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I'm convinced that the man I decide to marry will be so awesome that we'll have to get married twice.

This is Florentine

This is Florentine, a shelter kitten from PAWS. She likes walking on keyboards and even has her own secret language. This is what she has to say about this post: "t5555555555555555555555=-788888888888887llllll

Florentine needs a loving home by April! By then, hopefully she'll be big and healthy enough to go back to the shelter, but for now she's staying with me in New Manila. If you or anyone you know is interested in adopting a kitten, just visit the PAWS website, where you'll find the procedures for adopting little dudes, like Florentine here.

Something about having your cake
I'm looking at my lists and looking at what actually gets done.

And really, I have no cause to complain. I think I've finally made peace with it: there's no point in setting deadlines for yourself if it means having to compromise the opportunity to properly enjoy a moment. We're not really here to take snapshots of how good we have it, but to tell stories, and allow them to unfold. Even if it takes a while. 

So I've been obsessing for the whole weekend over how I'm going to get my ass over to Porto for Primavera Sound 2012, and I'm thinking about festivals and that stupid list of bands I want to see live, and how great festivals are until you realize how short you are and how hot it is and who the fuck are all these people. And then you miss the point completely. I'm thinking more of Portugal, I guess, Primavera is just the icing on the cake, a way to set a date for the things I want.

Anyway, I think what I'm trying to say is that we are still young. "And nobody beautiful ever hurries." Or something that sounded better in cummings' words. This isn't about ticking items off a list by the time you're at a certain age, or covering the bragging rights to things that you know other people want for themselves, but being able to stay put long enough to recognize what is and isn't right for you, and that your reasons for wanting things should be just as personal as the fact that you wanted something in the first place. I wanted things like scholarships and design jobs because I wanted to travel. But if travel was the only goal, then by all means, just fucking travel. Even if it eats away at your bank account. It's not like you're saving that money for anything else, and besides, while you're young, your body can take it.

What would be the point in letting a choice you made cause you so much agony. 

I've been trying to talk to my students about this: meaning the difference between monetizing your talent and making a living off your passions. I just don't see the point of calling it "making a living" if it gets in the way of life and only causes you more stress, no matter how much it has to do with passion. It's only now that I'm beginning to feel that I'm not giving myself a chance to enjoy my youth properly; not as a ticking clock, but as a series of wonderful things I wanted to happen, for reasons entirely my own.

"In the direction of real life", La Verguenza, and Hoarders

bide your time, grow up, get the hell out at the very first opportunity, then swim hard and fast in the direction of real life and when you get there shout really loud I’M GAY!

Dear Sugar, Column 87: "In the Direction of Real Life"

I'm not gay, but I grew up believing I was kind of slutty by Filipino standards because my family is kind of dysfunctional by all standards, and given the stereotypes someone's got to take the slut card. This was because the Satanist and Psycho cards were already taken, thanks to my older brother and older sister, and before I could really protest, I was already being yelled at for being out past 6 pm with my best friend's boyfriend (who wanted to talk about my best friend [duh]) and sent to a shrink for being so damn slutty. Can shrinks really talk the slut out of people? I don't even know.

The thing is I never was the STD farm my family thought I was (and probably still thinks I am, especially now that I'm single). Of the many gripes I have about being Filipino, or just living in the Philippines (maybe one day we'll see the difference), it's this righteous false sense of virtue applied to being family-centered. A family is a great place to learn to love people, but it's also a great place to start placing blind faith above one's right to choose. You don't get to choose your family, but somehow you don't have a choice but to love them in spite of everything. I watched La Verguenza (The Shame), which was part of the Spanish Film Fest, yesterday and it was wonderful and you should go see it because it deals with that matter of choice, and the confluence of factors that we have to consider once we decide to say "No." 

I know this is an issue I'll never shut up about, because as much as I want to finally make peace with it, something new always comes up. The great part though is that the issues are small enough for me to actually ignore them individually, at least for some time. The hard part is they stack up, and one of the things somebody needs to diagnose the people in my family with is...I don't know...whatever it is those people on Hoarders have been diagnosed with. "Clinical Hoarding"? Is there such a thing? Again about this false misplaced sense of virtue, some people think it's a generational thing. That in spite of living in an age of rampant consumerism and waste, we still make room to keep things we no longer need. I've heard terrifying anecdotes about boxes upon boxes of empty shampoo bottles, filing cabinets full of decade old receipts, shopping bags that served as proof of where you've been and what you'd bought while you were there. It's sickening now, but there was a time when this was admirable. This was the reason for making space.

These ultimatums require us to ask for something we need from another, yes, but ultimately they demand the most from us. They require us to acknowledge that the worse case scenario—the end of a cherished relationship—is better than the alternative—a lifetime of living with sorrow and humiliation and rage. It demands that we look ourselves squarely and hard in the eye and ask: What do I want? What do I deserve? What will I sacrifice to get it? And then it requires that we do it. In fear and in pain and in faith, we swim there, to wherever that is, in the direction of real life.

That I can be such a hypocrite when it comes to dating. Can people sniff that out? As sick as I am of aimless, passive aggressive, non-relationships, the bleak truth is that I myself am just as unready to buckle down and commit. There's also the whole "You just haven't met the right person," possibility, but that's just a possibility. Like the possibility that maybe I'm just going to hop from one non-committal affair to the next because of priorities and shit. This was one of Mikey's complaints about me, that he had this nagging feeling of being excluded from some plan, this sense of perpetual displacement. And of course, being the way I am--which I might have to turn into the way I was--I just kind of brushed it off. I may have even called him a pussy, because I am a fantastic person that way.

I have always found the ones with initiative sexy, though. The ones who really have a good grip on the reins of their own lives, and do things because they damn want to. 

And sometimes I have to wonder, how much of this comes down to who I am?

Bored Games
I have a shit ton of stuff on my plate right now. 
I remember the days when I used to come here only to complain about living from deadline to deadline and break to break. That's nothing new, now. I'm not saying I no longer complain, because I definitely do. But more than ever I've been in awe of how amazing the world is and of the infinite capacities of people to be wonderful. And intriguing. And generous. And kind. So much so that I've become suspicious of people who are bored. 

Yesterday, my Art Studies professor gave us the bad news that our proposal was not approved as a collateral activity for an ongoing exhibit at The Vargas Museum. The good news though was that no one said "No." or worse, "That's a terrible idea." So we're still keeping on with that project. I say "we" a lot because I still have trouble with "me," but I'm especially proud of this project because I wrote the concept for it, and it's nice to see the silly little fantasies in your head materialize into objects that inhabit PHYSICAL SPACE. That's always a good thing. Is this the whole reason why artists create despite the shitty pay and all the other thankless parts of the job? 

Again about being bored, this boy I used to like once updated his facebook status with "If you're bored, it's because you're boring." And because I liked him, my entire being just blocked out the entire possibility of his ever being wrong (okay, not really, but it just sounds better if I phrase it that way). 

I'm not religious, but there is a strong sense of ritual and mindless devotion to being in the zone, to the white heat you require to let your imagination fly. That's what my professor said about my proposal, "I told them (the curators) that you guys should let your imaginations fly. You just ran with it." I've been taking undergrad units as prep for my MA classes, and the great thing about being in a liberal arts course is that you are allowed to just keep talking and talking. Or maybe that's just me, because that's what I do. I just keep talking and talking--maybe it's a reaction to having been deprived of someone to talk to for so long; maybe it's a way of balancing out the fact that I genuinely enjoy my own company. (No really, I do.) Isn't that what I was first doing on LJ (this is a lie, I think I may have washed upon these cyber shores because I liked a boy...who turned out to be gay...but who cares).

So that's the situation I entered when I first started blogging on LJ, and come to think of it, it is very liberating to talk as if no one's really listening. Kind of like finding out how well your own skin actually fits. It does fit! Isn't that amazing? Again about people who are bored, or insecure, or who complain incessantly about being unproductive. I get it, but at the same time I don't get how it can't be fixed when there is always, always, always more. For instance, have you ever tried to work with a cat pawing at your face and another one climbing onto your keyboard OVER and OVER AGAIN? It's exhausting, but you do what you can.

And if I'm going off on a tangent here, it's because Sandwich (my cat) is sitting next to me doing his clappy paw thing. 

But it's as great as it is exhausting. There are visas to be approved and countries to see and apartments to live in and people to live with and laugh over inane youtube videos with and you can go all the way to Greenland to do this, or stay put and be productive in your own right.  But the non-negotiable truth I've gleaned from all of this is how we make those moments, and how movement makes life more interesting. What I never understood was how some people lacked the compulsion to create. Or how some people choose to stare down the barrier to whatever it is that makes them happy. Granted some people have no clue what makes them happy, but the least you can do is choose wisely and try what you can, because how else are you supposed to know?

(no subject)
I haven't been a regular visitor to these pages so it's been a while. It's been a while since I've felt any need for the same level of venting I used to do when LJ was the only avenue for this kind of sharing and shedding of self. I went through a lot of your entries, but some glitch in the continuum keeps sending me back to today when I really want to go further back to the last time I checked my friends page (which was ages ago).

I'm okay. That's all there is. Really. Being 25, and a handful of conversations that have teetered between just drunk and introspective, has led me to clearer ideas of what I want out of life. Of course my job has also aided that situation. For the first time, I'm in a profession that allows me to feel fulfilled by what I do. While it seems like a futile exercise at times, teaching is a job I feel I owe a lot of my self to at the moment, and that's nothing to be taken for granted. I actually revel in the exhaustion wrought by having to make it up as I go along because the syllabus is obsolete and the programming changes every season. It also helps to have the steps cut clearly from beginning as an Instructor to getting an MA to earning tenure. It's helped me realize that all I really want out of life is to write, and this job has not only afforded me the time to do that, but has actually placed so much pressure to accomplish something in that field. Write and level up from critic to theorist and have an excuse to walk around in a turtleneck with a pipe. At the end of the whole 5-year MA-Teaching-Research shebang is a tedious struggle for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and I'm mildly terrified by the whole notion of having something like work sap all the joy out of writing.

But I'm thankful. This blog is entitled "20x2020" and is supposed to track my progress on a list of 20 things I want to accomplish by 2020 and so far, it's not looking too hot, but at least I can say that what I want hasn't changed much. The instant gratification brought by little things,like new shoes or live music, still lights a fire under my ass, but the things I've listed here, regardless of how silly or unrealistic they seem, still and remind me of how wonderful it is to be live and to be alive.

Because X is the New Why
I know it will eventually bite me in the ass to wish for such things, but I wish there was more to do at the office.

There was so much to do last Friday. So much that I forgot to properly save what I was doing and 8 hours worth of tinkering with spreadsheets got eaten up by a void of a Temp folder somewhere in the bowels of Primer's network. And when that happened, I couldn't even bring myself to care. Of course I tried to redeem it for the sake of the deadline, but when that failed, it was just a matter of "How about that. I guess I'll have to do it all over again." It had trouble holding my attention in the first place. It was the really shitty date who didn't even bother to call me back.

And that's the difference between a job where you're working out the ass and filling up the hours, and doing something you care about; something you feel an obligation towards not just because there's money involved. Yesterday, when I was supposed to be re-doing all those files I lost last Friday, I ended up working on New Slang for a good 4 hours; tweaking things that had already been tweaked within an inch of their lives, pestering the people I shared the project with, and feeling a warm fuzzy sense of accomplishment with it.

That's the difference with working and doing your job. Work involves a chase that is satisfied by more than just leaving the finished product on your boss's desk. There's a constant nagging feeling that what you've achieved isn't perfect and probably never will be; but it just has to be because you care about it for reasons even you can't explain. The site is the equivalent of the easily satisfied boyfriend, the one who keeps telling you "You look great, what you're wearing is perfect. Now can we please just go?"

I'm the girlfriend who can't decide between a skirt or a dress, a semi-colon or a period, if I should end that train of thought here or keep explaining. It's not done yet, it's never done, it will keep demanding your time and patience and you'll be all too willing to keep being there and giving it because that's a chunk of your heart in those pages.

I think I'm finally over 2009. Hopefully New Slang delivers and continues to be a good boyfriend.

Shameless plug! We're launching this baby on Saturday, Jan 16, 8pm at Blacksoup Project in 154 Maginhawa St.
There will be storytime with writers Angelo Suarez, Adam David, and Uro dela Cruz; show and tell with Kate Torralba; and sing-along hour with Outerhope. Admission is absolutely free.

100 randoms
Not for the faint of hear when it comes to disgusting, overwrought bouts of woundology. In bold is everything that makes me go, "Yeah, now how about that?"
(Woundology, there's a word I've been DYING to use. haha, she said dying!)

And...Rediscovering the lost art that is THE LJ-CUT!

CUT!Collapse )

The Sun Machine is Coming Down, And We're Gonna Have a Party
I'm home! So far I've gone on a job interview, bought a hula hoop, and gotten very moderately drunk with Reg and Carlene. The hula hoop is awesome, while walking around Greenbelt in my corporate job interview garb with the hoop around my shoulder, Reg said I looked like a stripper (thanks). Then I found out from http://hooping.org that it's a foot and a half too small for me, so I have to make my own using a PVC pipe; after all, hooping is serious business. So if there's anyone out there 4'7" and under who would like to place dibs on a red, white, and blue hoop, feel free to take this one off my hands.

Why hula hooping? Why not. Along the way, I realized that being employed puts food on the table and airfare in the bank; but it doesn't necessarily guarantee a huge degree of fulfillment, as opposed to so-called success or accomplishment. I've complained incessantly about the boredom and the repetitiveness, but it's a means to an end.

The thing is, I really can't tell anyone what success looks like from my perspective. I know I'd be a bundle of nerves if I had to survive from paycheck to paycheck, so I guess success involves dodging bankruptcy. I also know that success has a lot to do with not going hungry and having the option to stay warm and dry come rainy season; but that can't be all there is to it, right? I don't know how it's come to this, where it's easier to recognize failure over success. Reg put it best when she said, "I can't tell you what I want or what my dreams are, but I can tell you what my house will look like."

I forgot who it was, but I read an interview in which some woman made it very clear that the worst thing a parent could do is live vicariously through his or her children. The worst thing you can do is place parameters on someone else's dreams. Dreams are highly personal, but that's often forgotten in favor of the "dreams" we allow society to craft for us: the house, the insurance policy, the promise of immortality or something like it, the endless list of academic credentials, and the list goes on.

Besides, hula hoops are fun. They're round, if crafted correctly they're practically unbreakable, and unless they're doused in gasoline or made of sandpaper, they can't cause any serious injuries. And when used correctly, they look and feel infinite--even in the most mundane way. So right now success is keeping a ring of PVC around my waist. My record so far is something like 5 seconds, so I've got a long way to go. Success is perpetual motion.

I've seen the Flaming Lips live and confirmed that Wayne Coyne is made of man bits. Now I want to learn to use a hula hoop correctly. But I/we/you and I will always, always travel.

"We scanned the skies with rainbow eyes and saw machines of every shape and size."

I love David Bowie.