a lot of drama nowadays in a couple yahoogroups i lurk in. i know. i'm in those caves again. they're fun. ahahahaha. learning can't always be serious.

it's interesting because i get to watch how writers here in the u.s. fight over what they believe versus how writers in the philippines post what they think is important - coz replies and discussion seem to be rare that second yahoogroup. i think. i haven't been around either group to really tell. but the things participants in the second group let cross over the e-mails are indication enough of what lurks in their minds that everyone should know about.

no, this isn't just malicious eavesdropping - ok, so it's a more innocent form. it's an interesting experience to cross from one group to another - i have to remind myself where the writer is coming from.

there is a piece by butch dalisay on how, in the shores, english isn't just a language, closely followed by filipino-american academics insisting that books are far from neutral resources; knowledge is always written by the one left standing after a war, any type of war. that's why it distresses them that certain organizations are sending what they consider junk material to small towns in the homeland, furthering colonial mentality. after a couple readings about this issue, i finally got it. dammit, i said to myself. how come it's so hard to see?

somehow that argument morphed into the views and uses of english itself as a language. the latest is an essay on how english is used as a service tool to the burgeoning call center industry in the homeland. that, and the hairsplitting agendas raised by academese, plain and classroom english used in, well, classrooms and e-mail groups.

filipinos in the philippines think of english as a foreign language, not a second language on equal footing as filipino (based on tagalog), or their regional tongues. (for hyperbole, one regional tongue each for every island. and then on that island, a variation every hour or so travel by flying jeepney.) language is an instrument, and you are for the better the more expertly you weild it.

filipinos elsewhere, particularly in the u.s., have no choice but to use it for discourse running the length of spectrums and horizons. we gotta be understood by filipinos and nonfilipinos who know of no other language but english. sometimes we use spanish to amicably work with clients and colleagues. language has a life of its own, so filipinos here have become adept at distinguising which type english to use for who.

everyone seems to ignore what's going on with the kids - they talk funny! but hell, what else is new. i think we like to keep it that way, though. ahahahaha. i guess that's why when my friend lorraine and i tried to schedule a day out at the movies, it took us all last year to decide when.

-- anong movie mo gusto?
--- uh, i dunno. the incredibles?
-- sige, the incredibles.
--- pa'no tayo pupunta dun?
-- susunduin kita, me car ako. ano cell mo?
--- eight seven one, three two six four.
-- sige, text kita. alis muna 'ko, help tulong sa dinner.
--- redundant yang salita mo!
-- oo nga, no!
--- nakakahawa.
-- ahahahaha.
--- uy, akin yang tawa.
-- oo nga, no! ahahaha!
--- ahahaha!
  the oscars
there were many more non-white people at the oscars today. they tried to save time by making the technical/artistic nonactors stand onstage all at once, and the winner gets to step forward and cheer on stage right away. they prolly took a stab at egalitarian-ism by placing the mike in the audience, among the people of short film and other small awards. the magic of storytelling is lost in the heady haze of glamorous movie making.

and that's all i was able to notice, aside from the perennial that i missed seeing a hundred other worthy movies again this year. ahahahaha.
  @ pick me up
ulanmaya @ flickr
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya.

dinner after pintig's february open mic.

  @ least they try

i've uploaded new photos to a new site. so far flickr limits the number of sets it lets you upload, which is wierd. here's what i got so far. enjoy!
i'm trying to stay away from a class that my teacher is trying to sell. i'm not very good at declining invitations scheduled a semester away, i always think that i won't be any busier then than i am six months from now, when more often than not, i'm wrong. the very vexing thing's that the reading list is awesome, but the course isn't for credit. reason would tell you why in the world are you even reconsidering, but i'm not very good at that, either. ahahahaha. but i'm quite put out.
  it's a jay mccarroll

ahahaha - i agree with carson, jay had the clearest direction - or to me, voice - of the three designers. wendy was too everywoman, kara was too 'aviator.'

though kara's designs were cool! ahahahaha. they're very 1930s, setting of 'the aviator.' i haven't seen that movie, but now i'm curious coz of her designs. the movie previews just immediately turned me off, but i'm gonna wait for the dvd.

i'm no fashion expert, but wearing knits, quilts, patterns, crochet and anything that looks difficult and intricate are now making a comeback. if you want dressy for a casual day out, you go for these types. the classic jeans and shirt will stay, but when i'm travelling, i usually make efforts to dress differently - coz it looks great on photos and a trip is, after all, a vacation from the normal and everyday, ahaha.

his color scheme is fall, so it's a little dark for me, but i totally dig his coats, his skirts, shoes and patterns. i'm looking forward to jay opening his own store in new york city. it's like oilily, it's just worth a peek.
  fruit loops in the loop

retail-in-review: cereality cereal bar & cafe
comparable to: coldstone, or your local dessert shops.


the problem with trendy cafes like cereality is that they usually open in the wee hours like 4 a.m. but coz of short cashflows, close by noon. it leaves out those who work second and third shift.

a store is supposed to open across the street from my workplace in the spring. that's on wacker and madison, a block north from the sears tower. take the brown line and get off at washington and wells, walk a couple blocks west until the lyric opera house emerges. take a left and voila! in the middle of the block, ground level office space, provocatively empty.

it's hilarious coz the company first set up shop at arizona state university, and they're moving to chicago to attract a supposedly more mature clientele.

it's perfect so the college graduates who subsisted on cereal all throughout dormlife and, upon graduation, turned into workhorses, can take some semblance of the familiar with them when they trade running around campus to running around in glass cages. ahahaha - just kidding. i hope they open late and on the weekends, too.
One more kiss could be the best thing
one more kiss could be last thing
Or one more lie could be the worst
one more lie could be our last
And all these thoughts are never resting
all my thoughts are never ceasing
And you're not something I deserve
am i something you deserve

In my head there's only you now
This world falls on me
In this world there's real and make believe
And this seems real to me
this is real to me
And you love me but you don't know who I am
I'm torn between this life I lead and where I stand
i'm torn between this life and where i stand
And you love me but you don't know who I am
you say you love me but you don't know who i am
So let me go, let me go

I dream ahead to what I hope for
i dream ahead to what i hope for
And I turn my back on loving you
and i keep myself from loving you
How can this love be a good thing
how can this love be a good thing
And I know what I'm going through
when i know what i'm going through

In my head there's only you now
This world falls on me
In this world there's real and make believe
And this seems real to me
this is real to me
And you love me but you don't know who I am
I'm torn between this life I lead and where I stand
i'm torn between this life and where to stand
And you love me but you don't know who I am
So let me go, just let me go, let me go

And no matter how hard I try
and no matter how hard i try
I can't escape these things inside
i can't run from secrets
I know, I know
i know, i know
But all the pieces fall apart
i fear all my pieces razed
You will be the only one who knows, who knows
and you will know

You love me but you don't know who I am
I'm torn between this life I lead and where I stand
i'm torn between this life and where i dream to stand
And you love me but you don't know who I am
you say you love me but you don't
So let me go, just let me go
so let me know

(you don't know)
You love me but you don't
You love me but you don't
(you don't know)
You love me but you don't know who I am

(you don't know)
You love me but you don't
You love me but you don't
(you don't know)
You love me but you don't know me

3 doors down
let me go
let the site finish loading, the song plays and repeats when you keep the window open. yes, it works with firefox too. ahaha.
  full names
sometimes some peoples' names are just so short, you end up calling them by their full names.

chris wills
tom park
kara saun

the last, if you must know, is one of three finalists in project runway's season one. the finale is tomorrow night and broadcast over bravo. kara saun, jay and wendy will showcase their designs in new york city's fall fashion week.

sigh. two hours of sizzling delish.

project runway, fyi, is my current reality show fix. it's so high-end, it glitters. so trashy, it reeks heatwaves. another reason to love/hate new york city. gives me a buzz everytime.

the date is wednesday night at 8. i can't wait. :hot stare that bores right through you:
  enlightenment day
if any of you students are asked to start an organization in your schools, whether high school or college, DO IT. i can't tell you how fulfilling it is when one of them texts, calls, emails and then guilt trips you into coming and seeing how the group is doing now, or to come please save us all from ourselves, seven years after you sacrificed innumerable unmentionables just trying to get it started way back then. :-)

i can't tell you how happy it also makes me to turn down an invitation, like i did today. AHAHAHAHA! what can you do when they text too late for me to call in sick without raising colleague whispers and eyebrows? ahahahaha. i'm so going to hell. my comfort is that i'll look up, and there they all will be, among the puffyness of clouds, and it will be enough for me to know that without me, they'd all have never made it! AHAHAHAHA!

but ya. start a group backed by a cause you feel passionately about. all them crazy hormones and heady feelings and ideology and hobbies and consciousness things in college are actually real and lasting, i tell ya. no, really. the things you learn in college make such an impression on you, making change and erasure, i think, at this point, i haven't left school for very long yet, and i still want to go back, impossible.

but no, i'm not tellin' what group i hella formed in college. three guesses. ...
  funny types
a colleague and i have got to get out of the office more.

i called his office. anything going on there?

he pauses. nope, nothing.

i go, yay!

and he goes, alright!


oh boy. office humor. it ain't funny elsewhere.
  dreaming in filipino
things take on strange pallors when you view them from afar. it becomes worse when you try to capture those in words.

writers and academics in a yahoogroup i lurk around are talking about the 'books for barrios' exchange where old american books will be shipped by container to the philippines to send to the provinces.

simplistically, supporters say that the need is so great, the provinces will accept whatever literacy help they can get.

contenders claim that the program will instill and perpetuate colonial mentality.

others argued whether the philippines were suited for just old books. if they were really concerned, they said, they would help the publishing industry so the country can publish their own books. allowing the country to publish more of their own would offset colonial mentality perpetuated by the books - all types, from medical texts to journals, cook books, popular fiction, periodicals, paperbacks, hardbounds, you name it - and hopefully develop a reading public of their own.

the discussion is impressively thorough - but mostly about the ramifications of having more american books populate provincial libraries, of the books possibly perpetuating colonial mentality.

i'm not sure about that: it doesn't always mean that what one reads is what one becomes. a 9-year-old reads books for class or entertainment. sometimes it doesn't matter if the books feature white girls. they look beyond that to see what happens to the girl - and if that could happen to them, too. sometimes they do dream of leaving and succeed, but sometimes they grow up to realize they'd rather be in their homelands than elsewhere far.

there already is a thriving publishing industry in the philippines right now, and not all of it is based in manila. while critics like to gripe about the industry nonstop, to me it's proof yet of normalcy. writing is personal, no matter what price you give it or how often it's shredded to ribbons or how subtle or violent the delivery. writers may fight tooth and nail, employ sabotage, enact murder and mayhem just to get published, but that's what keeps the industry churning. that's normal of any business, anywhere in the world.

aside from using the vernacular outside of school, there's even programs in school where filipino is made the primary language of instruction. one afternoon in my 3rd year of high school in quezon city, my homeroom teacher, who taught chemistry, walked into class and declared, "today starts the new school policy of speaking and teaching in the native language." i had no clue what she meant, and it was the first time weirdo me realized there was contention between english and filipino. in that first year, we learned from government- and university-provided texts written in english, but translated them into filipino on the chalkboard and in our notes. in exams, we were required to describe chemical reactions in filipino.

there were opportunities to sharpen two vital skills each time we read from our books and said things out loud - translation and cognition in filipino. as someone who still thinks and speaks in filipino, but writes in english, i call dealing with nonfilipino coworkers as needing to 'translate' everything. i can jump into filipino at the drop of a hat, something that people around here can only dream of doing (unless, of course, the language in question happens to be spanish, estonian, arabic, russian, thai or korean - see, even the photographer won't even say whether he lived in the north or south, it's just 'korea.' hehe).

ah, wells. the ability to play linguistic gymnastics is all well and good, except that now i can't write respectable filipino. i think i'll take that penitential hatchet now.

also, this type language concern grabs the attentions of only those who wield it for a living - the writers, the teachers, the lawyers, the publishers. but everyone is a reader, so it is a legitimate concern.

the academics' concerns should be forwarded to willing participants of the 'books for the barrios' program so they can make efforts to gather material the academics think will be beneficial for the provinces there. propaganda isn't always the reason behind the publishing - or gathering of a number - of books. willing participants should be ready to do the legwork themselves of locating and procuring these books... for less politics. (you know the drill.) willing participants could also fulfill any book requests from there to here.

the books will help librarians and teachers in the provinces teach kids how to read, write and speak in english, and might even mobilize them to develop lessons in filipino or in their regional tongues. english is valuable in that it is the world's current lingua franca. but if identity is interlaced with language, then retention of filipino and the regional tongues are beyond vital to an individual's survival.
  pretty snow

it's snowing outside right now... again... in huge flakes the size of the breakfast cereal. it's beautiful but hell, i just walked into the office half an hour ago and it was raining. gotta love living at the edge of a body of water, in this case a huge lake. :wry: there'll be a foot on the ground all too soon.
  vday woohoo
happy vday to everyone as well! thank you for all the texts. i'm so embarrassed. i'm still @ work, so i had to turn off my cell, so i think i lost some of them. sorry! but thanks for the thought!

but my valentine would be this photographer from the chicago tribune... ahahahaha... i don't even know his name. he snapped at me when one of our assignments didn't go through and then called back a couple hours later to apologize! woohoo! around here, that's a major accomplishment. it gets so busy around here, that to take time out to apologize is gold. i told him how i should get used to it by now, but that it still stings, and that when it happened, i just cast it away from me coz i said i gotz other things to focus on. but yes, it is always good to hear an apology when it's due.

not too fancy a valetine's day, but i'm content. thanks again for all the texts! hope you all had a happy valentine's day as well.
anyone who's ever been extensively decorated with awards in high school will know how important those medals are when they reach college. in college, you're leveled to the ground. your day of fame doesn't come until the end of four years, during graduation when you get to wear a gold sleeve or tasselled ropes to show you've a high GPA than the rest.

so when i broke my sister's academic decathlon cystal mug tonight, my plans for waking up early to run errands have crumbled to dust. i dun wanna confront her. coz i broke it.

it's irritating coz i'm known for that - accidents - and she insists on placing that mug on top of our water dispenser jug - we have one of those ridiculous office water coolers in the house. it is pretty convenient, but the only reason i can deduce why my sister insists on placing that heavy decathlon lager mug of hers on top of the cooler is so everyone can see her high school trophy. she refuses to display all her medals. she refuses to keep her academic notes. she ruthlessly tosses her old notebooks and anything that looks like junkmail. she rarely buys and keeps anything that you can't eat. we all think it's weird.

so when what i think is her one trophy is shattered to bits, i have no clue how to break the news to her tomorrow.

it's me, i didn't know the jug cooler thingy was empty, so when i tapped it, it tipped over, and i was trying save her mug along with my glass, and i knew i should have let the plastic jug tip all it wants. but i guess i just hit the two glasses too hard, and her mug, a 1997 freebie from the chicago tribune, shattered.

i know she feels strongly about her mug coz she's already expressed concern about it some time ago when it was chipped for the first time. i've never seen her look so concerned about anything before, and it confirmed that like everyone else, she feels strongly about inaminate objects as well. and it was merely chipped! what now that it's totally gone?

arg. and she's one of those types who carried around a smelly pillow too, when she was little. the mug's taken the pillow's place in her life. i'm so annoyed!!!

she's also placed that mug high up in our mother's china cabinet, that place where none shall touch ever. and then she took it down to use it. i only hope, like one of her pillows that we took away coz it was just wrong to still keep it after turning brown, she just takes out her D&B mug, another rare souvenier from a rare night out with friends, and use that instead. or i can offer her one of my own mugs from one of my other trips. ...

i need to make her laugh, so imma put the skull mug we all shared a rum punch from in las vegas just last christmas atop that stupid water cooler. the girl needs a break coz she's downright unhappy being a nursing student. i'm dead anyways. i hope she gets the joke.
  the gates - christo and jeanne-claude

aww... i thought they were gonna be in yellow.

if you take cannon drive north and turn left on roosevelt road, on the northeast corner of roosevelt and michigan avenue is a peony flower garden. designers put torn blue umbrellas over the flower beds. it reminded me of christo and jeanne-claude's umbrellas design installed in japan and the u.s., in california. except instead of cool running streams the umbrellas were over lame peonies.
  all the riches
feb. 12-13

more pix

i'm so glad to have been allowed to stay behind for an afterparty. after all the guests left, and people have traded info, and all the bottles have dried, my ride stayed behind and wanted to talk about certain things. what i'm really, really grateful about this talk is that it's the most honest conversation i've had in a long, long time. i'm not skilled enough with words to describe it, but i'm sure it's evident.

with a youth group i used to be part of, i always felt overstimulated. like, i felt there was always something up, always something else that required my participation. i guess it's the dessert wine, ahahaha. but one of them held a glass of red wine while the other leaned back in his chair and just listened. i put my notebook down from the crystal coffeetable to the floor to set aside its bulging contents. i stayed my concerns because they were being addressed in turn anyways.

the early morning is truly magical. it brings out an intimatenes impossible in the daylight or even the midnight. always during this hour, i just want, for once, to simply listen, to breathe, to acknowledge safety, to hear silence and the creaking way growth unfetters from shell it's outgrown.

this post isolates a lot of people for sure, it'll even isolate me from time to time; lord knows my life allows for generous helpings of that day in and out. but this type event comes so rarely for me that i just want to remember it. i check my blog at least once a day at work just to remind myself i'm more than a heart that chases after illusions. i have several other stories to tell, ahahaha. and i blogged this one because i want easy access in case i want to remember why i should slow down sometimes. it works for me.
  attention must be paid
"There were promises made across this desk! You mustn't tell me you've got people to see - I put thirty-four years into this firm. ... and now I can't pay my insurance! You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away - a man is not a piece of fruit!

"Funny, y'know? After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive."

— Willy Loman


playwright arthur miller died. the first thing i remembered about him is that even as he was uncomfortable wedded to marilyn monroe, he loved her, and that later he had a daughter by a photographer, whose strange name was... i think inge, like ingenue (it's inge morath). the next was whether he wrote "a streetcar named desire," but of course, he didn't.

and then how, in one of my first literature classes, we'd settled that Everyman should be lauded a hero as well; he's meaningful to a mere handful of people, but then in real life, how many more people do you expect to be intricately connected to?

every space touched by that meaningful person in your life becomes paradise.

business is business, there's nothing personal about it until money is involved. money and the time you put in. and yet time is a person's most precious commodity.

and we came up with a handful other cliches of the downtrodden before learning that arthur miller was married to marilyn monroe and whether their divorce had something to do with her killing herself shortly thereafter.

as students, we knew nothing then of insurance and pensions, of medical leaves and of counting the vacations days entitled to us, because taking any more than the alloted is grounds for your firing; we didn't know of stealth that will allow you to make critical phone calls during lunch breaks or make quiet runs to buildings and clandestinely courier documents so sensitive, they make targets of you in the streets of chicago. it isn't risking your life, but it is putting it in danger, and we didn't know then that there are a hundred things asked of you that aren't at all worth even a moment's glance of your time.

arthur miller died thursday of congestive heart failure in his connecticut home. he was 89. he didn't consider 'death of a salesman' his best effort (he has better regard for 'the crucible'), but willy loman's plight shook the minds of teenagers coming to grips with our own fates, lest we fall into that yawning chasm of failure and obscurity at our feet. attention must be paid. and it was.
i'm @ work right now and a clean air advocacy group just sent my colleague a box of truffle chocolates.

before guilt and dismay assailed me i grabbed one - i had a long night last night and got up from my computer to walk around the room for a bit to shake my drowsiness. i wandered to the free-for-all table and there were four pieces of chocolate waiting for me in its heart-shaped box.

then i wandered to my own mailbox and, lo! sticking out was a red <3-shaped box of my own.

all for me. sent by the same group.

before i could think evil plots to hoard the stash of russell stover truffles, i marched to the free-for-all table and unwrapped the red cellophane. tore loose the gold ribbon. scanned the brief press release. announced to the nearest staffer my secret hoard. "i gave up chocolate for lent - it was either chocolate or caffeine," she dejectedly said but smiling, and before i could lay down the box's cover there another staffer waited, concerned and curious and ready for a truffle.

the power of chocolate. mmmmm.

colleagues noticed. but like always i started telling them where to get some, the way i do whenever they ask where'd i get my clothes or the info i just waved around.

"ny and co. $15."

"the web site."

"st. peter's, down the street, st. clare auditorium, till 7 p.m."

and they joke, "i'm goin to hell."

it's ok, there's still time, i wanted to say, but a joke around here about faith and the time you have left on earth is unwise. so i stop. i retreat to my computer and find that an old youth group friend has left me a comment in my xanga.

"what are you giving up for lent?"

oh shoot. i totally forgot.
  the chinese train
happy chinese new year! have y'alls seen 'zhou yu's train'?

gong li plays zhou yu, a woman who paints on porcelein. it's a beautifully poetic movie that shows you much of what looks like northern china. zhou yu grew up next to train tracks and isn't afraid of riding them until the furthest stations.

one day on a business trip, chen qing meets zhou yu and writes her a poem. he flees, leaving her his bag. one day, zhou yu travelled to his town, several hours by train from hers, and returned him his bag. he then shyly presented her with several poems. "i wrote you one poem a day since that night," he said. or something to that extent. the movie is in mandarin with english subtitles.

the photography is entrancing - how train tracks lead invisibly onward and onward, how the mountains and green hills and rural towns show a fertile and promising china. i think the movie is an allegory to china itself - how silently and quickly it promises to grow, if given a chance.

it has the skilled professionals in zhou yu (painter), zhang qiang (veterinarian), and chen qing (poetry/teaching). it has the sophisticated infrastructure - trains that extend to infinity, rivers breeched by cable cars and boats, dirt roads to the ends of tibet. the cities are ancient but not yet matured, already bursting the riverbanks - there's this one shot of qing's islandlike town crowded with skyscrapers, industrial and postindustrial, ancient but young because its inhabitents refuse to grow old. the storytelling weaves between past and present, as if the events are one and the same.

that's why, when i joked that everyone should learn chinese, i kinna meant it. the chinese government is trying to curb its 1 billion population. they are battling a skewed boys to girls ratio by giving government grants to families whose children are two girls. in ancient times, they've travelled the world and invented writing and they're just too busy elsewhere to catalogue their exploits in their new homelands. their national historians know this, of course. someone just needs to research and put it to modern speech so the rest of us can understand.

you should always remember, with a communist background, that chinese movies may have some form of propaganda interlaced in their works. my unpolished sophistication rises to the occasion every time i try to take apart films like this, ahahahaha. north asia's purty cool.

... yes, the film tells another type story as well, but i don't talk about those things in blogs. ahahahahaha.
  comin down quickly after 28
sigh - and i just rented that movie along with GS last night, too. s'all comin down, i tell ya :pleased: . ...


So many of you ask me about writing, just skim through the comments and you'll see thousands of stories to write about. All I did was sit down and write about what I was feeling in my own life. What bothers you, what makes you laugh, what do you obsess about, what makes your stomach turn, what do you lust over? - just sit down and write about those things. That's what's universally interesting; those are the kinds of movies I like to go see: regular people in real life situations, dealing with emotions and worries I can relate to. Also, think about starting very simply; don't overwhelm yourself trying to think about the whole movie; write a scene between two people, then write what happens after that, then what happens after that. Don't get boggled down worrying about outlines and rules, just tell a bunch of stories that happen to the same group of people. And try (for lack of a better expression) keeping it real. There's a saying I really like to think about when I'm writing: "Don't do that, they do that in movies." Anytime I find myself writing something that feels nowhere close to reality, I try to stop and reign it back to what's true for me. Blah, blah, blah. I just wanted to offer up a couple of thoughts since so many have you have asked about it. ...

Okay: Amazing film to see: Maria Full of Grace.
Amazing Song to play obsessively: "Narrow Escape" by Ray LaMontagne *
Insanely funny thing to watch on the net: Viral Videos on www.ifilm.com. ...

Smile, take a deep breath, it all starts going by really quickly after 28,

* he's ok. ahaha. lamontagne, i mean. "narrow escape" is a slow jam, i think lamontagne's best tracks are the faster and midtempo ones; he sounds best live as well. "narrow escape" depressed me. ahaha.
  garden state
Andrew: You know that point in your life when you realize that the house that you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of the sudden even though you have some place where you can put your stuff that idea of home is gone.

Sam: I still feel at home in my house.

Andrew: You'll see when you move out it just sort of happens one day one day and it's just gone. And you can never get it back. It's like you get homesick for a place that doesn't exist. I mean it's like this right of passage, you know. You won't have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for you kids, for the family you start, it's like a cycle or something. I miss the idea of it. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place.

[ more quotes ]


i finally saw this movie! ohmigosh. what a movie about real life. it's such a healing movie about alienation - coz lord knows how fast life can be even if you live in a small town.

andrew learned to look at life differently when he first flew back to his hometown in new jersey. he didn't tell anyone that his plane almost didn't make it. no one in his town seemed to know that he could have died on a plane that hit some horrible turbulence.

that's the worst feeling, ahahaha - to be strapped to a plane that's caught in turbulence. you're powerless to do anything, your life is in the hands of the pilots and the integrity of the aircraft.

what's really remarkable is andrew's friend mark who declared he's only 26, he isn't in any hurry to be anywhere. the film says the stress in his life is that one of his friends may be sleeping with his mother. but he realizes the same that andrew did while on the plane - there are some cases where life is to be savored, not chased after.

to be honest, i refuse to have that luxury, ahahaha - i know i owe lotsa people lotsa different things, and even as they don't expect payment. ...

but it is nice to be reminded to just live life.

memorable concepts:

"good luck exploring that abyss of yours."
"this is my life, this is it, this is all of it."

the fact that when you return to your home town there is so much life around, you'll never get around to live all of it unless you make time for it.

with enough medication, you can become so numb and miss out on life, too.

home is where you feel safest in.

you turn mythic when you leave town for long stretches of time.

if some things are greater than they seem, they often are. for example, if you see a knight strutting around your friends' house in the early morning, he probably isn't and's just one of your old friends who now works at the local specialty amusement park or restaurant.

or that the family living on the edge of a chasm in the middle of newark, n.j. is the most normal for miles around. even if they live on the chasm's precipie. coz doesn't everybody?

live on the brink of something, that is.

i think everyone does.
  serendipitous munchies
everytime i see my friend jen, there's always food involved. so i always equate her with food. it's good, coz she ignores her nursing training by eating with me everywhere - the golden nugget, ihop, third coast, seven treasures, gulliver's, sala - and had just let me taste one of her great shakes over the weekend.

this chocolate and strawberry shakes is unbelievable. she put her chocolate mix and protein mix and strawberries in it and blended it for about 2 minutes. instead of water, she put in this really good brand of vanilla soy milk. and the she poured me 20 glorious ounces.

i haven't looked back since. i'm waiting for my shipment now. we've agreed to meet here at the lincoln park borders, and she's late.

i still need to show the box to my doctor, of course, my mother recently had this bout of panic, "you need to see a doctor! you don't sleep! you're so pale! you have blood disease like your dad!"

i shrugged. i went to the doctor and then was told, "your immune system is acting up. you are vitamin deficient."


how can this veggie lasagna be unhealthy? my siblings i ate two batches of it for breakfast and dinner for the past three months.

but i still do want to live, so that's why i'm snacking on fruits and some of this.

and then that same week that i was to see the doctor, jen and i've set up a time for me to try out her shakes. ok here she is now with my diet pack -
  going, going, gone
i have 18 gmail invitations to give away. please email me your e-addy if you want.

don't you worry imma some crazed unabomber stalker type person - i'm not. :sweet, innocent smile: for, as we all know, blogs can't possibly contain the real you... ahahahaha.
  drive right
anna nalick - or some such artist that breathes :)

2 a.m. and she calls me cause I'm still awake,
"Can you help me unravel my latest mistake
I don't love him and winter just wasn't my season."
Yea we walk through the doors so accusing their eyes
Like they have any right at all to criticize
Hypocrites you're all here for the very same reason.

Cause you can't jump the track
We're like cars on a cable
and life's like an hourglass glued to the table,
No one can find the rewind button girl
So just cradle your head in your hands.
And breathe, just breathe, whoa breathe just breathe

May he turned 21 on the base of Fort Bliss
Just today he sat down to the flask in his fist
Ain't been sober since maybe October of last year
Here in town you can tell he's been down for while
But my God it's so beautiful when the boy smiles
Wanna hold him but maybe I'll just sing about it

Cause you can't jump the track
We're like cars on a cable
And life's like an hourglass glued to the table,
No one can find the rewind button boys
so cradle your head in your hands
And breathe, just breathe, whoa breath just breathe

There's a light at the end of this tunnel
you shout cause you're just as far in
as you'll ever be out
And these mistakes you've made
You'll just make them again
if you'll only try turnin' around

2 a.m. and I'm still awake writing this song
If i get it all down on paper
it's no longer inside of me
threaten' the life it belongs to.
And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary screamin' out aloud
And I know that you'll use them however you want to.

But you can't jump the track
We're like cars on a cable
And life's like an hourglass glued to the table,
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand... yeah breathe
Just breathe, oh breathe.


today we looked at new cars.

we decided on a mojave sand 2004 honda crv with a sunroof, power mirrors, power windows and a revolving 6-cd set. there's a removable, foldable picnic table in the trunk. there's a sealed compartment under the picnic table where we can store wet swimsuits if we choose. the 5th spare tire is identical to the four already rolling the asphalt. it flew around the block like a carpet riding sea breezes.

like most long-term committments, i won't mind fleeing this one as well, ahahahaha... but as i'm outnumbered 2-3 in this house, the decision falls on a sibling who will most likely immediately salivate the car and excitedly offer to drive it every chance she gets.

we really need a second car. the old one's become unreliable, but only in the little things - the heat's busted and just tonight the right headlamp went kaput. it needs another overhaul. it's also a honda, a huge, gas guzzling suv passport, been with us 9 years and 6 months. it's paid off, so we're keeping that car.

it'd be great to have a second car, but i'm so still not so sure about this new car. i dunno, i'm not sure if it's the money i need to give up, or that we're giving up a parking spot in the garage, or coz it might stand out in the neighborhood we live, or what. we got a really good deal on the crv, too, shaved off at least $4,000 in bargaining.

monday two of us four will return to the dealer and test drive it. two of us can't because we have class. that crv is such a toy! ahahahaha. i don't like that the drive-lever-thingy is beside the wheel instead of next to my right knee. we'll see.
  one step closer - u2
erghk. @ work. it shouldn't take four hours to return calls, people!!! dammit. friday. i just wanna go back to my book.

oh you know what - i'll sing. or at least post lyrics to this cool song.

1 step closer
how to dismantle an atomic bomb

i'm 'round the corner from anything that's real
i'm across the road from hope
i'm under a bridge in a rip tide
that's taken everything i call my own

one step closer to knowing
one step closer to knowing

i'm on an island at a busy intersection
i can't go forward, i can't turn back
can't see the future
it's getting away from me
i just watch the tail lights glowing

one step closer to knowing
one step closer to knowing
one step closer to knowing
knowing, knowing

i'm hanging out to dry
with my old clothes
finger still red with the prick of an old rose
well the heart that hurts
is a heart that beats
can you hear the drummer slowing?

one step closer to knowing
one step closer to knowing
one step closer to knowing
to knowing, to knowing, to knowing
  embers - sandor marai
Konrad and Henrik:

From the first moment, they lived together like twins in their mother's womb. For this they had no need of one of those pacts of the kind that is common among boys of their age, who swear friendship with comical solemn rituals and the sort of portentous intensity invoked by people when for the first time they experience, in unconscious and distorted form, the need to remove another human being from the world, body and soul, and make him uniquely thers. For that is the hidden force within both friendship and love. Their friendship was deep and wordless, as are all the emotions that will last a lifetime. And like all great emotions, this one contained within itself both shame and a sense of guilt, for no one may isolate one of his fellows from the rest of humanity with impunity.

They knew from the first moment that their meeting would impose upon them lifetime obligations.

pp. 36-37


edinburgh, scotland

that postcard was sent to me by a stranger october of 2003, part of an international game of trading postcards from our present places of residence, started in march of 2003. i've only had the chance to send her a return postcard today. i took a pix of it, along with five others, to post online as part of the game's rules. "post the card online," the ringleader said, "so we can all share."

her dedication is the giddy voice of someone knowing that there lies no more strings attached beyond the card. in a moment of madness, i'm reminded of all the other times someone gave me something for free.

how come there aren't enough unconditional things around these days?

it's another thought i shove in the folds of my memories, one i can't answer because such things aren't asked for, they're given freely. i'm at a starbucks right now and on break from work, i will sign off, shut down my laptop, take my drink, and trudge anonymously back to my building, returning to an office full of people intent on the tasks immediately ahead of them.

my friend resa recently lamented the senseless running around that we all do. it isn't enough for her that life is made of little stops here and there, of little achievements and journeys larger than our own.

there is a heady ache to achieving vision, and it's worth having, costs and pain included.
ulanmaya: oooh, it's the state of the union address, it's just starting now - r u watching?
PAO_on_thin_ice: i'd rather eat raw toxic sludge
ulanmaya: ahahahaha
ulanmaya: well, i hafta watch it
PAO_on_thin_ice: imma go study
PAO_on_thin_ice: let me know if he chokes or trips or anything
ulanmaya: i will - hope u get something done with your books
PAO_on_thin_ice: ergkh
ulanmaya: ergkh, yerself - ;-p


it is a little over an hour after the address - and you know what sends chills down my spine?

that visual of two women hugging - one is the mother of a soldier who died in iraq, and the other who was able to vote for her country's national assembly.

it's a little frightening coz you know they were placed there on purpose. the iraqi woman sits right next to the first lady, and mrs. bush watched while the two women cried over each other.

it's a great visual because the american was placed behind the iraqi, so the iraqi had to reach up to hug her. and then the american clutched her husband's arm, and they're both red and tearful and shaking like leaves. the applause died down after the wife mouthed, "thank you," and then reached back to sit down.

back in the day when the current war in iraq was just about to begin, protestors took to the streets and marched down lake shore drive to make their sentiments known. they held up traffic for five hours, to the chagrin of people who wanted to go home after work. they stopped at michigan and chicago streets, where police formed a square in the middle and kept as many of the 800 marchers inside the square as they can.

in the midst of a follow-the-leader-down-lake short drive protest, where the worst harm they did was hold up traffic and wake up napping residents, police then commenced making arrests.

"it's pretty embarrassing, it's as if they can do anything by taking to the streets," said one young woman on tv. i'll bet my next paycheck that she was filipina.

"can't anyone see that we're all just pawns in this game among world leaders?" wrote another one in an e-mail listserv; this one's filipina, for sure.

comments like that just boil my blood. ok, so now you know you're being oppressed. you're being taken advantage of. there's such a thing as psychological thresholds and the knowledge to distinguish right from wrong. i see no logic in staying quiet when you know you're being hurt.

resignation is a different story. resignation is giving up - on you, on your future. sure, often the only thing we can do is sign a petition, get out and vote, and join protestors and be loud and annoying. activists do that because it's the easiest, most effective way of grabbing attention to the issues (hopefully to the issues! ahaha. we all know the ugly other kind of attention one craves).

but there's a more effective way of bringing the issues to light. it is never far from you, it is always within your reach, and it is unique to every person. if i could write about it, i would.
  i, wannabe web developer
i'm really missing web design. i used to intern at this place and we were given lots of work, at least one new assignment every month. and then we imploded, coz most of the staff graduated, or had to choose between fields, and the office caved under university pressure. it was dark times. the age of the second gulf war. but it was good times nonetheless.

just a tip... no serious: if you're tweaking backgrounds for your blogs, and you want to use a photo, photoshop it - lighten opacity so that it's almost a mere shadow. details won't be lost coz people will scrutinize and try to decipher what pix your background is of. it's a brain habit, it doesn't like puzzles. there's enough detail remaining in the adjusted pix for your readers to recognize it.

as soon as you adjust opacity so your pix is a mere shadow on the page, change the color of your words so that they're black or charcoal - anything dark. it'll make your words pop on the page.

generally, you want your background monochromatic - light or dark - so your readers have an easier time reading your words and finding the links.

the problem with web design is it takes so frickin long, ahahaha... but that was back in the day when i started learning HTML. dreamweaver's now up to version mx 2004. but you know what... while my sister is still in school... imma take advantage of their student deals. i want the whole suite... and then i want my 24 hours back so i can also read my books and blog in my sites. ahahahahaha.
  horizontal west
westward at 3:50 p.m. 34f°. a foggy haze blankets faraway roads and buildings. you can barely distinguish them from afar - but you know they are there coz of the buildings and the power poles that jut out of the smoke.
  all a half-blood prince
it is still a lame title. wonder if it's too late to change it.

'harry potter and the half-blood prince' sounds like the title of an involved piece of fan fiction. but i guess it's hardly suprising, because j.k. rowling made a big case about ancestry in her first five books - i mean, draco malfoy, or at least, his parents.

to the malfoy adults, one is muggle, part-wizard, quarter-wizard, half-wizard, varying degrees of removed-wizard, or full-blood.

but i think there's still hope for draco. just as his voice changes, so will his outlook on life.

the title is so lame because it isn't as fantastic as the first five:

philosopher's stone (or socerer's)
chamber of secrets
prisoner of azkaban
goblet of fire
order of the phoenix

and then... the half-blood prince?

there's william and harry who are princes.

there's the hapas of asian america whose full-time job it is to balance three different worlds - one each from their parents, and then living in the u.s. or more than three worlds.

there's people like me who are full ( __ insert nationality here __ , in my case) filipino ( - yes don't you dare start), but moved to another country and fight tooth and nail just to stay real in both worlds.

so essentially, everyone can be half-blood princes. princes, because even though you don't have that title, someone regards you as such. even the girls - because they get swept up with the group address, 'whoever shall cross this street while the green light is on, he shall be run over by the shiny silver SUV.' heeehehehehe -

if she's trying to be scary... then hmmm -

welcome, and thank you for boarding the ulanmaya transit express. tickets, please. mind the gap as you depart. have a pleasant experience.

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gromit is curious

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