Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Late Night Samba


It's amazing what useless things a night of sombre, slow music, some rhum, and a peanut butter sandwich can do for you.



Such as this really rather silly, pointless thought it plunged into my brain. It's so annoyingly senseless that I don't understand why I'm still thinking about it. But there it is. It's stuck there, like margarine or pork fat on a frying pan after a heavy bout of saute-bleu.



(So what's the thought already?)



Don't interrupt. This has to be orchestrated slowly. Like a flower going into bloom, or the slow, rumbling approach of an earthquake. You savor the moment, lest it runs away from you. Remember Kodak. Think picture-perfect. A single second trapped for ages.



So okay. Here it is. The thought that has been bugging me ever since I read that webcam-related post about long-distance face to face communication. The One Thought. To Rule them All.



(Get on with it, you bitch.)



God, but you're pushy. Fine, fine. Here it is. If you cross the inernational date line, do you get older? Or younger?



This reminds me of that old joke about the two buddies:





Buddy 1 (knocking on door of buddy 2): Buddy! Buddy! Wake up! I need your help!



Buddy 2 is startled out from a deep, peaceful sleep by the incessant knocking and goes to open the door.



Buddy 2 (yawns): Hey buddy. What's up?


Buddy 1: I can't sleep.





G'night y'all.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ho-hum


There are cats on mars. And that's all I have to say as of now.



Okay, psych.



I twisted my blasted knee the other day. So I've been hobbling around the house in a very House-like manner, and it has been fun. Of course, the fact that I have to crawl up the bloody stairs is annoying. And the fact that bending the leg involves moments of oh-so-excruciating pain.



Since I'm used to this, though, I was up and about by Saturday (had to go pay the Internet boo). And then watch a dance competition (don't ask). And then go drinking. Go. Ask.



In other news, I finally had my watch repaired. Yes, my life is very interesting indeed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Spinal Tap



Okay.



For the past couple of months (or more) I've been going through a workout that's evolved from a simple calisthenics routine, incorporated some basic karate movements, sprouted fish wings, swam in an imaginary sea, became the vial of eternal youth, and now provides me with enough sweat and muscle pains to hold my own in an arm wrestling match with a guy who executed a perfect German suplex on live television and maybe shed enough pounds to earn me a neck (this last part isn't necessarily colored for viewer entertainment).



The workout usually runs this way: first comes the aforementioned calisthenics routine for about ten minutes. Then some stretching exercises to make sure my bones and muscles are all greased up and good to go. The hard stuff begins when I set an alarm for twenty minutes later, put my mp3 player on random, and begin to methodically run around the apartment in a flimsy attempt to imitate jogging (I live in a village with very few paved roads, which in turn is along a mountain highway that is in Cagayan de Oro, the one city that beats Cebu (supposedly) in atrocious road discipline, thus I choose to run in my pad as opposed to using the thing they call sidewalks. Which technically do not exist in the Philippines, despite the rumors.



The run tires me out enough to clear my veteran smoking lungs of whatever phlegm it may have accumulated during the night. Thirty minutes later (twenty minutes to run, ten minutes to cool down), I'm ready for the next set of exercises.



And this is the source of my present dilemma.



For the longest time, the second part of my exercise routine consisted of a set of push-ups, sit-ups, and squats. I did ten push-ups (at 280 pounds), ten straight sit-ups and twenty left-right twist sit-ups (geared to work on the sides of the torso), and ten leg raises. Then, it's the final stretch, which was made up of ten squats and some more stretching, to keep them muscles from aching after the workout. I could follow this routine everyday. I kept my weekends free (my workout during the weekend involved friends and alcohol).



Then I got this crazy idea of jacking the push-ups to twenty. Which I could do, without too much difficulty (much to my surprise). When I discovered that I could still handle the burn, I added bicep curls, using a bucket filled with water. My body hurt the entire day due to this exercise, but it was all good.



Well, maybe not. At around the second week of this routine, I discovered that I was usually too tired to work out five days a week; I had to limit it down to three times a week, since the muscle pain was short of unbearable, and it was killing my breathing.



I mentioned this to the aforementioned suplex performer, and he told me that perhaps my body was shocked. Which made sense, and so I limited my exercise once again, keeping the push-ups to a minimum of eleven counts. I didn't change the number of sit-ups though (I just needed to make sure that my lower back was comfy during the routine), and lowered the bucket's water level.



It seems to be working. I'm feeling a bit better, and I've worked out consecutively (start date was last Sunday: we'll see whether or not I'm getting more energy by the end of the week). But you know how once a routine works for you, you'd fight to keep it steady? It's funny, but after the push-ups, I don't move on to the next exercise right away - I just lie there, quarreling with myself on whether I should do another set of push-ups or not. In the end, I don't, since the idea was to keep myself from losing too much energy for the rest of the day.



But for some reason, this doesn't sit very well with me.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I'm More Bonkers than what I'm Supposed to be.


It's ten thirty in the morning, and I'm staring at two things:



  • one of them is a short story I'm working on. I should actually be working, but since today's a national holiday (or since the national holiday tomorrow was moved to today, works either way), my mind is currently in Morocco. Unfortunately, this also has dire effects on the story, and I've added a sentence during the last six hours that I've been intimate with my laptop screen.
  • the other is a work of art in the form of a canonical nod to male chauvinism everywhere. And I've been on that for the last twelve hours. Yes, I do not sleep. I am the Vampire Le Stud.



What frightens me is that I have nothing but oatmeal in my larder, along with powdered milk, coffee, and lemonade, and a box of yellow label tea that's going to run out in the next, oh say, eighteen hours. That, and the fact that I've been listening to The Marriage of Figaro for the past, oh, fourteen hours (I was playing Avernum 3 for the first ten whilst ctrl+tab-ing to read Least I Could Do after every four dead nephilim search parties).



I'm thinking major break down? Yes, yes indeedy. Now, to boil some more tea . . .

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Quick Brown Fox


Just a quick one while I'm chasing after my deadline.



I'm eight articles away from the end of this set, and I'm already reeling. This writer's work is a net of patchworks that I have to rearrange in order to come up with a good document worth a short feature in National Geographic. I'ma end this today, but a couple of hours later than what was supposed to be my deadline.



Add the fact that I woke up hella late this morning. And my stomach hurts. Too many crunches, methinks.



Add the fact that my boss is currently MIA. And the 2nd shift is starting to look like the graveyard shift.



I need a beer. Haha!

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Day Dreams Took Over


It's weird. I'm working on the rewrites for Sleepwalking Awake, and then it hits me. Recently, thanks to all the stress I've been getting from work, I've been remembering more and more of my dreams. Now, normally, I don't remember any of my dreams. If I didn't have a stressor of some sort - like when my grandmother died (I had a doozy of dreams at the time) - I end up forgetting my dreams. The fact that I've been remembering all of my dreams for the past few days kinda frightens me.



Why, you might ask. Well, the story of Sleepwalking Awake is about a man who can't sleep because his dreams get in the way. Now, my dreams aren't getting in the way of my sleep, but you know this thing about fictions mirroring real life. In this case, I'm afraid that my life is mirroring my fiction. My character is an aimless security guard, trapped in a world of the mundane and routinary. He ends up getting so bored that the two parts of his head decide to literally run away from each other, bridging the gap between waking and dreaming with almost seamless transitions.



Which isn't to say that my life - or my work is boring. I love my work (so long as I don't have to write keyword descriptions, and I hope my boss is reading this haha), and I think routine is a good thing. If something that's supposed to help you hampers your creativity, then maybe you weren't really creative to begin with, is what I believe, so I'm trying to fit both domestication and abject craziness into one sizzling cocktail. So far, it's worked. I've been told that I'm so crazy I'm fun, and I know I do my job well enough to the point of being anally obsessive-compulsive with words.



But this freaks me out. What if my stories have begun to eat their way out of my head and into my real life, affecting the way I live and the decisions I make in such a manner that they actually move me into a direction that might turn my life into something I'd usually write about? Check these out:



  • The other day, I and a bunch of pedestrians were chased by this crazy guy wearing a yellow jacket and rain boots.
  • Last night, I witnessed a fight between two drunken friends. I went home while they were in the middle of the spat, disgusted by how some people can't control their emotions when intoxicated.
  • Last Friday and Saturday, after a Thursday marathon of work that lasted well into the afternoon of Friday, the heads and level twos of the content department - along with me - decided to spontaneously show their relief that so much work was completed in such a short time by taking the two days off.
  • I dreamt that the level two of the BOTW and I, along with a bunch of other friends, were special unit officers chasing a gigantic monster made out of diamond in the Ayala overpass of EDSA. The level two is killed, and he is heavily grieved for by plenty of people during his wake.
  • I also dreamed that Cholo Goitia and I were infiltrating this rich man's house for some reason or other. We were both friends of the man (who was a doddering old fool) and his family, but since we were wronged (I couldn't recall how) by the man, we decided to have it out with him. The fun thing about his house was that it was filled with hallways with plenty of traps. Some of them were harmless (one hallway had a trap that tossed small pebbles at you) while others were fairly dangerous (one hallway that shot daggers a la Matrix bullets). We ended up getting trapped in the master's chamber by the butler, and yeah it was also booby-trapped. This time, we had to force our way out of a room that was undeniably starting to flood in.



All of which are something I'd end up writing about. It's weird, and frightening, since life tends to throw you bucketfuls of non sequiturs as it is. Now your id wants in on the action, and in an amazing display of some screwed up form of animal magnetism, attracts you to the strangest situations conceivable and ends up compromising your poise and your safety.



The fun thing about the strangeness of living is that when it happens to other people, it becomes a story, which is why I didn't go into details with the strange happenings in my life since I could later make money out of them - and no magician ever reveals his secrets. But over at Torrentspy, you can find a whole set of really strange stories, which makes me believe that life taking on the oddness of fiction can be good for the reader - but horrible for the person experiencing the oddment. Take Dave Holland's story, for example.



I'm hoping to finish Sleepwalking Awake sometime soon so that I can start working on a new story idea about writers and their muses. But I also keep on thinking that although I'm a gimmick-loving, fun guy who can't stand days like today (this Sunday was as flat as a Burger McDo), maybe I'd like to have a choice on the kinds of excitement that occurs in my life. If it takes oddities to inspire the truly creative side of a person out of its shell, then would the lack of excitement make my stories as flat as my Sunday was?



I sure as hell hope not. Because sometimes, you'd like to have a handle on what the main character's going to be doing next. Otherwise, it won't be a satisfying tale.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Let's Not, and Say We Did.


Normally, I like work.





Yes, normally. Editing is fun. The rush that you get when you're crossing out words, making sure that this or that writer actually makes sense, mentally cursing the dumber ones to the land's end - these are all, believe it or not, perks of being an editor in this business. The stress, the headaches, you know every cell in your body's actually enjoying all this excruciating pain. It's like a writing curse. You beat yourself up until the right words come out. Writing is a masochistic art.





But this.





This isn't even writing. This doesn't even come close to descriptive writing. A one hundred and ninety character limit that's eaten up by various keywords that have to appear on the description lest all your trouble is for naught. This is like AdWords, except that AdWords lets you be creative. There's more room to be creative.





This is excruciatingly, mind-numbingly, earth-shattering, paradoxically and undeniably boring.





If I have to go through this again, I'll eat a burrito through my ass. End of story.






Oh by the way. Yes, my site looks like a blender sat on it. That should change once my schedule opens up. Right now, I am my computer's unwilling slave.