There are two reasons why I haven't been blogging a lot lately.
One, I'm aiming to write more anecdotal blog entries than confrontational ones. "But this is your blog," Icka
once told me shortly after I wrote one of the latter types - you know, the sort that sounds absolutely angry and usually addressed to an unidentified someone. "You don't have to think about who will read it. It's your blog." Well, yes, but surprisingly I'm actually getting tired of them. From a creative viewpoint, it says nothing, and for someone who's been exposed to pretty good writing lately, that doesn't cut it. From a personal viewpoint, it is absolutely stressful - yes, folks you've won this one, although I'm not making any promises.
Two, I'm just plain busy. When you're busy, you don't have the time to connect every observation you've made and turn it into a coherent bunch of paragraphs. I wrote a handful of inspired (or so I believe) entries at the beginning of the month, but the moment American Idol
started fighting for a slot on my schedule, I knew something had to give. Mind you, it's not fun going home at seven in the evening, a full two hours after your mind starts sleeping.
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Clarence started working at this production house at the beginning of this year. Conveniently, it's on the same street at my building. It means that, after eighteen months at work - barring the few times with Valerie
and my pointless fantasies of asking a cartoon character
out for lunch - I finally got myself a lunch buddy. Well, provided she's not busy with editing videos while eating food delivered from somewhere.
On our second time out, I ended up giving her a tour of Pearl Drive. A bit surprisingly, she hasn't been exposed to the wonders of pretty cheap meals on that little street, not to mention the bigger food chains. Then again, she's probably too busy with those videos. "Dati
, two weeks, one screen, editing lang. Ngayon,
one week, tatlong
." I didn't fully understand what she was trying to say, but I can imagine the hell that was video production class was more like earth. It's one of the things we were supposed to be prepared for: all this pressure, which was why I was a bit giddy to go back to the office. Those slideshows are killing me, not to mention ruining my nightly commute schedule.
Kevin pala, nagtuturo na sa La Salle,
" she said.
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and I had a fourth Ortigas "date". This was a few weeks back. It was unusual because it happened at around four in the afternoon. I left the office at a time when I don't usually leave it, although luckily I had nothing much left to do. She was using a sick leave to look for a side line. She grabbed something to eat before going home, and figured we'd have a little chat. She surely knew how lonely I was, being the only person I know in the area... well, at least Clarence started working nearby. But that was just two weeks ago. And I digress.
Well, it was the usual pleasantries, although me using the term "pleasantries" might imply that we did nothing but act as if we like each other. We like each other. We're good friends, more or less. The conversation, I meant, was about the usual things, and apart from my questions on why she was in the area, we pretty much talked about the same things: our jobs, our salaries, our future options, our shared past. And, oddly, marriage.
I met her boyfriend way back. "Jave, Niko. Niko, Jave." I was just two weeks into my work then, and we had a reunion of sorts at the Cinemalaya
film festival two years back. I'd hear his name in the few other times we've met, and this time's no different. We were talking about the annual Paskuhan at UST
, where he studies. For some reason Ariane started thinking about buying him a little something before she leaves. "Konting pasalubong lang,
" she'd explain, although I actually got it. They do it every time, she says, or so I think she said. I absolutely don't remember how I managed to shoehorn a discussion about marriage, although if we're talking about relationships in our early 20s then I guess it's utterly inevitable.
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"It's breast cancer awareness month, so we'll all post the color of the bras we're wearing right now. I'm wearing black."
I don't really mind. It's a noble cause, and an imaginative campaign, too.
"Skin-tone. Is that right?"Read more »
When I was five, or six, I dreamt of being seven. It seemed like a landmark year. "You're all grown up," it says. That, and they say that you're almost certain to have a birthday party when you turn seven. The same thing happens when you turn thirteen, they say.
When I turned seven, I dreamt of being eight.
Numbers, they say, are arbitrary, and I agree. I don't feel any different, really. Back then, however, it meant a lot. Turning eight means getting older, and whatever comes with it, whatever that may be. That, and almost all of my friends were eight when I was seven. "One month tayong pareho ng
age," I told Carmel back then, a bit giddy because, for one month, I'll be in the same level as my then biggest crush.Read more »
I'm a writer. People around me say I write well, and I believe them. A part of me wants all the praise I can get. A part of me is more practical. But of course,
it'd probably go. If I wasn't a good writer, I'd probably be an accountant right now. Or the guy who puts the toppings on your pizza. No, I'm writing about Glee for a living.
But it's only lately when I began buying books. It's an odd unspoken rule: you have to be well-read if you're to become a writer. You should've spent a considerable chunk of your life reading books from authors you don't know. You know, the classics, the ones that wouldn't make sense to you until you're forced to make a report about them for some class. I grew up reading newspapers, though, starting from the last page and ending on the first. In fact, I never really read the articles. The only thing I can attribute to reading newspapers at an early age is my neater-than-most-guys handwriting. But I had fun reading those insurance advertisements on the Sunday newspapers - before filling the forms out. Name: Henrik Batallones. Sex: Male.
I have six books on my little corner on the bookshelf. One's a self-help book. I wouldn't buy one, but it was a gift for me. I tried reading it, and tried my best to apply everything to my life, but I went through three years of college and I didn't really make an effort. Three of them are about politics. One was a gift from a family friend, and I tried my best to appreciate it, even if I'm no supporter of George W. Bush
. The other two were about Watergate, and for that I thank the extraordinary coincidence of Frost/Nixon the film
, and investigative journalism class.
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I have two thousand bucks.
That, believe it or not, was a problem. We did come from a five-day vacation, and I withdrew money just in case I had to buy something. Two thousand bucks would've covered it, although I didn't really spend it on anything other than ice cream on a particularly hot day in Baclayon. And that was with my smaller bills. Upon returning from Tagbilaran, I was carrying two thousand bucks split into two thousand-peso bills.
Unfortunately for me, I have to go to work by myself tomorrow, and for the rest of next week. I'm a nice guy, relatively. I don't like giving thousand-peso bills to pay my P75 fare.
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Thirty minutes later, that seems it. The media noche is over, and so are the fireworks. The countdown specials on television have wrapped up. The calendars have started over again. There's plenty on zeros, and in a similar fashion, there's plenty of ones. After the euphoria of the actual moment when the clock hits midnight, the numbers flip and you know it all starts again, what now?
I'm not really the sort who does these things when a new year arrives. New year's resolutions? Waste of time. I'd rather keep on doing what I'm doing - not that I'm (that) resistant to change, but I don't really have to limit myself to the first day of the year. "I shall lose weight." Really, I'd rather walk for the next 365 days rather than dump all my efforts in December, when I realize I haven't followed up on anything. That, or I'm totally lazy.
Still, oddly, there was this sense of revolution when both hands of the clock hit twelve. It was noisy, maybe less than before, but still noisy, and there I was, seated in front of the computer, watching tweets fly - I can't go out, stupid asthma attack - and going, "well, this is it."
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