How Not to Spend Sundays

July 31, 2008

 

Basically if there’s something I think I need to change about myself is my inability to say “no” to people I like.  Hypothetically, if I were a girl, contraception would be a way of life for me.

Take for instance last Sunday.  All week I was looking forward to sleeping in on Sunday – the week previously I had a panic attack after gym.  I hadn’t had one for years and it kind of shook me up. But I had work so I went through the week and ended up on Friday celebrating the birthday of a friend.

The birthday had the requisite drinks – I can’t abide by beer so she thoughtfully served vodka cruisers to me which is like getting drunk on fruit juice.  Needless to say, I got drunk but since I have work on Satudays (see How To Spend Saturdays), I still had to drag my tired and still hung-over ass to work.  Since I couldn’t go to the gym in the state that I was that Saturday, I was planning to go the following day to sauna-off the 5% alcohol in my blood stream (really, I make a bad job of getting drunk).

So maybe it was the inebriation that caused me to agree to my friend’s plea that I accompany her to a live show on the Kapamilyachannel. Part of me felt like replying “Ok but I’ll be cutting you off from my life after this” but the natural sucker in me (alright, go ahead and see how many jokes you can make from the last phrase) instead asked “What time are we meeting up?”

Big mistake.

If there’s a quality I’d like to be known for, I’d want it to be for being punctual.  Whether I say I’ll be there at 5:30 am or 12 midnight, I’d kill myself to be there on time.  Sunday was no different.  I’d agreed to meet my friend at 8:30 am at the MRT station in Pasay.  I was there at 8:00 am.

Her first text message that morning at 8 am should have tipped me off – she said “The rain’s really pouring.” I refrained from texting back that I knew since I had just gone through it on my way to our meeting place. I backed off since I thought sarcasm that early in the morning was uncalled for. I merely replied by asking her if she was already on her way.  She said she was.

Actually, she said she was already near two more times before she finally texted me that she was already there.

Where we had not agreed to meet. It was 9:20 am.

My cup of bile runneth over but all I could manage to text to her was a trite “If we’re going to stand in line at the studio, I’d rather just go home.”

When we got to the studio, our other friend – the one who got the passes for the live show was miffed that we hadn’t arrived earlier.  In any other situation, I would have been apologetic. That day, I wasn’t.  For two reasons.  We were late through no fault of mine and because I knew instinctively why he wanted to come in early – so he could gawk at the stellar personalities ambling through.

Listen – by myself, I am likewise prone to gawk at stars but in a crowd of star-gawkers I am repulsed by the gawking.  Especially if I feel that the object of the gawking is a no-talent who’s only getting by via cuteness or some other attribute that had nothing to do with entertainment – at least not in the manner that entertainment is usually defined (I know, I am evil).

(End of Part Une – Part Doux with Pix)

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Music Du Jour

July 30, 2008

Linkin Park has struck again.

This is “Leave Out All The Rest” from their Minutes to Midnight album.

I’ve always been a fan of the band.  I like the fact that their music is loud and makes sense. And Chester’s a sexy geek – so’s Joe Hahn.

I was lucky that when they came to the Philippines to promote their Meteora album, Eric was able to score tickets for the moshpit – my one and only experience in a moshpit. I still remember the sweaty bodies slamming into each other and me, shielding Eric from the thrusts. It was as insane and intense as I’d expected it to be. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.


How to Spend Saturdays

July 29, 2008

 

Usually weekends are leisure days for the rest of the world. Not for me.

I have work on Saturdays.  It’s kind of aggravating travelling to and from work while the rest of the world’s planning how to spend Saturday night or on a weekend getaway or just sleeping through the day.  But what can I say? C’est la vie.

It’s not all bad, though.  Usually weekends mean less crowds at the gym.  It also means no bosses at work (because they’re enjoying their weekend).  Less traffic and it’s way easier to get a cab.

The cherry on my Saturday’s though is the Salcedo Park Open Market.  On Saturday’s the Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village becomes an organic market slash open air eatery slash cafe sidewalk where you can watch the well-heeled and, occasionally, the well known browse among the hoi polloi like moi like it was the most ordinary thing in the world.

When Eric was still here, we’d go there and eat our hearts out – on healthy (well, reasonably) and organic food like the delicious Vietnamese rolls with shrimp and meat pungent with the aroma of mint. We’d eat it with two pieces each of juicy pork barbecue (I actually ate mine down to the fat – hey, it’s grilled meat, not fried) and wash it down with buko juice.  For enders, we’d usually get my mom some millet-based suman or one made with mango slices.

Of course, the prices reflected where the stuff was being sold.  Dirty ice cream would be 30 pesos a pop.  The suman would be like 25 pesos each.  The buko juice 25 pesos a cup. Usually, I’d bitch about the prices but not here.  Here rich kids played at being ordinary vendors – until you’re tempted to ask for a discount, at which time they switch to their haute-monde faces and wonder who let you in at the gates.  Well, some of them.

But the appeal of the market was beyond that – it was just fun seeing all the stuff they’d bring down from Baguio and hawk it in this rich man’s enclave like it some Baguio market stall.  One area would have beautiful flowers and orchids like one would catch at Dangwa. The smell at the area where they sell the fresh fish and other seafood was no different from the whiff you’d catch from the wet market in Cubao (although being in an open air setting kind of sanitized the smell a bit).  People would be eating food in the designated areas like they’d do at some tianggian – dressed to hilt with beehive hairdos and the wasp-y pearls.

Last time I went, they had a Kapampangan festival.  They had the requisite carvings from Betis and the parols from San Fernando.

However, I was drawn to my favorite Kapampangan product of all time.

I couldn’t resist so I had halo-halo at 8:30 am for breakfast. And pork barbecue. And Vietnamese rolls.

That day, I added like 500 crunches to my usual number at gym. Had to.


52 Days

July 21, 2008

 

I have a friend who’s a psychic – well, he says he is.

He’s dabbled a lot in esoterica and wiccan lore/practice.  He reads the tarot, palms, does numerology, reads auras and has had his third eye opened by no less than Jimmy Licauco (why he had it closed is another story).  As far as I’m concerned, his credentials are legit.

During the early days of our friendship, he told me about the 52 day cycle.  Apparently, the first 52 days from the date of one’s birthday is supposedly the luckiest 52 days of that person’s life.  Inversely, the last 52 days before one’s birthday are pure hell.

I’m a hard-ass when it comes to believing stuff like the 52 days but what struck me when we had that conversation was how every year, like clockwork, the last few weeks before my birthday is when I feel my lowest, the shittiest things happen to me and depression becomes a way of life.  Like PMS.

So that explains everything, I thought.  So it’s not my fault at all why, for the past several years, I’ve felt like I was juggling emotions ranging from being anti-social, suicidal, homicidal and genocidal from mid-July to early September. It was a relief to know that I wasn’t going crazy. At the very least, I can train myself to expect the worst so the blows wouldn’t pack as much of a punch like they used to.

Like last Thursday, when I got apprehended by personnel of Makati city hall – for littering.  One would think that I’d know better after having worked and practically lived in Makati for more than 10 years – but that day, my inner-stupid kicked in and I was served. 

Thank goodness for knowing about the 52 days, a sense of humor to put my first (and hopefully the last)apprehension in perspective and Eric for telling me about “Details in the Thread” – (“You’re like an island of reality in an ocean of diarrhea”). 

Calm down
Deep breaths
And get yourself dressed instead
Of running around
And pulling on your threads and
Breaking yourself up

If it’s a broken part, replace it
If it’s a broken arm then brace it
If it’s a broken heart then face it

And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
And everything will be fine

Hang on
Help is on the way
Stay strong
I’m doing everything

Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything
Everything will be fine
Everything

Are the details in the fabric
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling

Are the things that make you blow
Hell, no reason, go on and scream
If you’re shocked it’s just the fault
Of faulty manufacturing

Everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all
Everything

Hold your own
And know your name
And go your own way

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own, know your name)
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling (Go your own way)

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own, know your name)
Are the things that make you panic (Go your own way)
Is it Mother Nature’s sewing machine

Are the things that make you blow (Hold your own, know your name)
Hell no reason go on and scream
If you’re shocked it’s just the fault (Go your own way)
Of faulty manufacturing

Everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all
Hearts will hold


Just in Case

July 17, 2008

These days, having insurance is considered practical and necessary. Admittedly, our excitement at using insurance is at par with our excitement at getting a root canal or bouncing a bowling ball on our toes. However, as an adult-size security blanket ”just in case”, insurance finds it’s real purpose.

 

Truth be told, our need for reassurance or anything  approximating it is something we’re introduced to at a young age as adults grappling with their fears wean us on our first ”just in case”:

 

”Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

If I die before I wake

I pray the Lord my soul to take”

 

Recently, I’ve been thinking about my own ”just in case” as a creepy e-mail has been making the rounds in cyberspace. According to the e-mail, a massive earthquake registering 8 in the Richter scale will hit Manila on July 18 leveling the city as a result.

 

The email couldn’t have had worse timing. Two weeks before the 18th, two minor tremors were monitored by scientists in the Philippines. A week later a larger tremor hit Taiwan. In recent memory, the 7.4 earthquake which devastated Baguio and Cabanatuan occurred in July, 1990. Likewise, in July, 1900 a massive temblor destroyed swaths of Old Manila. So as far as I’m concerned July as earthquake month isn’t something I’d laugh about or -off easily.

 

Yes, the email creeped me out enough to ”inspire” me to post this but I also think that at some point, all of us not only have to think of where we’re headed but what we’re going to do when we get there.

 

So this is my ”just in case” list (known to more the more affluent as their Last Will and Testament):

 

·         Despite everyone’s opinion that black is slimming – no one wears black. Not even a little Black dress. Eric’s not too hot on black neither am I.

·         I want a cocktail party – a smart one. So nobody should expect to be served San Mig Lite or Pilsen. No sisig or chicharon either. People may bring hors d’oeuvres if they want to showcase their talents in the kitchen.

·         One word: cremation. This is non-negotiable and should be immediate.

·         No sappy ceremonies. This also non-negotiable. Mourning does not become me or my friends (hopefully the cocktails will enhance the conviviality of the occasion).

·         Conversation should be may be slightly off-color or bitchy – better inappropriate than maudlin.

·         Instead of gaudy flower arrangements, I want people to give the money they planned to spend to Golden Acres.

·         The choice of music should be left to Eric – he’ll hate it when he hears the OPM in my mp3 player. Yes, he can play Mariah – but no impersonations, please.

·         As my partner, Eric gets everything – I want him to get something outrageous for himself or go on a vacation somewhere he’s always wanted to go. I want him to always remember how to be happy because that’s how I will always remember him.

 

I ‘m fully aware that I have no power over mortality or destiny or natural phenomenon. What I do have power over is the way I live my life, the way I love and the way I want to be sent off. That being said, I just want to remind all my readers (yes, all seven of you) that all of the above is just in case.


Music Du Jour

July 14, 2008

This One Republic. 

Heard them over Myx last night and I couldn’t get the melody out of my head.

It also kind of helps that the lead is cute, sort of. c”,)


Our Naked Selves

July 12, 2008

 

As gay men we put it out there more than the regular Joe (or even Jane for that matter).  We live life with flair and we are fierce about it.  Average does not just cut it for us.

Nowhere is this passion slash obsession more evident than in the way we take care of our bodies.  The gay man who is a non-gym goer or uninvolved in any sport is a rare bird.  If a certain activity results in toning, sculpting, or defining our bodies into perfection or, at least, a semblance of perfection – we’re in.

But what does that word – “perfection” – really mean? What does it mean and what does it take to have a perfect body?

Recently, I came across two British television programs that offered a different perspective on the conventionally and collectively held definition of what physical beauty is and what it took to achieve it.

How To Look Good Naked hooks up full-figured women with a British sylist who provides them with tips on style, beauty regimen and diet applicable to their body shape.  Most of the women who appear on the show not only lack style but, more significantly, a sense of how they really look in comparison to other women. To wean them away from their negative self-image, the stylist provides  a stiff dose of reality by comparing them a group of like-bodied women.  By the show’s conclusion, the women – armed with a more confident sense of themselves, allow themselves to be photographed naked and their naked glory splashed on a big screen in London.

A program running along similar lines is Say No to the Knife.  Hosted by two women, a stylist and a psychologist, the show presents men and women desperate for change with options other than cosmetic surgery.  The hosts are given four weeks to work with each individual coaching them into making informed choices on style, diet and other health issues.  The show likewise provides the participants with counselling sessions as their issues with their body-image may also be the result of emotional distress or some deep seated insecurity.

While the name of show leans towards being anti-surgery, in fact, at the end of the show, the men and women are given the choice between pursuing their ideal physical dimensions via surgery or via the alternatives proferred by the show’s host. 

(from TheLifeStyle Channel)

(from TheLifeStyle Channel)

Frankly, the shows appeal to me because I get a sense that people are finally recognizing that before trying to look good, we need to feel good about ourselves. We need to weed out our insecurities and recognize the obviousness of one of the hosts’ statements “Not everybody can be a model or look like a model because not everybody is born the same way.  Some people are born with features to be part of the fashion industry, some people are not.”   Instead of stripping away flesh and fat, we need to strip away all of our issues with ourselves because we may not look good naked to everybody but we need to look good naked to ourselves.

Me, I don’t have a model “gene” – but what I do have is a gene that compels me to be the best that I can be, trust my instincts, develop what I have found to be my own talents, make my world my own private runway and strut the stuff I was born with.

(For Eric, whom I love – whatever his shape may be)