assignments

4 a.m. Maundy Thursday. Just got home from another beer session with office mates and a hellish kamikaze ride from Cubao to Antipolo. Nothing like a jeepney ride like that to take away all the sleep — and alcohol — in my system, so might as well do a little quickie here while I wait for Morpheus to regain control.

Things I intend to do and accomplish within the next three days:

1. Chain-read as always: Finish John Irving’s The 158-Pound Marriage and crack open a new book, which will be a toss between Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men and that Kerouac-Burroughs collaboration the title of which escapes me now;

2. Get past the 500-page mark of the fourth Harry Potter book. Man, when I started reading this, Charmaine has just found out that she’s pregnant. Now we have a nine-month-old future supermodel and I’m only halfway through this 700-plus-page behemoth;

3. Write, write, and write. Finish at least two chapters of the novel;

4. Download Lamb of God and Testament albums. They’ll be here in 17 days, and like in exams, I need to review;

5. Fix and clean our old room. I slept there the other night, and it’s like sleeping in a hurricane wreck. Plus, I don’t like the moldy, mausoleum-like smell that is starting to develop there;

6. Go biking, preferably after sundown. Not only it does my lungs some great favor, it also helps me think and assess my next move in this crazy little chess game called life;

7. Spend quality time with Charmaine and Raven. The Simpsons marathon, morning trips to the playground, evening conversations over hot Choco Lava;

8. Gear myself up for the return to the boring routine, which for me will start as early as Easter Sunday.

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heavy mental

In college my friend Dennis and I were too engrossed with a lot of “underground” comics that one day we decided to put up our own. Because we were a pair of shiny happy people back then, we called our oeuvre “Madness: Tales of Mental Decay.”

The setup was for me to deal with the story, letters, and whining; Dennis with the illustrations, promotion, and bad jokes. It was a pair-up from hell.

Our idea was to come up with a series of stories dealing about love lost, depression, alienation, moral bankruptcy, and other sweet, inspiring Reader’s Digest stuff like that.

We were able to crank out an issue, earned a little from it, got praised by girls (our target readers), but that was it. Dennis and I graduated, married our respective girlfriends, and simply lost time for such creative collaboration.

Plans have been underway for a second issue, but nothing seems to get past the drawing board, as Dennis and I are both adjusting to that bright and wonderful world called fatherhood. (It’s pretty difficult to write about a man offing himself in the most hideous manner when your bundle of joy is smiling beside you.)

Anyway, to re-live old glory, Dennis posted the whole thing here, with his take on how the project came to be and how we became gods for a couple of days here. (You have to have a Multiply account to see them.)

Looking back, the story is kind of juvenile — we were college dudes back then anyway, single and fucking bitter about it — but I’m still proud of this one.

on summer and skin

Summer’s here! says the giant billboard near the office, as if the collective BO that greets me every time I ride the MRT at high noon isn’t enough to remind me of my most hated season of the year.

Unless I can be that stud chasing the bikini-clad girl in that billboard, or a student facing a two-month respite from school, I don’t see any reason why I should sing paeans to summer.

Really, what’s there to enjoy in 60 or more days of infernal weather?

Beaches, you say. I say fuck beaches. I hate beaches during summer like I hate phone calls during sex. The crowd of mostly preppies is one thing; the astronomical prices of beer and accommodation is another.

Beach bunnies flaunting long legs and cleavages are nice, and female Caucasians baring huge tits are fun to watch. But never in hell can these justify a San Mig Light priced at Php120 a bottle. I don’t tolerate this even in those cheap-ass Cubao whorehouses where, if you’re not careful, you’ll end up broke, not even halfway drunk, and nursing the mother of all boners at the end of the night. I should know.

Pundits who claim to know everything can say I’m sourgraping. Perhaps they’re right. I haven’t been anywhere near an ocean in years. The last one was in 2002, in Claveria, Cagayan, while on coverage for the Manila Times. I remember that fondly because it was the first time I saw the famed sunrise by the ocean. It was breathtakingly beautiful, almost postcard-perfect. It reduced me to a fanboy.

Now the heat is on, full blast, and as I sit here smoking, sweating, shaking nostalgia out of my head, I am suddenly gripped by that wonderful madman formula that says an increase in temperature is directly proportional to the scope of skin women are willing to expose.

Think short shorts.

Think tube tops.

Then consider Pagasa’s pronouncement that the temperature could hit 40° C due to El Niño.

Perhaps summer aint that bad after all.

on gifts

Gifts freak me out.

Call me insensitive, but every time I’m given something, I think: a) All right, what’s the catch? And, b) Jesus! Now I’ve to give him/her something.

The idea that maybe the gift-giver just cares about me oftentimes escapes me. Sue my unfeeling ass.

College friend Jayvee Descaya once told me that real friends don’t give each other gifts. You give a person a gift only if you want to win him/her over, she said. Otherwise, you just buy him/her a beer.

Make no mistake, I care about a lot of people. Giving gifts, however, is not one of its manifestations. I once gave a girl a PZ Brite book not because she’s special or I was trying to be cute, but because I wanted her to read PZ Brite so we can sit down and talk about the former Gothic icon.

That has been my motivation in giving people something. I don’t consider what they actually want or think is nice, but what I want them to want. I’m one proud forceful motherfucker, and I offer no apologies.

Of course there are exceptions, but they are few and far in between.

walking proud

Archenemy gave me this.

draven

Well, not exactly them. But the P1,500 ticket for their October 20 gig at the WTC came with the band’s Wages of Sin album (with a bonus CD to boot!) and a P500 gift certificate from Draven shoes. Not bad.

I’m not really big into shoes — the last pair I bought was in 2006, a heavy-heeled Skechers boots that looked specifically designed for stomping faces — but I figured, Hey, Christmas is just around the corner. Why not an early gift to myself. I thought I’d just settle for shoes since it’d be a cold day in hell before I could afford this

elecguitar

and this

vickiblows

The pair I bought was from the Duane Peters collection, which was the only Draven shoes covered by the GC. It boasts of suede, canvas, and rubber toe caps, and feels really comfortable. I’ve been trying it for days now, and am so far satisfied.

new ‘do

Charmaine says my new hair reminds her of Gavin Rossdale. I look at the mirror and see Charles Manson. Whatever. My hair have never been this short in four years… and it takes getting used to. I’m already missing my ponytail days.

Meanwhile, the Holy Week is here. As with the previous ones I’ve no plans but to stay at home and hibernate. I’ve work until Maundy Thursday anyway, will have my regular two-day break on Good Friday and Black Saturday, and then back to the salt mines again on Easter Sunday. You fuckers on beaches should consider your blessings.

By the way, forget my previous entry about Filipinometal.com. That shit’s a hoax, some dingbat’s idea of an April Fools joke. Can’t believe the Blabbermouth guys and I got sucked into it like flies to fresh turd, but so what? I meant what I said there anyway, about metal music and this country and the fact that they can never be chums.

luck

notebook-flash7

That yarn about pregnant women being lucky in things, I didn’t believe it until last Friday when Charmaine won this elegant looking black MSI Wind Notebook Computer in their one-shot, post-Christmas office raffle. That’s for someone who hadn’t even won a stupid wall clock in any raffle in her 28 years. Now, if only I can get her to bet on SuperLotto 6/49…