In the middle of Silver Linings Playbook I realized that I only write when I’m not happy. I thought it was the other way around—that writing makes me unhappy—but recently I just ran out of ideas. And time. The part when Pat threw the Hemingway out of the window with such force that he broke it and landed right on their front lawn was a riveting image of disappointment, which gave me a lot to think about literature as an outlet than a trigger. (A good film can be a trigger.) I wanted a beer, a complicated problem about arts and the humanities, a cigarette, and my chapped lips to deal with. It keeps me thinking. It keeps me from being dumb. It makes me feel alive. Recently I couldn’t think of other things—I think about work, the things I need to do. Where should I get dinner? What time should I leave the office? Should I take a taxi or a bus? The reading was becoming a lesser priority. I drink coffee more, but at least I drink it black, without the cream or sugar. Smoking is becoming a habit, as I’m lighting four sticks a day. My body is in awful shape, even if I drink once in three months. But tonight I decided to pop open the sole Kostriker Schwarzbier sleeping in the fridge since March, back when I bought it just because of the buy-one take-one deal at Fresh in Paseo Center. It’s not bad, at least when left chilled for a couple of months. (Expiration date: 07/05/2015.) It has a deep flavor profile and a smell that reminds me of molasses. After some time I started wincing while drinking it, all the while thinking about getting to the nearest sari-sari store who can be so kind to sell me a pack of cigarettes, or just a stick, which is what I need. As I’ve said, reading has become a lesser priority, though I still find time to read a chapter or two of Nicholson Baker’s The House of Holes: A Book of Raunch in the bus, even if the act makes me feel dizzy. I haven’t written anything (if you consider jotting down a sentence or two on a notebook, sure, but it’s pathetic) nor have I talked to anyone about anything that’s noteworthy or interesting. I cooked sinigang na salmon for Dad just last Monday and he said Thank You when I was about to leave the house. I want to write something about a Filipino in Paris who didn’t really get the whole hype about the place, but it feels a bit formulaic. There’s no thrill in writing it. I wish I had a window with a view, like a floor-to-ceiling window that offers an uninhibited view of trees and mountains. I’m not really sure if I’m passionate about my career; it looks like it, but something’s missing. I always wanted to go back to a certain day in the past and alter a part of it. My Mom reared us not to succumb to prescription meds at the slightest headache, but lately it's been getting worse that I took Dolfenal 500. It was the second time I took one and it felt a bit refreshing. For Father's Day my wife bought me a Gillette Mach 3, and I was happy about it. I had to mention it to her as I've been planning to shave more often. Dad messaged me on Facebook with a link to an image of assorted sausages sold at a deli in UPLB I've been hearing a lot, and said he'd pay me as soon as I delivered it to his house in Bulacan. Later on I found out it was a sponsored post, but why was I targeted again?


  • My son likes to step on drains. He likes the hollow sound it makes.  
  • There's sanity in newly-chopped leeks: it's sharp and refreshing. 
  • I bought our new spin dryer; the fact that it's not on sale bothers me.
  • Recent favorite: empanada stuffed with chorizo, its juices scarlet with aromatic garlic and spices.
  • Told my son, Perry, that the one he's looking at in a children's book (it features a clownfish) is fish food, when in fact, it's fish eggs, just because I'm tired of explaining. "Fish eat food" became his explanation. Is that a lie?
  • Who thought 6CycleMind's rendition of Upside Down can be a fitting soundtrack for grocery shoppers? (Thank you, South Supermarket.)

Beautiful Death

Let’s move on. A smooth fox terrier of ours named Harry was full of surprises. Wildly sociable, like others of his breed, he grew a fraction more reserved in maturity, and learned to cultivate a separate wagging acquaintance with each fresh visitor or old pal he came upon in the living room. If friends had come for dinner, he’d arise from an evening nap and leisurely tour the table in imitation of a three-star headwaiter: Everything O.K. here? Is there anything we could bring you? How was the crème brûlée? Terriers aren’t water dogs, but Harry enjoyed kayaking in Maine, sitting like a figurehead between my knees for an hour or more and scoping out the passing cormorant or yachtsman. Back in the city, he established his personality and dashing good looks on the neighborhood to the extent that a local artist executed a striking head-on portrait in pointillist oils, based on a snapshot of him she’d sneaked in Central Park. Harry took his leave (another surprise) on a June afternoon three years ago, a few days after his eighth birthday. Alone in our fifth-floor apartment, as was usual during working hours, he became unhinged by a noisy thunderstorm and went out a front window left a quarter open on a muggy day. I knew him well and could summon up his feelings during the brief moments of that leap: the welcome coolness of rain on his muzzle and shoulders, the excitement of air and space around his outstretched body.
- from This Old Man by Robert Angell

In a brief paragraph: the life
of a dog. And then death
in a browser tab.


Baxter Dury - Leak At The Disco
All sorts of solar flares dancing with silhouettes of hair, palm trees, someone's unspoiled vacation humming. Maybe a wet handkerchief or a bandanna, crisp and parched.

Metric - Cascades
A woman wearing hot pink leather skirt, tight around the legs. Strobe lights.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Can't Keep Checking My Phone
Funky. Screens rendered in alternating pink, red, blue. A swanky bar. Scene of legs clad in various outfits, legs conversing, legs and feet shuffling, some worried, others convivial, upbeat.

All We Are - Stone
Wood panels, moss, rickety stairs at the back of a cabin. Someone sobbing, saying hello over and over again.


There are two types of people: the type who reads lyrics and the type who just listens. One applauds the surface; the other, depth. One is blissfully oblivious about meaning; the other, shamed by spending two hours to close reading.