s m o r g a s w o r d

Archive for December, 2008|Monthly archive page

seeing year zero nine

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2008 at 6:06 am

i usually take the year as it comes with no expectations and the barest of plans (i think this is the thing that makes marriage to joy, who’s an accountant by profession and a risk manager by career, interesting).

but that’s not to say that i don’t hope or wish or pray to Somebody who makes sense.

so.

year zero nine could be:

• the year that we head back to the tropics because of the recession or make a decision to stay in the US longer for the green card’s sake. or, maybe to bermuda, the missus’ current obsession because of it’s 100% tax-free salary policy and laid back atmosphere where she can go to the office in board shorts and flip flops.

• the year that i get a salaried job or continue hacking away with words. although i prefer the latter despite the looming novel, the former could also be nice, especially if it’s just something that is routinary (there is no such word, i’ve just found out) like a barnes&noble bookseller or a victoria’s secret stockroom clerk.

• the year the we could get pregnant although we’re still giving it a 2010 deadline. gods, i’m not ready to be a father to lukas (lukas, i am your vadder, insert hissing breath) or to mortimer, or, if it’s a girl, daria or lucinda.

• the year that i make an effort to be friends with locals. maybe the old ones always ready to smile and make small talk as they smoke and read their paperbacks at the apartment steps lining the street, or the very friendly peeps at the library.

• because of the tim burton film, i’ve just found out that my birthday next year would be the coolest, falling on 9 september 2009. in numbers: 09-09-09. i better prepare for something aside from submitting a story to a publication. this date that just comes once-in-a-lifetime, is too precious to waste.

• this i have to list even though this is sure to come to pass. a china mieville novel coming out, mid-year. although it is not titled *kraken*, the summary page at amazon.com is a promise of yet another mind-bender. there’s also a dan simmons novel about charles dickens that has already made me my heart beat faster.

china

dan

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summation year zero eight

In Uncategorized on December 26, 2008 at 3:35 pm

2008 was a year of firsts.

• first set foot in the US of A and all the firsts that went with living in NYC

• first got a short story accepted for publication (the damned book will come in february 2009 – bummer)

• first started writing the novel that’s been in my mind for years

• first became a house husband without a salary to safely fall into except for the dogwalking revenues

• first met my jd salinger, caitlin r. kiernan

• first had friends stay at the house for a night or more

 

2008 was also a year of discoveries.

• sigur ros

• bleecker street and angelika film center and the rest of the unhollywood films

• beer below zero

• KGB bar and its fantasy readings over russian beer

• that friends from the office are still friends out of it

 

2008 was also a year of learnings.

• that the moment you become aware that you are writing, you are no longer writing (this is also true when it comes to reading or watching a film, or listening to music)

• cooking pinoy food from tapa to sinigang 

• this from one of peter straub’s stories: that one’s wealth is truly measured by the books he has read and the records he has heard

 

2008 notables:

• books – i caught up on my reading, from books to magazine to online publications. tried reading literary ones too but the one thing that stood up was *let the right one in*, something that could kick all the meyer books to kingdom come. the style of *zeroville* killed me, although it was published the year before.

• music – i can never dig new york city’s music…not the scene but the pride and the attitude of listening to obscure bands (fuck buttons, a place to bury strangers, my morning jacket – this are already big by this time, of course) and then disowning it by the time the album is launched. so. the year was all about big bands doing what they are good at: metallica, the pretenders, portishead, AC/DC, death cab for cutie, except for coldplay who did a sigur ros and came out trying to do a radiohead. i still put the pretenders’ *breaking up the concrete* on repeat. same with portishead’s *third*.

• film – there’s *the dark knight*. and the film adaptation of *let the right one in*. and tarsem’s *the fall*.

• tv – i don’t actually watch TV except for the food network. primetimewise, a slew of series are doing an x-files upgrade, the fringe, the eleventh hour, the mentalist, etc. the fringe rocks as far as story is concerned although the big, bad corporation subplot is bound to, well, get lost. the most fuckable co-star belongs to eleventh hour’s marley shelton.

• technology – the maps and subway applications on the iPhone. saved my ass a hundred of times. there’s also the typewriter sound effects and a writing software for mac that are so godsdamn expensive, but are good to have so that i have lesser excuse not to write. 

• events & phenomena – obama. and gloria’s uncanny attempts at leeching onto malacañan palace. haven’t had a palpitation nor an attack of gout the entire year (knock on wood), so i’m listing these under phenomena, strange but good phenomena.

• advertising – (yes, i still read everything about it) CP+B’s failed attempt at microsoft vista. i think alex bogusky, easily the industry’s most photographed man, needs to spend less time at the salon and more time at the creative department. TBWA chiat\day’s dog adoption drive that came out the day after obama won. there’s also a homeless man in times square with a sign that says: why lie, i need a beer. and a shop poster that reads: we honor competitor’s coupons, and will give you another 10% off. beat that, madison avenue mad men.

* * *

1,598 words, no matter how miniscule, are actually good as long as they are the right 1,598 words. lords, i hate first drafts.

why patience is a virtue

In Uncategorized on December 23, 2008 at 1:22 am

this is still a rumor, with a lot of negatives, but it made my dick move.

170245-nano_800

coincidentally, i get to have a new at&t phone on my subscription anniversary this february 1.

if only macworld would come sooner.

gods, make this true and i’ll be good the rest of the year, or the next model.

{iPhone nano images swiped from macrumors.com}

spreading the christmas jeer

In Uncategorized on December 22, 2008 at 11:21 am

i don’t know.

half the time i’m stoned from red horse or pale pilsen or both but still, this season is taking its toll on my alcohol marinated brain. this by far, is the longest holiday we’ve spent home ever since we’ve ventured working in makati eons ago, and i should be grateful.

but. 

i really don’t know.

there was a time. and i wanna go back to our dark ages-slash-age of enlightenment where our family just stopped going to church and celebrating everything for about 12 or so years (this could have been my excuse to become a mass murderer, if i only have the balls). 

all the christmas muzak and the traffic (unbelievable, even in this province) and the half-meant carols and the overpriced shit is driving me insane.

meanwhile, the red horse in the freezer is taking forever to chill.

to quote homer simpson, god bless the pagans.

gran ma with the policemen

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2008 at 2:43 am

it’s the time of the year again.

two bottles of gran matador, evan’s poison of choice, but we pussified it by doing a long island version: pouring its contents on a pitcher of iced tea. which is not bad, everyone got drunk with none of the grimacing involved in downing a shot glass of pure brandy.

as usual, all i did was to listen and be awed by the stories and soak up all that i could. one was about a notorious filipino priest in new jersey, arrested in new york, and made headlines all over the continental united states. one of my friends (who also is a law degree holder, o wait, both of them are LLB holders and have just taken the bar) was contacted by the lead counsel of the victim’s attorneys, because he was the one who booked the christfucker on a similar charge of defiling a believer on his first gig as a parish priest in a very small island here in the province. small world.

talk wandered the usual way of chicks and food and salaries and murders and crimes, both perfect and imperfect, more than enough insights and plot fillers to last the year. 

and i thought walking bitches is interesting.

the man with the jodie foster hair

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2008 at 7:59 am

top on the to-do list was to visit a barber. joy already had her hair cut (and all the usual things that go with a salon’s haircut, including the doubt, a few minutes after leaving the door whether she should make it shorter by getting another haircut altogether.) up to now, i was able to resist the temptation to submit myself to a man holding a very sharp pair of scissors, even though i know that time is going to run out very, very soon. i’ve weighed the options but am still unconvinced of the practicality of getting a haircut. i don’t know. although i really want jodie foster’s hair. it looking good on my ugly face is another issue altogether.

jodie-fosternu-the-brave-one

set28 

set30

catching up

In Uncategorized on December 14, 2008 at 3:22 am

i am beginning to think that our vacation which is just three days short of being a whole month is not enough.

serious catching up has been done, beerwise from san miguel premium to pale pilsen to red horse. tomorrow is beer below zero day right after i do the requisite doctor’s visit where we would be exchanging new york stories more than hypertension issues, as what happened the last time i went for a check up and to tell him that my wife is whisking me off to babel.

magazines have also been littering the house, from story philippines to philippine genre stories, the philippines free press, and rogue magazine, all future conduits as i purvey my perversities through print. this is my advertising background taking control when i need to read as much as  i possibly can about the medium so that the content will fit in. i think i’ve nailed what rogue and story philippines are looking for. time to take a look at the folders and see what fits for submission.

and there’s food which is really, really what i am dying for, from the samaral of q-mart and to tanke’s 1521 whose tarp ratings have been going through the roof. there are also simple pleasures like smokey’s chicago dog and jollibee’s chicken joy and longganisa breakfast.

friends, who are always connected with beer and food, every single one who treated me to free dinners and are squeezing me in to every opportunity to eat.

oooops, almost forgot the DVDs at MCS. and the massage too. gods, i hope time will slow down for a bit. and that the rest of the people will come home sooner.

hssst and hoyers

In Uncategorized on December 11, 2008 at 10:29 pm

ang saya!
the beer started at the HK airport where i swiped with abandon my seldom used credit card (only used twice in NY). PAL doesn’t serve any beer, not even colt 45 – lucio tan’s brand like the airline – so i went for red wine. my seatmate, an NY association of hospital consultant who rose from being a nurse in 19 years and me finished the bottle. then it’s a couple of red horse from the sari-sari store that knocked me down. the following day, i did the marketing at q-mart, buying lapu-lapu and tuna and every vegetable i could carry. by 8am, we have were ready for lunch.

finally managed to squeeze going to sunny’s the day or so after and over beer, played catch up on everything from an engagement to a break-up to someone blowballing someone. but the best part was to happen the following day when this sentence was uttered: there can only be one kathy.
wi-fi is up and running thanks to joy who had the sense to bring the router. it is raining hard and i am fighting equally hard not to go to q-mart for more fish and veggies.
maybe i’ll just go back to my two immortals who are stuck on page 7.

t-minus

In Uncategorized on December 6, 2008 at 4:59 pm

literally counting down the hours before san miguel beer time.

the only thing that will make me happier is pacquiao winning – and winning big, unlike his last fight which is doubtful.

adios, -8 degrees.

the revenge of the record industry

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 at 7:27 pm

all things considered, it’s a natural progression that’s heading towards singularity: you can’t stop technology from making all ripping off of records the easiest of activities that way you can’t stop suits from earning 98% from a record’s sale. rollingstone reported 5 years ago that all things paid, including the hookers and jack daniels and cocaine, each CD should only cost 2% from the price to keep the band happy and give them earnings to afford yet more pussy and booze and substances. but the usual record shop price adds the 98% for the bloated salaries of the executives who has nothing whatsoever to do with the creative process. 

so.

the piracy and the ripping off and the giving away of all records for free – NIN, radiohead, smashing pumpkins, etc, except metallica with capitalist ulrich at the helm with the anthem *buy ’em all* or *for whom the cash register rings* – it rings for thee!

torrents and all other file sharing methods, including legit, pay-per-download vendors like iTunes and its followers killed the virgins of this world but lo and behold, there is the promise of resurrection.

vinyl.

taking prominent space in stores and advertisements, slowly bringing coolness back to the record stores. and i think they’ve got the right approach too – just put out the damn thing with very minimal message, none of that *better sounding* or *collector’s item* bullshit in exclamation points and starbursts. somebody thought very hard on this. try ripping a fucking vinyl on your mac. see?

yesterday i saw a metalhead shelling out 75 dollars on a death magnetic vinyl, something that costs 12 dollars on a CD and free on torrents. but this one willingly gave all his month’s beer money for something bulky and fragile and analog.

fuckitty fuck me, the suits are winning again.

and of course i know that vinyl sounds better too.

***

and just like that, december is in the chair.

my mind is abuzz with all the things that should be done before leaving (shutting down cable and internet, notifying the post office, etc) and as soon as we land (doctors, dentists, optometrists, etc).

meanwhile, two false starts on a story that coital interrupted the novel and this one just won’t give it a rest, robbing me of sleep for a week now.

time to bake. there is beer at the end of the oven.