1. Anything with alfalfa sprouts
  2. Organic cotton, corn, lettuce
  3. Handmade
  4. Anything French-sounding
  5. Anything with bubble wrap and other excelsior
  6. Syrup
  7. Garnishing which can stand up to the test of time
  8. Silica gel
  9. Chocolate from Ghana
  10. Coffee from civet cat entrails
  11. Proceeds will go to some charity
  12. Restaurant names in Helvetica
  13. Minimalism in place mats, table napkins
  14. Chairs, tables with scratches
  15. Framed object from 1950s
  16. Mistakes in art
  17. Anything with truffle oil
  18. Saffron
  19. Any Mac accessory


Colds. Though the prospect of having a sore throat has been looming since Monday, I took it as a bad sign of what I've smoked last Saturday. Around six cigarettes, or more. I was telling myself all this time not to smoke cigarettes except in drinking sessions, when it is a must, at least for me. The throat gave in, probably, because after three months without smoking, six is a startling number.

Maybe it's the pollen from the hike yesterday. There were mahogany seeds everywhere, the winged ones which seem to fly when tossed around; and the ceiba tree at the Physical Sciences building bloomed earlier, and all the kapok was flying around, on a friend's shoulder, on the sidewalks, by the river. Like wisps.

The allergy heightened while I was dining in a quaint Thai restaurant with my girlfriend--it was lovely for its being spicy, but it triggered a runny nose which wouldn't stop. I finished a roll of tissue by then, and it looked like papier mâché on the table, soggy and formless.

I woke up today with the feeling of something lodged in my throat. One of the last things I am required to do is to diagnose Nero's mental health, for my Abnormal Psychology class. Graduation nears, and it will be a form of personal commemoration to collect a sackful of kapok for a pillow.


It was an hour and a half hike to Mudspring. My pants were very soiled, and my feet hurt. I smell like rotten egg, but exercise releases endorphins, so this is probably the effect of having had some sort of an exercise. In my Abnormal Psychology subject, it's described as "the feeling of well-being." There were no paved roads so walking is such a stress, having landed into edges and other rough exposures, terrains, and I've seen three, four soles which were half-buried in mud. It's funny; soles on the road. I don't know the point of this blog other than updating it with tidbits of well-I-did-some-hiking-today. The other side of public confessionals like blogs is the fact that we still haven't confessed much about anything. Not that we need to confess, but when we do, it goes through a screening process because let's face it, we do have at least one reader. Just one. Maybe this entire paragraph is something else. Maybe it's one of the unusual insects I've seen during the hike. It has the structures of insects, but the color is vivid, akin to poisonous frogs, and is not in any way--for the lack of a better term, "slender"--compared to other insects. Maybe it's a bug. We think of paragraphs like these as a freak of nature. Maybe not. I don't know. My professor was saying something about wood, and I wish I were expert in wood. We came across a reddish wood--he said it was tuay (bischofia javanica) and I remembered this other tree I saw at the back of the Biological Sciences building, and the scientific name I memorized (haematoxylon campechianum) or commonly known as logwood. The management, whoever they are, managed to trim the tree and exposed its trunk in the color of rust, its shavings the color of atsuete. One recalls death that way, with that color vivid enough to taste something metallic.

Yes, gastropods do have soles.

A radial section of bischofia javanica.

March 14

My story, "Spoils", is currently at Spindle.

I don't know how to feel about this. The story contains some family ephemera, most of which have been ignored in the attic. My Dad would have probably thought of it as an intrusion of privacy had he read the story, but I don't know. It's just coming to terms with grief, or nostalgia.


Two more weeks and my stay in college ends. One thinks of endings like these as conclusive, a draw-the-curtain type of ending

like the flock of vans from various TV channels; endings under the guise of ellipses. During the news flash one remembers death in the form of objects: a ten-wheeler truck, a bottle of formaldehyde, a stroll, a Math subject. One dies hog-tied, being stared at 

by trees as they wilt, summer nears. One gropes for the arm of the sofa, for another arm, or that remote button. One expects oneself to brush past these like manuals of an otherwise simple gadget, despite the fact that the pages have always been frayed in the beginning. It all ends

in white: an indignation rally, a coffin, and in April, the snow-like kapok blanketing the campus.


I still don't know how to review a film. Should I quote something from the dialogue? Should I make a casual introduction, like: last Sunday I watched the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and it resembles, if not in itself, an end of civilization, a sort of dystopia? Should it ever be casual? Should I drop words like dystopia, or make a paragraph about the road itself, and the symbolic Road (and capitalize it)? These days everybody raves about a film, recycles the same term-paper vocabulary, and posts it on a website, and most readers would think of it as insightful, as equally stellar as that of a published critic. I don't know why, but I really think I don't have much to say about films and the cinematography, or the editing, or film school theories. These days, it's about making a different din than everybody else. So I cried at the ending of the film. I forgot about it, but it's probably because the father died and the kid was at a loss, and the beach was just like, well, this Truffaut film Les Quatre Cents Coups (and look at that namedropping sticking out of this post) and the beach at the ending: the stark similarity. It's how unnamed these nouns work, alluding a common idea. I remember writing to myself about the idea of expressways (or freeways, or autobahns) as something unnamed. It's easy to lose oneself in an unnamed place--easy to bring it into mind, the way it can barge in on a dream.