Saturday, March 31, 2007

Inconstant Moon

What follows is the effect of listening to the songs of a certain singer/watching some kind of movie/eating some kind of food/drinking some kind of beverage (or having too many windows open. Hah, Turnbaby!). Or all of the above. :-D [Blogworld Saturday later, okay? Much later. next week. Sorry!]

"O, swear not by the moon, the fickle moon, the inconstant moon, that monthly changes in her circle orb, lest that thy love prove likewise variable."
-William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Confronted with her own thoughts that bother her when she's alone, she found herself looking at some things in ways she never thought she would.

Take the moon for example. She found pleasure in the enigmatic moonlight that bathed the night sky, creating the most intriguing shadows. In her mind's eye, she thought perhaps the day's sunshine was as bright and joyful as it was because it couldn't help but be influenced by the low-key yet luminous presence of the moon. The sun and the moon, the yin and yang, sometimes they seemed to come together, and people gathered to watch that most enthralling sight. There was something magical about two beings millions of miles distant from each other, yet seeming to occupy the same sky. Together, yet apart. She wondered, does one ever miss the other?

But tonight the normally playful and ever-present moonbeam wasn't there. She knew he was there somewhere, but she didn't feel him. Perhaps he was hiding behind the clouds? Perhaps. It pained her to think that he was apparently unaffected by how much she had come to rely on his brilliance. She wished it didn't matter, she wished she didn't need his reassuring presence, and she wondered why she still cared. But she did, it did, she did. If she didn't love him, would he know? Would he even care?

An awful, illogical thought emerged. What if he was purposely hiding behind the clouds, laughing at her misery? Gloating in his total mastery of her sky? Was there anything to get him off his fucking throne?

And, perish the idea... but what if the moon was indifferent to her? Another thought entered her mind, hurting her even more: maybe it wasn't indifferent to her after all. Maybe the moon did appreciate her appreciating it; but that, despite her most fervent (and misguided) belief, maybe the moonbeams it shone upon her weren't any different from or any more special than those it bestowed upon everybody else. And perhaps because of that despairing thought, the sun couldn't help but shine a bit less brightly. Could she be blamed for what she felt? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Comfortable as she tried to tell herself she was (and perhaps as the moon was), her wishes of being just a little bit stronger, a little bit wiser, and a little less needy still left a bittersweet taste on her tongue and in her heart.

All she knew was she was missing the moon terribly tonight, there was no denying that. But for the first time -- and it didn't matter if the changes perceived were real or imagined -- she couldn't for the life of her tell whether the hurtful hate tormenting her outweighed the love.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Yaarrrr, me mateys!

Just a short post, because I couldn't resist.

I've been meaning to catch up on some movie-watching, but the choices overwhelm me.

Click on the pic to get up close and personal.

Thirty-four! Full-length films! On four DVDs! Jack Sparrow never had it so good. These eight-in-ones and ten-in-one DVDs are crazy. I've seen some of the movies that they contain, but most of them I haven't laid eyes upon -- old as they are.

Such as:

The Transporter
The Big Bounce
The Arrival
The Pursuit of Happyness
Home of the Brave
The Night Listener
Flags of Our Fathers
We Are Marshall
Gridiron Gang
An Unfinished Life
Road to Perdition

Recommendations, mes amis?

I need a change of scenery occasionally. After real life is tucked in bed and sound asleep, I think about shifting go from staring at my computer screen to staring at my TV screen. Well, I can actually watch these DVDs on my PC but like I said, a change of scenery is needed sometimes. For the sake of sanity. Pathetic ass, me is.

Thanks, one and all.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Several weeks ago I chanced upon two elderly men having coffee. Nothing unusual about that, except for the fact that they were conversing in Spanish.

For the unenlightened, the Philippines was under Spanish rule for approximately 300 years, and so many of the old ones (or those who belong to the old upper-crust families, the ilustrados, so to speak, maintain fluency in the language). Sure, everyday speech used by everyone is peppered with Spanish words. But still, hearing those two elderly gentlemen converse in Spanish was so endearingly quaint. It was like brushing unexpectedly and pleasantly against remnants of a bygone era -- an almost dusty era of old-world class and courtesy.

Which leads me to the topic of dust: as in, this blog will be gathering dust for a few days because other pressing issues beckon. But I will visit your blogs as much as I can (you know I'm addicted to you guys).

I'm leaving you with a Spanish song (though it is in no way quaint or gentlemanly). I like it, so sue me. [And kaong dude, maybe you'll get what this means, haha!]

Monday, March 26, 2007

Manic Monday #7: Spring

Alas! the love of women! it is known
To be a lovely and a fearful thing;
For all of theirs upon that die is thrown,
And if 'tis lost, life hath no more to bring
To them but mockeries of the past alone,
And their revenge is as the tiger's spring,
Deadly, and quick, and crushing; yet, as real
Torture is theirs, what they inflict they feel.
-From Lord Byron's "Don Juan"

Byron said that a woman's love is both beautiful and dangerous, and woe to the man who trifles with that love because she's going to exact her vengeance on him, even though it's going to hurt her too. What a romantic image this passage evokes: that of a woman scorned and, blinded by pain and anger, unsheathes her claws to emasculate he who hurt her, to claim glorious retribution for the slight committed against her -- even though she might hurt all the more because of it. I love Byron's poetry, but does what he wrote ever happen in real life? Well, sure it does, sometimes. Remember Lorena Bobbitt? (I can imagine men clutching at their thingies while cringing at the memory of what she did to John Wayne Bobbitt.)

Well, this Manic Monday post is a true story about a woman scorned.

That's stretching it a bit though; she could hardly be called a woman because she was just a teenager then. Nevertheless, she fell in love, and she loved her boy with all the love that her little teenage heart was capable of producing. Sadly, he only felt the same way only a short time (if he ever did) because he dumped her for another girl. Our protagonist took it quite well, all things considered. Sure, she cried for days at a time. Then she went through an extended fit of anger, holding late-night powwow sessions with the girlfriends to dream up the most exquisite ways of torturing the ex and making him suffer.

But after the initial period of tears and anger, things settled down and she accepted things well enough to start communicating with the ex once more. They became, if not quite friends, at least good acquaintances again. Sometimes they'd go out or just spend time sitting around, talking and laughing. She spent her 18th birthday with him; he took her out to dinner and they went dancing afterwards (a mark of the depth of her feelings for him because she doesn't like to dance in public). She saw once again all the things about him that captured her (such as his wit and his effortless dancing) and even though she enjoyed the evening, behind the laughter a thought flitted subtly through her mind like a threatening undercurrent: Someday you are going to regret what you did. You'll be sorry you ever let me go.

Fast forward to a dozen years or so. Our erstwhile teenage female is a teenager no longer. She is standing on a corner in one of the city's shopping districts, trying to hail a taxi--which is damn near impossible during rush hour. Then she hears someone calling her name. A voice she hasn't heard in years. A ghost from the past. She turns slowly, as if in a dream, and sees the ex.

She is speechless, watching helplessly as he approaches her with the easy gait she remembers he always had. The words "Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit" run like a mantra through her mind. He is looking as good as he ever did. She, on the other hand, is feeling hot, sweaty, tired, and a wee bit grumpy. Her arms are aching from all the bags she's carrying. To top it all off... she's heavily pregnant. And she doesn't look remotely anything like those gloriously pregnant women you see in works of art. Oh, no. Let's just say that if a film producer was looking to cast a female Asian Moby Dick, she wouldn't have had to audition and she would've aced the role. Also, she had the thick ankles that Moby Dick didn't.

The ex reaches her side and while he's smiling and making pleasant chit-chat, his eyes are all but shouting "WTF happened to you?"

Someone up there sure has a sick sense of humor sometimes. Why, oh why, couldn't their paths have crossed again when she was svelte and had dainty ankles? Why did he have to chance upon her at the moment when her svelte self was buried deep beneath the flesh-and-blood incarnation of a Sherman tank?

Since her most ardent prayers for the earth to open up and swallow her are being ignored, she does the only thing she can do, which is to smile and make some pleasant conversation back. And all the while thinking: "Byron, you young romantic nincompoop. You were so full of crap."

There was no avenging tiger in evidence that day. Just one despondent whale.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

Remember the feeling you get after a particularly good but heavy meal? When every limb seems to weigh a ton, the eyelids are so heavy you can barely keep them open because you're so replete, and it seems like you're stuck in a deliciously timeless moment of sweet languor? That's how I feel sometimes when I read your blogs. Whether the topic is serious -- or seriously funny, it's still a lip-smacking treat to read.

Yes, it's Saturday morning here already. And you know what I usually post on Saturdays.

-You're on a plane; you're taking a nap on your journey to somewhere. You wake up next to a corpse. How would you react? Here's what Michael would do.

-Feeling the effects of being in one's cups one too many times and having small cups are two of the things that Mist1 and I have in common. One of the many differences between us is that she uses a sleep mask sometimes and I don't. But if I ever find myself needing to, I don't think I'd do it quite the way she did.

-Being a woman is a funny and exasperating thing. Yet we should celebrate our womanhood, as Laurzei did recently. Guys, don't forget to celebrate the women in your lives, too.

-Odat always makes me smile with her posts. She is a sunny, sunny person -- even when she's complaining about something. Case in point: her Ode to Spring. Which can also be the literary equivalent of flipping the bird at crappy weather.

-Odat likes monkeys, I've had a chuckle or two over some monkeys. What I didn't know was that Yaxlich is a brass monkey. He didn't realize he was one either, until one extremely cold day.

-It still boggles my mind to think that a terrific blogger like The Thinker is so young. She's so young that she still goes to a pediatrician for her health issues. Her well-written and endearing post about a visit to her doctor to get some shots provokes both sympathy and laughter.

-Natalie wrote that memory is a complex structure that helps shape who we are. Each of us remembers things differently; maybe that's why "truth" seems so subjective sometimes. What's sad is that so many memories remain locked within, perhaps forgotten forever.

-Natalia's brain hurts, and she's glad it does. The brain pain comes from thinking, and would that people do it more! She has a mental strength and willpower that I envy. I could take a page from her book.

Have a yummy weekend, everybody. See you again next week!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Espero que tengas exito

Debo Blue hit me with this meme:
Compose a new blog post listing the top 5 to 10 things that you do almost every day that help you to be successful. They can be anything at all, but they have to be things that you do at least 4 or 5 times every week. Anything less than that may be a hobby that helps you out, but we are after the real day in and day out habits that help you to be successful.

There are several areas in my life where I want to reach at least some modicum of success. But, like many others, I'm just someone who wants to reach something(s). Whether or not the following help me "be successful," I guess I'll find out one of these days.

*Putting a banana in my ear. Not literally, of course. This idea has its roots in a dialogue between Ernie and Bert, two of my favorite Sesame Street characters:
Bert: "Hey, you've got a banana in your ear!"
Ernie: "What?"
Ernie: "What? I can't hear you; I've got a banana in my ear!"

Sometimes you not only learn a lot from doing things out of the ordinary, or from using things for purposes other than what they are normally used for, you have lots of fun, too. This also goes for thinking out of the box. So what if you befuddle or bewilder the people closest to you from time to time when you do this? You learn something new -- maybe they will, too. And get a few laughs out of it. Which leads me to...

*Laughing. I'm glad to say that there's no shortage of sources for this one. I get a good dose regularly from family and friends (and this includes you, you, my much-appreciated online buddies). There's too much crap going on in the world and it's great to find that many of you bring a large amount of levity to this transient (and sometimes sorry) existence.

*Loving. Unless you're a robot, we all pretty much do this on a daily basis. Loving family, friends, pets, someone special -- and life itself! In spite of the headaches and heartaches it can and does bring.

*Breathing. Of course we all do this. But I learned only a short time ago that it's important to be aware of how you breathe, be conscious about how each breath comes in and goes out. I used to pooh-pooh the idea that something as mundane and necessary as breathing can have effects other than the obvious. But hey! It really does. :-)

*Writing. I do this every day. And not just on this blog (because some things just aren't meant for public consumption). Online or offline, I scribble something. What about? Oh, this and that. White horses adorned in gold; piercing and enthralling points of blue; jumping; what the gods of mythology must have looked like as they lay in unconscious repose, bathed in the early morning light; cabbages and kings borne by the wind over the moon. Crap like that. Things that make sense to no one else but me.

I won't be tagging anyone else for this meme. Of course, you can do it if you want to. Especially if you're like some people who claim (rather unsuccessfully) that they don't have anything to write about at the moment. [Just kidding, P. But please tell P. Daddy (that sounds sooo cool) to get the Goddess' consent to send that thing he promised via express courier. A whole country will be sooo grateful.]

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Wake Me Up

Let me preface this post with the statement that I love George Michael's music. That his album "Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael" is one that I listen to again and again. And that I have no issues with his sexual orientation. I have nothing against homosexuality; two of my very good friends are gay and they've been with me through thick and thin. I love them dearly.

But, I'm wondering how, when I first saw the video of Wake Me Up Before You Go Go--I was in my early teens--I could have failed to realize that George Michael was gay? The swing of the hips, the facial expressions, heck, just the short shorts and the color of his outfit in the second half of the video, gave it all away. If I saw this video for the first time today, I sure as hell wouldn't have any second thoughts about his sexuality. The thing is at that time, I was aware of the orientation of other musicians. Boy George, for instance (but one could hardly mistake his orientation). I saw at once that Freddie Mercury was gay after seeing some of Queen's videos.

So why didn't I see the same in George Michael? I wrote about this topic in another place and another time. And to this day I'm still puzzled as to how I could've missed it. Failing to see the obvious. Selective naiveté, maybe?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Thinking Bloggers

Mimi Lenox, the Queen of Memes herself and dating profile critique extraordinaire, cited yours truly and several other people as "thinking bloggers" through an award/meme started by one Ilker Yoldas. You can read about the rhyme and reason for his Thinking Blogger Award/Meme here.

Mimi said she is grateful to us for our sharing of our worlds. But words can't express just how grateful I am to her for dropping in on my world, such as it is. I didn't expect to have people visiting regularly when I started this site last year, because my blog is basically just my thoughts rendered in bits, bytes, and pixels. I offer nothing that would be of real help in your own lives: you won't find self-help material here, there are no tangible freebies, and my posts certainly won't make your bank account any fatter.

This site is merely my personal bit of virtual real estate where you'll find just my ramblings and such, and it's heartwarming to think that some of you care enough and are interested enough to spend a few minutes of your day (or night) here. People come and go just like the tides, which is okay by me. I wish everyone well. I am no comment whore (not really), but I appreciate each and every comment, whether from a blog buddy or from one who's just passing through (except spammers, whose comments I delete faster than a hooker shedding layers of clothing in the presence of a rich john). So thanks, both to the people who elect to remain unknown and to those of you who share your thoughts and reactions. Your comments make me smile (at the very least!).

I'm going to get the Thinking Blogger Award/Meme rules out of the way before I get to the nitty-gritty. Mimi said:
If you choose to carry this meme forward, remember to tag only those bloggers who stimulate your cortex....or something like that. Please make sure you pass the rules to the blogs you are tagging.

So here are the rules:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to the original post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.

3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).

Here are the people who tickle or give my cerebral cortex a swift, hard kick in the ass (if it had one); I'm tagging them for this Thinking Award/Meme. Please note that there are more than five blogs that I visit regularly (oh, God, lots and lots more), written by people whose thoughts I find pleasurable to read and who make me think. Buuuut... I will be a good girl this time and try to follow the rules. So five it is (alphabetathetically speaking):

  • An Unreliable Witness. His posts both intimidate and enthrall me. Many of them bring me to places in my mind that I'd forgotten existed.
  • It's the Little Things. Marlayna's posts, like those about her heart-wrenching childhood experiences, make me think thoughts that start with "what if."
  • The Dragon. Kiyotoe's posts deal with stuff that we can all identify with, but even though the premise is the same, the individual blogger stories that can arise from it are deliciously varied. Because we're all the same -- but different.
  • Thwarting Complacency. Jeremy is in theater. He seems to be a sensitive soul, a person whose humor-laced posts engender only positive, hopeful, and uplifting thoughts in me. His writing lightens my spirit, even when he's complaining about something!
  • Witness Lane. Migs makes me think about life here in the Philippines from his perspective -- that of a young man with an undeniable talent who's trying to find and forge his own path. I somehow feel a kinship with him.
Perhaps some of these people don't really do memes, no problem. I'll still be a constant visitor, pondering thoughts that your posts give birth to (hi, H, my soul sis!). And either blessing or cursing you for it. Also, I would've tagged some others, but they'd already been tagged.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Budding Genius?

I mentioned cotton buds in my previous post. Here's a photo of the pack of cotton buds I have in the bathroom:

cotton buds
There are a couple of things that are so wrong here:
  • The name of the product. Being tickled produces an involuntary reaction in most people. I really think making any sudden movements (such as those resulting from tickling) is not a wise thing to do when one has a foreign object inside a bodily orifice. And get your minds out of the gutter, I'm talking about ears here.
  • The product's tag line. Did the person who came up with this itty-bitty attempt at a memorable line have cotton stuffing where his or her brain should be? Did he or she really think that babies can not only read, but that they do their shopping for personal hygiene products themselves? Alternatively, if he or she wasn't referring to babies literally, how dare they call me baby? The fact that I'm just one big crybaby doesn't give them the right to call me "baby." That right is reserved solely for other big babies like me.

Oh... right.

I think I need a beer. Too much thinking. Must. Drink. Now.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Manic Monday #6: Chip

A large wad of cotton
Several cotton buds
A bottle of alcohol (not the kind for drinking)

Armed with these, I busied myself with the task at hand: to clean my keyboard. Big wad of cotton doused in alcohol to try and restore the spaces above and below the keys--and the keys themselves--to their original pristine state. Feeling a mixture of revulsion and satisfaction at seeing the keyboard turning lighter and the cotton darker. Tossed the filthy cotton thingy into the wastecan.

Moistened the tip of a cotton bud with the alcohol and pushed it in the tight spaces between the keys. White cotton tip turned darker too. Dirtied a few more cotton buds this way. Spent about an hour doing this. Wondered later why I spent an inordinate amount of time tinkering with my keyboard when I had a mountain of work to finish (I exaggerate a bit--it wasn't really a mountain of work, but it was work nevertheless). Wiping and cleaning the damn thing, poking at the cracks long after subsequent pieces of cotton had stopped turning grey.

Maybe because my mind felt at peace while I was doing it. Maybe it was too busy focusing on getting those cotton buds into the keyboard's hard-to-reach places for it to host the usual crazy parade of thoughts (most of them uninvited), which, though quite entertaining at times can also be very exhausting emotionally and spiritually. During that one quiet hour, my hands were busy. And thankfully, my mind was not.

Each of us has a mundane housekeeping task that we do every so often, and maybe we don't really notice that the mysterious, funny, and sometimes just plain weird area inside our head is undergoing some spring cleaning too. Dank and icky crevices are purged, dusty places are aired out, and everything seems better and brighter afterward. And we find that it's okay to work again. Not that it's impossible to work with a dusty keyboard. But it just feels better to work with a clean one.

What does all this have to do with today's Manic Monday theme?

keyboards are disgusting by xkcd

Well, the good news is I didn't find any chips in my keyboard. The even better news is that my mind managed to find the respite I hadn't realized it needed.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

How do you measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee?
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife?
In 525,600 minutes?
How do you measure a year in the life?

-Links to good songs usually accompany Houseband00's posts--like his most recent one. These songs stir his memories. They mean something to him, and they inspire his blog entries. Some of the songs he features are new to me. Others, like Seasons of Love, I've heard before and loved but haven't listened to in quite some time. Hearing this song again made me all teary-eyed--but in a good way. I'm such a sap.

-Dan and Laura are going to be streetwalkers in June. No, not that kind of streetwalker, silly. This is for a good cause. They're participating in an event called the Overnight, and they'll be walking the streets of Manhattan (20 miles) to gather funds for suicide awareness and prevention. Click on the links to learn how you can help.

-Why can't people all just get along? Maybe because it seems that there are more and more people all over who have abandoned things like consideration, politeness, and good manners, things that don't take any major effort to do and which would certainly make the world a better place. I've seen or bumped into my share of rude people; Marlayna and Kiyotoe wrote about some ill-mannered buffoons they've come across.

-Why can't all browsers just get along? It sucks when your site looks fine in your default browser but is all screwed up in another. My good buddy Prometheus, the ever witty wordsmith and geek extraordinaire, waxes rhapsodic on a tool for viewing a site in different browser-OS combinations, with minimum hassle. He's a cool cat, Prometheus is.

-Scott loves telling stories about adventures that he's had all over the world, but he's a bit concerned that these aren't enough to forge a connection with his readers. So he wrote a post that revealed personal stuff about him--some of them were a bit too personal, though! :-D But it was written very well, certainly a very enjoyable read. He tells his stories most entertainingly.

-Do you ever have days when you feel there's nothing you want to write about, despite the desire to write about something? I wish I could be as eloquent and as witty as Penfold when he has nothing to say.

-Dancing isn't one of my strong points, but I can certainly do the Saturday Night Duck Face, which Iz describes in this post. You can do it too, and you and you and you. Heck, you've all probably done it at one time or another. Iz doesn't really like doing it--especially on crowded dance floors, but sometimes she's forced to.

-I'm not a big fan of horror films; I can barely sit still and get through a suspense movie. But I absolutely enjoyed the video that Beckeye posted some days ago on her site. It's a reinvention of a classic. I applaud the guy who made that clip, I thought it was terrific.

-Ever wonder why the grass is green or why the ocean is salty or why cats land on their feet? Wonder no more, because Mr. Science Fabulous can tell you. Many thanks to Gale Martin for pointing her readers to one of his earlier blog entries, about what he wants to do to Life when it messes with him. I had a splendid time laughing over that one--and there are certainly moments I find myself itching to do what Mr. Fab described there. :-D

-To the men who read this blog: are you familiar with a holiday known as SBJD? If you aren't, head on over to Elizabeth's Lil Bitch blog for some tips. And ladies, take some time to read it, too. There's ample time to prepare for next year's SBJD. :-D Elizabeth can be bitchy, but she isn't a bitch, really--she gave me some tips on how to roll up my links. And I like the way she writes!

-Wishing everyone who celebrates Saint Patrick's Day a fun-filled day and night! Here's a little holiday picture for the ladies, courtesy of Morgen. Straight men need not click the link. If you'll be carousing tonight in the name of Saint Paddy, drink some green beer for me, will you? Sláinte!

See you guys next week. Have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, March 16, 2007


nightskySummer is almost within arm's reach here in the Philippines. But in my heart and mind, there exist pockets where it's always summer: a clear summer night at any of the secluded beaches embracing at least some part of each of the 7,000+ islands that make up this country. No, I don't know which particular beach it is or even precisely where it's located. Nor do I care. All I know is that it's one of my mind's regular haunts.

The sea is calm, with only the slightest of undulations that bob me gently up and down as I float on my back, arms stretched out, hair fanning the area around my head, as naturally as the seaweed beneath me. I glimpse my toes peeping out of the water, water that feels almost balmy. Water that I know is blue in the harsh glare of daylight but looks a soothing grey and an enchanting silver under the benevolent glow of the moon. I make no movements of my own to stay afloat; the sea cradles me (is this how an infant feels in the womb?) with only my face and the tips of my toes exposed to the night air, my ears attuned to the soft whoosh whoosh sound that one hears beneath the water's surface. That, and each inhale and exhale, and the steady beating of my heart. These sounds are calming.

Time slows down to almost a standstill, and it feels like I'm on the cusp of Forever. In that moment I am one with the universe. I can ask for nothing more.

My body can't help but welcome the cocoon created by the sea. In the same way, my eyes can't help but be in awe of the wondrous sight of the night sky. The inky blackness of the heavens is dotted with millions upon millions of twinkling stars, and once in a while a shooting star takes center stage. They say one should make a wish at the sight of a shooting star. But what is there left to wish for, when one feels herself to be in a time and state of perfection?

I gaze upon the stellar form of the Queen of Ethiopia sitting in her heavenly chair; I try--and fail--to locate the piscine shapes taken by Eros and Aphrodite. No matter, I know they're there anyway. My hand rises momentarily from the shelter of the ocean, a finger extending to trace an imaginary line--playing connect-the-dots--to link Ursae Major and Minor. But are they bears or dippers? I whisper the words into the night, testing them, and decide that labels don't matter. Surely the existence of the heavenly bears--or dippers--does not depend on what a girl floating on her back in the night in an ocean on a speck in the universe decides to call them.

Starlight. Constellations. Stars. Strange--and inexplicably sad somehow--to think that so many of the sources of such beauty and brilliance no longer exist.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Seek and You Shall Find...Crap Online

According to Yaxlich, a Googlie is a search phrase entered into Google to find someone's site. (But what if the searcher uses other search engines like Yahoo! and MSN? What then, Yaxlich? Huh? Huh?)

Several other bloggers have posted about search terms that led people to their blogs. May I then present my own site's googlies? Some of them are good for a laugh. If there's one thing I can say though, it's that people are strange.

woman find flatulence fun. You know, Searcher dear, there's a difference between finding something fun and finding something funny. Find it!

If I'm facing land Mimi will come and see me. Okay, I think I get this one. Mims, could you please put your sweet boyfriend out of his misery and tell him that he can turn his face to other things now because you'll be seeing him again in a few weeks?

his friends give me weird looks he looks away when I glance. Nobody ever gives me weird looks. Except my friends. And I know that they love me--they just don't want to be caught dead admitting it.

he kisses my ass but I'm still unhappy. Searcher, tell him to kiss you somewhere else then, somewhere that'll make you happy.

a woman turned around and touching her bum. Lots of reasons why a woman might be compelled to turn around and touch her bum. You won't find the answer here, though.

see my [something] blog. I don't want to type that something word here. :-) In any case, that part of my anatomy doesn't blog! At least I don't think it does.

see me wank. *chuckle chuckle* Sorry to disappoint you again, Searcher. You won't see any wanking here either--unless you're looking for a metaphor for something like mental or literary onanism.

what is lizza. If our dear Searcher finds the answer to this one, I sure hope (s)he comes back to tell me. I'd like to know too.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dreamy, Crabby, Noodly, Stormy, Friendly

A few nights ago, I had a dream. It wasn't anything noble like MLK Jr.'s, though. Still, it was a dream--albeit a silly one.

I was in a room with no walls. I had a pervading sense of a storm coming and for some reason I kept seeing the figure "3.5." Here in the Philippines, storm signal #3 is strong enough to warrant the suspension of classes, while storm signal #4 is used for super typhoons. So the coming of a 3.5 storm is reason for quite a bit of worrying.

Then in the dream, I saw a male friend of mine sitting in a chair, beckoning to a waitress. I didn't actually see any waitress there but for some reason I knew he was calling one. Dreams are strange that way, aren't they? Crazy-ass occurrences seem normal when you're in them.

I then found myself at the lower level beneath the wall-less room (don't ask me how I know it was the same building, I just do). I then saw the same male friend who told me a storm was coming..and then he asked if I was hungry. We walked into a cafeteria and he gestured towards a donut display. Next to the donut display was a glass container filled to the brim with noodles, and amongst the noodles crawled little red crabs. Which is weird, because crabs aren't red when they're still alive, are they? Again, my dream-self didn't see anything unusual about this. The sight didn't merit even an "Oh look! Live crabs in the noodles they're serving!"

Then I woke up.

And waffled between laughing at the crazy dream and smacking my mental self for all the crap in my subconscious. Anyway, I looked up what the things in the dream might be telling me. Here's what the Internet (, specifically) had to say:

To see a crab in your dream signifies your perseverance and tenacity. On an extreme note, you may be be too clingy and dependent and hanging on to a hopeless endeavor. Crabs are also symbolic of your irritable personality, as in the pun, being "crabby." [Crabby sometimes, that's me. Mea culpa.]

To see noodles in your dream signifies an abnormal appetite and desire. [*ahem* Ohhh, for beer, yes, that's it. I agree. *nods head in agreement*]

To see a doughnut in your dream represents the Self. It suggests that you may be feeling lost and still trying to find yourself and your purpose in life. Alternatively, it refers to growth, development and nurturance. You are not completely whole. [I should say I'm not. I'm missing a gallbladder. I had a cholecystectomy in the mid-1990s to remove it. Damned gallstones.]

To see a man in your dream denotes the masculine aspect of yourself - the side that is assertive, rational, aggressive, and/or competitive. If the man is known to you, then the dream may reflect your feelings and concerns you have about him. [Bull. I am not assertive, aggressive, and/or competitive. Rational? We're talking about me here, remember? Rational my ass.]

To see a storm in your dream signifies overwhelming struggle, shock, devastating loss and catastrophe in your personal affairs. The storm also represents unexpressed fears or emotions, such as anger, rage, turmoil, etc. On a more positive note, the storm signifies the rising of spirit within. [I didn't actually see a storm in the dream, just a storm warning.]

To dream that you take cover in a storm, foretells that whatever disturbance or problems is occurring in your life will quickly blow over. Consider also the phrase "weather the storm," which suggests your ability and strength to withstand whatever comes. [But I looked for food to tide me over. What the hell does that mean?]

Three signifies life, vitality, inner strength, completion, imagination, creativity, energy, and self-exploration. Three stands for trilogy as in the past, present, and future or father, mother, and child, etc.

Five represents your persuasiveness, spontaneity, daring/bold nature, action or the five human senses. This number may reflect a change in course. It is also the link between heaven and earth.

Since there's no interpretation for the 3.5 figure I saw in my dream, I added up 3 and 5 and came up with:
Eight (a major achievement for me because I'm retarded when it comes to all things mathematical):
Eight stands for power of authority, success, karma, material gains, regeneration, and wealth. When the number eight appears in your dream, trust your instincts and intuition. [But the numeral 8 itself didn't appear in my dream. Waaaaaaah!]

To see your friends in your dream signifies aspects of your personality that you have rejected, but are ready to integrate these rejected parts of yourself. The relationships you have with those around you are important in learning about yourself. Additionally, this symbol foretells of happy tidings from them and the arrival of good news. [That sounds good. Dreaming of friends is nice.]

Perhaps I need a break from beer. But...won't the dreams get crazier if I forgo my beloved libation?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Let me tell you about a short trip I remember, one of the many that I took when I was in my mid-teens (a time when The Thinker was still just a twinkle in her daddy's eye).

I was coming home from school, riding a jeepney, one of the legacies of the Americans (adapted by my ingenious and ingenuous countrymen), and a popular form of public transportation here in the Philippines. That particular trip, which I took once a week, would've normally taken an hour or so. But because of the circumstances of that particular ride, it lasted way less than that.

I was a freshman at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, staying in the university's freshman dormitory during the week. I didn't have classes on Wednesdays, so I would head on over to my parents' office (they had their own company) to spend the day with them. That particular morning started no differently from other Wednesday mornings. I boarded the jeepney and settled down for the journey. The vehicle was full, but that's a normal thing here, especially during rush hour, so I didn't think much about it. I just looked at the passing scenery and submerged myself in my thoughts--something I usually do on journeys.

After a while I felt something pressing against the right side of my chest. I tried to nudge it away, but realized in a split-second that something was wrong. I looked down and lo and behold, what did I see?

A hand.

A palm pressing against me, covered by the big bag that the man sitting next to me had on his lap. The unvinvited, unwanted, invading hand curved somewhat to cup that part of my anatomy when he saw my face swinging towards him: my eyes agog, mouth opening and closing in shock like some bewildered, retarded fish.

Imagine this scenario, if you will. We have a female teenager (me) who had been living a mostly sheltered life prior to then, unexposed in large part to the evils of this world. Also, at that time, I had never had a boyfriend--never been kissed, never been touched, never been anything! And then here was this very ordinary-looking man cupping my right (non)boob! In some godforsaken jeepney on an otherwise unremarkable morning. And he wasn't even remotely cute. :-( (God, how I hate that word.) It was like my mind couldn't make a connection between what my eyes were seeing and the alien, unwelcome hand on my body. If this incident had happened to me now I would be raising hell. But I was different then--in the age of innocence, if you will. So I didn't make a fuss, just got down from that jeepney and boarded another one.

[Oh, as an aside, I think that a person who takes advantage of minors should have his balls cut off with a blunt, rusty knife and then shoved down his throat. Or alternatively, coated with the hottest wasabi or pepper in existence and pushed way, waaaaay up high and deep inside, where the sun don't shine.]

Anyway, we come to the point of this post. That trip left me relatively unscathed (apart from the nightmares I had about it). But all of us are on that bigger journey known as life, and though we may come across people who touch our privates uninvited, or we hit a big bump in the road, or get a flat tire, we have to find ways to deal with them and learn from them. Such things can happen on any journey, it's up to us how we deal with the unwanted and the unexpected. And I think we all should [celebrate!] make and take the most of what we can from this trip. Because, like it or not, the trip's going to end someday, baby.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Manic Monday #5: Click

This is what my desktop currently looks like. I got the show-your-desktop idea from one of Ian's posts over at EDog's Everything Page. It's a shot of a sunrise over Mount Makiling, where I spent last weekend. It's about 1.5 hours away from Manila.

Sunrises and sunsets are beautiful, but what I find amazing is how fast and easy it is nowadays to share such sights with people from all over. Just take a picture with a digital camera, transfer the image to your computer, and with a few clicks of the mouse it can be emailed to friends and relatives or posted on sites for other people to see. You don't even need a computer to do that, come to think of it. If you have a camera phone, you can use MMS to send the pictures you take with it. And it can be so much fun.

In some cultures, though, people are superstitious about picture-taking, shying away from having their photos taken. They believe that the camera steals a part of their spirit, capturing it.

In a way, I think they're right.

A sliver of time frozen on a screen or on paper (if you have the photo printed). A modern relic of a moment that can never, ever be recaptured. You can try to replicate all the conditions present in the photo but it wouldn't matter--nothing will ever be exactly the same. Because that moment is gone forever. And the memory of what you were feeling at the moment that the picture was taken will probably dissipate like the mountain's morning mist if it weren't for certain stimuli that tug (sometimes most unexpectedly) at remembrance.

Such as a photograph.

And for a few seconds you're transported back in time, feeling the same feelings and thinking the same thoughts as when the camera captured that particular moment. That dead moment--which springs briefly back to life in your mind because you saw a ghost.

Sound is also a powerful stimulus, as is smell. Wouldn't it be cool if a camera could capture scent in addition to image? Or perhaps not.


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.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Template chaos

I like the lighter theme, but I'd prefer a color other than white. And as much as I adore coffee, I'd prefer another image in the banner. Something like *cough cough* my beloved San Miguel beer *cough cough*. Or my previous Darna banner, I really liked that.

I'm also looking for a script that would roll up my links neatly. And maybe a code for kickass category images. And maybe something--a script that would get rid of my corns and help me win the lottery. What's that you say? There's no such code? Damn.

sanniIn the meantime, the sexy and ever so sweet blogger in Germany known as Sanni is showing her appreciation for her fellow bloggers via her own BL-Oscar Awards. Her recent post made me feel all warm and appreciated. Thank you, Sanni, for thinking of me and for including me in such good company. I wish you nothing but the best. Tight hugs and much love to you.

Getting Her Groove Back

And she's back in the (high-speed) saddle. Woo hoo!

Alas, no Blogworld Saturday this week, but she'll make up for it next week. She missed all of you too, and she'll be making her rounds soon. So...giddyap!

(But why the hell is she writing in the third person? )

Friday, March 09, 2007


No. It has not timed out, no matter what the powers that be might say, no matter how disjointed and fragmented the kaleidoscope seems to be. Thoughts are scattered, and feelings. But there is a rhyme and reason for all things, and time will tell what the pattern that the dregs of tea leaves in the bottom of the cup really means.

The cock may crow thrice, Atlas may shrug, the indecipherable handwriting on the wall may really bode doom this time, who the hell knows? But if, in spite of the best intentions, thoughts and deeds, you fall and are caught unawares when the shit hits the fan... then go shed the extraneous and the unnatural, and take a long, hot, fragrant bath.

And then try again.

Because the connection won't time out for too long if you really don't want it to. And if you don't let it.

[spewing, ranting just a teeny bit because my high-speed provider seems to be having PMS right now--it's been about a day-and-a-half now, actually--leaving me no choice but to use dial-up. Which is slower than how my brain cells work when it comes to trying to do math. Hence my almost maniacal state of mind, like a junkie going through withdrawal symptoms. But I'm thankful that I at least have a connection, though it isn't what I've (shamefacedly) become accustomed to.

Apologies, both for the cryptic post and for my (unwilling) absence. I will traipse once again through the blog world once things normalize. Right now, whatever Net access I'm privileged to have must be allocated for work. Which is fine, because I love my work. It's just that I miss reading your blogs so.]

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Wendz's Mini-Picture Meme

Wendz did a picture meme and tagged me with it. I decided to do one about a joke that my sister emailed me because I thought it was cute. I hope you get a smile out of it, too. :-D

Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married. She was admired for her sweetness and kindness to all.

One afternoon the minister came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room.

She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea. As he sat facing her old organ, the young minister noticed a cut-glass bowl sitting on top of it. The cut-glass bowl was filled with water, and in the water floated, of all things, a condom!

When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat. The minister tried to stifle his curiosity about the cut-glass bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and he could no longer resist.

"Miss Beatrice", he said, "I wonder if you would tell me about this?" pointing to the cut-glass bowl.

"Oh, yes," she replied, "Isn't it wonderful? I was walking through the park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground. The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet and that it would prevent the spread of disease.

Do you know, I haven't had the flu all winter."

Monday, March 05, 2007

Manic Monday #4

This week's Manic Monday theme word: blow (any form of the word can be used)


The following conversation, or something like it, is almost certain to ensue between a little girl and her mommy whenever the wind blows extra hard, even when the day is bright and sunny.

Little girl: (in a tremulous voice and with a hint of tears in her eyes) Mama, is there going to be a storm today?
Mommy: No, darling. There won't be any storm today.
Little girl: Are you sure?
Mommy: Yes, I'm sure. Don't worry. (and she enfolds her little girl in her arms in an effort to soothe her fears. And she usually succeeds.)

Ever since the little girl saw the havoc that a super typhoon can wreak on the world as she knows it--like felled trees and lampposts and power shortages for several days--she has been afraid of storms and any stronger-than-usual gust of wind that races through the leaves of the trees surrounding their house is enough to trouble her. But there are people around her to whom she can turn, who can assuage her fear and give her the comfort and reassurance she needs.

Little girls aren't the only ones who feel afraid. I think we're all afraid of something, though many of us won't admit it. Fear may strike the heart of a little boy once the lights are out and he feels that there's a monster in the closet just waiting to devour him; news reports of rape might make a woman's heart beat a tad faster as she walks home alone after dark; a teenager breathes, eats, and sleeps all things academic because she's afraid of disappointing her parents if she doesn't get high marks; a man drinks at a speed faster than to which he's accustomed because he's afraid that people will question his manliness if he doesn't.

Fear can be provoked from within and without, it may seem silly or not, and it doesn't matter if the source of one's fear is real. That little boy probably knows that there really isn't any monster lurking in his closet, but the fear that he feels is real.

Which brings to mind the movie Apocalypto (and I agree with fellow blogger Nunu's Mum: it rocked! The action, acting, and cinematography were breathtaking). I was talking it over with my dear friend Marnie and she called me weird when I told her I found it inspiring.

"And what, pray tell, did you find inspiring about it?" (Well, she doesn't really talk like that, but the essence of what she asked is the same.)

It's the part where Jaguar Paw turns to his pursuers and shouts: "This is my forest. I am not afraid!"

Prior to that though, he was afraid. Who wouldn't be, after the hell he had just gone through and still had to face? Still, he didn't give up, didn't lose focus on his motivation, used his environment to his advantage, and played to his strengths. As someone once said: "Courage isn't the absence of fear, it's the mastery of it." And that he certainly did. Also, it probably didn't hurt at all that he was one lucky bastard during the film's critical moments.

Facing one's fear and conquering it is easier said than done. But with perseverance, a touch of the bite-me attitude, and maybe with a bit of encouragement from the people who matter in one's life, it can be done.

Except when it comes to frogs. Because no amount of hand-holding or hugging or flipping the bird or words of encouragement will change the fact that the little buggers scare the living hell out of me.


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.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

Already Saturday in my part of the world again, folks. My, how time flies when you're older. I wonder how fast the days will seem to go by when I'm in my eighties--if I'm lucky enough to reach that venerable decade age-wise.

Anyhoo, here are just some of the blogs and blog posts I've enjoyed reading the past week. Just because I didn't mention you this week doesn't mean I didn't like what I read. I did! Problem is there's just too many of you to mention in one post. I hope you like at least one of these as much as I did.

-What's the Point of Guinea Pigs is a jewel of a blog. Phoenix writes about Princess Kitty and Growly Bear, their love for each other, their efforts to discover the meaning of guinea pigs (which they sometimes are on the verge of finding), their mutual passion for making and eating honey, among other things. The posts are delightful, endearing, full of simple yet deep thoughts. I just want to take this blog in my arms and give it a big hug.

-The Dragon is back after a lengthy hiatus and his posts are as wise and thoughtful as ever. Kiyotoe is a writer, and he wants to write about stuff that we humans can relate to. There's a wealth of material for that because, as he says, there are so many things that we have in common that are lying underneath all the differences.

-I had never before heard of the word synesthete until CSL wrote about her son being one. It sounds fascinating; he experiences numbers and letters as colors. Isn't that amazing? I'm sure that it contributes to his love for music.

-Sometimes you just gape in shock when you learn something new about a blogger. Wendz had a recent post about a terrible ordeal she went through about two years ago, one that nobody should ever have to experience. Wendz is also celebrating her birthday today (if it's still the second of March in your part of the world. So go on over to her site and support her decision not to lose too much weight and to keep her bum and her boobs.).

-Fellow Pinay blogger Maggie (I found her site through Wendz) wrote about her addiction to addiction. We've all been addicted to something at one point or another in our lives, and a lot of us quit only when we're good and ready to do so. Oh, yeah.

-Sometimes simple is best, simple can show how smart or how, ummm, simple you are. Cappy sure as hell simplified something that I'm sure we've all been asked to search for in the past. I just wish I'd known about this technique when I was in high school. :-D

-Maryanne, another fellow Pinay blogger who writes over at Sensibilities, brought this site to my attention, and I'm glad she did. It's called The Dullest Blog in the World. It's another example of how short and simple can be awesome. And hilarious. Here's a sample entry from that site:

Going outside
I was inside my house and decided that I would like to go outside for a while. I picked up my keys, opened the front door and stepped outside. I turned around and closed the door behind me.

And that's it! Too bad it isn't being updated anymore.

-Did you know that there's such a thing called Inappropriate Card Day? I didn't, not until a few days ago. It takes place every 26th of February and it was created by Diesel, who writes the humor blog Mattress Police, and his wife. The rules?

You can give an inappropriate card to anyone. There are no rules. Well, except for the fact that the card has to be completely inappropriate -- and not risque inappropriate; that's too easy. It has to be a card that would be perfectly appropriate for someone other than the recipient, preferably on a completely different day.


Well, that's it for now. I'm off for the next couple of days, so I'll be seeing you all again next week. Everybody stay safe and sexy!

Friday, March 02, 2007


Fourteen years ago today, I was being driven to the hospital because I was feeling the most godawful pain I had ever experienced in my whole life. Those eight hours of unremitting pain were terrible, but they were undoubtedly worth it. They were part and parcel of one of my life's greatest blessings: my son.


One afternoon, about ten years ago, we were walking along the street. Suddenly he looked down, looked up at me and said most casually, "Mama, I have a wound." I looked and was horrified to see his right slipper all wet and red with blood. I picked him up in my arms and hobbled the best I could home (I have scoliosis and carrying anything heavy makes my back hurt something awful). I brought him to the bathroom to wash the wound. I barely noticed the bolts of pain that were playing tag in the region of my lower back, and the trail of blood behind us; all I could think was "Dear God, the blood!" which played like a litany over and over in my mind. I wasn't a nervous wreck, my hands were steady as I washed the blood away, but there was this cold stone in the pit of my stomach that felt like it was growing larger by the second, threatening to cut off my breathing. Good thing the bleeding stopped; I could feel myself starting to want to scream.

Turned out a shard of glass had made its way under his foot despite him wearing slippers, and that's what caused the wound. Unbelievable how so small an injury could cause so much bleeding. I read later that lots of bleeding can occur in the extremities, even if the wound is small.


Throughout the years, I saw how good he was at writing--much better than me when I was his age--and how he has a talent for drawing as well. That's good; I can't even draw a straight line! And he was such an affectionate kid when he was growing up; always hugging and kissing me. He and hubby have a great relationship, but I was the one to whom he entrusted his emotional side: sharing his writing, crying in my arms when he was hurt or disappointed. He thinks and acts methodically in many ways, like his father. His sense of humor is fantastic, he says witty things that make us all laugh out loud. But he's also such a sensitive soul, up until now. He and I are uncannily alike in that aspect.

mom and son

To this day, he's still affectionate. When I pass him as he does his homework or while he's watching TV, he always stands up and comes to me to give me a hug and a kiss.


One day, about seven years ago, he and I were going to school. I forget the reason I went with him, probably a PTA meeting. Anyway, there we were holding hands, about to enter his school. All of a sudden he yanked his hand from mine and walked hurriedly ahead of me. I was a bit bewildered--until I heard him greet some other kids. "Aahh," I thought, as understanding dawned. He doesn't want to be seen holding Mommy's hand. It made me smile, even though my heart twinged a little in pain.

Fast forward to last year. He was 13 years old, a high school sophomore. The school was holding an event in which his sisters (ages seven and five) were participating, and I was there to watch them. I went up to my son's classroom after the event and caught him and some of his classmates lounging outside (they were in between classes). I saw him dart a glance at me and then, to my utter stupefaction, he shifted his glance away and pretended that he hadn't seen me. My eyes narrowed to slits, and I started to see red. I called to him, he came over (of course, everybody was looking at us). I gave him my message and walked away, nonchalant, not motherly at all.

Later, when he came home after school, I sat him down for a talk. I told him that I wouldn't dream of acting like a crazy mother in front of his peers, but that if he ever treated me that way again, I would do something to embarrass him to no end: lavish him with kisses, call him my baby, talk baby talk to him--all in front of his friends. I think I got my message across because he never again treated me that way, as if he didn't know me.


Last week he and his classmates came over after school. I peeked at them as they were sitting in the garden, drinking soda, shooting the breeze, just laughing. And something in me wanted to cry out of love and sheer wonder. Where did all the years go? The chubby little boy-toddler was no more.

Instead, there's this male specimen whose voice is starting to change, who's growing at what seems like an inch per second, who's starting to sprout facial hair (I don't know if he has hair down there already--he won't let me look). He's becoming more independent, his horizons are expanding, and all his parents can do is to give him their support and love as he tests his boundaries and capabilities and starts exploring life.

But (and don't tell him I said this) though he's turning into a man, he will always be my baby.

Happy 14th birthday, my funny, darling man-boy. I love you more than words can ever say.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Of Chickens and Birthdays

I'm in the mood for a chicken story...

Once upon a time there was a little chicken. Well, actually she was a big Chicken, in more ways than one. So we'll call her Chicken Big (or CB) instead of Chicken Little.

CB had certain dreams when she was still a chick, but when she grew up she found that those dreams had to take the back burner. But she couldn't complain. There wasn't any reason to, not really. Oh no, CB had a good life. There were just these normal, everyday annoyances that every chicken encountered, but which really didn't matter when one looked at the big picture. She had her hen-house, the little chicks and the rooster were all pecking away happily, she had her feathers, none of them had avian flu. She was okay in the hen-house, doing her chicken-scratches on the soil, liking them sometimes, hating them most of the time. But she was often surprised to find that lots of other chickens liked her scratchings.

Then one day, the chicken crossed the road (we're still talking about CB here).

It wasn't so much what she found at the other side of the road that thrilled her (though that was a big part of it: new sights, new sounds, new chickens!). No, it was the experience of crossing the road, of finding her way to her destination all by herself, of trying to communicate with the odd-sounding chickens (who sounded like ducks), of discovering how the chickens across the road did stuff. And the experience remained with her...and she wanted to do it again: cross a different road, see how creatures on the other side of those roads lived--the lions, the flamingoes, the tigers, the baboons, even the frogs (though she shudders slightly at that last one). The dreams that lay dormant in her little chicken brain and in her little chicken heart were awakened, and they consumed her.

The thing is, she realizes that crossing those roads will not be easy for her by any stretch of the imagination. She does not have a chicken trust fund, and she rarely takes part in the chicken lottery (which she has a gazillion-in-one chance of winning, anyway). The only way she sees she can cross those roads is through her chicken-scratchings. She was gratified when she found out that a couple of hen-houses were interested in her scratchings.

Gratified? She was ecstatic! After all, these hen-houses could very well pave the way for her ticket across the road. So what's holding her back from the potential realization of her chicken dreams?

CB is afraid.

Afraid that her scratchings are not up to par. Afraid that her scratchings will be ridiculed by other chickens who have crossed so many roads before her. Simply put, she's afraid that her scratchings are not good enough, and that they never will be. Because other chickens do it so much better, and they have the right to crow about it.

CB is trying to gather her courage, but she finds it so damn hard. She is paralyzed by fear.

Hardly surprising. After all, she's chicken.


Now, on to a more cheerful thought.

The guy taking forty winks in the pic is a dear friend of mine, and he's celebrating his birthday today (well, in a few more hours in his part of the world). Happy, happy birthday, Victor! He's not only an exemplary boss business partner; he's a good friend, too. I'm thankful for the crossing of our paths because I've learned a lot from him (continuing to learn, actually) and because he always has encouraging words for me--they might be buried underneath a ton of wisecracks, but I'm grateful for them nevertheless. I sure hope he doesn't ever rue the day he decided to ask me to work with him (though I have a sneaking suspicion that the smartass was drunk when he made the offer).

So CHEERS, Victor, my dear and sweet friend! You know that I'm wishing you not only the best of everything, but that you get them in overwhelming amounts. Have a hiccup-free birthday! I'm also wishing you oodles of fun, the fulfillment of all of your dreams, and the patience to reach them. Oh, and lots more moolah, of course, smarty. :-)