Friday, August 29, 2003

Been there, done that

America's commander-in-chief is a retarded idiot who got elected under dubious means. His policies are have so far thus done more harm than good both domestically and abroad, and it only looks to get worse.

Then a huge power outage in major cities like New York leaves residents freaking out.

And most recently, fading action star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who despite having no previous politicial background whatsoever, puts himself up as a candidate for governor of California and is widely considered a favorite to win.

Why are so many people still rushing to immigrate? America is already turning into the Philippines.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Quick musings

How bored does a cat have to be for it to be reduced to pouncing on its' own tail for kicks?

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Thoughts from the litterbox

If you keep putting off the crap you have to deal with, you just end up with an even bigger pile of shit to clean up.

Monday, August 25, 2003

I wish I could get a makeover

If you’ve been keeping tabs on what’s heating up the pop culture landscape, then you know about Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I’ve actually heard about this show for a while now; at first just as one of a pair of shows in the gay-themed Bravo Network along with Boy Meets Boy, a sort of gay version of the reality show The Bachelor where a gay man has to pick from 25 suitors, with the twist that some of them -- unbeknownst to him -- are straight.

Going by amount of hype received, Boy Meets Boy was supposed to be their flagship buzz show. But what I noticed is that slowly but surely, Queer Eye began garnering more and more of the mainstream press. US Network NBC decided to re-air a condensed episode of Queer on their own channel. And this August, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno had the Fab Five on as guests, where they proceeded to give the entire show -- set, waiting room, announcer, band, and of course, Jay Leno himself – a “Queer Eye” Makeover. You may have already hear or read the term, “Queer Eye Makeover” to describe a well-needed and received fashion rescue. These guys are heating up, and it’s only just starting.

The concept behind this show is that 5 gay men, each with their own area of expertise -- Kyan (grooming), Ted (food & wine), Jai (culture), Thom (interior design) and Carson (fashion) – pick an utterly style, fashion, taste and sometimes, hygienically-challenged straight man who agrees to have them give a total makeover.

With the cameras rolling, they sashay into his life and proceed to pick apart all the aspects of him that they think need help. And believe me, if you watch the show, you’ll agree that some of these guys could REALLY use it. Along with the expected fashion and grooming assistance, they also go further into the other major aspects of his life, from redecorating his living quarters to teaching him how to enter a room exuding grace and charisma.

On a whim, I entered the show’s title on KazaA’s search engine, and much to my delight the first three episodes were available for download (at a hefty 50 meg a pop, so make sure you have lots of hard disk space and a beefy net connection if you plan to do the same). I didn’t know what to expect so I watched the first episode with an open mind. What I saw was a thoroughly enjoyable show featuring gay men that both embraced traditional gay stereotypes while at the same time going “Yeah, we’re queeny, but we’re also dang cool as well.

Some of the renovations they do can be pretty absurd. On the first show, they take straight guy -- who is rather pale – to a New York Temporary Tanning Salon where he gets into this phone booth-sized steel locker where he is doused with spray-on tattoo while lifting his legs and arms while doing Tae-Bo style motions. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds, but the end results are stunning. I was a little envious, actually. Out of the five, I wanted an afternoon with Thom the most, so he could makeover my room and our apartment in Quezon Avenue.

What’s important about this show is that rather than turning him into someone who looks like them (which is what straight guys I would imagine would fear they’d do) they note all of his good qualities, no matter how miniscule, and use all of the powers of fabulousness they have at their disposal to bring each and every one of them out. What makes this show so eminently watchable is that no matter how far they go, it’s all towards making the guy the best of himself he can possibly be.

After enduring the constant fag-bashing of Reichen & Chip from the Amazing Race 4. A sample rant from the pair: “Gay men can be strong and capable and accomplish things! Without being faggy and swishy! Etc etc…” (what are you trying to say? That make you better than said queens?) This embracing of the much-bashed stereotypes -- hell, I believe they’re just being themselves (take that, Reichen & Chip!) -– is refreshing.

They all display varying degrees of queeniness (Carson is the biggest one of the lot, and the funniest as well, IMO), but not the perceived “weakness” that is assumed that goes along with it. They come across as the confident and well-assured, they are damn good at what they do and they know it. If anything, it’s the straight guy who looks out of his element and uncomfortable. They are aggressive and flirty but somehow manage to be non-threatening at the same time.

Basically, they’re showing themselves as really, really queeny, but all it’s done with dignity and they are NOT portrayed as objects of ridicule. It’s a tricky thing to pull off, and unthinkable in this country’s noontime show culture (Lord of Charings, anyone?). As opposed to the message that Reichen & Chip were trying to convey (over and over and OVER again) that gay men can be as masculine as straight men so as to earn respect, Kyan, Ted, Jai, Thom and Carson accomplish the same in all of their fabulous swishy glory.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

One of these things is not like the other

you take away me breath
you up against me
sweat to sweat
such a feeling that i can't describe
whenever i'm around you i know,
I know that i'm alive

             - Paolo Santos, "Play With Me"

but you, you're everything
this foolish heart could ever find
every wish every dream every prayer come true
i feel so blessed to call you mine

             - Nyoy Volante, "You're My You"

Let me be the one to break it up
so you won't have to make excuses
We don't need to find as set up
where someone wins and someone loses
We just have to say our love was true
but it never come alive
So i'm tellin' you I love you one last time
then goodbye..

             - Jimmy Bondoc, "Let me be the One"

Tell me is it so bad
that I've redefined my language
That I've forgotten words like self-restraint and chaste
And tell me is it so bad
I wanna see you from between your legs
And discover for myself how you must taste

             - Where's Joe?, "Take it Slow"

Yeah, those 4 songs all belong in a compilation album, don't they?......

Thursday, August 21, 2003

2 steps forward, 10 steps back

Accompanied mom to her CT scan yesterday. As we were sitting there awaiting our results, we started talking about, of all things, Six Feet Under. I was smart enough not to mention David (unsurprisingly, she didn't bring it up either). But us just talking about something was pretty rare. She was scared about what was happening, and I wanted to comfort her in the limited way that I could.

She talked about setting aside time to teach me how to run things; stuff like that. In that moment, all the things between us, my being gay, her problems with it, it didn't matter. And although we were under the shadow of something potentially scary, that kind of felt nice, in a way. The last time I communicated with my mom in that way was when I was 12; before any of my life's angsts would start to get at me and never let me go.

Today, we got the results of her Cat scan: negative. While the Ultrasound found somehting fuzzy on her liver, the scan said she was clean, and she was releived. She was just so thankful, and so was I. Now that we both knew she was all right, I was already half-expecting her to go back to her old ways and take back all that she had said about taking better care of herself, teaching us how to run things, and yes, talking to me like a human being.

But surprisingly enough, the changes she had made seemed to hold. She promised that she was going to lose weight, and even tonight at dinner turned down the fried chicken in favor of some nilaga instead. And this afternoon, she asked me to help type up a contract for this new tenant for a property that was going to be rented out. We even proofread it together, and after it was done she told me that tonight on Maalala Mo Kaya a soap on ABS-CBN, they were doing a gay story, and she asked me if I wanted to watch.

Just to put things in the proper context, my mother had NEVER done anything like this before. For her, "gay" was an ugly word, only belonging on shows like Will and Grace, but never in her own life, and certainly not to me. I thought this was a major move on her part to make, and I have to admit inside I was so pleased; it was like a small, yet significant step had been made in light of this medical scare, an experience where things were put into perspective. I told her I would see it.

Cut to 9 pm. I'm sitting in front of the computer, and mom calls out to me that the show has begun. I go in and sit on the floor as the show starts. Early in the program, there was a scene featuring the gay protagonist entered in a beauty pageant which strained credibility (he looked rather scraggly; no self-respecting gay man would look that unfabulous).

During this scene, my mom let out a very disgusted "yuck!!" Since we were watching it together, I felt I had to say something top try and enlighten her, seeing as she was apparently trying to reach out.

"You know" I said, "So many men hold women in low regard; as second class citizens. These men admire women so much that they emulate them and want to become you. As a woman, you should be flattered by that" I said.

Her reply?

"If you're going to talk like that during the program, just watch downstairs."

I had had enough. She was the one who had told me about the program and invited me; I only accepted because I interpreted it as her way of reaching out to me. I'ts not like it's going to show anything I don't already know. I left the room and went back to the computer, which is what I was doing before I went to watch the show. And here I am, blogging angrily.

Once again, I'm made to look like a fool.

I think things will go back to "normal" even sooner than I think.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Einstein's Secret Prinicple of Relativity

Heretofore unrevealed until now, states that time speeds up when you hit the snooze button on your alarm.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Sick sick sick

I got sick two weeks ago, and have only fully recovered now from hacking and coughing, at one point even coughing up blood mixed with phlegm (from coughing too hard and irritating my lungs). It scared the shit out of me when I saw it, fearing it to be a sign of something serious (when a movie character coughs up blood, it's the universal sign of "terminally ill"). Fortunately it cleared up, as did the phlegm, finally.

RC got sick as well. The same time as me, both of us copming down with fevers. While I eventually got better, his temperature simply went up and down wildly. After going back to the doctor he was diagnosed with Dengue fever, and was promptly hospitalized. He ended up spending his burthday in a hospital bed hooked up to an IV, which is a pretty lousy way to have your birthday. Thankfully, he made a full recovery and is currently working hard to make up for all the school days he missed. (due to his sickness, it is all but assured he can no longer make honors this year)

Not soon after, Dondi, our driver's 10-year old son, also came down with fever. One doctor says it's Dengue. Another hospital says it doesn't. He cannot afford to put his son in a hospital if it's just a false alarm, but at the same time if it IS dengue, he likewise can't risk NOT confining him. I don't envy his position.

Nelz has been sick with a cough from allergic Rhinitis. He spent the entire weekend with me coughing, the poor dear. I didn't say anything, but every time he coughed I felt worried for him (well, he knows it now) perhaps needlessly, perhaps not. But I worry nontheless. And today I find out he's losing his voice. Did his doctor warn him about this? Like the blood, I worry that this may be a sign of something more serious.

And to make matters worse, whe he should be home sleeping, to build up his immunity, he is at the office right now finishing up a rush project as I type this, probably doing another late or all-nighter. Right now it makes me really, really, really angry at Nelz' employers right now that they have to make him work late like this when he's sick and should be in bed. Nelz, my dear Nelz, please take care of yourself, and don't push yourself any further. Please.

And finally, my mother has been feeling really awful in her insides for the past few days. She got an ultrasound this morning to see what was bothering her, and this afternoon the doctors said that she has to go in for a CT scan this wednesday, because they found "something" on her liver.

My mother is scared to death right now, fearing the worst. She has a tendency to be a hypochondriac, so I'm used to her excessive worrying. But this is pretty serious, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned. She going on, telling me that she wants to set aside some time with me and my brother so she can show us how she "does things", In Case Something Happens To her.

Currently, I'm feeling numb about the whole thing. I'm not allowing myself to worry, just in case (in the HOPE) that it turns out to be nothing serious. But the nagging fear is there. I also don't quite know how to deal with this, and with her. Nelz tells me that I should be with her, that she need me, and I agree. But I don't quite know what to do. My mother has never been a physically demonstrative person; hugs, and kisses only make her suspect that we want something, or prompt her to quip sarcastically "Mamamatay na ba ako?" ("Am I going to die already?"). Real classy, that.

It goes a long way, in my view, of explaining how physically clingy and demonstrative I am in my own relationship with Nelz. People in general need a tender physical touch. They want it. They crave it. The more they don't get it, the greater the desire for it and the lengths they will go to to get it, from whomever is willing to give at, regardless of the cost. And if they don't get it from their first expected source (namely, their parents) they are going get it from somewhere else, no exceptions.

And this was before I came out of the closet and got into my relationship with Nelz, which she has never, ever approved of. So relations between the two of us have been civil at the best of times and downright hostile at the worst, and always frosty. So now I stand here, not quite knowing what to do, but feeling I should do something.

Hugging her is a gesture that neither of us would truly appreciate. Do I tell her that everything will be all right, when I know that I don't know if that's true or not? I'm not good at telling lies, even merciful ones. Do I kiss her and tell her that I love her? I think it would just make her more worried (that I think she's going to die and have suddenly become more respectul, etc.)

It's so frustrating. I pride myself in being a basically good person. Where others make you earn their respect first, I believe in putting everyone in a place of respect and dignity when I first encounter them. It's when they do something that causes me to lose respect for them that I can be cold and unforgiving. And yet I'm having so much trouble trying to find out how to comfort my own mother. It's fucking pathetic.

I am so fucking sick of everyone I love getting sick around me. There you go fuckers, a nice long entry. With hope, the next one you get from me will have good news.

No Explanations

Yeah, I've been updating this blog less and less frequently, and the few entries I do make are often short and not that interesting. I've been steadily losing interest in writing here, and while I haven't decided (yet) to quit it for good, I'll hope this is just an ebb, much like the one in my songwriting (which has stretched up to several months now, so maybe hoping that it is isn't the right choice of words)

Monday, August 11, 2003

Big Day

If you have the time tonight and are in the area, won't you drop by Cruz ng Ligas in UP Diliman (near the former Gulod) tonight at 7 pm for the launch of the Dreamcatcher and other Images, Nelz's FIRST EVER photo exhibit. We set up the pictures last night and I have to say they looked damned good.

I am awed and inspired by the scope of what you have been able to accomplish, love. I am so proud of you. :)

Friday, August 08, 2003

Fuck it

Jon and Al got eliminated from the Amazing Race and missed being part of the final three. I have lost all emotional stake in the race now, and don't give a damn about watching the finals.

The show is dead to me now.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

So what's new with you?

See, I'd be updating more if I had something more interesting to say than "Been sick, trapped at home and coughing my lungs out for the past week".

But I don't, so I'm not.

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