So today the world woke up to news that Carrie Fisher of Princess Leia fame is dead. She died days after suffering from heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles. Once again the guys and gals on Facebook are chirping about how awful 2016 is, considering the number of noted celebrities who perished this year (George Michael died on Christmas). Well, perhaps so. But on a personal note — and the wifey agrees to this so it’s not just me — 2016 is probably one of the fastest years in recent memory. And that’s good in my book.
Sucks to be at work when my close friends are either on vacation or on leave.
Playlist: Gin Blossoms – Outside Looking In: The Best of Gin Blossoms; Trashcan Sinatras – In the Music; Motorhead – Bastards; Neurotic Outsiders –Neurotic Outsiders
Happiness is a bunch of books rescued from bookstore bargain bins.
Yes, indeed, why not? The storm’s over, the sun’s shining, and like everyone else with a stable job, I got some extra cash to burn this Christmas. And since I’m not a smart, fastidious dresser nor an obsessive gadget freak, the money will definitely go to toys, graphic novels and books. Now, when I go to bookstores, I usually check the bargain bins. Needless to say, the past few trips have been fruitful, as evidenced by the photo.
My New Year’s resolution, if you may: In 2017, I intend to read more. Magazines, books, comics, whatnot. This means there’ll be less movies and TV series next year. Will not give myself a quota, though. Will just read ’em one at a time, and then see how it goes.
Playlist: Dream Theater – Images and Words; Dog Fashion Disco – Anarchists of Good Taste; Killing Joke – Pylon
Monday. Day after Christmas. There’s bad weather, I’m working despite today being a holiday, and wifey lost my newly bought bonnet. Things aren’t looking good and my mood is foul. I should’ve stayed in bed. The world is one big ball of shit to me today.
Anyway, the Christmas weekend:
- Read the graphic novel Joker
- Watched the film Snowden
- Watched Ep. 11 of Gotham Season 3, and Ep. 3 of Westworld
- Spent Christmas Day in Nueva Ecija
- Read first half of Spider-Man Noir
Pfft. I prefer post-Christmas blues. This is something else.
Playlist: Therapy? – High Anxiety; Green River – Dry as a Bone/Rehab Doll; Jawbox – For Your Own Special Sweetheart
Tired. Groggy. Sleepy. The morning after.
But at least I’m not hungover. At 37 I’m too old for hangovers, especially the debilitating kind that I stupidly wore like a badge of courage in my younger years. These days I appreciate nothing more than clearheadedness 24/7.
Anyway, the party. It was fun, as these things go. I ate, got roped into joining a parlor game, lost, laughed at other people who got roped into joining parlor games. I gave and received gifts, won a minor prize in the raffle (always a minor prize, goddamn it!), ate and laughed some more, and generally had a good time.
And then it was past midnight and I had to go home. It was not an easy commute.
So, yeah. Tired. Groggy. Sleepy. I’m in for a long shift. I wish it’s Friday already.
Playlist: Grandaddy – Just like the Fambly Cat; Suicidal Tendencies – The Art of Rebellion
Some people are born to party. Sadly (or not), I’m not one of them. Parties make me uncomfortable, perhaps because in the spirit of camaraderie I’ve to act like I’m enjoying them even though in truth I’d rather be somewhere else (the mosh pit of a Slayer concert, for example). Still, like death and taxes and Air Supply music, parties are something one can’t always avoid, especially if he still considers himself a part of the human race, and especially during the holidays.
We’re having our office Christmas party later tonight. Preparations are in full swing as I type this. There’s excitement in the air. People just couldn’t wait to punch out and head to the venue, a swanky pizza place along Tomas Morato. There’ll be food and gifts and parlor games, I’m told, but no beer, which is a bummer. But there will be a raffle and I might get lucky. Not counting on it, though. But free pizza is always good…
Playlist: Slayer – Diabolus in Musica; Stone Temple Pilots – Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop; Electric Wizard – Witchcult Today
Binge reading graphic novels these days. After City of Silence and the last Preacher book I finished Mark Millar’s ultra-violent Nemesis last night… and today I couldn’t seem to figure out what to read next, and I’m growing restless and agitated and really stressed out thinking about this. Likely candidate is Outcast vol. 1, but part of me also wants to read X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain very much, while another part wants Promethea, and then another The Joker, and then another… you get the drift.
I tell myself: They’re just graphic novels, for fuck’s sake. Why am I handling it as if it’s a matter of life and death?
Meanwhile, seems like 2017 will be the year graphic novels will really slug it out with books/ebooks for my attention. Oh well…
Playlist: Therapy? – High Anxiety
Long time no blog (exactly a week, wow). I’ve been busy. The Christmas season can do that even to a semi-hermit like me. I’m at work now, and I just came from a four-day weekend, and that four days seem like a blur of lights, roads, and the cramped insides of PUVs. Friday midnight saw me and the wifey, who just came from their office party, in Makati having the most difficult time commuting. Despite the late hour, people were still on the streets like it was still rush hour. It was already past 2 a.m. when we got home. Slept, then up again by 6 a.m. for another appointment, and then home again by 11 p.m. It was madness.
Anyway, the long weekend:
- Wifey and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary (yey!)
- Watched the kiddo’s dance recital at her school
- Scored Transmetropolitan vols. 9 and 10 at marked down prices at Planet X Comic Shop in Glorietta 4, and Satellite Sam vol. 1 at Powerbooks in Glorietta 3
- Finished reading Book Six of Preacher (time now to score physical copies of this awesome graphic novel)
- Read Warren Ellis’ weird-ass City of Silence
- Four movies: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The Forest, The End of the Tour, and Spectral
- Watched Ep. 8 of Gotham and the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead
- Checked out Ayala Triangle’s “Festival of Lights” with the girls
- Three-hour me-time at Makati CBD while waiting for the wifey to emerge from her office party. Hopped from one store to another, had dinner at Yoshinoya, and drank strong-ass coffee at Starbucks on Paseo de Roxas to keep me awake afterward
- Skipped a reunion with high school classmates in Libis
- Scored an office chair because why not?
- Pigged the fuck out
And then it’s Monday and I’m back at the office and the regular scheme of things.
Playlist: Nirvana – Bleach; Ben Folds Five – Whatever and Ever Amen
… found me at Patio de Manila on Roxas Boulevard accepting an award on behalf of the Company. It was my section that won anyway (Hall of Fame, baby), so I’ve no excuse not to be there, even though what I really wanted to do that night was to stay at home and avoid the Christmas rush raging outside.
Anyway, it was an okay night, all things considered, despite the heavy traffic and the awkward moments and the fact that I had to climb up on stage and speak — speak! — in front of a crowd that included Gabby Concepcion, Gladys Guevarra, the comedian Boobsie, and two TV reporters — one a hotshot veteran, the other a pretty newbie (I took pleasure in saying I shared the table with the latter). Thank God Liza Soberano wasn’t able to make it. I would’ve fainted the moment they gave me the microphone for the obligatory “short message” if I knew she was part of the audience. I’m helplessly shy like that, yo.
So I accepted the award, uttered a sentence or two of gratitude, posed for the camera, and got off the stage relieved as hell that I did not fuck up. Outside, later, enjoying a smoke, three tattooed usherettes had their pictures taken with me. Okay, I thought. So this is how it feels like to be someone.
Fuck that. Some shit over the weekend:
- Watched Episode 7 of Gotham Season 3
- Only one movie: Money Monster
- Biked for 5.5 kms (errand)
- Started reading Preacher Book 6
- Bought and assembled a storage cabinet for my comics/graphic novels
And then it’s Monday again, and I feel hardly rested, and there are parties galore this week, and lots of Christmas stuff to do, and I got extra cash… it’s exciting, really. And yet what I really want to do is sleep 10 hours straight.
Playlist: Warrant – Dog Eat Dog
First of all, the photo is not mine. I lifted it up from some website, because that’s what lazy bastards like me do on the Internet.
Antipolo town fiesta today. There were parades, programs, and concerts. Lots of people were on streets making traffic more horrendous than usual. For the occasion, dozens of pigs were Oplan Tokhang’d so that revelers can gorge themselves with lechon and lechon paksiw as if heart attack was a hoax. Everybody was happy. Food and drinks and music were in abundance. The outside world did not exist. Nobody gave a shit about the death penalty, “yellows,” and Loida Nicolas-Lewis.
Back in high school I would spend this day with friends jumping from one friend’s house to another enjoying the free meals. We would start at about lunchtime; by merienda time we would be already so full we could communicate only by snorts and grunts. By nighttime we would trudge toward the town plaza to watch the free concert. One time we saw Wolfgang there, back when Basti Artadi and co. were still starting out and have yet to make a name for themselves. Those were good worry-free nights.
This year, I spent the Antipolo town fiesta the same way I spent it in the past 16 years or so: by going to work and pretending I don’t fucking miss the experience.
Playlist: Love Battery – Far Gone; Alice in Chains – Jar of Flies; Metallica – Hardwired… to Self-Destruct
Time check: an hour before midnight. I could go watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead, but I figure quiet December nights like this are best for reading.
So I started reading the June 2016 issue of The New Yorker. Why not? It’s raining, I just came home from work, and I need something to do while I kill a mug of coffee and put my thoughts in order before I go to bed. I bought this out of curiosity weeks ago, at Booksale-Farmers, but it’s only now I get to read it. Whether I’ll be an avid reader or not will depend on this issue.
Earlier, at my solitary dinner at the office, I finished Charles Bukowski’s Post Office. There’s a character there, a female writer, who spends her days reading The New Yorker. Judging from what Bukowski wrote about her, it’s obvious that he didn’t think highly of artist types. Considering he is a “poet laureate of LA lowlife,” that is not surprising. It’s whores, drunks and urban squalor over painters, performance artists, and art galleries for him. Admittedly, I kind of feel the same way, too. But who gives a shit?
Still raining. The sheets are cool, and I got American Football on Spotify. Selah.