Siesta


  1. My wife and I have been trying our best for the past few weeks to perfect our marshmallow fondant. It can be a good business prospect, since she really wants to be a pastry chef (and I imagine myself to cook some good food, but not coming close to what a chef means).
  2. Again, rereading Frederick Barthelme's Law of Averages. I really can't get rid of this book, ever.
  3. Finished the back-to-back Georges Perec novellas: A Man Asleep and Things: A Story of the Sixties. I bought this Bruce Chatwin since it's a collection of essays and so far... I'm not really liking it. I've always thought of the British as scheming opportunists, and this rings true in Chatwin's setting as he explores the world not quite as an explorer but more of a British ambassador, criticizing Africa, China, and other non-western cultures as something wayward.
  4. I have to admit I've been trying to think of ways to spend my long weekend since everybody else on Facebook are in beaches. I think I skipped the fact that I'm a father now, and that things need a lot of planning if going out to a beach. I mean, a year ago I could've texted one of my friends and end up smoking pot in a beach within 24 hours. 
  5. Beach are hot stuff nowadays, and it made pools look like remnants of a not-so-eco-friendly, bourgeois past. Back then, the buzz is about wave pools and Splash Island (and Eight Waves and Sun City) and all the artificial hullaballoo, but eco-tourism has been so effective in The Philippines for the past few years that for locals, Boracay looked like nothing but an overpriced alternative. It goes without saying that there are hundreds of beaches to exploit, and after ten years we'll be retreating back to our swimming pools because of overexploitation, and I'm sure we would be coining a term for the threefold influx of tourists in our country (hypertourism!) or something.
  6. The qualms of a family man: rising electricity bills due to increased air-conditioning usage (read: every night, or whenever we feel like it), then the empty stares at the fridge, making ice cubes, wishing I could live in the freezer. Summer is expensive: new goggles, gallons of ice cream, artisanal halu-halo, birthday parties on resorts, plane tickets to this well-kept island. It's a bonanza of consumption.
  7. I am alarmed by the people I know who have been getting tattoos recently. I know someone who's been an avid fan of Vampire Diaries who has just posted a picture of her tat, and I could hear her squeal just by reading her status. See: it's just a fad. I was reading this blog of a tattoo artist of nine years and can't help but agree: it's the new cool, and it comes in all forms, shapes, and sizes. I know people are entitled to get tattoos, that's their body, I may sound a little too conservative but I know a lot of people will regret the idea. No, a whole generation will regret this because they confuse tattoos with graffitis on body. For me, it's just self-vandalization, putting a lot of your ideals on your body, romanticizing the constants such as your name, your address, your favorite quote. I mean, look at Scarlett Johannson! If you're a fan of Vampire Diaries, just please don't do it. Tattoos have aesthetics, and though it is such a cool conduit for self-expression, it can't express everything. I know, it's such an elitist view, but I'm yes to tattoo appropriation!

Wendy's

The assembly line at fastfood chains
always feature
a poignant fryer behind the cashier.

I salivate and think about the carbs.
Are we going to be fine? I asked the wife
and gripped her hands.

The cashier asked the right questions
with the right timing, so that the tray
had everything supersized.

The hand dryer malfunctioned and the hand soap smelled
like fromunda cheese.
We were obliged to close our eyes

and diverted our attention from the oil and lard.
So we talked about our latest book haul
and built a house on a lot from ten years ago

while I skimmed pages
of Kostenbaum's Best-selling Jewish Porn Films--
actually a collection of poetry.

We tried to recall more fastfood chains
while she handed me more ketchup packets.
Then we lapsed in this stupor

of having eaten too much.
There is that sound from shaking an iced tea when it's all ice
and water, that chugging

when drinking from straw
like a fried engine or the tail end
of conversations

So we made fun of kids eating french fries instead

which end up to be another poignant feature
especially when they cough in their high chairs.

Regimen




(Three images from Family of Man, by Hariton Pushwagner. Images from here and here.)


  1. Slower internet in the office means no work done, and that means high time for some Spider Solitaire.
  2. I first encountered the word regimen at a computer shop, reading one of my first e-mails from my thesis advisor, during those days when I still have no idea about anything to write in particular. The first idea which struck me is the word regime, which is almost always associated with the collective memory of the Marcoses. Regime is totalitarian, is about a thousand soldiers moving at the same pace, is most often than not associated with North Korea.
  3. Perec is okay. A Clockwork Orange is nice. There's so much to say about these two books. Hopefully I could up my chances of reading more books before the year ends. 
  4. I am in dire need of a spare room to work on a short story. There's this deadline this coming March and I just couldn't get my weekends to myself. Maybe I should put the typewriter to work. I'm thinking about Sunday.
  5. A regimen is all about ablutions in the morning. It's about Oraherb, which is my favorite mouthwash in the world. It's a local brand and it tastes so horrible, I couldn't even get hungry for the rest of my eight-hour shift. Just like that, it gets rid of this desire to eat.
  6. In prosaic terms, a regimen is all about work or chores, or anything dull, essential, and essentially dull.

Donovan

Today I celebrate my birthday leave in my bed, feeling like a sponge dehydrated and squeezed to the bone by stomach flu. I have never heard of it before, but apparently it's a stomach ache with fever, diarrhea, nausea and lightheadedness. It started with a knot in the stomach last night which went on (akin to that of the drone of a fridge at midnight, just humming) while reading Perec's Things: A Story of the Sixties on a bus from Alabang to Ayala Station, but I thought it's just that I've eaten too much in this Japanese restaurant my wife and I frequent shortly after an acupuncture session.

The droning in the stomach peaked when I arrived for work, and the next thing I know I had to go home and leave the office after reporting for two hours, doing some errands with the e-mail, and nodding. I slept with a blanket. I was having the worst chills of my life, and my bones and muscles were kneaded and it was just real torture. My entire body ached. I could barely stand to turn off the electric fan.

But everything feels better now.