bear to watch it. It somehow seemed sacrilegious. But that's just me.


This morning's dream might have been brought on by one too many birthday beers. Or not. In any case, I'm not complaining. Head is clear. Body feels refreshed.

But feet are itching.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Maligayang Bati (Happy Birthday)

[YouTube is doing some maintenance work it seems. So if you can't see the videos, please come back later to watch them.]

So, a lot of things happened on this day in history, not the least of which were the births of George Washington and one of my favorite poets, Edna St. Vincent Millay.

According to thisdayinmusic.com, the #1 song in the USA on 22 February 1971 was The Osmonds' One Bad Apple, while the top song in the UK was George Harrison's My Sweet Lord.

I loved George Harrison, more than I loved Paul McCartney and almost as much as I loved John Lennon. But there is another musician I adore, one who is of the same gender and nationality that I belong to. She's a Filipino national treasure who has transcended geographic boundaries with her talent.

Lea Salonga.

Here she is as Eponine in the musical "Les Miserables," singing one of my favorite songs of all time, "On My Own." This song still brings tears to my eyes.



Here she is accepting the Tony Award in 1991--with intro by Julie Andrews--for her portrayal of the heroine known as Kim in the musical "Miss Saigon." (She also won the Laurence Olivier Award that year for the same role in the same category.)


She was the singing voice of Jasmine in the Disney film "Aladdin," and Mulan's in the animated Disney movie of the same title.

The following clip is a 1999 performance of hers from the musical "Miss Saigon"--a love song titled "The Last Night of the World." Lea was reluctant to reprise the role since the heroine was supposed to be in her teens and she was past that age at the time. But she did agree to do the role once again. Thank God!



I blame this talented woman for my utter lack of a singing voice. Maybe on our birthdate, February 22, 1971, she did something to distract me, to catch all the singing ability that the Lord had to give on that day, haha! But, seeing that it's Lea, I have no major complaints. I am honored (and humbled) to share this special day with her, the dawn of our 36th year on Earth. Happy Birthday, Lea! And yes, I wholeheartedly agree with her Tony Award acceptance speech: dreams surely can come true.

Update: Sanni, that lovely, wonderful lady in Germany, made a poster for me (and for Neila, another blogger who also celebrates her birthday today). Thank you, Sanni; I am so touched. Love you!







Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Of personalities and spiders

Gale Martin, the force behind blogs such as Gem-osophy (a site that's apparently one of the destinations of sickos who trawl the Net looking for naked or hairy pictures of me) wanted to know the Myers Briggs personality types of her FOGs (friends of Gale). I already told her my results, but I'm still posting them here.

To wit:

You Are An INFP

The Idealist

You are creative with a great imagination, living in your own inner world.
Open minded and accepting, you strive for harmony in your important relationships.
It takes a long time for people to get to know you. You are hesitant to let people get close.
But once you care for someone, you do everything you can to help them grow and develop.

You would make an excellent writer, psychologist, or artist.


INFP stands for "Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving." The test doesn't say why I fear and loathe frogs, but maybe this video will show you why I'm starting to think spiders are such fascinating creatures. I wouldn't want to find one in my bed, but I think I'd like one of these as a pet--or as a drinking buddy. ;-)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fading Away

Her convictions are intact, her resolve as steely as those of the abs of the man from Krypton. Or so she keeps telling herself. "No," she thinks. "I most certainly will not. I will not give in. I am woman, hear me roar. I am, I do. I sure as hell AM."

Yet in these thoughts, herself almost despising (line somewhat stolen from a Shakespearean sonnet), haply...she finds herself in the wee hours of the morning striding purposefully to a convenience store that sports a red, white, and green marquee.

And the following dialogue ensues:

Female Sales Clerk: Good morning, ma'am.
Crazy Ass Woman: Morning.
FSC: (looks at the items on the counter) Will that be all?
CAW: Yep.

(FSC counts the brown bottles and rings up CAW's purchases.)

FSC: Pampatulog, ma'am? [to help you sleep, ma'am?]
CAW: (smiles sweetly at the bugger, but makes no response)
FSC: Wala kayo kagabi, medyo nagtaka ako. [You weren't here last night, I kind of wondered about that.]
CAW: (Blinks, blinks again, and smiles. She's clearly no expert when it comes to on-the-spot witty repartee. But she wonders what it says about her life when the convenience store clerk misses her and her purchases. For a couple of nights.)
FSC: (accepts payment and gives change). Salamat. Balik po kayo. [Thank you, please come back.]
CAW: Salamat din. [Thank you, too.]

CAW swings out the door, exhilarated but hating herself at the same time. Her mind is saying, "You pathetic wuss," yet it simultaneously finds exultant expectation in the weight being borne by her right arm and shoulder. Heaven and hell in little brown bottles clinking against each other in a white plastic bag. Where is intelligence, where is talent, just when they are needed most? Perhaps they weren't there at all in the first place?

Maybe everything--or at least the core of her--is just an illusion, and one that doesn't even come close to David Copperfield-esque or David Blaine-esque proportions at that, no matter how much she tries to drown coax it out via the ecstasy of liquid gold.

Ahh, strange and sad how minds can change, how the best-laid plans and intentions can be laid to waste. As beautiful but as impermanent as one's name scrawled in the sand.



Monday, February 19, 2007

Manic Monday #2



What is Manic Monday?
A multi-blogger meme, in the spirit of Wordless Wednesday, Thursday 13, Friday Feast, and Photo Hunters Saturday.

How to participate?
Visit Morgen's It's A Blog Eat Blog World any time after 4pm EST on Fridays to discover Monday's theme word. This will be a word with multiple definitions.

Use one of the definitions to inspire your Manic Monday Post = perhaps a photograph, a story, a joke, or a stream of consciousness paragraph inspired by the word. Be creative, and have fun with it.

Today, 19 February, is Morgen's birthday! Hop on over to his site to join in the morgEpalooza festivities. He has promised morgasms, among other things. :-)

**********

celebrate (verb)
to observe a day or commemorate an event with ceremonies or festivities.

Ceeeeelebrate good times, so the song goes. And so we do. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, promotions, the opening of a new play, the day your period finally stops...the list goes on. Even the littlest things can be causes for celebration: the first snowfall, the first day of summer, the first April showers.

Celebrating a good time is easy. But what happens when the heat starts to make you feel limp, when the cold starts to chill you to the bone, when the shower becomes a deluge day in and day out? At such times it can take a major effort just to get out of bed.

Yet maybe it's especially during those days that we should find something to celebrate, something to be thankful for. When you're feeling down in the dumps, it's easy to just give in to the feeling and stay in bed curled in a fetal position sucking your thumb. Maybe it's okay to do that for a while, but not for any prolonged period of time. You'd look and feel really stupid.

According to GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons, "There's always a reason to smile. Find it. After all, you're really lucky just to be alive. Life is short. More and more, I agree with my little brother. He always reminds me: "We're not here for a long time; we're here for a good time"."

So when you find yourself feeling tired or scared or depressed or lonely, count your blessings big and small, remember your dream, and cheer up!

Celebrate.

Blogger Interview by Joe Blogs

I received a nice email the other day from Mr. Joe Blogs, whose blog is called Mr. Joe Blog's Blog! He invited me to answer some questions for his site. I must say it was a fun experience, but quite a novel one for me. It felt a bit strange finding myself on the receiving end of an invitation; I'm usually the one who extends interview requests!

You can read my answers to his questions here. One of my blogger buddies, the effervescent Gale Martin (aka GEM) also did an interview earlier this year. There are lots of fun-to-read interviews on the Joe Blogs site; check it out!

Thanks again, Joe (or Matt). I had a good time answering your questionnaire.

I'll be back later with my post for Manic Monday, the brainchild of today's birthday boy Morgen. Happy Birthday, Mo!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

In the Name of the Crow (or, As the Crow Flew)

This post was inspired by a recent post by Ian. He says that everybody loves a good puke story. Well, I don't know about that, but it made me think about certain related events in my past. I actually had quite a time deciding which story to post, haha!

(Incidentally, the word puke, when pronounced phonetically, is a Tagalog word that's equivalent to that unequivocally obscene C word.)

So here is my, errrr....vomit story. [Names have been slightly tweaked to provide some semblance of privacy.]

The time: circa the late 1980s

The place: a bar called Rhythm 'n' Booze. Nice name for a bar, eh? Dim lights, soft R&B music in the background, about a dozen or so tables in a place that was small, but which didn't seem cramped at all.

The characters: College-age me. My dorm roommates Yvo and Gai. Our friends Dod and Agn (Dod had gone backpacking through Europe a couple of years earlier. She lost her travelers' cheques...but still had a good time. Amazing girl.) Agn's brother, Mat (Dod's future-ex-BF), and some of his friends.

Truth be told, I don't remember much of the conversation or even what we all drank. I do remember that we laughed a lot, ate a lot, and drank quite a bit. We rode to and from the bar with the guys--who'd had quite too much to drink. What a stupid thing to do, in retrospect. Not because they were assholes or anything like that, but because they were DUI. Sometimes I marvel that I'm still alive. I guess it never really entered my mind that riding with an intoxicated driver was dangerous. Ahh, how thoughtless youth can be, perceiving themselves to be invincible. As someone once said, youth is wasted on the young.

Anyway, I think I stuck with San Miguel beer at the time. But remember, I didn't start enjoying the pleasures of alcohol until I was 18, so I was still a newbie at drinking at the time of our story. So there we were, talking and laughing the night away. Then I noticed that Yvo had been away from her seat for quite some time. I think I became a bit concerned about her; after all, she and I had been bosom buddies since we were eight years old, when she was still taller than me. So I stood up and went to the ladies' room to check on her. Lo and behold, she was hunched over one of the toilet bowls, calling crow. (She was making a sound that sounded like Uwaaaaaaaaakkkk! FYI, uwak is the Tagalog word for crow). I really didn't know what to do. I hurried back to our table, whispered to my girlfriends that Yvo was talking bird language in the toilet. I think they all stood up and we made our way back to do what we could to help Yvo. Or at the very least, see her making a fool of herself. What happened next was surreal.

Yvo was done serenading the crow by then, but was still sitting on the floor by the toilet. Gai knelt beside her, and maybe because of the odor or the sight of what came from Yvo's gut (who knows?) she started throwing up herself. Ditto Dod, who had the presence of mind to run to the next cubicle before regurgitating her dinner and drinks. Agn, who I always thought was the bravest and who had the steeliest stomach of us all, saw or heard her bestest buddy Dod moaning uwaaaaaakkk!!!--and proceeded to disgorge the contents of her stomach into the sink. Into the goddamned sink. All this was too much for me. I couldn't help myself; I found myself hugging a toilet, invoking the crow until nothing could come up and out anymore. And damn, that really, really hurt--the feeling of still wanting to throw up but that there was nothing left to throw up.

So there we were, exhausted, in a bar's ladies room that reeked of the smell of gastric juices. All because one girl after another found vomiting to be contagious--kind of like how yawning seems to be contagious. I'm just glad to say that this episode didn't repeat itself. Well, not in a bar anyway. But that's another story.

God, I can't stop laughing at the memories.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

Halfway across February, we are. Time sure can zoom by, putting Speedy Gonzales to shame. (My typing's better now, thank you for asking).

And so we go on to Blogworld Saturday. As I mentioned before, I'm trying to make up for two weeks' worth of absence, but I'm failing dismally because there are literally hundreds of posts--both from my old blogger friends and new--that I've enjoyed while playing ketchup.

Here are but a few of those posts.

-Ian Healey, prolific writer, cartoonist, and sci-fi lover, has come out with a contest. He's calling for storyline submissions for his webcomic, The Adventures of the S-Team, a team of Lego superheroes and villains. Coool webcomic.

-Bud Weiser, he of WTIT Tape Radio fame, responds scathingly to email he regularly receives about his blog, his girlfriend Mimi, other bloggers, his blog, the things he writes about, his blog.

-Mist1 loves her electronic gadgets. In addition to her electric flosser, she's also devoted to B.O.B (battery-operated boyfriend). I just have no idea why she keeps the two of them together in the same drawer.

-I always learn about some of the strangest things from Michael C, most recently the idea of a talking urinal cake. Ohh, the possibilities for this one make me all giddy!

-That event known as Valentine's Day has come and gone, and a lot of people wrote about it, or what they think about it, or how they celebrated it--or didn't. Aileen has a cool idea about how single women can celebrate VD (and it seemed to have been more successful than she anticipated it would be). Migs wrote about being One even without an Other, while the amazingly hilarious Avery almost outdid himself with his VD lament. I never thought I'd laugh at a lament.

-I mentioned Mimi up there...she's the one-and-only Mimi Lenox, and her re-post of an earlier entry about a breast cancer scare she got is touching, frightening, and reassuring at the same time. The gentleness and humor of her soul always manage to come out in her writing.

-They say nothing in life is ever certain, save for death and taxes. Tainted in UAE wrote about how she somehow finds security in the certainty of death.

-Maybe we can add prostitution to the list of life's certainties. Anndi's poem about the world's oldest profession--her offering for Mo's Manic Monday multi-blogger meme--just hits the reader right in the gut. Her regular readers had some interesting ideas regarding prostitution's legalization.

-Each one of us has had a secret love at one time or another in our lives. Marlayna wrote about her "secret admire" for a family who shielded her in one of her darkest hours. One can only marvel at the kindness of people--and the evil that men do.

-People react differently to underdogs. They can inspire annoyance or pity. Natalie has a post that discusses underdogs and anti-heroes, people with the cards stacked against them, who have to struggle harder or seem to fail more often. It's comforting to think that many people cheer for the underdog--because someday we might find ourselves in a situation where we are the underdog.

-Bond paid tribute to someone I don't think I've ever even heard of, but who was a compelling presence in the music industry. Amazing how just one person can change so many lives and influence so many people throughout the years. We can thank him (well, not literally because he's dead) for much of the great music that we have listened to over the decades.

-Last, but certainly not the least, is my dear Indian soul sister H's tender-yet-enraged post about the unexpected passing of a beautiful, special person. It is a raw, heartfelt, gripping post. I could almost imagine the anger and sadness that were probably in her eyes as she was writing it. One journey's end, H? Or the start of another?

Oh, and if you happen to see any of these three bloggers, please tell them that I miss them a lot, but that I'm wishing them well.



Have a good weekend, everybody. And Happy Lunar New Year!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Prelude...

...to B.S., otherwise known to some of you as Blogworld Saturday.

Blogging under the influence is not good. But it is such fucking great fun. However, hitting backspace every now and then isn't that cool. (If I didn't, this post would read something like Geoaouroaeurh&%$*%*(% H665pq9348q7$(%^9))...and that would be so weird, even for me.

So, B.S. comes a bit later. I didn't do it for two weeks, but I'll make up for it. And don't worry, I wasn't BUI when I was catching up on all your posts after my hiatus.

In the meantime, here's a tidbit about me: I had a big crush on Shaun Cassidy when I was a little girl. I think I made my parents buy me all his LPs. Ahh, the memories.

Later, ladies and gentlemen.

The B Movie in My Mind

"Really, now you ask me," said Alice, very much confused, "I don't think--"
"Then you shouldn't talk," said the Hatter.

-from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

But what if you think too much? Should you talk more? What if talking isn't an option at the moment?

Moments like this creep up on me unawares, much like the fog in Carl Sandurg's poem:

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.


On the surface, nothing seems out of the ordinary: the little ones are safe and snug in bed, the cursor is blinking on the screen, the smoke is curling lazily from the tip of my cigarette to merge sinuously with the ghostly one rising from my coffee, the drapes in front of me flutter once in a while at the odd gust of wind. There is no clock in this room, so I can't really tell if time has stood still--for at the moment, it sure seems as if it has.

Everything is quiet, peaceful, serene. But the room that is my mind is far from tranquil at the moment. Thoughts are chasing each other here and there; one thought is only halfway to being born before being supplanted by another. It's kind of like the pain of childbirth: one cramp has hardly ebbed before a bigger and more powerful one roars in and takes over and nothing else exists--it doesn't allow any room for any coherent thought. The kaleidoscope of pain bears down on all your senses, shattering your world--in that moment, it is your whole world.

It's like a movie projector possessed by the devil himself is spewing random thoughts, random images in my mind. But are they really random? Or are they all connected somehow? Is my subconscious trying to tell me something? Then why the hell doesn't it just say it outright? Why subject me to thoughts like: watching a sunrise one chilly morning; the sweetness of a fresh tomato; lines from Neruda's If You Forget Me, from Shakespeare's Sonnet XXIX, from Ogden Nash's More About People; the jangling of keys; footprints in the sand, an overripe banana. My fingers can hardly keep up with the images running through my mind--I give up.

I close my eyes. I try to imagine something peaceful: something green, or something blue. I succeed, stillness is achieved for several nanoseconds--before those greens and blues lead to other thoughts--images--of the most tumultuous greens and the most tantalizing blues. I give up yet again. I am such a pathetic dumbass.

Would that there was a switch to shut them all up--these voices and thoughts doing the most splendiferous Mardi Gras in my mind, without a care as to who they might be bothering--or at least slow them down.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

I am a hollow reed...

Nope, that isn't working for me now.

Perhaps, like Sandburg's fog, these thoughts will move on. Or maybe a thought will come, one that is so strong, so forceful that it will overpower all these inconsequential (?) gremlins that are wreaking havoc on my mind and sanity. Perhaps.

I'm going to try get some work done now. Doesn't mean I'll succeed, but I'll certainly try.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

F.L.A.M.E.S.

Little girls are such funny creatures.

When I was a little girl, we used to play this game called F.L.A.M.E.S. It was strictly a girly-girly thing. However, from what I remember, it was more of an individual thing initially. Almost every little girl played it, but we didn't let on to anybody else that we were doing it--not even to our friends. Initially.

So, what was F.L.A.M.E.S.? The letters stood for Friendship, Lovers, Anger, Marriage, Engagement, and Sweethearts. Little girls are cute, but kinda pathetic at times. Especially when they play F.L.A.M.E.S. I used to play the game during those times when I didn't deem anything else was worth concentrating on--like math, for example. You can probably imagine how my math notebook was filled to overflowing with F.L.A.M.E.S. stuff, and other doodles that I thought (at the time) were vastly more important than isosceles triangles, the multiplication table, and at what point A would meet B if the train they were riding on were going at X miles an hour. When you're 10-12 years old (and you're a giddy girl like I was), many things take priority over silly logical stuff.

What one did to play the secret, giggly game called F.L.A.M.E.S. was this: you wrote your full name on a sheet of paper (or whatever writing material is at hand--I do not recommend you do this on your test paper, though). Then you wrote the full name of your secret love (at age 12 or below, it was always a secret love) below yours. Then you crossed out the letters your names had in common. You then counted the crossed-out letters and deciphered the meaning of the total according to the corresponding acronyms in F.L.A.M.E.S.

Let's take the famous star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet as an example. Crossing out the letters that their names have in common, we see that Romeo believed him and Juliet to be engaged, while Juliet thought that they were "friends." But if you take the total of all their shared letters, it comes to 12--resulting in Sweethearts (if the total amounts to more than six, just go back to F and count the remainder from there). And we all know that Romeo and Juliet were sweethearts; though they came to a tragic end. Stupid gits.

If your total came to an entirely satisfying result (that is, anything except Friendship and Anger) you'd encircle the outcome in lots of little fat hearts--lots of them, really--in pink or red ink. And trying your best not to boast to your friends that you and Mr. Perfect would end up getting engaged, married, or becoming lovers or sweethearts one day. But you'd always fail in your efforts to conceal the results (if they ended up the way you wanted them). By golly, if F.L.A.M.E.S. said that Reuben (name slightly changed to protect the somewhat-innocent) and I would become sweethearts, we sure as hell would! Ahhh, the simple beliefs of childhood!

[My friends tell me there's a similar game called C.A.N.D.L.E.S. Hmmm, never played that one. Probably came before my time.]

Okay, I can just see you now taking a piece of paper and doing F.L.A.M.E.S. Haha!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Val Day


Wishing everyone a happy VD!
Just make sure you don't get a VD. :-D

Cheers!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Manic Monday #1



spike (verb)
a: to add an alcoholic beverage to (a drink) [spiked the punch]
b: to add a foreign substance to [spike the coffee with tranquilizers]
c: to add something highly reactive [as a radioactive tracer] to
d: to add vitality, zest, or spice to [spike the broth with peppers]
e: to liven [spiked the speech with humor]

High

She sits alone in a café, whiling away hours that need to be whiled away. Though her feet (tired from walking for hours) are planted firmly on the ground her mind is soaring way up high, here and there, buoyed by the sights around her, the sounds she can't help but overhear, the bite of the spicy noodles lingering on her tongue despite cup after cup of fragrant tea.

She bends her head over her notebook, trying to record her impressions of this new city but for some reason she is finding it hard to write. The opening bars of a song from a musical keeps playing in her head, distracting her, almost making her giggle at times. A woman at the next table signals to the waitress that she wants another beer. She toys with the idea of having a beer herself but finally decides against it; after all, she still has miles to go before she sleeps.

She notices the sunlight becoming more mellow, turning into a softer shade of gold that she knows will soon become even balmier. Instead of the usual lethargy that she feels with the coming of dusk she finds herself feeling more energetic, more on edge (but in a good way, similar to the excitement that she feels when she's surrounded by books in the library or bookstore--multiplied a hundredfold). Her spirit, she realizes, is not at all like the motes of dust she notices floating lazily in the fading light. Her senses are sharper; every second that passes is savored, every sensation is burned into her memory.

Her dancing eyes fall upon her tea. Did the kitchen staff spike it with happy pills? she wonders. She tries (and fails) to stifle the smile that rises to her lips at the thought as she puts away her notebook and signals for the bill, which is brought to her immediately.

A man carrying what seems to be a suitcase comes up to her. He opens it and she sees a whole array of (presumably fake) Zippo lighters. He smiles at her. She smiles back.

"You buy lighter?" he asks in a singsong voice. She shakes her head no, graciously, taking a sip of her tea.

Without missing a beat and in the same tone of voice he segues into his next offer. "Marijuana?"

She nearly spits out her tea. "No, thank you," she sputters. But still smiling, still gracious. He nods his head, closes his case, turns and walks away. She feels a mad desire to shout after him, "I don't need it! I'm already high!" This time she makes no effort to suppress her grin.

She stands up, turning to thank the waitress and to bid her adieu. She wonders if the mirth in her eyes and her inability to stop her mouth from turning up at the corners seem strange to the other woman. No matter. She is happy and it shows.

The waitress's final view of this strange guest is of her walking out into the burgeoning twilight, a spring in every step, her face upturned--as if to receive the kiss of the early-morning sun...or that of a lover's.

**********
What is Manic Monday?
A multi-blogger meme, in the spirit of Wordless Wednesday, Thursday 13, Friday Feast, and Photo Hunters Saturday.

How to participate?
Visit Morgen's It's A Blog Eat Blog World any time after 4pm EST on Fridays to discover Monday's theme word. This will be a word with multiple definitions.

Use one of the definitions to inspire your Manic Monday Post = perhaps a photograph, a story, a joke, or a stream of consciousness paragraph inspired by the word. Be creative, and have fun with it.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bringing Down the Wrath of God?

The Nubian Nerd tagged me with this most irreverent meme. Maybe it's his way of punishing me for loving a color he detests. (Oh, Avery? I read some of what the other bloggers wrote and it isn't Five Reasons Why God Hates Me; it's supposed to be five reasons why God might be tempted to hate me). You guys can probably tell that this is a silly meme. Does God hate? Can He be tempted? Why am I asking these rhetorical questions?

So here they are, a handful of reasons why I might be incurring God's displeasure:

1. Because I'm sort of nursing a grudge against Him for not giving me bigger boobs.

2. Because I truly, truly wish for the obliteration of some of His other creations, especially these.

3. Because I desecrate the temple that is supposed to be my body by overindulging in certain liquid fruits of the earth.

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic

4. Because I take God's name in vain--when in the heights of ecstasy and the depths of despair.

5. Because my sense of humor is really, really sick sometimes.

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic

It's this warped funny bone that makes me go to to the Nubian Nerd's Mescaline Visions 4.0 (Beta) and Freewill Tastes Like Chicken blogs. Avery is one hell of a very smart dude, sometimes terrifyingly but often hilariously so. I wonder what it was that Scotland ever did to deserve his presence there.

I'm going to make nice-nice now and not tag anybody with this. My good deed for the day, if you will. However, if you decide to do it, let me know, okay?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Same Same...But Different

I like people-watching.

(Hemi-demi-semi non sequitur alert: it always makes me chuckle when I read something like "I enjoy people watching." Oh, the pitfalls of non-hyphenation! But maybe they do mean precisely that whenever they write that. Perhaps because they're exhibitionists?)


Anyway.

I like watching people. Whether I'm sitting alone in a café (smoking section), walking along the beach, riding the bus, whatever. Someone catches my eye for some reason, and I find myself making up stories about him or her in my mind. Sometimes I imagine what life must be like for them (which isn't very hard for me to do at all, even if I have them within my line of sight for just a few seconds).

More often than not though, I try to envision what's running in the person-in-sight-and-attention's thoughts at the moment. Is that waiter counting in his mind the number of tables he has to clean before he gets off work, so that he can go meet his girlfriend? Is that scruffy-looking guy who's humming Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds as he sips his cafe latte at the next table thinking about getting a haircut or is he wondering what it must've been like to attend a Woodstock concert? That tall woman striding forcefully in the street, pausing to hoist her big backpack and trying not to look lost...is she drinking in the marvels of a new city while battling with the need to go to the toilet, or is she wondering what the hell she's doing there in the first place?

(Click on the pictures for larger images. They'll open in a new window.)



Is he thinking about how fast he's going, or whether he can go even faster? Of the next trick he can pull to help him get better at what he's doing? Hoping for even stronger wind? Anticipating a beer later in the evening? Is he even thinking about anything at all, for that matter?






Is he wondering what the hell they're doing walking in the street and if the sidewalks jampacked with vendors' wares and other stuff will ever be cleared enough for pedestrians to use again? Is he pondering the possibility of being run over by a motorbike, or is he impervious to their sight, smell, and sound?





Is she thinking about striking a blow in the name of the fairer sex--womanhood--sisterhood, in a sport presently dominated by men? Is she wondering about ways she can make money from doing this? Or is she simply feeling the thrill, the adrenaline rush, that dancing with the wind, sun, and sea can bring?



People
.

All over the world, we're all the same somehow. We cry, we laugh, we feel, we reason. We rejoice, we get hurt. We bleed when we're wounded. We doubt. We believe. We complain. We give thanks. We hate. We love.

We pee, we shit, we fart (the only exception being the Queen of England--who Yaxlich claims pays people to do those last three things for her).

Same same...but different.

Yet, though we do and feel the same things generally, there's always a difference--no matter how slight--in the level and intensity of our beliefs, actions, thoughts, and feelings. Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Are we all alive, living, as we breathe, eat, and drink? Or are we part of the walking dead? We are human, but are we humane? Whether fat or thin, black or white (or brown), able-bodied or handicapped, learned or illiterate, sunburnt or with deathly-pale skin, we are homo sapiens--physiologically similar but worlds apart when it comes to attitude, intellect, and mental, emotional and spiritual maturity... strangers and kith and kin alike.



Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ethay Eturnray

Itay asway aay oodgay elaxingray eakbray. Iay adhay aay eatgray imetay. Utbay ethay aysday ewflay osay uicklyqay. Imetay uresay eemssay otay eedspay atay aay ightning-fastlay acepay owadaysnay...aybemay aay ignsay ofay agingay? Ahahay!

Appinesshay isay:

-eeingsay atthay omesay ingsthay oughthay eythay eemsay osay imilarsay areay osay ifferentday

-estingtay ethay atersway outsideay one'say omfortcay onezay


-avinghay aay aughlay overay ethay izarrebay ethay unexpecteday

-eingbay azycray ometimessay

-eingbay ickledtay inkpay

-enjoyingay implesay ingsthay ikelay ethay indway inay youray airhay ethay unsay onay youray acefay eapchay oodfay

-astingtay ewnay indskay ofay eerbay

-earninglay anymay anymay ewnay ingsthay--anday avinghay onay egretsray aboutay emthay

-eetingmay ewnay eoplepay

-eetingmay anay olday iendfray orfay ethay irstfay imetay

Osay.

E'sshay ackbay. Anday eshay opeshay obodynay otgay aay eadachehay omfray eadingray isthay ostpay.

Haha!