Monday, June 28, 2004

Seeing Through the Eyeballs of Love

I was late to meet my pals at what used to be Iceberg's at the Glorietta 4. Then I found my friend, Rez. I followed Rez from Glorietta 4 through 2, where he stopped to grab a bite at Komoro Soba. I stopped there too, and got pretty much blew a hundred bucks on food. All that time I'd been shadowing him, he never noticed me-- which I found weird, because he's usually a lot sharper than this. To be fair, I it wasn't my stalking and shadowing proficiency that kept me from registering on his peripheral vision. Rez had his girlfriend with him, and all his attention was on her.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Ah Nuts!

Attacking a magazine layout these days is harder than I expected. It's supposed to be right up my alley. It still is. It's just so different now, content-wise, seeing as the mag is not my usual fare. Have to adjust color and layout accordingly. Coping. Have to.

The next time I drop out of sight, please remind me not to take myself completely out of circulation.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

In Lieu of Coins, Sticks or Tea Leaves...

Your Name: Omar Dexter Sebastian Lira
Your Date of Birth: 01/02/1974
Your Question or Information:


Thurisaz - Beginning new projects, luck-the hand of fate helping you, protection, the hammer of Thor, opening gateways.


Ehwaz - Abrupt changes, moving into new home and environment, travel, swift change in situation.


Lagaz - Intuition, imagination, success in studies, creativity, vitality and passion (especially for women).

Cast the runes here:
Rune Caster
by [info]brindy

Sunday, June 20, 2004

That Look

If there is anything I fear more than an end to my immediate existence, it is the way you look at me right now. It's as if I was candy yesterday and now I'm the baby lizard that fell into the fruit juice somebody nearly drank.

I'm reduced to asking the eternal question-- "Now what'd I do?" And I know it's not what I did: just what I think, how I think and maybe who I am. And as usual, I am neither quick nor wise enough to do or say the things that will make it alright.

Please forgive me for being dumb and male.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

That's a Possibility

With at least one friend wringing everyone he knows for Filipino words and a crash course in Filipino syntax, I'm half tempted to do an article on Filipino itself. Only, I'm not the best person to do that and I'm still in the middle of my final English article for the Big Bodega.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Thank You, Yahoo!

Those of you who've had active Yahoo email accounts since... well, since ten or so years ago will be pleasantly surprised when you check for messages.

Yep. Updated interface that's easy on the eye, plus a hundred beautiful megabytes of storage space!

Now that's what I call a loyalty program.

Thank you Yahoo!

Fiscal Recovery

It's easy to run around sinning; atonement, however, is a bitch.
-Evil Dex

What's true for the realms of the spiritual and moral is apparently also true for money. The night those dyologs robbed me of my phone was the same night I lost my wallet and cards. And yeah, P2000. Yes, to the same hooligans. I was to use that money as down payment for a Trusty(TM) Printer, and begin Project Fringe Business.
Serves me right for carrying so much money on me while I was traveling on foot.

Digression: But how could I be robbed in Tatalon when I live there fergodssakes? Well, I was robbed at the border of Tatalon and Talayan and those creeps probably weren't Tatalon natives... End Digression.

At any rate, I'm slowly rebuilding my war chest. I've been to the bank, made my deposits and I've been reissued an ATM card. In a few months, I'll probably have that printer to complement my Trusty(TM) digicam, my Real Man's(TM) Lamp, my Battered(TM) Laptop, my Battered(TM) Notebook and my HomeMade Large Reflective Surfaces.

Can you guess what I'll be doing? I'll give you a gold star.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Lost & Listless in the World of Words

Apparently, the only time my work merits notice is if it wins contests and makes the news somehow, somewhere. Then it's back into the bowels of obscurity until I can win another one: par for the course. But knowing this, I still can't help but feel a little... bitter.

Nobody really spends his writing time by primarily fine-tuning poetry for contests-- at least nobody should be. But you know exactly how much of yourself was immolated to satisfy the inner muse: every rejection, every sleepless hour, every misallocated second. It's only natural that you'd want an acknowledgment of that sacrifice; only natural that what little acknowledgment there is feels woefully inadequate.

Yes, I've been lucky. I have the freedom to rant and make an ass of myself on the world wide web. I've won a few local contests and made girls swoon (except the one I wanted!) and mothers weep. I've been noticed by a few literary giants-- there's what amounts to a footnote in an online catalogue of Philippine Contemporary Poetry-- and published in at least one book that is treated lightly in the 'States and read by absolutely nobody in the Philippines, barring relatives and friends. People who exploit me for my writing skills admit to my being "good" --which is why I keep getting exploited (I'm a sucker for real praise). I'd have to admit, there are few in this country who can say even that much of themselves, and they're heavily concentrated in even fewer places-- Manila, Makati, Bacolod, Cebu.

And yet.

Where is my big payoff? When do I luck out? When do I stop being the artist surfing on a vector asymptotic to the axis of "success?"


One day, the inner sage tells me. I just hope I'm still around to properly enjoy it when it actually happens. In the meantime, you'll all forgive me if I don't hold my breath.

C'est la vie.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Some Poems

Every poet experiences this.

Some poems a poet isn't prepared to write. It's not because these poems are hard to engineer. He knows that on other days he can pull line after rhythmic line to make the ladies swoon, or the mothers weep. The skill is there; just not the heart to put the themes to his usual mercenarial use.

A poet's angels don't make inroads into that dread territory, not when the poems speak of loss, however evitable, from unexpected quarters.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

The Ineradicable Artist

Last night as I toured the renovated Virra Mall--I swear part of it looked like it belonged in Podium-- with Honey, I noticed a simple and profound event unfolding in a drugstore. Standing out in that morass of prefab creativity was a salesclerk, furtively drawing, ah, "Flowers of Love" on a cheap ledger. At least that was what the bold text, done in black ink, said the drawing was.

She noticed me noticing her, and then she tried to hide the work in progress with her back. Too bad for her, I had stalker training to fall back on. I had already taken a good look at the red ink flowers coming into bloom under her struggling, rather kitsch pen. I felt like materializing in my usual creepy way within her personal space and giving her a few drawing pointers, but I thought the better of it.

She's under enough pressure already, engaging in non-work on the sly. Nice to know that dreams still grow in barren soil.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Putting Wayward Photos Through My Number Cruncher

This... happened at Ian's Sizzling Sisig Summer Soiree. Like a grinning fool, I went around snapping pictures with what my friend Paul referred to as my handy little spycam. As the thing could take in 1.3 megapixels, I was confident that with adequate lighting, I could come away with memories I can show off to the common friends who didn't make Ian's party. While I pride myself at being able to shoot decent pics under low lighting conditions with a single lens reflex camera carrying ASA 400 film, I quite forgot that there are limits to ultra-small digital cameras without a flash.

I am sad to say I lost most of my photos to the darkness, despite my hours of CSI-work on them. I even those with Myles and his kid in 'em. Ah nuts. On the upside, Nikka will find the absence of her pictures a good thing. Why, I'll never know.

But it galls me that I could not have saved certain other photos-- the ones that steal the breath and stop the heart, in a good way. C'est la vie.

I have little idea as to who this is.
My punishment for
not shooting with enough light.

A friend having fun. Privacy concerns
keep me from divulging
too many names.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Aliens Have Abducted My Parents

The first time I, yes, went to a shrink was early 2003. No, the shrink wasn't Paul and neither was it my girlfriend-- both psych grads, one of them saddled with a headcase.

Mom was worried--she's always worried-- about my mental health. Why don't I want the things normal folk want, like a degree or nine-to-five employment? Why haven't I married Honey? Why am I so contrary? Why won't I accept the jobs she finds for me?

So, without my consent and prior knowledge, she books me an appointment with a shrink. I am incensed at the patent disrespect and condescension but I go anyway: I've long known I was a head case, and as such, needed the help.

I pretty much rambled for an hour, talked about how imprisoning life at home stuck with mom and pop had felt. I was twenty nine fergodsakes I was still subject to the tyranny of motherhood: all those helpful little recommendations that were really ironclad orders, the nagging, the dismissive behavior (because only mommy knows best)...

I said I'd had dreams of independence and fears that it was never going to happen, as long as I was living in a place where I was going to be constantly judged and found wanting.

I had issues, Ms. Shrink said. I agreed. Then she said she needed my mom to attend our next scheduled one-hour session. Because obviously mom and pop had a hand in this, and had to be part of the solution. I relayed it to mom with that feeling of deja vu...

The funding abruptly stopped and so did the sessions. I was stymied. Again. Just like old times with mom and pop.


Imagine my surprise when my brother tried to broach the idea of head therapy co-starring mom and pop with me as the main attraction. Long term funding, long term attendance, whatever it takes. Mom and pop had been talking about this for some time, and they figure it's a good idea.

Still lamely trying to help, mom? Just figured out that therapy is a family affair? Guess what?

That. Gesture's. A little. Too Late.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Doing a Thom Filicia for Casa la Fringe

I've almost single-handedly rearranged the furniture here three or four times since I moved in here with Honey, some few months ago. My inner gay guy is so happy that the other, more male, sides of my persona are raising a howl. This is the price I pay for being a house hubby who loves hanging with his friends-- some of whom are very, very gay. But then where would my class be without them?

Hang around a snazzily dressed gay guy long enough and the stylishness you envy will rub off on you. Just pray that's the only thing that rubs off of him and descends on your shoulders like a comforting feather boa... yesss... so soft, so downy... I positively must get the matching sequined dress, high heels and ABBA soundtrack...

You know I'm kidding, right? Right...?

I'm a little miffed because I'm putting aside valuable work time to please the missus. She's got a friend coming over. Tonight. So they can have that high school sleepover they'd always talked about but never got around to doing some ten years ago. Ergo, the domicile must look less like a Real Man's™ pigsty and more like my new phone: Sleek, Chic and Metro™. My e-portfolio may be far from leaving the conceptual stage, but the rewards of making your woman happy usually outweigh the lost time and revenue.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Notes from the Fringe: Laughing All the Way to the Bank

The Price of Freedom

I invested the last of the money that I earned from my last writing and teaching gigs by putting it in the bank.

Hardly blogworthy, since there is nothing unique about the practice of saving money for a rainy day. No biggie-- Especially if what you're worth right now comes down to P2333.33. Sheez Louise, today's upper middle class kids get to put in six times that amount.

It still galls me that my pals are used to dealing with money in excess of fifty thousand pesos per earning period and I'm sniffing 'round the economic refuse bin. But that, sadly, is part of the price I pay for choosing to live my life unfettered by corporate restraints.

But for all that crap, I finally have a bank account where clients can electronically direct their well-spent, hard-earned money for my services rendered. At least I feel like a man again. It's a new start.

What price, freedom, indeed? Not all of us who live on the fringe (hence my blog) are as dogged, as determined, as talented, as endowed with the necessary chutzpah or are even as healthy as those of us who've made it big (try last entry's Buddy Zabala). Few of us even have the luxury of a love, who despite the incurred derision, takes you in her arms at night and puts up with your fringe behavior. This is not a life for the timid and the pretentious, and at times I am both.

For all that, I am for the most part happier, if nuttier, and more prone to "the thousand ills and mishaps the human body is heir to."

The Long Mea Culpa

Make your judgements--

A) I am a loser because I chose to make all those little bad calls that will grow by accretion into the Mark of Cain. There were lots of things I could've done to wind up in a different place, but I either wimped out or took for granted all that precious wasted time and opportunity. I didn't make due with my social security payments; ergo I don't deserve a pension check at the end of every month. I didn't have the discipline it takes to truly be grown-up in a world that relies on you to function as grown-ups.

B) I walked into this life eyes wide open.

C) I did a little of both.

You can hold me up as an example to your children of what choices not to make if you want to get ahead in the world. You'd probably be right to do so. I just wonder, though, if that's going to be enough to keep them in the neat, safe little cubicles you build for them. There's a reason why people are giving up desk jobs, and it has little to do with The Recession.

It hurts, when you snicker behind my back, when your eyes cut away from mein just that way. But I've come to the point where I almost no longer give a damn-- I'll be too busy trying to live up to the choices I've made.

Here's to hoping we all live our lives well, regardless of where in life we are.