Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Cousin Ami

She's baaaaack. And just what was she thinking trying to get herself enrolled at the University of the Philippines? She'd had it so good at the University of Minnesota! I guess my cousin got bitten by the same bug that seems to favor foreigners like Tadao Hayashi, David Pomeranz and Keith Martin. They stop by here and suddenly want to stay. While getting bitten is fatal mistake for some (Hayashi), Ami feels it is eminently right for her to be here.

And who am I to argue? There's a willowy blonde with striking blue eyes living at the International Center, a floor below Ami's would-be room. Hey, hey-- minds out of the gutter! I meant that if she and Ami ever get acquainted, I'm going to paint her.

Hmmm... time to engineer a friendship...

Cousin Ferdey

I'm at his place now, blogging on the fly while the computer installs crucial software and updates in the background. As I'm forced to stay in Quezon City for the nonce, I'm keen on getting away from the parents and get some work done without their noses and chins poking into my face. The Sta. Mesa hideaway being unavailable for the moment, my cousin's well-designed, well-maintained sanctuary is an ideal place.

Some people will never be content until they know everything about anything and anyone. Not that it's intrinsically bad, human curiosity being an impeller of human progress and endeavor-- besides, I'm like that. The point is, all that prying into one's life often impedes what little progress there is to be made in the refinement of that life. Though they may argue that all the prying is only part of the refining crucible and that one shouldn't complain.

Note to self: I'm not going to put my own kid through too much of this. All prying, if prying must be done at all, should be conducted with the discreetness of a smooth and capable private detective, else the kid gets paranoid and starts fearing-- not trusting-- you.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Happy birthday, Pop!

Coming Home and Having to Come Back Later

Coming home to Sta. Mesa was an odd experience. I was reminded that I had to pick up some laundry from the cleaners a month ago: I saw the laundry claim stub lying in apparent languor in one of my "survival money" bins. A colony of termites had decided to extend its residential tunnels into the apartment and onto the ceramic floor. The mice and lizards were scarce, though their leavings were plentiful near the hole in the kitchen counter.

I spent this afternoon breaking out- and bussing about with- the Blu Star (detergent), my custom-made Perla (myrmex-repellant) nebulizer and the hydrophilic mop. I was Domestic Dex again.

Honey's no slob. But her assertion that her sched leaves her little time for domestic cleanups is more believeable than Suede's. That band could at least afford to hire people to pick up after them. Until recently, Honey had me for the job.

There were other loose ends. My painting, Celphone Girl, still needed a smile and a long overdue adjustment of her eyes. I'd been working on it on-and-off since 2002.

I had to return to Tatalon, as I still had a cartload of personal and professional errands to finish off. It was comforting(!) to be able to eat in the same student-subsistence eatery. Ditto to take the train to the nearest SM mall on the way back.

As I write I'm prepping for another excursion out of here. More errands.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Fringe Living Alone?

It occurs to me that I may soon have no beautiful woman about whom to feel very blessed. I will either--

1. prematurely expire from a preventable disease or some act of human stupidity; or
2. she will "wise up" and leave me for someone better equipped to protect her future progeny.

Whatever happens, happens. Life is too short for me to cry over spilled milk-- now or in the forseeable future. One thing is certain: If she leaves, I'll never be able to call anyone else Honey again. Unless that's her given name.

Maybe I should start looking up Kristin-clone. Or maybe I oughta be a Man's Man instead? Scott Bakula is kinda cute...

Saturday, October 09, 2004

The Bed of Procrustes, Revisited

I've been pussyfooting around a task for a week now. This ain't good. My excuse is that the glare from the monitor is enervating, and when dealing in work I wish I didn't have to do, this enervation is simply too much to take. I know, of course, that I have to plow through it anyway. So I'm getting out my trusty wad of paper and doing it there.

Of course, Procrustes and his bed have little to do with procrastination. But for all the work I've not done, I might as well be tied to the cursed thing. If you were too tall, Procrustes gleefuly cut off your offending limbs. If you were too short to fit the bed, he stretched you mercilessly until you did.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Sundays in Lira-Land

Like College All Over Again
This morning I missed another Tai Chi class. The last time was on account of the minor mess that immediately followed my Granny's death. This morning I had to contend with yet another entrance/proficiency exam. Having taken them most of my life, I was mildly surprised-- and miffed-- that I couldn't completely answer the "math" parts of the test. I had to use up all the time required for the exam, much to my chagrin. Rightly or not, I'd feel very disappointed if I were to find out I didn't make the passing score.

Side Trip to Smallville
After I returned the chairs my co-examinees had liberated from the other classrooms, I made my way to the UP to catch the arnis class that followed my aborted Tai Chi session. I got lucky-- I actually found a girl at the UP Shopping Center who bore a resemblance to Kristin Kreuk. She handed me my mineral water and change with a smile that I readily returned. Never mind that we both liked what we saw: I had Honey, I had to get to the arnis class and Kristin-clone was probably still a minor. I had to scuttle nascent thoughts of shameless attention-seeking. But tarrying at the Shopping Center a few more minutes to appreciate her was well worth missing the arnis warmups.

I walked to the UP Lagoon literally thanking God for making my morning. It only occured to me to ask Him politely if I could run into Allison Mack much, much later.

Happy Hour
Jo-- our friendship goes back a ways-- had postponed her lunch birthday blowout last week. Which meant there would be no videoke, no beer, and no Slow Rock Extravaganza(R). Lucky for us, she finally decided that it would be cheaper to simply feed her friends at Mang Jimmy's in the Balara area. Had someone asked me if there were deeper motives for Jo's change of venue, I would have provided one: she wanted to spare herself the music of Queen, Nazareth, the Scorpions, Rod Stewart, the April Boys and Aegis...-- part of the Slow Rock Extravaganza I promised her.

I promise everyone who can't stand the slow rock music blaring incessantly from our jeepneys-- yes, they got featured in the last Amazing Race-- that I will render unto him the Slow Rock Performance of a Lifetime on his birthday. Complete with my frighteningly convincing drunken slurring and lewd multiple personality/bipolar behavior.

It's all in good fun: Everyone gets a laugh, I get to de-stress and lampoon our people's drinking habits. I swear, few things are as frightening as burly unwashed drunken tattooed Filipino males jockeying for the videoke microphone.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

A Word of Thanks

Those of you who wrote to comfort me; those of you who came to the wake and the burial; those of you who prayed for my Granny or my family; those of you who simply wished me well-- you guys are wonderful people. I cannot thank you enough for the comfort you have made me feel.

When the tears had finally come, moments before the coffin was laid into the earth at the well-manicured grass of the Heritage Park in Taguig, I was not crushed by grief. I'd always known that the feisty old woman, who had made it a habit to round us up at six p.m. so we could sullenly pray the Angelus, had lived a full life, and by some standards was guaranteed a decent place in the Great Hereafter. I remember telling my friend Eline that these tears were not an evil thing. When the tears came, I welcomed them as a sign that I was "normal" enough to feel what others were feeling about Lola's passing; I had marvelled that there were no tears when I first touched her corpse to look for signs of life.

Pamilya ng mga Tsismoso

I'm a little peeved at my family, though how their minds worked was understandable. They'd actually thought Eline was my girlfriend. What happened to Anna? they wondered. I didn't bother to point out that Granny's funeral was hardly the time to be speculating about my love life. I dispelled notions of anything romantic between me and my good friend, but someone is bound to be unable to let the matter drop...

My love life is sacrosanct while we are unmarried, Family. Especially during funerals and other occasions where we gather.