A girl’s gotta have such trinkets inside her treasure box 😉
Strawberry Fields in My Mind January 30, 2008
This movie musical – Across The Universe – is lovely. The timeless Beatles’s songs are rendered exquisitely, and the production is a visual pleasure. After watching it, I can’t keep Strawberry Fields Forever out of my mind. Oh, and did I mention Jim Sturgess is the ultimate eye candy? 😉
Lucky, lucky Worms January 25, 2008
Yeah, this is kind of old news, but there are days when a girl just has too much on her plate that even the deaths of two heartthrobs cannot afford her to make an early reflection on such unexpected tragedies. Again, I was sacrificing sleeping hours for writing, and exploring the sunny world outside when lethargy strikes. Anyway.
Ten days ago, on the 15th of January, Brad Renfro died in his sleep. His Hollywood star sort of waned over the years, but he had such a brilliant career in his youth. He was unforgettable in The Client (1994), and I remember watching a few of his movies in the mid nineties (Sleepers, The Cure, and Tom and Huck) with only as much as a perfunctory interest in his acting prowess, because I was to busy swooning over his lovely brown eyes. Anyone will excuse me for doing so, I was a dreamy adolescent back then, and Brad Renfro was one of the few swoon worthy icons of his time. Then, as most disturbed young actors are wont to do, he grew drug dependent and his movies have become few and far between. Up until his death more than a week ago, my closet still had a few magazine cutouts of his boyish gorgeousness, an outdated remembrance of my silly-shrieking high school years.
Then Heath the sensual Ledger died seven days later, again in slumber. This guy had jawbones that’s to die for, and a burning stare that makes you want to strip down to your underwear and soak in an ice cold bathtub. Brokeback Mountain established his acting skills. He was always excellent in period films. Then, all of a sudden he was reported not to have woken up one gripping afternoon. Sleeping pills overdose, perhaps.
The price actors had to pay for all the glory and red-carpet attention. When people are blown-up to such larger than life proportions, it’s quite hard to believe that they can fade away just like that, and then we are reminded again of the flimsiness of mortal existence.
Such youth, such beauty ought not to be wasted inside rotting mounds of earth, I should say. But it just might as well, for all the grandeur and eminence and possession that one life can hold. Brad and Heath have had their share of the best, so everything is not really wasted. Dying in your twenties however is not a thing worth celebrating, when there are people in their fifties who are just starting on the rosiest time of their lives.
Such a huge regret, whenever those lucky earthworms get their fair share at a most ill-gotten time.
Romanticism of the Old Pen January 21, 2008
These days, I find myself missing the long, handwritten letters era, when the only thing that connected you to a distant old friend was the old, reliable postal office. Snail air mails have never been too reliable but we did not mind it back then. Whenever the smiling and wrinkly post man would drop something inside our fence mailboxes or stick between the grilles of our rusty house gates, there was always that feeling of unmistakable excitement and apprehension. Excited that someone from miles away might have remembered us, yet apprehensive all the same that the letter might in fact be for someone else.
Two nights ago, I spent my midnight browsing through old letters from friends. Nope, there weren’t any love letters, though I was wishing to find that there was one which I didn’t get to open. But there weren’t any, I had the most lackluster love life during my student days, and even when I am perfectly happy with my love right know, the scented letters still do not come that very often. The letters were from ten years ago, dusty and yellowed and forgotten. An old classmate who flew to New York wrote me on more than a few occasions. A dear high school friend who went to live in General Santos City and later settled down in Hawaii wrote how much she missed school and the rest of us. And then one of my dearest friends with whom I still remain in constant contact most insomniac nights actually wrote me a letter one Christmas and cheesy Valentine’s. I just wonder, how many letters did I actually get to write these past years, and did any of them survive dust, discoloration, and oblivion?
I wish I could draft more handwritten letters these days, even if I don’t get to send them. The keyboard is an amazing thing, but it only speaks of speed and convenience, nothing else. Maybe I’m just an old soul who relishes everything antiquated and romantic. Maybe facing the monitor for long hours has made me realize the elegance of the old years. Days when writing was a task and an effort, but also something that you would really find the time for even on evenings when you’d rather read a book or go to bed.
Seven Holidays per Week January 15, 2008
Today I went to the bank to claim my cyber account card. Finally I got it, which means there’s definitely no way I’m not gonna get paid for all my written works. Then I went to the mall for my grocery shopping. The good thing about not having a structured job is that you can make everyday a weekend or a holiday. For the first time, I actually enjoyed grocery shopping. Today is a working day so the supermarkets were somewhat deserted. Browsing through the aisles was like being in a peaceful library. There were no annoying shoppers who would bump you with their heavy carts. No obnoxiously loud couples who would argue like they were just inside their bedrooms. No horribly long counter queues, no aisle traffics, no toddlers who would suddenly scream because their mommies won’t buy them those extra soft chocolate chip cookies. Believe it or not, I went through every aisle, checking out the items even though I would not actually buy all of them. It was like having a huge pantry all to myself. Ah, the beauty of solitude amidst such pleasures.
Indeed, having an office desk and a blinking computer inside gray walls is a very dangerous way to view the world. A two- day weekend is definitely never enough, I should know it, because I’ve been there and back. And the early Monday morning rush is not something to look forward to. It’s true, making a living does not run in parallel with having a life. But for most of us idiots who know nothing else, making a living is the closest we’ll ever gonna get to having a life. Again, little wonder why there are so many unhappy souls in this world.
Let’s hope I’m not speaking too soon here. Because somehow, the idiots are the people I love, and genuinely care for my future whether I want them to or not. Who knows, maybe I’m an idiot underneath- having a structured job, short weekends, annoying bosses, well-connected officemates all equates to a perfect life. Maybe, ten years from now, I’ll look back and remember the idealistically foolish and headstrong girl who wasn’t strong enough to find, and to fight for her rightful place in the world. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll wither and grow wrinkles after spending a youthful life inside gray, air-conditioned walls, faking smiles to people I’d rather give a piece of my mind to. Because in this country and age, idealism does not always work. It may work, but not without tear and mucus stained tissues, frustration after frustration, and people thinking you’ve gone entirely mad.
Why can’t every day be a holiday? Because if truth be told, people deserve all the holidays they can get. I know I deserve it, so I’m enjoying it while it lasts. I’ll start my new year by treating myself to seven holidays per grueling week. 🙂
Cupcake Afternoon January 9, 2008
Today was a warm day with friends. Ella and Mae came over at the house to bake cupcakes with me. I don’t know why I have this sudden fixation with cupcakes. Perhaps because of the fact that they’re easy to make and easy to consume. And putting the icing is just like playing with colored clay, only that there’s no teacher telling you how you’re not doing the right thing. We made just the basic variety so as to leave more room for us to experiment with frostings and toppings. Next week I’ll probably head to the supermarket for my baking experiment on chocolate cherry glaze cupcakes. They’re a bit on the expensive side I know, but no one’s gonna buy any of the ingredients for me, anyway. Plus I get to leave the house for a while, which is a good thing because I oftentimes catch myself talking to the computer out of sheer solitude. Creepy.
Len arrived much later, when the cupcakes were already set and pretty on the serving plate. Much to our flattery she didn’t believe how we could make such a lovely batch, thinking that we merely ordered the cupcakes for that afternoon’s rendezvous.
We chatted, ate, laughed, and conversed a bit about the absurdities of the world. We gave Ella our preliminary goodbyes, who’s leaving for Cebu on Friday. Brave, brave girl. But Nashy will be there and whatever the case may be, she’s bound to have the time of her life. Hopefully, she’d find her heart song across the seas.
When she comes back we’ll frost many more cupcakes, and laugh like she never left at all. In the meanwhile I’ll write, bake, and go out with girlfriends as much as I can. Sometimes I get the funny feeling that this paradise isn’t going to last much longer and that pretty soon I’ll be enticed to accept an eight-to-five-job because it’s the road more traveled by ordinary folks like myself. Why does work and happiness have to be at opposite ends of the pole? Guess I’m just talking about me.
If truth be told, I can bake cupcakes all my life, if my writing suffocates me. Anything but a predictable existence inside gray walls and half-brained asses. Anything but boredom, structure, and nausea. Hope I don’t need a golden compass to get to where I want to be.
But believe me on the cupcakes. They were a thing of beauty.
The Reign of the Earth Rat January 2, 2008
There is just one resolution I’m gonna be keeping this year. That is, to stop believing in resolutions for once. This year I’m not gonna be expecting anything, but I’ll be keeping the conviction that I deserve all the good things my heart desires. This year, I’ll do away with plans, expectations, fears, and all the useless baggage. This year, I’m allowing myself to be a nomad, a drifter, camper, impulse traveler, writer, and all the things I have deprived myself of in the past. I’ll devour a bar of chocolate in one sitting if I want to. I’ll head out to the beach on a working night on pure instinct. I’ll watch all the flicks I want, read all the books on my shelf, have ice cream by myself at the mall, have a tequila night with crazy girlfriends. This year will be for the fulfillment of all my hedonistic desires, and no one’s gonna step a foot and chastise me for it.
All this time, I thought that if I slaved for work, I’d be rewarded like I ought to. I left my home, friends, dating life, the bookstore, the malls, everything without a second thought. And in the end, I found myself sniffing at tissues, wearing ugly eye bags, and a million times more unhappy. So much for being a slave.
So this year will be my year of redemption. I’ll get a real job when I’m tired of being a drifter. Or when an expensive hand bag suddenly makes me want to have a decent paycheck. I’d probably read more into what the stars are actually telling me. Maybe the answers are just right under my nose. Or maybe the answers are hidden far far away, across a stretch of ocean, somewhere I had never thought of exploring.
Until then, I’ll be celebrating my freedom, looking forward to a year with no framework and no intricate guide maps. And perhaps, this may just be the grandest year yet. 🙂