Releasing My Load

February 14, 2009

 

One of my pet peeves is discourtesy.  Every encounter unsheathes my claws and the desire to julienne the perp race through my brain with the urgency of a toothache.

A few nights ago at the gym, I was doing the last of my usual circuit of chest-biceps-forearms when I was overtaken by thirst.  As per experience, whenever I leave my space, I stake it out by draping my gym towel over it to apprehend any misunderstanding as to whether it is being used or not.

As I was returning, I saw this guy beside me take the dumbbells I was using. I politely told him that I was still using it and, over the din of the gym’s thumpa-thumpa,  he mumbled what I assumed to be a request to use it alternately. Which I was only happy to oblige.  Big Mistake.

When I needed to use the dumbbells and sought to retrieve it, the bigger Dumbbell who took it had the gall to tell me to “Isoli mo pagkatapos” in a brusque manner as if he was begrudgingly alllowing me it’s use.

It took a lot of effort not to use his bald pate as weighing scale for the two-25 lbs. dumbbells we were contending for.  I opted for verbal volley and left the area after finishing my set.

If thoughts emitted energy, mine would have been hotter than the steam bath’s as I entered it. It didn’t help matters that it was a night I discerned to be Rampant Cruise Night at the Baths featuring some drearies whose hides were already prune-y from hours of exposure to steam and loud call cent’r faguettes discussing the merits of sex as tension relief. 

Well, I needed relief after that double-whammy at the gym.

As always, the girls were flawless and it took them several minutes to take my load off.  Nine minutes, to be exact – give or take a few seconds.

Advertisements

Grim and Bear It

January 30, 2009

It is curious how the term BITCH when hurled in conniption  can inflict a swath of ego/reputation-wounding injuries.  On the other hand, when BITCH is bandied willingly it can inspire awe in some and erectile dysfunction in others.

Supposedly, us fags possess the innate ability to play tag-team with “difficult” women as bitches are otherwise known by the civilized/PC world.   The affinity stemming hypothetically from our power to grow claws and revert to our femme bestial selves when duly provoked.

[Note:  Catnip to my claws are ignorance, discourtesy and pushy fat asses on narrow bus seats.]

Another link we have, I guess, with the scarlet women and the femme fatales of real and reel life is our admiration of the traits that distinguish them from the wall-flowers: confidence, self-sufficiency, ingenuity, abhorrence of the stupid and the mediocre and a flair for style and dramatics.   Traits that may not win anyone a Ms. Congeniality sash but will certainly see one through any Survivor edition or maybe even a Terminator attack.

On-screen,  anti-heroines have more appeal to me because their characters are less trapped as caricatures [and less insipid] than the actual heroines. These frequently maligned women display dimensions and emotions closer to humanity than any two-bit cartoon heroine that ever graced Saturday mornings.  Admittedly, some of the methods employed by the anti-heroines need work. [Sure, murder and maiming and mayhem may be appealing fantasies  to  employ in the disposal of one’s obstacles but fantasies they must remain.]  However, in their defense, I submit that their less-than-ideal  responses to their issues reflect our own collective responses when faced with similar moments of pique, frustration, desperation or choice.  Knowing this, our regard to their actions may not change but, at least, they do not remain incomprehensible.

Having said more than a mouthful on the subject, my inner bitch rejoiced with the discovery of another formidale female in Cartoon Network of all places.

In The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, the anti-heroine is also the heroine as all the other female character are either helpless or hapless or half-wits.  Plus, she plays with Death everyday.

Billy, the eponymous hero, for lack of a better description, is an idiot with a big nose.

Mandy hates everybody.  She was the one who fixed the limbo game that made the Grim Reaper their slave for life. Typical she is not – her eyebrows are perpetually furrowed, her mouth a constant arc of disdain or fury.and her favored hairstyle resembles horns.  Her personality is summed up in her statement (Wiki-culled) “I’m all for the abuse and exploitation of the stupid.”

A few nights ago, in the episode Pandora’s Lunch Box, Mandy utters another classic after being manipulated by a Dora the Explorer look-a-alike into setting free a host of plagues from a weird-looking lunch box – “Nobody tricks me into unleashing the plagues on humanity.  When the time come, I’ll do it on my own.”

As character, Mandy is totally subversive as she flouts every rule and every notion of what nice little girls should be – she’ll never have a kiddy product tie-up, unless it’s for Junior Chainsaws or Machetes.  In fact, she is an adult Bitch model is there was ever one – totally disinterested, quick to act,  quicker with the barbed repartee,  merciless in punishment and anonymous in altruism.  She represents Parents’ Worst Nightmare, not the least of whom are her own who cower before her.

I wouldn’t recommend The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy to your kids unless you plan on running a play-by-play commentary on Mandy and the idiots who inhabit Mandy’s world. But, hey, if you’re up to the challenge, it should be an interesting conversation.

At least it’s not another vapid reality show.

 


How Not to Spend Sundays – Conclusion

August 14, 2008

Part Doux – with insider dish.

The weather should have been my tip-off but Murphy’s Law (“If anything can possibly go wrong, it will”) was far from my thoughts.

We were headed into the maws of Celebrity Central.  But not without challenges.

Having no direct line to God or at least the gods at the Star Channel, just as I had feared, we had to stand in line.

For an hour.

In drizzling rain.

With other celebrity gawkers.

Me with my bad leg did not appreciate standing in line for an hour feeling like a well-cared for lawn. Na-uh.

The only place I could appreciate being at on a wind-driven rainy day was in bed but I valiantly tried to keep my claws and tongue sheathed as I could sense that my friend was trying desperately to rid me of my ennui. I didn’t want to be a buzz-kill (Pamatay Sigla) so I went along trying to make light of an awful situation.

Relief came when the conga-line was finally directed to begin snaking it’s way towards the studio entrance. In the downpour.

So this is how a studio looks like, I thought unimpressed.  Everything looked cut-down to human size. The PAs were handing out duckpin sized balloons on sticks that I guessed we’d be encouraged to wave – on cue – before, during and after a celebrity’s “performance”.  Will power prevented me from telling the PA outright that I was thankfully declining his invitation to be a trained monkey – I ducked behind my friend and let her carry the balloons meant for us two.

Seating.  Way up.  On rickety plywooded bleachers.  Nearer my God to Thee, I wanted to sing in my head as we headed to the top steps of the bleachers.  It got worse.

Obviously, more people in the studio would indicate the popularity of the show so while the actual seats were occupied in 2 seconds flat, the steps up the rickety plywooded bleachers were likewise offered to the more rabid fans with their banners proclaiming their love for their idol.  This meant, of course, that as an occupant of the highest seats I had three choices if an urge (e.g., hunger, barfing or pissing) seized me, I could: (a) jump down (not feasible because of my bad knee); (b) step on their heads or push them down creating a domino effect (I know it’s evil but, c’mon, it is tempting)  or (c) wade through exasperatedly while controlling my tongue from stabbing their excitement (Oh well).   I chose “c”, an hour into the show, when my bladder threatened to implode and inflict me with incontinence.

I waded down but was intimidated by the sheer numbers I had to wade through again on my way up. Which lead me to option (d) Stay on the floor.  Which I did.

For the next hour and a half.

I thought it was the lesser of two evils. Better than the screams of Mariel Rodriguez’ fans. Or the sight of their darkened butt cracks peeking through their too low-rise jeans.  I wish I was spared that sight but the manifestations of evil demand attention – wherever it manifests itself.

I appreciated the performaces of Gary V. and Charlie Green, the kid from Britain’s Got Talent.

 

The rest ran from cheesy to vile.

Captain Boom – Jon Mullaly a.k.a. Jon Avila in a superhero outfit.  Poor Jon – well if the money’s good. He was there in a promotional tie-up with an upcoming “fantaserye” – “Varga” (Vernie, the chanteuse taking up the cape?). Jon still looks cute, though, even with the fake abs on his costume.  (Note: I’ve seen Jon work-out at the gym where I used to work out at.  Although I am reasonably sure that he’s in good shape, I’m not 100% sure that he possesses the pecs and abs drawn on his costume. Maybe it’s the costume that antes up the cheesiness of his character – look at the second pic – he looks like he has “birthin'” hips.)

Today’s version of the 70’s Apat na Sikat – Christian Bautista, Erik Santos, Sarah Geronimo and Rachelle Ann Go.  Admittedly, they have talent but to sing their lungs out, literally, from week to week has to be downright wrong – can’t their managers negotiate a clause in their contracts to allow them to give their larynxes a rest once in a while? Or better wardrobes?

Ai-Ai in space-drag.  Ample support provided by a bevy of thunder thighs. ‘Nuff said.

They were celebrating Sarah’s birthday that day plus promoting her (then) upcoming movie with John Lloyd (anyone care to comment on how that movie fared at the tills?)  True to form, the creative director of the show decided on a Cotillion-inspired entree prior to Sarah’s actual number.  Unfortunately, Sarah almost suffered a Tara Reid-wardrobe malfunction when her heel caught the hem of her lace and yanked the top when she tripped.  Thankfully, the top held and her maiden-head saved. For now.

Piolo and Sam singing “New York, New York” with Richard Poon. That really went well with the audience…(people, I’m being ironic here if you haven’t caught the drift) The only redeeming factor was the cuteness of Piolo and Sam (I’m not saying anymore lest I get bitch-slapped with a libel suit).

The Gold number.  Inspired by the upcoming Olympics and the arrival of 2 former members of the 80s New Wave group Spandau Ballet – a showcase of the other (read: non-talented) hosts was presented cavorting to Gold (pampalubag-loob or consolation to their fans since these people could neither sing, dance or act with integrity).  I’m not putting up pictures for obvious reasons.  First up, a young love team – the guy was in tennis gear and serving up hits; the girl had the more embarassing duty – she was pantomiming swimming. If I had just tuned in, I might have mistaken her efforts for an interpretation of Rock Lobster by the B-52s. It was cringe inducing.  Others portrayed basketball players, volleyball players, fencers (?), boxers, judokans (incidentally, for me, the saving grace of the whole tableau as he was the cutest and could actually do round-houses).  I was waiting for their representation of the canoeing/kayaking, equestrian, sailing, rowing and triathlon events – none came.  I guess the equipment must have been a bitch to carry.

Despite my litany of complaints, though – I did manage some moments of enjoyment.  As when the the power was suddenly cut-off in the middle of the Gold pantomime. That was funny.  And I’m not being ironic.  It was just that the guys were so fricking into their roles (which, at least, didn’t require that they over-stretch themselves in the acting department) that you could actually feel their disappointment when their miming abilities were cut short by the power outage. As if doing good on this one number would be enough to justify their presence in limelight despite their obvious deficiencies in the talent area.

Speaking of ironies, the irony of a power outage in the network owned by the company supplying power to the Metro was not lost on the crowd.  One host even attempted to make light of the situation. Nobody dared utter “systems loss“, though.  Too controversial, I guess.

I distinctly remember my last moment of enjoyment – seeing the studio fade into a rainy haze as we high-tailed it out of there.

In contrast to our group’s deliberate steps into the maw of an afternoon variety show, our steps from it were abrupt as it was brought on by my companions’ hunger pangs.  Leaving as we did could not have been more satisfying for me since I had breakfast and they had not.


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)


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.


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)