Friday, January 30, 2009

Quo vadis?

At least once in their life, one must never forget to ask themselves the question "Quo Vadis?" (Must be said in Latin in order to sound, you know, intelligent). That is, where are you going? 4 words blessed with the power to make a person step out of their lives, even for just a moment, to be able to evaluate without bias.

So, where am I going? To find where one is going, one must start and look at it's beginning.

I have found that my life, lacking in adventure as it may be, is one I prefer over anyone else's. I've been blessed with a family that I adore and a voracious appetite for reading, watching movies, and thought. I suppose I think more than anyone really should. I am constantly wondering about this and that and such and repeatedly amazed by whatever thing's ability to go on -- to go on existing and to go alter and define lives simply by being. It is also probably due to my rapacious curiosity that I read much more than anyone else. I've learned that there will always be questions - and when there is a question, there is an answer. The most accessible medium to finding answers is, of course, books. Books have an amazing ability to captivate it's reader - creating another reality entirely through beautifully strewn words.

Growing up, I've tried very hard to mix my reality together with my imagination. I've convinced myself that if I wanted something bad enough, wished for it hard enough, been good enough, that it'll come true. A few months before my eleventh birthday a couple of years back, I wished on every 11:11, every 3 blue cars in a row, every first star of the night, every shooting star or falling meteor, that an owl would deliver that one special post. That I would receive an invitation to Hogwarts. I desperately wanted to become a witch that it hurt in places I didn't know I had inside me when I didn't get that letter. A couple of years after that, I got obsessed with the Gossip Girl books. I thought that if I emulated coolness and epitomized popularity, that if I rebelled beyond anyone's imagination, that one day I'd receive that text. That text that proclaimed me the "Queen". The untouchable. The god-like. The elite. What I got instead was a mob of haters wanting nothing more than to dethrone me from my self-imposed monarchy. I became a supercilious nobody with nothing to show for but my excessive behavior. In between those years, I longed for even more adventures. Adventures I believed were meant for me. Brilliant, I thought. I was going to be brilliant.

Life gave me a rude awakening. A wake-up call. It told me that good things didn't just happen to those who wait. It taught me that good things happened to those who wanted something so bad, they couldn't sit still. Right now, to this very day, I am still convinced that somewhere out there, in this borderless world, I am destined for greater things. It doesn't matter how many lives I touch, if any at all, all that matters is that in myself, I know I've done what I could. What I wanted. There are adventures out there... adventures just waiting to be discovered.

So where am I going? I'm going to take over the world. I'm going to travel. To fall in love with places, and books, and cultures, and people. I'm going to laugh and write. I'm going to run and run even farther. I'm going to be a legend.

As Barney Stinson would put it... I am awesome.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Alone again... naturally.

I wish I had more interesting things to blog about - but woe is me, I have none. Yes, this is my life, and seeing as it is my dearest wish to die an old maid - it's true, the old ball and chain is not for me - it seems my future lies somewhere in the same vicinity (though one can only hope I'd be in my own house instead of my parents', with a great job, Nana, my lhasa apso, and a lot of moolah).

Over the course of the last 2 weeks, I've over-indulged my "me-time", often this includes me and my laptop, me watching romantic-comedies/ chick-flicks/ teeny boppers of the last 2 decades, me reading historical romance/ fantasy/ chick-lit, and me binging on anything edible I can get my hands on. It's those days that I don't even want to see another human being - times when I'd like to hole up in the room, curled in a blanket, sipping hot swiss miss, eating, and getting lost in another reality entirely.

Suffice to say, my seclusion lasted for about 2 weeks, meaning a whole lot of movies, books, and eating. I've gained about a gazillion pounds with absolutely no idea on how to shed them - my lack of will power and belief in never surrendering to the hollywood standard of emaciation restrains and forbids me, respectively, from working out, going on a proper diet, and fixing my sleeping disorder, er, habits.

In the span of my self-imposed isolation, I have fallen in love over and over again with the life my darling leads do lead. Adventure and epic love stories (spanning years and continents, ruined lives and bloodshed - the whole repertoire) are a potent mix for a hopeless romantic, wanna-be writer such as myself. And hard as it is to grasp, reality is not nearly as kind, nor interesting, for that matter.

Now, I know it's kind of stupid and naive, to name a few, to learn from such unrealistic fantasies the media feeds people like myself, who unfortunately know that no such thing happens in real life but still find it in our fickle little minds to hope that we're the lucky one above all whom this might happen to, but this is exactly what has happened. I have indeed learned from such fluff and here I am blogging, just to add something to my very much neglected blog, to enumerate what they are.

1. Nice guys aren't always the rich, handsome, successful, perfect men we meet at the start of the novel/ movie. Sadly.

2. Girls usually date the idiots throughout the span of the entire movie, only to realize at the very end that whom they actually love and meant to be with are the much neglected, often aren't in the scenes but still have their names on the posters leading men.

3. The female lead always has some sort of flaw (remember ladies, Havelock Ellis said that the absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw.)

4. Here's one you probably didn't know: most female leads are (shocking, this) idiots. It's true.

5. The antagonist is almost always better-looking and smarter than the protagonist.

6. The perfect men usually don't have the balls to fight for their lady loves and only grow them at the end, almost losing the battle.

7. The characters always exaggerate the tragedies they suffer in life so that they have a legitimate reason to be angry at the world without seeming like cry babies.

8. The female lead always gets her heart broken and her dreams shattered, gets fat, moves on, gets a lot hotter, then gets the guy at the end.

9. There's always a character whom the viewers are not sure if they are the villains or simply hateful, then they redeem themselves when they do something remotely in the same country as nice for the protagonist.

10. If the male lead seems too good to be true, then he probably is.

11. The life the hero/ heroine leads is hardly gripping - almost always lacking in adventure.

12. The stories always have some elements of the ridiculous about them - but that's what makes it so fun to observe.

Now I'm sure there are loads more life lessons that I still haven't covered but for now, this is enough.

If you are like me, who needs something to make our ennui-filled lives a little more bearable, I recommend escapism. Escaping is the greatest feeling I've ever had. Followed almost abruptly by the worst feeling I've ever had.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Or lack thereof.

How was everyone's New Year Celebration?

Mine was sedate, but not entirely without fun. The lack of enthusiasm, I presume, can be blamed on the fact that we were, indeed, very much incomplete. The year did not start with a bang. Are we getting old?

The New Year's Eve dinner was good, but I now added more lbs than I care to count. Holiday weight is no joke, my friend. Mom contributed Adelina's Ham, Marca Pina Queso De Bola, Macaroni Salad, Fruit Salad and Pancit. Dobby and Winky gave their share of Pot Roast (do we still have any? damn it. Control.) and Lumpiang Shanghai. Sev and Ron brought their famous Polynesian barbecue and Carbonara. And Dolly bought the Coffee Crunch Cake. Mmm.

Not much more can be said about our Media Noche. We did the usual thing one expects from a family such as ours (filled with lotsa readers and coffee addicts). We sat down on our respective seats, rubbing our bellies, face slack with the kind of blank expression you get from a pig who's just had his own fill of food, and started chatting while Christmas songs (our favorite kind of music) played at the background. We smoked. We laughed. We sang-a-long with varied tones and pitches.

We are bleakly aware of the fact that most families tend to turn into more livelier activities than this during the holidays, but our festive mood stays locked up in that small chamber in our brains. We admit that our jolly-ness is a state-of-mind. We don't necessarily do any more of that dumb, instinctive passion that dull-witted writers call "bonding" - not because we 're apathetic to each other or the holidays, but because we do it almost everyday. Only, at the same time, with no definite answer as to why, we do seem more pleasant and jolly and forgiving during the Yule. It may be our subconscience, but I'm not convinced. Can it be that (God forbid) we had it right (for once) all along? Are the festivities really all a state of mind? Have other families been spending so much money to make their Christmas' and New Year's happier than the last over nothing?

But I digress, now tallying back to last night's events. After much chatting and smoking, Sev and Ron head home with Angus - they didn't want their nests empty at the start of the year. Dad and the rest of us (yes, myself included) decide to attend (again, yes) the mass. Not that I am sacriligous in anyway or form, but I just can't seem to sit still when surrounded by a large group of people, even in church. The thought terrifies me. The walls (ironic, since we were seated outside) close in and my lungs contract (maybe this is why I did so bad in high school!). Uneasy to the core, I decide to forego the rest of the mass and go home instead.

When all were back home, we counted down what was left of 2008 and enjoyed as we watched the fireworks display. It was beautiful. Lights dancing in the air over lapping one another, each more grand than the last, colors blazing. We hold out money and dance around while shaking them in the air, channeling our chakras. The firecrackers were extremely noisy, even more so than usual this year, thanks, in large part, to our pig-faced neighbours. The sounds have deafened me quite a lot, and I wonder whether this is why you lose your hearing through age. The more New Year celebrations you are present, the more firecrackers you hear, the more you deafen.

When the lights and sounds have died down, most of us head to bed, anticipating the trip we would venture on the next day.

The morning found me waking up to Dolly's voice. I get up, albeit reluctantly, head to the shower, and jump as the water first makes contact with my body. I shake it off as the heater turns on to a more adjustable temperature. I head downstairs to find that most of us are done getting ready. I scratch my head, hair dripping while unkempt and unbrushed from the shower, and then join my siblings for a quiet breakfast of spam, bread, left over macaroni salad, and chocolate milk.

Dad arrives with Sev and Ron and we attempt and succeed, with unflattering results, to squeeze ourselves in. The trip was uneventful, save for the chatting. Sev and I ask dad to stop by the Starbucks in one of the gas stations at the expressway and we claim Dumbledore's planner.

We arrive at Ima's house at around 11am. We seperate, all heading to different parts of the house, and the rest is all a blur.

Here's a toast, to my siblings and I, for surviving another year. To new beginnings and happy old memories. To laughter. To love. To Singapore on march and seeing the Tutays.

Goodbye, 2008. You were wonderful.