Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Just the Thing

A few inspiring words from my Histo 2 prof before the exam:

Be optimistic! Don’t say you’re not going to pass. Say you’re going to fail.

On other news, do you know what really makes me cranky? I wake up at 3 am to cram for a test, I leave the house at 8 to find that it’s abnormally cold outside, I board a bus to Manila to find that it’s colder inside. As I huddle shivering, I deny myself some decent music just so I can continue cramming (notice that I never use the word ‘study’---because I don’t), which means that I have to endure 1.5 hours of Love Radio. Just in time for Kris Chuper and Nicole Lihiyala’s morning show.

I have a class before the test, Comm III. The topic was non-verbal language. The prof kept on yappering and yappering and forgot the time. By 11.30 I was jiggling my leg. By 11.35 I was drumming my fingers and sending I’m-miserable-please-shut-up-now vibes, because the room where I’ll be having the exam is cursed to run out for chairs for the next century, and I didn’t want to take the test on the floor wearing a white mini. By 11.40 I was jiggling my whole body. Non-verbal language. Snort.

So comes test time. The instruction for the 37-ITEM EXAM (the readings were at least 50 pages of hard-core condensed info) was: answer briefly (as briefly as a man’s brief). No joke. That’s the kind of stuff we have to endure every Tuesday and Friday.

Afternoon I find out that I’m having my period. Didn’t have the necessary equipment, had to dash to a pharmacy to get Dolfenal 500. Before that, Mishee, Betch and I have determined the root of all evil---it’s not money or math. It’s a person. No one you know.

5.30. Philo 11. 8.30 pm. Wearily boards a bus to Cavite. Declines SE’s offer to eat at Gary’s. Hungry and wasted and splattered with pasta sauce from lunch. Sleeping the whole trip, waking up with drool on chin. Now this is the part where I got really annoyed and threw a tantrum.

When I got home, the only thing on the table is maki. From Tokyo Tokyo. Just the thing to have when I wanted to eat until food comes out of my nose after a 19-hour day. Just the thing to make me feel really really great about the beautiful things in the world. Just the thing.

I ate glue for dinner.

Monday, January 29, 2007


Rational choice theory assumes that all individuals are self-interested and make decisions based on the principle of utility maximization—okay I’ll highlight that—

What will I wear tomorrow? How about Mishee’s gift, that green skirt, and this mustard-yellow shirt I got in Divisoria for only a hundred eighty bucks…but I’m fat lately…how about—

I wish Ma would turn off the TV, I hate it when it mutters through my door while I’m studying. And I hate Korina Sanchez’s voice. Yeah I know I used to worship her, I wanted to be a broadcaster then, but I was ten and didn’t know shit—

Damn Jal, what’s this thing he’s got for graded recitations? I thought that went out of fashion already? That’s just probably me thinking awry again. Still—

Hey, how about a blog post on emo people? They’re annoying, but I have a soft spot for them because I’ve been through all that and I always wanted someone who’d sit down with me for three hours just to humor me and my misery. Emo-ness. What a fad. Fad? I think it’s been around for hundreds of years. But why did the subculture emerge only in the 21st century? There was Romeo and Hamlet and—

Brownout. The desk lamp winked out, the hum of the fan died down, and the murmur of the television ceased. My babble of thought quieted down to match the silence of the room, the house, the world. And darkness. I was steeped in it, staring at it…what a long-postponed communion. I have no time for traipsing on its mellow, black depths, and I don’t have the luxury to receive its gift of oblivion. Long time no see. A split-second eternity, nothing more. More than enough…?

The light returned. I went back to my Polsci 100 readings and resumed living.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Danced the Fever Off

So here I am feeling like shit. I came down with the flu yesterday, and for a person who rarely gets sick, it’s equivalent to getting SARS. Naw, I’m just exaggerating. But I do feel horrible.

Ever seen a person in her blue fuzzy comfort jacket, green n’ orange checked pj’s, striped mismatched socks and a bad hair day dance to the Scissor Sisters Filthy Gorgeous? Well, I have. She looked the awfulest, insanest creature I have ever seen in my entire life. My dog gave her a stare that said ‘fuck off or I’ll never speak to you again’ before doing an abrupt walk-out.

Man I’m so gay. But at least I’m feeling better, sans the medicines I’m supposed to take. I’ll be staying home the whole day (as if I don’t every Wednesday, duh) trying to figure out how to cook an edible soup. Boring. Excuse me while I get back to America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction (I love Reighben), one of the funniest and historically inaccurate books ever written about American democratic history.

Oh oh oh! This is a passage in the book commenting on the outsourcing of jobs to Asia:

Breakdown of Typical Weeklong Business Trip to the Region

2 Hours--- Making a deal to send all your company’s jobs over to them
10 Hours--- Smoky hut, watching two sisters shoot ping-pong balls into a fish tank with their vaginas
36 Hours--- The Madness. (Hallucinogenic fever caused by getting off the plane.)
11 Hours--- Up at night wondering if the blister in your scrotum is humidity-based
8 Hours--- Blackout brought on by drinking liquor made from rattlesnake semen
3 Hours--- Paperwork on the outsourcing deals
14 Hours--- Panic.
9 Hours--- Making arrangements for wiring money that will convince the authorities that the girls’ death was accidental.
1 Hour--- Cab ride back to the airport where you reconcile who you believe you were as a person with what you did on the trip.

Er well. Suffice it to say that at least both Asia and America were insulted.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My Dog Needs A Bath

If you've read and survived the existential bullshit we've been having here the past few days, well, congratulations. You win another existential bullshit post.

Naw, not really. So things have been going a little fast lately. Plenty of papers to pass, so-called 'research papers' when without the euphemism are actually called theses. At least those profs were smart enough to give at least only one exam for the whole semester. They're nice that way.

Pizza party later with my friends. I'll say this honestly, for once: to hell with my diet. I think the bathroom scale's broken, it says I'm only a hundred pounds. Still, I can pretend it's telling the truth right? Bathroom scales are woozy creatures. They'll never know.

Well, I'm off to school. Philo 11 exam results coming later, I think. Wish me the very very best.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams?

-Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)

So far, there are only two books of Richard Bach which I’ve read: Illusions, which explored the solipsist worldview, and One, which talked about a modified pantheist belief. Big stuffy words to describe them, I know, but he creates the simpler stories I’ve come across using the simplest words. A more familiar work of his is Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which was about an existential seagull who gets bored of his seagull life. I haven’t read it, but I’d rather watch it---the film version was released in 1973, winning a Golden Globe Award for its musical score.

But I digress. Illusions is about a Messiah who cures the sick, predicts the future, shares wisdom to the millions, and pilots a biplane. Oh, and he’s also a solipsist. He meets a nondescript loner, Richard (the author), who also flies a biplane for a living. The Messiah got tired of the limelight, so he left his followers (disciples? Fans?) to fly aimlessly until he gets together with Richard who found it convenient to stay with him: initially, because having a Messiah for a buddy has its miraculous perks, but later on, to learn.

The guy who lent me the book said it was ‘inspirational’. But the book only told me what I already believed: I create my reality, and I am at the center of it. I guess it would be inspirational if I believed otherwise, because it would be a whole new idea to explore---truth as a relative thing created by each individual according to his or her phenomenal world. Illusions, for me, is a philosophical novel. The story is secondary to the philosophy.

One is about a married couple who got involved in a one-to-a-trillion accident: they entered a dimension where they can observe the grand pattern of life. This pattern is submerged under a shallow, endless ocean, following the figure 8: infinity. The couple, (the author and his wife, Leslie) flies their seaplane onto a spot in the pattern, and they get into an alternate world, meeting their alternate selves. They do this a lot of times. Soon enough they discover that everything and everyone is one, that we are all a manifestation of a single consciousness, that while everyone has a predestined path, there are infinite choices leading to and away from it. More like a vein and the capillaries branching away from it, or like a highway and the roads and streets and alleys we can take.

I was walking home carrying a bag of sotanghon just this afternoon, when I thought: isn’t Illusions connected significantly with One? Pantheism is solipsism taken to another level: solipsism---I alone exist---pantheism---there is only one thing that exists, and that’s you and everyone else as a manifestation of it. Bach calls it consciousness, Plato calls it the world of Ideas, Spinoza calls it God.

I'm not saying all of this is truth; hardly. But I like to think (note: not believe in) about things like this, because it lets me put some things into perspective. Like, why i like listening to Hale, and why I like inebriating myself with shit such as The Buzz or Bakekang. That's another story.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Female Manly Pride

I dislike going dutch. I’d rather the guy pays for me, because I’m Kuring Kuripot in flesh and blood. The SE pays whenever we go out, although he has discarded the gallant gentleman act and now starts to mutter while handing out the bills: ‘jeez, I thought she was semi-feminist’.

Betch says I shouldn’t feel guilty about it, that’s what guys are for anyhow. She has no qualms about double standards. So do I.

But Mishee says I should pay for my own…! It is a matter of pride, she argues. The female has got to assert herself and proclaim independence within an established relationship, and a more effective way to do it would be to pay for herself. This is highly logical, but impractical: being assertive and independent does not have to cost a cent in this context.

For example, a man says that he loves you just the way you are, and in the same sentence adds that you should never wear your favorite miniskirt ever. Not that is an act of repression, and the female manly pride is trampled. He may mean any of the following: A.) your legs rock, but he’s a selfish jerk and doesn’t want to share B.) your legs suck, it embarrasses the hell out of him C.) you have no fashion sense. An act of war. There are many viable responses to such, ranging from mild amusement to unprecedented violence. This situation is worth taking up arms for. And going dutch? Just not worth it, for me.

But then again it is just a matter of priority. Some girls mind, some girls don't. I like being pampered and treated like a princess and some such shit. It wouldn’t hurt if I didn’t pay for it, would it? I’m a sucker for free stuff, and I try not to be a hypocrite about it.

But! It is a different matter entirely when someone I don’t know offers to pay for me. I don't want to owe the said theoretical person anything---the sucker-for-free-stuff attitude gives way to I’ve-got-moolah-too-you-watch-me-if-i-don’t. Such is a manifestation of the female manly pride in a slightly altered situation of two strangers meeting up, sans romantic inclinations.

The SE argues that going dutch is the wave of the present, but I snort that once he stops sending me dagger looks whenever I wear my favorite mini, I may consider the proposition.

Pure and Applied Pointlessness

They say reality is stranger than fiction, and that if you walked by a street and saw, heard, and felt what actually happens among the throng of people and cars, you would find just how strange. But this awareness of absolute reality is not possible, because we are blinded by inhibitions established even before, and inherited after, we were born. For example, your mum says that aliens don’t exist. When an alien spaceship comes hurtling down from the sky, you’d think it was Bitoy doing his thing. Or some goddamned parachute.

Reality is subjective. It is relative and uniquely perceived among individuals. But there is only one objective thing for me: me.

I alone exist. Can I prove anything else beyond that? For all I know, you are just a figment of my imagination, scraps of thought drifting, coagulating, in my sea of consciousness. No Morpheus will come crashing my party and shoving down my throat some little blue and red pills. But I’m not insane, yet. There was a short story about a guy who doubted the existence of everything, until he came along doubting his existence. The only thing he ended up believing in is nothing---nothingness, space, oblivion. He filched a space suit, opened up the airlock of his ship, and drifted in space forever.

And so. A hardcore solipsist is a pure and applied pointlessness. No god, no beginning, no goals, no end. Being the only real thing in this so-called universe has its low point, and it is the pointlessness of wanting or doing anything. The universe began when the solipsist thought of it, and it ends when…when? Death is never a problem.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Time Is An Illusion

“Hunishan, what if we don’t end up together?”
“What made you ask that?”
“Nothing really. It’s just that I’ve read some magazines and blogs lately where even relationships that lasted five or seven years ended. What if ours did?”
“Well, it won’t.”
“How can you say that?”
“Because there’s something special about us.”
(laughs) “They all thought that.”
“Remember our mantra? Stay together and stay away from each other?”
“Yeah, but for how long will that be viable? Petitio principii.”
“If it ever happens, we’ll get back to each other.”
“I don’t know.”
“That’s the problem isn’t it? We don’t know.”

Saturday, January 13, 2007


“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics’. All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia.”

-Politics and the English Language, George Orwell

Political science is not my thing. Now that I’m taking my majors, I’m suddenly walloped with the realization of just how much it’s not my thing. I dislike newspapers, and I dislike political science textbooks. I dislike professors with a dot of white saliva on the corners of their lips. I dislike bowling too, now that I’m at it.

I used to not care so much about what course I’d be graduating from. I think the degree doesn’t count as much as how you go about life---not as much as your diskarte. My mum graduated with a BA MassCom degree, and she’s worked in a bank ever since.

Used to not care so much…and now I do. While I fancy I am pragmatic and can sit through the next two more years of political science, my ass is itching. This itch usually starts when I imagine other better things I should be doing: like, ingesting philosophy, doing sketches for a fashion design class, or cooking up new advertising gimmicks for homework. It makes me feel sad, you know?

Mishee told me I’m just suffering from a bad case of Second Semitis, where all the bubbly energy recharged from summer evaporates during the first semester, leaving the victim all dreary and depressed during the whole of next semester. That’s a reasonable diagnosis, methinks. Or I’m just really getting lazy lately.

Whatever. The words of George Orwell will sustain me in the darkest days of my political science student life. If there is no such thing as keeping out of politics, then what the hell, I might as well study it. A jubunglous mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia is bound to be interesting, once I try to bother being interested.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Boom Taratter

Tell me what you thought about when you were gone and
So alone
The worst is over
You can have the best of me
We got older
But were still young
We never grew out of this feeling that we won’t
Give up

The darn song has been stuck on my head for three days running. The lyrics are primitive, and so is the melody, but don’t the type stick? Like, boom tarat tarat, boom tarat tarat, tararat tararat boom boom boom? Between you and me, I know you sang that in your head. Huh.

The lyrics above are from The Starting Line’s Best of Me. While it’s a love song, what it means to me is anything but. It’s something which reminds me of high school, that far-away era of school buses and chalk dust motes. It reminds me particularly of my batch. I haven’t been appearing anywhere with them for the past month, since I missed the Christmas party and two birthday parties. I’ve been more or less loyal when it comes to attendance, but this cold-blooded snobbishness is downright wrong. Or so I feel at the moment.

It’s a love and hate relationship, for me. Maybe someday I’ll wake up and permanently dislike my batch mates, who knows, and even the idea of having batch mates who apparently can never let go of each other. But like the line in the song: maybe I’ll never grow out of this feeling (whatever the hell it even is) that I can’t give up (for some stupid reason or other). Who knows. Eleven years is a long time to cultivate a feeling you don’t even know what.

Boom tarat tarat, boom tarat tarat, tararat tararat boom boom boom.

Yeah I’m mean like that.

Friday, January 05, 2007

A Stupid Morning Joke

WE TOTALLY FUCKED (Now go make me some breakfast. Bitch.)

Among the sea of backs crammed in the narrow aisle of a bus, the message above printed on a pink shirt caught my eye and ire. It is a chauvinistic and gender-insensitive declaration of the alpha male. First, it asserted that fucking is a favor done to women by men. Second, the ‘favor’ must be returned by domestic servility of the ‘bitch’. I had half a mind to tell off that guy who had the guts to wear such a stupid shirt (for what else could it be?), but I looked more closely first.

Above the shirt, perched on top of the head, are pink sunglasses. The man was wearing a cheap studded wristband and super tight jeans. He was still standing when a (woman) friend of his gestured at his ass; he looked behind him and did something extremely unexpected: he posed, jerking his ass up, in the middle of the fucking aisle.

Oh my god, I thought. He’s a homo.

Now the stupid shirt has become a stupid joke.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's Eve and Margaret Atwood

Really, I'm not as gloomy and cynical as I make myself out to be. I'm pretty nice while being pretty mean. And while I do wear black most of the time, I have this great sense of humor that very, er, few people appreciate. Okaaay. I know, I know. Pathetic.

So the relatives all went for a visit to Lola's house, which is just around the corner from ours. The usual scrutiny follows: Lizette, why is your hair so thin? Lizette, how's you and your boyfriend? Will you take up Law after you graduate? And so on so forth. The plus here is that as I get older, the questions are less embarrassing. Because now I know how to evade and avoid such potential disasters. Tee hee.

Anyway, in between trips to Lola's and the fridge, I tried reading Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye. Well, I gave up on it. It's simply not the sort of book you read during New Year's Eve unless you're manic depressive. Which I'm not, contrary to popular belief (defensive). Haunting---the word to describe Cat's Eye. It's the story of Elaine, a woman seeking release from the memory of her childhood bestfriend, Cordelia. In the style of Margret Atwood, all events, even the littlest (like the smell of rat pee in the Zoology building) are rendered as drama. She pays great attention to detail and atmosphere; every line reads like a verse in a poem. To appreciate the book in it's entirety, however, one must be in a particular frame of mind. Preferably the depressed, ruminative kind.

So. I can't wait to get back to school on Thursday. I'm rotting here, right here where I'm sitting. I need the polluted Manila air to rid me of this holiday lethargy.