Category: Writing Notes

Flores de Mayo

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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I really shouldn’t be writing about this, but it’s Valentine’s Week.

After being single for so long (six years since the last relationship), the idea of spending the Valentine non-holiday with my special someone seems so foreign. The operative word is “spending.” Regardless of my status, I hold this to be true: the celebration of Valentine’s Day is overrated and its saccharine trappings, all too commercialized.

Growing up, I thought I wanted the red roses-chocolates-stuffed toys-and-candlelit dinner Valentine gift combo, the stuff high school-age girlish dreams are made of. Red and “heartsy,” warm and fussy. Thinking about it now, that’s what it really was, and still is — a gift combo. Traditional, convenient, cutesy, pa-porma (can’t seem to find the words to translate this) — a package perpetuated by what the malls, TV commercials, and romantic comedy movies tell us about spending and giving gifts.

Last year, my Valentine’s Day was spent eating shawarma rice at the UP Fair grounds. My boyfriend, probably thinking I was a stick insect, gave me a nice vintage graphic t-shirt sized XS…but I’m actually an M/L, not even an S. No worries. He thought I was smaller/thinner. :) Best part was, it did fit! After the gift-giving, we found out beer wasn’t allowed at the fair so we left UP and hung out at a nearby resto-bar with friends. We drank cheap beer, ate greasy sisig, listened and sang along to a folk singer, and laughed until the wee hours. It was one of the best Valentine’s Day celebrations I’ve had in a while.

This year, I will be spending Valentine’s Day at the hospital taking care of a family member. I already asked my boyfriend to come over. He better bring food. I’m counting on a hearty take-out meal in disposable containers to make my Valentine’s Day special. Or maybe we can just have a cup of those Php25 coffee concoctions at 7-Eleven. (French vanilla is the best.) His mere presence will make any day special.

Written for the Weekly Writing Challenge

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Tall, dark and handsome, with impeccable spelling and grammar please (?)

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Is it really too much to ask for in a guy? I’d say yes, it’s too much and it wouldn’t really matter once I’ve been swept off my feet. But that’s just me. For a friend who herself writes, spelling, grammar, and English proficiency seem to be the ticket to dating bliss. She laments the dearth of “good guys.” And by “good guys,” she means crush-worthy, physically attractive guys who can tweet, post, express their thoughts clearly and flawlessly.

Will that really matter at all? Will it muddle the gene pool? Will grammar trump other qualities like wit, charm, and sense of humor? Are we so enamored with perfection that not being fluent has become a bait for ridicule and shallow laughter, and a source of embarassment? What’s wrong with missing a letter here and there, misusing idioms, or being unable to make subject and verb agree and ride off into the sunset?

If he’s a great, lovable person, he just is. His awesomeness will shine through his limited vocabulary and sentence construction skills. Might be laughable, yes, but perfect grammar’s just not everybody’s best asset/skill. It shouldn’t be. Prince Charming just might be amazing in math, martial arts, or knitting.

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Hello there, Past Me! Meet the Present Me.

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This just in…

This is the mother of all Throwback Thursday posts! (Ok fine, I type slowly…it’s Friday already.)

I got an email from the 2008 version of me!!!

How weird is that?! Well apparently, I composed an email to myself 5 years ago, on October 17, 2008. The email was set to be delivered into the future through FutureMe.org . I completely forgot about it so this has been a pleasant surprise.

I was “lovelorn” (in my own words circa 2008) and felt like it was the end of me. But nooooo, it’s been five years and I’m doing much much better. And I have bigger (real) problems now. Not the icky luuuurve problems. Haha.

I’m sharing/copy-pasting the actual email here so it can help encourage and inspire others going through a similar situation,  but I’m deleting the portions that are too personal (XXXXX). :D

———- message ———-
From: FutureMe.org
Date: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Subject: This was written on Oct 17, 2008
To: X XX XX@gmail.com

The following is an e-mail from the past, composed 4 years and 12 months ago, on October 17, 2008. It is being delivered from the past through FutureMe.org

Dear FutureMe,

Are you happy? I hope you are. :) I hope you made the right decisions in your life. Minsan talaga kailangang piliing maging tama kesa maging masaya. At the end of the day, lalake lang sya. You can achieve so much more in your life kung hindi ka masyadong lovelorn. XXXXX

You’re not a weakling, Faye. Show your strength. Hindi mo kailangan ng ibang tao para mavalidate ang pagkatao mo. You’re ok. You’re fine. You’re a beautiful person inside and out so don’t ever think that you’re ugly and you don’t deserve to be happy. There’s so much in your life to be happy about. You have so much to be thankful for, Faye.

Continue to live your life to the fullest. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes kasi dun ka naman talaga matututo. Andun ang saysay ng mga kamalian sa buhay…yung pag may natutunan ka na at may magandang naidulot sa pagkatao mo.

Walang “another lifetime.” That’s some blurry romantic notion. Don’t wait for another lifetime. Live in the NOW. Live in the moment. Sabi nga sa Rent, there’s no day but today. XXXXX Life is a beautiful mess. Enjoy every minute of it… kahit saan ka pa makarating.

Me (2008 version)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated (Fats)

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As in saturated fat in all its lurid goodness. Oh yes, rich and powerful it is. :) #blueberrypancakes #withwhippedcream #hellocloggedarteries

The Prompt: Saturated

This week, show us a photo of whatever you’d like, but make sure it’s saturated. It can be black and white, a single color, a few hues, or a complete rainbow riot; just make sure it’s rich and powerful.

It’s raining books!

Non-stop monsoon rains recently pounded Manila and caused widespread flooding that put classes, office work, and some businesses to a standstill. I was marooned at home for five days!

So in between working from home on my laptop (good thing I brought home my adorable Lenovo monster), and doing silly arts-and-crafts with my adorable niece Sophie (we made colorful puppets from old socks!), I cleaned up my bookshelf and decided to dispose of some of my old books, you know, to make room for new books! :-)

Okay, I confess, for the life of me I don’t have a proper bookshelf and these books were actually strewn around my room. And I wasn’t really ditching them, I was looking for their new owners. (Sentimental much.) I wanted to give away my babies … errhm books … for free and did it the fast and hassle-free way — I promptly posted an invitation on Facebook. Oh and yes, there were takers! Despite the info overload from the internet and popular social networking sites, there’s always someone out there raring to read books.

It was a trip down memory lane as I checked out my old books and laughed and cringed at my “dear diary”-style notes usually scribbled on one of the first few pages of a book. The particularly interesting books even had drawings, marginal notes, highlighter marks, and underscores. That’s how I am with books. I’m not a fan of the plastic covered, immaculate looking, put-a-crease-on-my-bookspine-and-I’d die type of books. I want mine dog-eared, riddled with notes and yellowed by the passing years. Just not termite-infested. No. Eeew.

It was difficult deciding which ones to keep and which ones to give up before they become termite food, but when the dust cleared (literally), these were put up for adoption:

Fiction -Short Stories

*Friend of my youth (Alice Munro)
*Cathedral (Raymond Carver)
*Other Fish in the Sea (Lisa Kusel)
*The Best American Short Stories of 1998

Fiction -Novels

*Behind the scenes at the museum (Kate Atkinson)
*The Zero (Jess Walter)
*Spilling Clarence (Anne Ursu)
*The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
*Saturday (Ian McEwan)

Non-Fiction

*Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert)
*Freakonomics (Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner)
*Here Comes the Bride (Jaclyn Geller)

Classics

*Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoevsky)
*A Room with a View and Howard’s End (EM Forster)
*The complete short stories of Mark Twain
*Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
*Tess of the D’urbesvilles (Thomas Hardy)
*The importance of being earnest (Oscar Wilde)
*Four Comedies (Shakespeare)

I just couldn’t find it in my heart to give away Alan Lightman, David Sedaris, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Neil Gaiman, Jessica Zafra’s Twisted anthologies, Ricky Lee’s novels, and my precious precious precious Kikomachine Komix.

I’m also keeping my Umberto Eco and Haruki Murakami books — with the fervent hope that someday I’d have the patience and the iron will to read through them without stabbing my eye with a pen. What verbose, quirky men they are.

Until the next rainy day book cleanup, Foucault’s Pendulum will be parked ominously on my bedside table and it will mock me and my limited vocabulary and knowledge of world history. :-)

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Old books

Twelve Habits of Happy, Healthy People Who Don’t Give a Shit About Your Inner Peace