End of the world


I don't know what to talk about anymore. I've bumped into my Livejournal and realized, after clicking the archives section, that I've been blogging there for six years, and they're all about the useless stuff. I've skimmed through a lot of my first few posts and they were all about the mundane: sleeping patterns, choir rehearsals in High School, dreams, conversations lifted from chat, Gunbound all-nighters. (When I typed Gunbound, the theme songs played in my head right away.)

What I've been doing these days: reading. Almost every New Year's Eve I make it to a point that I'm reading something. Some four years ago I was reading Chuck Palahniuk's Rant and finished it an hour after the clock struck twelve: it was such a vivid memory, wherein I put down the book and for five minutes I was hearing what seemed to be the sound of the New Year's aftermath, as if a ceasefire had been implemented, the relentless shelling dwindling and everybody closing their doors and people preparing their blankets and piling the spoils of the medya noche near the sink for dishwashing next morning. My friend and I biked our way to another friend's house for what became a tradition for five years : drink beer until 5AM. (We had to postpone it last year due to our busy schedules.) On our way was this really thick fog of smoke from the fireworks--we are five minutes away from Bocaue, the Fireworks Capital of the Philippines--and we had to dodge tons, just tons of brown pulp fluff shredded into pieces and trompillos nailed on trees and makeshift kwitis stands.

Hopefully I could finish John Ashbery's Flow Chart and write a review of Frederick Barthelme's Law of Averages before the New Year's Eve, the latter I've been blabbing about for six months and running. It's a magical work of prose and I just couldn't talk about it as a whole project, partly because it's comprised of twenty-something stories, but more importantly is because almost every single story has its own glimmer, the product of sparse details and oblique dialogues. It's just hard to take notes by merely putting dog-ears on pages and hopefully the corners of which would pinpoint the uh... points.

I am painstakingly doing this dog-ears style because I don't like the idea of scribbling on any kind of book I own, since I find reading with notes as a sort of a walkthrough that it shelters you from reading the book and ending up with fresh perspectives. It's very inconvenient to use highlighters in the bus, and writing notes on Post-Its in MRT is just not recommendable. (I did a Post-It note on a book once in my entire life, in Kurt Wenzel's Lit Life. Earlier I had been mesmerized by Salinger's writing that I circled and underlined every single word I didn't know with a pencil. My first attempt to widen my vocabulary was writing each and every word I found on a book and its meaning meticulously in a notebook. It's the most tedious job I ever did, and I didn't even finish writing on a single page.)

Life is a humdrum these days. I wasn't able to attend the Christmas Party because of this soirée with the in-laws (sorry, I just want to use soirée in a sentence). From the Monito Monita I've got the perfect gift of all: Php 1,000. (In the wishlist I indicated a Php1,000 gift check on any bookstore, but I guess they don't really offer one!) I shall splurge this on various Booksale branches next week.

With the so-called end of the world prediction the Mayans reportedly did eons ago, and how the modern-day preppers, among various other groups of people, think about the end of the world, cheers! I think the time has come that these concepts should become nothing but ordinary, "shards of common crockery", as Ashbery puts it.