friday again
i am writing this on an early sunday morning: 5:51 a.m.

friday was uneventful, but i was sooooooo glad the week was over! ahaha. need to get glasses checked. ack, and need to send a bio to an editor. with all my late drama, i am never gonna get published again, ahahaha.

friday and the week were uneventful, except of course for moments of insanity where you think you'll never get projects done because of uncontrollable issued related to work, and everyone experiences that.

there is such a thing, though, i think, of an overdose of peace. i dunno, ahaha. there's always something to be said about dangers and disturbances crashing all around you all at once that makes life life.

but i shouldn't be hasty... i've actually just caused a chain reaction that will bite me in my pretty (big) beeehind soon enough, ahahaha. so if you pray send some my way, ok. good night.
  where is the weekend
wow look at that sunset. it's still blue out, but the light's silver gold.

four people found dead in a house in aurora. or naperville. police said the house lives in the naperville part of aurora. and the coroner said the sheriff knows what happened to the four, but the sheriff isn't talking.

good times.

oh but hey, check it - facebook now has two sides:

Now there are two Facebooks: one for people in college and one for people in high school.

"how pointless," aileen said. ahahahahaha. sometimes when you throw them all together, there's not much difference between high school people and college and beyond college people. ahahahaha.
  ma'am hermosa's wake

high school classmates in the philippines attended the wake of one of our professors, eleanor eme hermosa. she taught english, and yanno... i can't remember what she taught. i don't think i was ever her student.

my high school class trade pix and emails on weddings, births, christenings, graduations, engagements, plans. our collection of memorabilia now includes a funeral, our larger life landmarks, complete.

ada's pix featured other old professors who visited ma'am hermosa's wake - including sir alonzo, who dreamed of us visiting the greek parthenon while he taught world civilizations. ahahaha. we were 16 years old or thereabouts, juniors in a quezon city high school. her pix brought back so many comforting memories.

look at that pix. it has so many flowers and fake electric candles. the point of the plastic candles is to give light while evoking a sense of sacredness. the flowers remind us of what heaven must be like.

i haven't been to too many wakes here in the u.s., catholic or non-catholic. my sister, early on at 12, had to visit the wake of one of her hindu classmates, killed in a head-on car crash that also claimed the lives of i think a father and another sibling. the accident was so bad that the casket was closed. my mother also told of a young nurse who was killed in a head-on car crash with a semi-trailer truck, her body so dragged along 10 miles or so along the kennedy expressway, that there was none left of her to bury. her casket was also closed.

during my father's wake, i never thought of the flowers, the candles, the ritual prayers and his embalmed, made-statue-ed body. that wasn't him. ma'am hermosa has one sister and a male partner she lived with while in singapore, where she had taken ill. i wonder if her relatives consider she left them while in singapore, or just these past few days, when it is said the dead's spirit lingers for three days and then truly passes on.
  i am miss international
2005 miss international

holy crap where have i been?
ahahahaha -
2005 miss international is miss philippines.

when i was six i sat on my dad's lap
and said, i want to be miss universe.
i picked at his goosebumps as mom looked on.

my sleeping little sister woke up,
her straight hair standing on end.
they look like barbie dolls, i said.

miss quigaman lives in london,
her skin light kayumanggi.
her photo at the miss international roster unsmiling.

what, you want some sharecropper's daughter
living in the province
to win? asked my colleague.

i said, she'd have to have work done
a nip here and a tuck there,
and she can't afford that.

yes, madam president, she'll be our role model.
we all need to be thin.
she must be starving.

and at least she isn't miss america
where contestants weathered whether
the corporation would let them strut in swimsuits.

but i seriously like the little runner's up crowns,
all tiny like illustrated in my princess books,
pinned fast into golden hair.

when you dye black asian hair
it comes out orange.
no matter the brand and technique. ahahaha.

but hey, i like her other title, "webwriter."
how come they didn't call us that at the net outpost?
men and women both, we were designers instead.

Philippine beauty awarded '05 Miss International
RP's Quigaman is new Miss International
Lara Quigaman is crowned Miss International 2005
  boxing and the philippines
brian villoria
brian villoria [ forum ]

rey 'boom boom' bautista
rey 'boom boom' bautista [ forum ]

manny pacquiao
manny pacquiao [ forum ] [ photos ]

boxing is undoubtedly a national sport in the philippines. ardent followers know when fights are on. and i am no ardent follower. all i know's that boxing is the philippines' olympic medal magnet. the games of brian villoria, rey "boom boom" bautista and manny pacquiao flew right over my head because chicago focused on another type of boxing tournament.

last month, the world boxing council held training and "global glory" games here, giving press conferences on various players, including hasim "the rock" rahman. all the big media outlets paid attention.

it's another popular sport striving for franchise status, like baseball, basketball and football. their own personality, don king, is using his character status to promote the sport. his crew arranged a news conference with him and the mayor to open the "global glory" games.

king donned a pink glittery jacket, wide-rimmed plastic glasses and wore his long hair like bart simpson. when he took to podium, the mayor shrunk in suprise when king yelled one of his signature approvals. i grinned for fans waiting to get some games on.

Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_deux.

je with bagwis


Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_deux.

september filipino open mic at jinx cafe

ok more to come soon ahaha
  pretty gay girl - narciso lobo

Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_deux.

Pretty Gay Girl
© 2002 Narciso Lobo

She tend an underground bar
With the grace and the fury of an old muscle car
She ride a bad old bike
She got the shades and the leather just the way that I like
Maybe it's just her smile or the mixed drinks
Maybe it's just my luck she digs chicks

Hey my pretty gay girl, pretty gay girl, lovely
Hey my pretty gay girl, pretty gay girl, love me

She make a mean gin and tonic
She got the lime and her love like a kiss from a comet
She walk by and wreck me
With a shiver and a shake even her shadow is sexy
From the top of her dreads to the tip of her boot
Lord, I'm jealous of those jeans, she make my gun shoot

Hey my pretty gay girl, pretty gay girl, lovely
Hey my pretty gay girl, pretty gay girl, love me
Love me, love me (yodel)

I think I'm kinda feminine
On a scale of one to ten I think I'm at about a seven
I got all of Ani's records
I seen her front and center, jamming 'til my neck hurts
I think everybody's got their niche
Mine is on the back of your bike, I wanna be your...

Hey my pretty gay girl, pretty gay girl, lovely
Hey my pretty gay girl, pretty gay girl, love me
Love me, love me (yodel)
  writing everyday

Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_trois.

there's this girl who works at the cool urban outfitters in chicago's gold coast whose goal it is to produce a chapbook. but she says before that she has to put down the murakami books and read more. after that, she has to get into the habit of writing everyday.

i'm trying not to be cynical. i've been taught that before the cynicism, i first have to look at the thing for what it is. you'd be suprised at what you'd find. growing up, cynicism was always the cloak thrown over me to keep me protected.

and i thought i was ruthless enough already that i could simply highlight and delete the words i've typed just a moment ago. it's coming back: the freewriting exercise that spilled into pages of pages of english 101 drivel. kinna scary.

everyone is happy because it's friday. after 60 years, the billy goat tavern opened its first store outside of chicago, in politically-charged washington DC. a good friend calls that city home. everyone in this office knows where the nearest goats are. that's where everyone takes turns taking the floor for coverage aftermath and the stories that take place behind the camera - that the u.s. attorney may have scored another win against city hall, but that he's actually worried that everyone knows where he, his wife and kids, call home.

the urban outfitters girl says "in september, the light changes." it lengthens and goldens. how interesting that this country creates beginnings just when nature prepares to sleep - in autumn, the days hurry and the nights take their time. time rushes past you like cupped water under a fountain. time doesn't stretch any longer as you meet the chill between buildings, turn from pomegranate sunsets, daylight won't wait.

and somehow in this chaos resa managed to write.

pedestals are lonely places

if we had a moment more,
maybe two or three,
i would have told you pedestals are lonely places.

i hold my breath there,
afraid to move
under pulse of overhead light

light that softens features
creates shadows for escape
illuminates a me i didn't imagine.
  the career talk
this weekend i start another class - at 9:30 a.m. that's dawn without first light yet for this vampire, people. imma start asking everyone to send me postcards of the daylight so i remember what it's like.

it's great timing because i got "the career talk" again today. ahahaha. i met will chang in san francisco in 2001, during my first aaja conf. he was cradling a cardboard box and saying hi to everyone and passing out pens, ahahaha. "they didn't give you anything?" referring to my not having any business cards, ahaha, but then, i'd only started around here a couple months before the conference.

will reminded me why i chose to hibernate all these years, ahahaha - after the conference, i was getting offer calls from everywhere. i mean everywhere, in the continental u.s. i'd just graduated from college. i didn't know what "going to work everyday" means. so i turned them all down coz i didn't know then how to say "hi, i'm just around, not really looking," ahahaha.

learning that that was how things went at such big conferences, i decided that the next time i went would just not be to see the city, but to actually follow through with offers. ahahaha. so i've never been to any conferences since. i should go to the next one... in honolulu. WOOT!!!

oh, don't be fooled - i am going to have to save every cent, even on top of the company contribution. and even then, the conference might not help as much because the job climate's changed.

the thing with finding mentors and colleagues is that there's nothing really elaborate about the after - i mean, the work isn't a big deal. it's the beer after. and i don't like beer. but sake is nice. hehe.

i'll just write again. i have a headache. i need new glasses.
  the importance of exposing onesself to society
i have a second sister who totally loves fan fiction. that's all that she reads online, and she thinks it is the most important thing in the world. i have no problems with that, except that, at 26 and with two college degrees, that is what she does all day. and i have no qualms blogging about it because i think it is the most abnormal thing in the world. there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored, and she is wasting her youth away in front of a machine who will not love her. ;-) ah, the lovely irony available online. she who i was taught i should love unconditionally. i had wasted almost 30 years of my time with her. my poor mother, who is subjected to her existence in our house, because she is temporarily bedridden. i wish the beautiful wastrel of a sibling would dissolve into nothingness, she who is wrapped in her headphones and her abusive fan fiction - ON MY COMPUTER - she who cannot fathom a world outside of it, so i can continue with more important things in life.
  exhibit A
i'm blogging this on wednesday, sept. 21. nothing really happened yesterday, ahaha. tuesdays are my busiest at work, and i just try to pay attention to my heavy routines, on top of whatever else my editors ask. so anyways.

jamaica kincaid - talk storiesi just read three great internet articles about one of my favorite writers, jamaica kincaid. i've only read "a small place," but i have "lucy" and "talk stories."

what i liked best about "a small place" is her vivid imagery - i saw the library she stole books from. i saw its groaning floorboards and its sideways lean. i saw its second floor left side sink a little much left while the right seemed fine. i saw a tree waiting beside the building. i saw the other islands that comprise antigua - a barren piece of rock and how treacherous for tourist surfers should the waves take them there. i saw the blue ocean sink into pipes that lead to high-end hotels that open into the faucets of every guestroom, occupied by tourists from the u.s., england, australia.

the photo in the cover of "talk stories" showed me a writer. my airhead brain went, "oh." the former staffer for the new yorker left because she didn't like management. but before complaining, she put in her work. that's just how you complete pieces. if you want to write, you seize your inhibitions and hunker down and just do it.
  the constant gardener
the constant gardener if we want to tell a story of complicated conspiracies, we'll use the world's poorest, least understood, but most populated societies: some are in africa. we'll shoot it so that even the camera angles focus on the beautiful countryside, but not the story itself. we'll shoot in the general direction of the event, and show that even with uncentered, shaky images, we can tell a story, and tell it well.

we'd want to isolate an impassioned student from a prestigious british university, a shy but proper and astute botanist made diplomatic representative, and make them fall in love. further, we'll turn the young, seemingly blindly impassioned student into as sharp an enemy as believably possible, the kind the moneyed and powerful can hire assassins for and execute at a moment's notice. we'll make her pregnant but her baby died at a public kenyan hospital, so she has an alibi to bury herself in work. we'll give her a sharp and loyal sidekick and make it clear she's the life of every party and the world of her husband.

but we won't leave her reason for coming to africa in the first place, in fact, we'll make her diplomat the better half the innocent and her the actual threat. we'll not tell too much about her, because we want to show that more than that the world is run by men, or that only the quirkiest remarkable women get their stories told, but because we want to focus that she was driven so by only the purest passion and care for kenya.

but we'll execute her after she forms a couple global women's organizations, and we'll make it seem as if she's occupied herself with philanthropy as hobby. everyone will forget that the embarrassing, very pregnant and comical wife is actually waging war and protest by mentioning, as conversation to diplomats, sweetly and nonchalantly like a proper diplomat's wife, how so-called drug aid to the kenyan countryside is ineffective, expired, come too late, or worst of all, not at all.

we'll start the story with the same exact clip of her leaving with her friend for the town of loki to deliver a report. or thereabouts. we'll just make it clear that she's left her husband for a while for business carrying with her documents that could dismantle millions of dollars of revenue for kenyan officials and worldwide drug companies. we'll toss in a few british patriotism. and a report completed, disappeared, and recovered at a remote sudanese village.

after justin recovers tessa's missing 16 pages, he'll send it to rome where it will implicate the proper diplomats and inspire her cousin to read a letter the diplomat sent a kenyan official saying to finish her off at justin's eulogy. the letter will expose who killed who. we'll end by making it clear that justin's completed tessa's last purpose. her cousin calls out for justice.

in the end, it was all about greed, how maybe there really isn't a stronger strain of TB coming to invade the world. how pharmaceutical companies want to be prepared to be the monopoly on the special vaccine to prevent this new TB. to become monopoly, they must work with the british government who controls most of kenya today.

we'll paint kenya and the whole of africa as a world clinic: the pretense of government taking care of their citizens' health by issuing health cards that state which kinds of medicines you are eligible for. the drug companies need to test vast quantities of this new vaccine to a TB that may or may not exist. and in the meantime, we'll make the companies rich, and the africans, rich in culture, for they can still dance, sing and pray.
i hope i'm giving this girl good advice.

over the weekend, i met with an old friend, and just like any other young person, recently graduated and looking for a job so she can finally start some sort of routine in her life, she wants a role model. i told her all that i know about gaining independence from your parents, and, after lunch, mass, a movie and then dinner, at 10 p.m., i learned that wasn't enough.

it was past 10 p.m. i realllllllllly wanted to go back to the house already, but i can't tell her we should go because she was the one driving me. i wondered what had i gotten myself in to. i'm no teacher. i never was close to her while i was in college. and we were in the suburbs. and both my siblings are asleep by now. and my mother just pulled her back.

she finally drove me back at around 11 p.m. she said she wanted to see my house, but i think she only meant outside. i invited her in so i can show her to my mom, because i couldn't call her back the both times she called to check where the heck i was, ahaha. i showed my friend my postcard collection. she said she wanted a collection now, too.

well, i walked her out. she still wanted to talk. ohmigosh. we were on our sidewalk. i was leaning on the gate, she was in the middle of the sidewalk, dancing-kinna-standing-narrating her life's woes. to who was i like this before? why am i being karma-ed? i think i know. but she said she didn't have any sisters and she really wanted one, so now she says she wants a role model.

ack. i'm being karma-ed. i wanted brothers, and boy did i get 'em. i think, when a girl asks for something, she always gets what she wants, ahahaha. she doesn't know what she's getting herself in to.

i am not holding her hand. i'm sorry. ahahaha. that is replacing me with her parents or boyfriend when he's unavailable. i think there's just something in young women, holding college degrees, waiting for their first real jobs, that just makes them yearn attention. and i'm sorry, i'm a wierd girl, i don't talktalktalk to form relationships.* ack. but then again, i think i've solved her case, while she remains unconvinced. hay. i think the only way to solve that is to shove her into the real of life. i told her to hang out with sfc more. and... ya. sfc isn't unconditional with their time, too, they've jobs and get tired at midnight on a sunday too, ahahahaha.

i am so glad she lives in the suburbs. but i will have to put up with her if i happen to be in the same area next time coz that's just what you should do when someone's entertained by your jokes. goodness. i'm glad she also has aileen and the rest of sfc to talk to. ahahaha.

* i just talk. hehehe.
  mother, yesterday; father, tomorrow - r.a. villanueva
r.a. lives in new york city. "y'alls know r.a.? sweet," a college student from florida said.

i said no. ahahaha. he said he visited chicago for his fiance. he went to an open mic session here last july and sang at least three songs. one of them was this, and it captured me coz it featured the most beautiful city in the universe, hehehe. when i asked him for a web site he grinned and shook his head. "i have nothing," he said. so i asked for his email and asked for lyrics, and then he said, "oh my GOD! why?" and then after coming back from a visit to the philippines, he was nice enough to remember. "you wanted lyrics, remember?" he said. hehehehe. isn't the song gorgeous?, i asked the college student.

not sure if i need to post yet another unhappy piece in here, ahaha. r.a. laments the need for most filipinos to separate from their family and friends for a while to work. he had just returned from a visit to the philippines last august.

open mic: july
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_deux.

And again I find you
stationed at stovetops:
blue gas light foundation,
perfume of
vinegar and ginger

I wonder if you dream of Manila

And in this hour of need
I see you my age now or younger:
your hair down to your shoulders,
your entire life before you—
every option and me—
in a barrel down Niagara Falls.

Tables and chairs
ricochet echoes
bedsheets and blankets
still made

And in your calloused hands
finding proof of the better man:
you speak of truth and love mathematic.
And from your neverbeenshaved face
comes talk of the future:

Save yourself!
Save for yourself!

and son, please dream of more than Manila

Tables and chairs
ricochet echoes
bedsheets and blankets
still made

Thinking back,
hearing the shouting,
was this the only way
the only way
to tell you I love you?

I love you.

Did you have to go?

  old heroines - julia alvarez
Where do old heroines go when their novels are over?
If she's not married off, she gets on a train
and rides to the city to see her old lover -
though it's clear from the ending he has broken things off.
And she is racing through Russia or Iowa
she looks out the window, the dark fields rolling by,
or maybe the night sky grainy with stars. . . .
She sees her reflection, a face still dramatic,
pale and young in that afterward light.
She wonders, how long must I still play this part?

Outside in those farmhouses bathed in pale porchlight,
the unstoried women who formed the mere backdrop
to her beauty, betrayals, drift off to sleep
in the arms of their husbands, dreaming themselves
in elegant furs racing towards Moscow, Chicago,
some heady excitement! They wake with a start,
turning on lights to make sure of their status -
brief lights she beholds from her jailhouse train
as she rides on forever in the haze of brights dreams
which her sorrows inspire in these happier women.

i forgot how stephanie and i started talking, only it was 3:30 a.m. and aileen was there. the vincent and louis house had just finished a successful fundraising party: $58.75 in just four hours of somewhat stop and go music. one song skipped so much that sheila, bill and i played freezedance. "what kinna download?" we joked.

stephanie herself volunteered she was an english major, but just this semester decided to double major in catholic studies as well. i'm suprised by about the city i knew i could tell her - how she'd like to write fiction, but she need some thing for support, so i mentioned magazines, because "books" let you write longer stories, but that most books around here are trade industry that can be snorecity but quirky when you come to think that people take center, run the industry. i'm suprised she didn't interrupt me.

when i refocus and tell her poetry magazine is based in chicago, she grabbed my knee and went, i want to do poetry as well, and i nodded and grinned. and then she said no one around school could tell her what to do, where to go, and i told her - and aileen, coz she was listening - that she should give her teachers a chance. choose one you consider engrossing, because they are, all of them, nice and eager to share knowledge they've devoted their lives learning, and trust me, they have time, if only a couple hours a month, to set aside for you.

but i think i should have told her that when faced with choices, no one should ever tell you what to do. then again, i think i shouldn't. often i wish someone would just tell me what to do.

stephanie said she needed to write her single page analysis of a poem and it was 5 a.m., i don't think i was sleepy, so i said let's see. aileen stayed quiet. i forgot what happened in that half minute in between. stephanie came back with her book and she borrowed aileen's computer, and aileen said of course. the two moved the piano bench aside and stephanie cradled aileen's computer on her lap.

why of all writers, alvarez? i mewed, read it twice, and sonia joined us. she liked to link the poem to alvarez's real life, but i liked to look at the poem as is. it was easy because i haven't read much of alvarez, just one book. we zoomed into that both women in the poem broke conventional roles - one somehow got disengaged and free, the other stayed locked but dreaming. i failed to mention whether either of them had choices other than lament.

we looked for metaphors and analogies and agreed there were no similies. we ended wondering if all people are equal why were women given rules especially - it didn't occur to me, at 7 a.m., whether we'd miss those rules in case they were taken from us suddenly.
nick has picked up his dog louis from obedience school today. today is louis' graduation day. lucky dog, i wondered, coz he gets to go to school. we can't afford that for our pets, ahaha.

my sister owns a dalmatian and my mother a german shepherd mutt-type, bouncing, hyperactive, happy mongrel. they're both old dogs. the dalmatian could barely keep up his brother. i tease them, "when are they going to die?" coz i want us to get this cutesey:

it's a shadow dog, or a weimaraner. he's a german pointer dog, bred to help in hunts. they're impossibly gray, their ears flap when they run, and they're programmed to obey every wish i ask of them:

hehe, lookie that.

but as our dogs are still alive, and we could only afford to keep two at a time, i'll just settle for a stuff toy:

hehe, i know it sounds heartless and freaky right now to wish for the pets of others to die soon... and i don't want to think of it when it actually happens. i think they both have heartworm. :-( but it's ok... i already have an eye on a replacement. that, or a pug, hehe:

although the black pugs are kinna scary, don't you think?

how intriguing... hmm... maybe when the other dog dies. ...
  blogging two cents
lotsa people wonder why do people start and keep blogs.

i think it is this: if you try too hard to think of a reason why you should keep, start and maintain a blog, don't do it. it's not worth the effort ruminating about it. :-)

or, you can start one but just keep it secret. ;-)

just my dos sentimos.
  the why of all things
first sent to someone else. ahahaha.

you're not the only one who went "whoa?" about sfc conference, ahahaha. most everyone who's already been in community for a while went varying degrees of "wow" to "eh," coz they were distracted by the parks, been to that hotel coz cfc conf was there or were pleased by how smoothly the event was managed. it still started and ended late, like always, ahahahaha. but that's ok.

i can't tell you right now why i went. i just know that if i didn't, i'd be denying myself a huge chunk of my life. i was so glad i went because i was made happy, happy like a drug, by friday's opening night extravaganza, ahahahaha - the praise parade, the bands, the dances, the worship. i might be out of practice, but i totally loved how the FTWs managed to patch any lulls in the program.

but i was also reminded of why i decided to leave the community alone, ahahaha. the conference, because it was built that way, tasted like the richest, rarest chocolate on the planet. it is the only place you would find brothers stand up and assert themselves, almost seizing focus from the speaker. i was embarrased for them. until now, i'm not sure what to make of these outbursts, whether they're asserted by God or by their own elation and happiness at being affirmed for who they are in Christ. it was the only place sisters, i think, won't be laughed at for being too beautiful in front of a crowd and also asserting themselves.

i'm actually thoroughly confused. but i know it's a big deal only if i try to explain myself to people who consider groups like cfc crazy. i just knew it was a venue with people i unequivocably trust. i'm racist like that ahahahahaha. as if the other groups i've joined i can't trust any more.

i don't know the amount of confusion i caused by showing up and actually having fun at an sfc conference, of all things, ahahaha, but if emails at the chicagosfc yahoogroups are any indication, it was a good thing:

I also invite all SFC brothers and sisters, ones active and not so active, to attend the CLP even if you are not part of the service team. Your presence is a great grace and witness for everyone; especially the participants. Not only that, the CLP vineyard is still growing with participants and we need more workers. - Matt Funovits

i know that for now, i don't want to be committed to sfc as if my life depended on it ahahaha - that's how i was before. i'm no witness, and i have so many things i need to fix in my life for now that i know i need to do on my own without anyone holding my damn hand, ahahahaha. for one, i need to learn how to drive. how am i gonna visit y'alls in socal if i don't rent a car? ahahahaha. but i know i want to do more radical things on my own. i might do next year's GK GAT, we'll see. i have to save money and vacation days for that, again.

i know whatchu're thinking - how the hell could i change in just a shade shy of a year, when just last october you, me and someone else were ranting how bad, bad, BAD sfc was that it's impossible for us to return. ahahahaha. i can't answer that without unravelling and sending you a novel. but dude, i need to get back to work. i've been writing this email for two days now, ahahahaha. hope all this made sense. sorry i have to cut it short for now. i know you didn't ask for a long email, but i just wanted to be real. if you want i can call and we'll talk. i shoulda just done that to begin with. hehehehehe. your blog rants are hilarious, as always. thanks for asking, glad to know you are thriving over there in socal. :-)

take care.
this is what i did last weekend: sfc conference. ahahahaha in orlando. so fun. been with this community for, uh, a while now, ahaha. and no, i didn't meet anyone; i'm like yer typical, "hi! can we be friends? no, i mean really just friends. what's that? a date? oh, you mean the middle east type fruit?" ahahahahaha -

uh. anyways.

Top Ten SFC pickup lines
by Robbie Dinglasan

1. Can I pray over you?

2. Want to go to adoration?

socal merengue

3. Didn't I see you at my friend's house? You know him. His name is Jesus.

4. My friend told me to come and meet you; he said that you are a really nice person. I think you know him. Jesus, yeah, that's his name.

houston van... gotta eat! waffle house! yea!!!

5. Can I just see something? (Check the tag on her shirt) I knew it. Made in heaven.

6. Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven?

levine!!! go cfc youth!!! ahahahahahaha

7. What perfume are you wearing? Let me guess. Is it Heaven Scent?

8. I seem to have lost a rib and I believe you have it.

go sisters!!! ahahaha thanks for worshipping with me

9. Hello, I have come to evangelize you.

10. I am looking for a GG. Any takers?

*i heart best friends.* oggat forever!!! ahahahaha

Don't use them all at the same time.
  four years hence
firefighters in new orleans paused today to remember their colleagues killed in the new york city terror attacks four years ago.

on a road trip to new jersey last year, someone who staunchly believed the u.s. were victims of violence, threw his support for raiding afghanistan and iraq in a crowded van for 15. one other person, the type predictable to support him, joined him. no one ever thought if the violence were a natural response to how the u.s. has been running things since the first world war.

but of course - the president is anti-abortion, faith-based, and complicated way beyond all our reach. he managed to get elected twice. competition is the soul of business.

but then again, i don't want to be like that filipina on NBC, a bystander perched on michigan avenue bridge, watching as protestors took the city and yelled for peace. she looked into the camera like it were some invasive object and went, "i think it's such a waste of time, an embarassment to the city," she said, referring to the right to free speech and assembly, just the reaction that reporters were looking for. she forgot that the people on the streets could be cited and sourced for info on what they think could really be going on here, that is, imperialism cloaked instead of christianity, democracy.

over 2,000 soldiers from the u.s., the u.k., and other nations are killed in the war against terror since its launch on october 7, 2001. defense secretary donald rumsfeld participated in the pentagon memorial. "They will likely want to know why this terrible thing happened," he said of the children of those killed in the attacks. "It's hard for free people to comprehend the mix of extremism and hatred that leads terrorists to murder innocent men, women and children. But perhaps we can tell them this: Throughout human history there have been those who seek power through fear and mass murder but eventually all of them - every one - has fallen."

we think of the soldiers, their families, their colleagues, the people of afghanistan and iraq struggling to comprehend u.s. invasion, their leaders struggling to form a government to reconstruct their country from war, the protestors who continue to express grief by stopping their own lives to follow the president while he went on vacation, wanting to stop the war if only to keep the next mother from experiencing black vaccums caused by flag-draped coffins upon the return of their son from war. i pray for the filipino families whose relatives seek work elsewhere but end up returning to their hometowns and provinces in coffins because of abuse and neglect and lack of international work laws to protect them.

the president and his wife wore black at the white house ceremony, and stayed silent.
i am totally addicted on something, and it sucks. it sucks because i'm not sure what it is. i don't smoke. i don't drink to get drunk. i don't drive, ahahahaha. i think it is travelling, like going someplace to explore it. but it can't be that, because i just came back from florida. i'm still relishing my experiences, i have pix to edit, i have gifts to give away. i've new hobbies waiting. i have old hobbies rusting.

it's leaving a stale taste on my tongue even though i've brushed my teeth. just now colleagues wanted to know if i wanted to order a cheeseburger from blackie's, and looking at the menu, i was soooooooooooooooooooooooo uninterested. but i ordered a bleu cheese burger, well done, because i didn't want to turn down an invite. well, also because i haven't tasted anything from that joint before, ahahahaha.

i think it is human contact. dude. i fed off nick, the poor bro:

ulanmaya (6:43:27 PM): i left a message on your cell but i can't stop laughing

nick (6:43:36 PM): Ya, I get messages like, "ummm... you might as well not have a phone... I can't even reach you through your cell..."

ulanmaya (6:44:03 PM): i wanted to say, "hi, nick. this is your phone. you've left me again in your glove compartment. it's stuffy in here. i was made for daylight! how dare you deny that! get me outta here!!!"

nick (6:44:15 PM): hahahahaha

nick (6:44:17 PM): yeah

nick (6:44:22 PM): I feel sorry for my phone sometimes

nick (6:44:39 PM): 'cause sometimes, when I get it from the compartment, it's hot

but then when i do get it, like when someone is happy i finally emailed them back, they go, "how are you!!!" geniunely happy to hear from me. i shrink from that coz it reminds me of high expectations that i totally can't meet. i mean, i'm not funny enough for that. ahahahaha.

working the night side for all these years also reminds me how slim pickings i get for almost everything: assignments, gossip (meaning news on good things, like events; i try to ignore bad news about people because i don't want to think of what's being said behind my back), things like that. i've started the strangest hobbies all because i know i can't bother people at night, and they can't bother me coz i'm working.

and so i started travelling. i've always wanted to do that, anyways, but just this weekend i relearned something else: it is an even sadder fate if you start business with people just so you have human contact. coz everyone is asleep when you're awake, and vice versa. coz the weekends are usually always filled and it's a little embarassing to ask for people to go out with the last minute.

but yes - it's a little embarassing, but only depending on certain groups. but still. yea, it's a pride thing that i hafta shed. i've been blessed enough with people who actually won't mind if i join at the very last minute, ahahaha.

i've also been blessed to meet people who don't care whether you're single or not. ahahaha. although, from someone who's never been hijacked ferreals before, i can't tell the difference. i actually end up joining people who're securely latched, and better, married, ahahaha. i dunno why. i think i end up treating them like parents, ahahaha. coz when you're married, you usually have a car, and a car is good to take you places. woot! ahahaha.

but what gets me really down is when people who have someone in their lives end up flaunting them, like there's something wrong with people who choose to be single. people like me, working and old, get that a lot from people our parents' age. and yes, it is infinitely worse if you get that look and vibe from people your age: you don't need yet another reminder of what you're missing, of in what else facet of life you need improving. a friend and i recently shrugged our shoulders and ended up putting on our confused faces: well, i hope that when i finally get down on my knees for someone, i won't loose my own identity in the process. ahahaha. even though i know how intoxicating that can be.

mmmm... bleu cheeseburger from blackie's, and just coz it's friday. should not make this a habit, it was expensive! ahahahaha.
  complacency and storms
a friend, originally from northern california now living in new jersey, was visiting her brother in florida when katrina passed it by. she said, growing up in california and now living in new jersey where storms are scarce, she sorta panicked when the winds started rattling their house's walls and knocked out power. "but yanno what? those floridians, they told me, 'nah, it's just category one, it's not so bad.' the lights went out, and they went, 'it's not so bad.'"

in illinois, the cities of rockford and peoria are waiting for evacuees. they've been told, two days in a row, that as many as 150 to 600 are flying in tonight, we're coming in two hours. the volunteers say, all right, we'll be here, we've assembled already. last night the rockford newspaper ended up calling milwaukee, because the evacuees apparently headed there instead. earlier this week, some evacuees didn't know they were headed to chicago until they were airborne. no one told rockford and peoria the evacuees were headed another way. centers and volunteers and mountains of clothes and food are waiting in those two cities, and city officials are asking federal officials to please at least give them warning.

the times-picayune paper in new orleans called for the firing of the entire staff of the federal emergency management agency because of their sluggish response. the agency accepted volunteers from new york, ohio, michigan, wisconsin, iowa, texas, the carolinas and illinois. but instead of assigning them to places they were needed, they were lectured on sexual harrasment and given FEMA fliers to hand out. "we were sent to promote FEMA," an illinois paramedic said. "that's not what we came there for." he said he and his partner stayed one more day in case officials change their minds and assign them to relief centers, but it never happened. they returned to chicago.

katrina's wake is staggering. my mind can't wrap itself around a submerged new orleans. it reminds me of the wake of mount pinatubo, how rains also sent lahar down her slopes to bury entire villages and forever change the rice field landscape. friends blame racism and circumstances that kept the poor in their place, how maybe the south really is so different it is harder to relate to them. geologists warn that new orleans and the gulf cities are below sea level, so when the water receeds, exposing 60, 40 more percent of the city, be prepared for what lies beneath murky, toxic water. maybe no one was prepared for this magnitude in the south.

i am unhappy that there were several chances for me to visit new orleans, but i never took the chance. i'm amazed that it looks like the entire population of new orleans would have to be bused several hundred miles away - but confused as to why residents needed to leave the state altogether. there must be several communities in louisiana itself ready to take on new orleans residents. water is being pumped from the city back to the levee by the hundreds of gallons by the hour. macabrely, volunteers found many dead, some clogging the pumps, some lying serenely under debries, some rising to the surface after being dislodged. i wonder what the city will look and feel like after this massive flood.

many evacuees didn't know where they were going until they boarded the plane, bus or train to take them to their new cities. colleagues joked that they used to live in new orleans, now they live in rural cities adjacent to alton, belleville, east st. louis, and how would they adjust. compared to them, lucky the few that were sent to chicago and milwaukee. the expectation is that they won't stay in their adopted cities for very long, their new cities are temporary, so they weren't asked if they had a city preference.

but it never happens that way - many people who came to chicago after escaping new orleans never want to go back. it makes sense, because unless you are truly uncomfortable, if you really wanted to leave, you would have gone a long time ago, no matter. there's this one holdout living on bourbon street who says he doesn't want to leave. "we have food, water, lots of MREs. we have juice, energy drinks, energy bars. we have more beer than water. we were able to flush a toilet with beer," he said.

on a stopover flight to memphis last tuesday, sadness hung over the airport like a heavy blanket in summer's height. memphis is one of the other cities evacuees were first sent to, other than houston and cities in georgia. the airport buzzed along as fast as it could to accomodate regular flights and the influx of evacuees.

when we landed in chicago, the busy airport absorbed the hanging, shocked sadness, absorbed the rushed panic. i didn't get to see any of the evacuees, some who might have taken a free flight, but they were in my mind.

"we're here to help!" yelled michigan police on boats to seemingly abandoned houses nearer the coast. they rescued one elderly woman. in illinois, piles of donated goods wait at the southern chicago suburb of tinley park. loyola university chicago is taking transfer students from loyola new orleans. i think i'll drag a friend to visit the center this weekend.
  sunshine state
just returned from orlando. ahahaha. it was a much-needed break. i owe my cousin another trip there now, ahahaha. i wonder how imma get to do that now that i am officially, undoubtedly, broke. heee!

i haven't even unpacked yet. i flew back in today, lugged my suitcase up my mother's house, passed out on the sofa, woke up in time to shower and run to work. am still at work. i'm eating some leftover strawberry cream muffin from this morning, ahahaha. in florida, i learned starbucks came out with the vanilla bean frappuccino. oooo. it is much better than the green tea one. i know the green stuff inside out now.

more soon.
today marks my 11th year of moving to the u.s. we moved sept. 1, 1994.

just hours ago a friend of mine called my cell phone to make sure i am leaving for florida tomorrow.

it's still clear in my mind how yesterday eleven years ago i said i'll see you later and i will come back to my old university. the bus pulled away from the gates and passed by my old apartment. it was beautiful. cold, at the foot of a mountain. the countryside was green and beautiful. the bus descended to a city just like any big city like my hometown.

i write from a skyscraper in the middle of the third largest city of the last remaining superpower. sometimes i go online to read news from home and end up staring at the articles' accompanying photographs of my old city. since they're photographs, much of their background is stripped, and i rarely recognize anything in them. but i never open my own old photoalbums.

instead when i think of landmarks like today, i remember glaring yellow streetlights in a train stop on irving park road, exiting a nondescript silver train car and walking pavement; an underpass. i remember not recognizing pigeon dung on the gray sidewalk. i remember it cold. my mother, knowing exactly where she was going, what she was doing. our boxes and suitcases, bulging from the back of my uncle's sedan. and his welcome, "andito na kamo di sa amerika."

on television right now is the houston astrodome, each inch of floor covered with katrina victims, waiting for something to eat. many left in new orleans haven't eaten for five days. today, united airlines flew more than 100 people from new orleans to chicago. chicago is taking names of those who would like to temporary house a few of the hundred. a friend from biloxi is marooned in southern florida, and she doesn't know if she still has a house to come home to.

several weeks ago, friends and i talked about the massive exodus of thousands of filipinos, several filled 747 aircraft every hour. my friends called it "fleeing." they run to chase dreams for themselves and everyone around them. they leave because of war and natural disasters.

they're no different from the ones resting on the floors of the houston astrodome right now, those who come from new orleans, biloxi, gulfport, and their suburbs. how many of them have always wanted to get out of their cities? how many of them will now work to swell houston's way of life?

tomorrow we go to florida for something else entirely. there will be much remembering about katrina victims. there might even be a victim who'll say something. maybe someone will say something about why they moved, what happened, and why was it so cruicial that they needed to leave.

my uncle grins widely and opens a black iron gate. we enter a house, quiet, flooded with yellow lights.

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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