s m o r g a s w o r d

Archive for December, 2012|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on December 30, 2012 at 10:19 am

12. van halen live in NYC
11. volunteering at the tribeca film fest
10. rome
9. iA writer for macbook, iPad, and iPhone
8. soundgarden’s king animal album
7. 90/70 blood pressure for years now
6. amsterdam
5. finishing the novel and sending it out to literary agents
4. greencard
3. dublin
2. reading a chapter from the novel at the brooklyn launchpad’s renegade reading series
1. berlin


In Uncategorized on December 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm

PLANE READINGS on the almost 24-hour flight. will also edit the manuscript when i wake up from valium induced sleep.






SEE YOU all on the flip side. feliz navidad, motherfuckers.


In Uncategorized on December 21, 2012 at 9:12 am

72 HOURS before boarding time. Nearly done with packing, including the new suit for a wedding. Swim googles are also in the bag, as are running implements.

OF MY wish lists, I already got three down. The travel iPhone, the nitti font (I just bought the Mac software) and the 501. I am trimming down my jeans to an all 501 ensemble. I think this is a sign of growing really old when you start wearing college clothes. Well, pearl jam and soundgarden and smashing pumpkins are already in my playlist so why the fuck not.

THE EDITING is at the midway point. Hope to finish it before the new year so I can do a hard copy proofread before picking up act 2 of the next one. Woe unto me.


In Uncategorized on December 14, 2012 at 7:42 am

editing the novel and already at chapter 8.

still loves everything.

this needs to be done before the new year as the act 2 of the other one is already calling me.


In Uncategorized on December 9, 2012 at 9:56 am

A CHRISTMAS wishlist:

– nitti light type for ms word on my mac
– berlin subway print and tee shirt
– an unlocked iPhone 4 (yes, two models ago)
– levi’s 501 of the faded green color scheme or medium fade blue
– blackbirds by chuck wendig


In Uncategorized on December 7, 2012 at 6:57 am

VERY EARLY at 6.24 AM but i have two questions that need answers.


WHY IS it that pseudo-social media experts, those that try to project themselves as the ones who know and take full advantages of technology do not resort to their friends or their followers or whatever the fuck their minions are called when they are in a real bind? as in, when they need money for rent or else they would become homeless? as in, they need to legitimize their stay in new york otherwise they would turn into an illegal immigrant, AKA TNT. di ba madam and sir social media this and social media that ka? well, let’s see you use social media to put a roof over your head or get that green card. but no, when real problems arise, social media is forgotten. on the contrary, these fuckers actually do not want society to know that they are in a bind. doesn’t that make a certified poseur out of you madam, sir?


WHY IS writing on the web so fucking infantile? this has become very obvious when i got an iPad and subscribed to zite in the hope that it would be easy to read articles that i want to read. but now it has become a daily battle of blocking horrendously written “articles” that are just regurgitation of a news story that first broke at the ny times. and the fucking format: number in the headline, news story peppered with opinions in the body, original source buried deep at the last paragraph. why and how have we come to this? are all content writers also writing for seventeen magazine? seriously, take that magazine and open a zite or flipboard or whatever that fuck it is that aggregates your fix and read the headlines. aren’t they written in the same lazy pattern?

ELMORE LEONARD wrote: if it sounds like writing, i rewrite it.

APPARENTLY, NOT one web writer has read him. if you are a writer, or even if you pretend to be a writer on the web, does it not make fucking sense? is it not very easy to follow?

THE MOST read articles online since the internet began until this very second are: “mother earth mother board”  by neal stephenson, and “consider the lobster” by david foster wallace.

APPARENTLY, not one web writer has read both, either. since these are serious pieces of work that require serious thinking, surely it is safe to assume that readers want something other than infantile writing. and this could only mean that it is the so-called web writers who are lazy.


In Uncategorized on December 5, 2012 at 3:44 pm



IRONICALLY, WE felt like we’ve landed back in civilization as soon as we arrived in rome. finally, smiling people who attempt and speak english.

WE TOOK a shared car service, the only car ride we ever had in our trip counting three months in dublin and found out that roman drivers do curse other drivers and half the 30 minute drive, his hands were off the steering wheel through a profusion of hand gestures that accompanies the curses. seated beside him, joy and me enjoyed every minute of it, crossing ourselves whenever we pass a church.

UNLIKE PARIS where there are a lot of warnings about pickpockets (lupin!) and probably the only english sign there is, rome has no warnings as to thievery but judging from the posts on the nytimes comments, sitting in a cafe over a cup of coffee or a glass of vino and watching locals pick the pockets of lonely planet touting american tourists is one of the touristy thing to do. but since me and my wife are jologs to death, we are actually on hyperalert about our wallets and passports and not an incident happened.

ANYWAY, THIS was our mindset when we entered the central station to take the subway to our hotel near visa espagna. chaos! like quiapo! the roman subway system is a real subway in the sub sense of the world. the fuckers are deep underground as during constructions, engineers always find some archeological valuables so either they find another spot or go even deeper. like the city, the subway is forever under construction.

AS IN the woody allen film “to rome with love” it is easy to get lost in rome. never have i appreciated google maps in my life, and this is me talking, someone who believes the best part of traveling is getting lost. (this is my number 1 advice to first time new yorkers. get lost for only then will you orient yourselves, discover great restaurants, meet new people.) after we got our bearings and found the hotel, we wandered and saw a grocery where there are tables outside. a couple of cooks in whites emerged carrying bread and meat and a local ordered orange juice. like in amsterdam, the concept of orange juice in a bottle is science fiction. realizing that it is indeed a produce section, we sat down at one of the tables and had soup, pasta, and a selection of meats and cheeses. this is at 3 PM, our last meal was at 5 AM, a stale croissant and instant coffee at that uncivilized hotel in paris (700 euros the entire 3 nights, those fucking frog eating lupins!)

OUR FIRST meal erased the paris trauma. cooks always say that pasta should be a minimalist meal and only upon having the real deal in rome did i understand what it really means. kung baga, ang bida ay ang pasta and not the fucking meat balls. add to that, what al dente means. (mario battali said that al dente is: subtract 1 minute from the boiling time. this is true. have tried this at home and it is a winner.)

THIS THING will be repeated some three hours later for dinner. different restaurant, different orders, same great food.

WE MET up with a local guide who took us through a guided tour of the ruins that started at the spanish steps and ended at the coliseum.  after a quick lunch of pizza, we headed back to the starting point and this time, the destination was the vatican. things i learned: if amsterdam is XXX, rome is SPQR. also, the tiber river overflowed only once in history (same with the seine) and the city took measures to make sure it did not occur again. i guess we have such minds in manila where great lengths are done to make sure that tragedies (be it brought about by a typhoon or a dictator) are not repeated ever again.

THE VATICAN. this is a destination unto itself literally and figuratively. and as someone who is a catholic but is very critical of the shortcomings of this religion while at the same time very proud of the things being done right, the visit was indeed spiritual. whenever he is in the vatican, there are two chances of seeing the pope. one is by attending the latin mass. the other is by standing outside the piazza and looking at the second window of the residence where he addresses the crowd in english for about 10 minutes (the fervor of the faithful resembles a soccer match, with flags and all). but chance worked to our favor when, as the missus was buying some postcards inside the vatican gift shop, the security guards asked for everyone to stay put inside the shop. i immediately called joy to ready the camera and stand in front of me. lo and behold, his holiness indeed passed us by, about three feet from where we were standing.

AND THEN we bought some stamps, mailed the postcards, and then ate at an off the wall restaurant for my vongole. again, it was a winner.

BACK IN rome, we got lost again and saw the pantheon, the fontana de trevi, and discovered teatro de gelato, a off-off-the wall ice cream parlor. i was talking pictures and saw the sign and then we wandered in. the owner, a very big man like the waiters of new orleans (as in big but very polite and gentle) served as the best gelato ever. nocchola. it is only on the way out the door that i saw a clipping of the restaurant’s review in the new york times. and now you would think that we are ready to head home. no. we still had more vongole, more pizza, and more vino until it was time to pack.

THIS BEING our last stop before we head to new york, we conceded that if push comes to shove, we are going to spend precious euros to take a cab to the airport. our flight is at 11 AM and working backwards, that means we have to check in at least three hours at around 8 AM. given that the direct shuttle to the airport from the central is station is around 30 minutes, we need to leave around 7 AM from the hotel just in case. and since our trip falls on a monday, i am imagining all sorts of ways our trip could go wrong as i visualized how rush hours look like in manhattan.


THIS BEING rome, the subway was actually deserted. it turns out the business hour on a monday starts at 2.30 PM.








In Uncategorized on December 3, 2012 at 9:36 am




aside from the eiffel and the louvre, i did go to la cinematheque francais and bibliotheque du cinema. also ate escargot. other than that, my experience was just horrible in this city where syphilis was invented. i will never go back unless someone pays me to.


* * *


we call certain nations who does not allow women to drive and stones them to death when they are caught having sex as backward civilizations. well, france is like that. they still believe that the midget napoleon is still in charge and that the empire is still the center of the universe and that everybody should speak french.


excuse me, but since i make my living by manipulating language, i would rather not speak any language than murder it.


you french, go fuck yourselves.