Epistolary I

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Photo Not Mine;

 

Dear,

There is faith, and then there is Faith. But then, there are also Big Bang and evolution, and there are questions in stories told by nuns, by priests, by Catholic schools, by Bibles (because I daresay there is more than one version of it). And there are beliefs taught that could not be reconciled with other beliefs.

I don’t know which is which. And while this may be a question, I do not search for answers. Certainly not from you. The dice will fall as it pleases, and it is neither black nor white, but grey. And it will not fall out of help from you.

Some days I glance at the silver cross I have laid before me, and I wonder if it’s there because of tradition or because I believe. Maybe I believe, but my belief is not without its reservations. Or maybe it’s there because of tradition. Or maybe it’s both. I don’t have the proclivity to be traditional, but I laugh at the sometimes-hypocrisy ‘Some Days’ bring to the silver cross. Some days I think of the Immortal Soul, of Fires and the Eternal Pit of Doom; and I wonder if I’m going There for my thoughts after all these ends. I remember ThoughtCrime of 1984, and then I wonder even more.

“There is faith, and then there is Faith,” I wrote. I have the former – unquestionably most days, much unquestionably at my best. There are magic and stardust, of course. … And in the depth of ‘Some Days’ and ThoughtCrime, stripped of the silver cross tradition, perhaps I have Faith too. I tried to write: “I don’t know if I have the latter”, and I couldn’t bring myself to do so. Maybe ‘Some Days’ mean I have the latter, too.

 

 

Author’s Note:
.:. ThoughtCrime = See George Orwell’s 1987

 

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Japan, a Spring Fling

 

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Chidori-ga-fuchi.

 

In the backdrop of pink and white cherry blossoms once seen only in glowing screens, Japan on Cherry Blossom Spring is a love story. The fling is inevitable; it takes its hold when you stand in the middle of a cherry blossom lane and the cold Spring wind whisks the pretty sakura petals around and you think how dreary it is that the moment cannot be forever, when at night you look up and see the gaudy neon lights in letters you can’t read and visuals you don’t get, when you step inside a convenience store and realize they’re nothing like those back home. The trysts are shorter; stolen in the bites of famed Japanese cuisine, in glances on Devil-May-Care clothing and hairdo, in the steps of your feet on temples and palace grounds, in every touch at a vending machine, and every brush with the famed bidet. Yes, even the toilet is a dream.

Alas, the affair doesn’t last long — you have to go back home. But Japan awashed in full bloom cherry blossoms is most beautiful, and so like others who have come before you (and others after you), you promise that you’ll visit again.

At long last, the tales of those who have been to the country makes sense. Japan is beautiful, and if there’s a word beyond ‘beautiful’, it is that on Cherry Blossom Spring.

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My friends and I, first timers in Japan.

TOKYO

 

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Tokyo Skyscrapers

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Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Skyscraper District

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Tokyo at night

 

Called ‘Edo’ in the olden days, Tokyo is a massive metropolis. Before we arrived, I thought the city could be breezed through in two days. Alas, I quickly realized this couldn’t be. The city demands more respect than that. After all, it is not one of the World’s Greatest without a reason. (To breeze Tokyo, you would need at least a week.)

Tokyo is both old and new. It is a temple on the left and a skyscraper to the next, business suits on one, odd clothes on another. The rumors of technological advances are real, so are the quirky streets, the perky food, and the bustle that is weirdly only Tokyo. You can wear a bear-pajama costume with a crown on your head while walking, and no one will bat an eye.

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A Shinto Wedding inside Meiji Temple.

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Cherry Blossom on a moat.

 

We did not get to see Tokyo Tower or Roponggi, or Sensoji Temple or Ginza, or Akihabara. We also did not get inside the Monster Café and Robot Café. Our meager Tokyo-in-Two-Days was too disrespectful, it seemed, that the city did not allow us those. But we witnessed a Shinto wedding at the Meiji Temple, gawked at the futuristic Odaiba, kept on coming back to Shibuya, got lost in the pedestrian crowds for every Shibuya Crossing crossing, visited a themed-café where one of us was suffixed with ‘–sama’, and marveled atop Japan’s seat of power. Finally, my friends and I were inside train stations, and trains, and streets, and whatnots that we only used to see in anime.

 

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The view from Odaiba.

 

My favorite part of Tokyo was the sunset and the nighttime in Odaiba, an artificial island built in the 1850s that Elon Musk and SpaceX will find no trouble feeling at home to. Go there nearing sunset and don’t mind the hefty Yurikamome round-trip train expense because the view from central Tokyo to Tokyo Bay to Odaiba is absolutely worth it. (I’m terrible with directions so if my geography there was nowhere near the same zip code as ‘Accurate’, this is my disclaimer.) Once you arrive, head straight to the bay area where Japan’s Lady Liberty is and take in the breathtaking view. Before you lies Tokyo City in all its glory, half embraced by an illuminated Rainbow Bridge. And damn if you don’t fall in love with Odaiba right then and there.

 

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Gundam Unicorn

 

Next, stroll through the artificial island and you’ll find that it is more than just ‘That-Island-Where-Gundam-Is’. Odaiba is one of those places that surprise you, and so you should let it. You’ll find Odaiba amazingly futuristic, so much so that it’s easy to picture flying cars in the air, or to imagine the entire island separating itself from Tokyo to become the first colony in space for a selected few of mankind.

 

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Magazine night lights, Tokyo.

 

HAKONE

 

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In the afternoon, the sun shines over pretty Hakone.

 

Miles and miles from Tokyo’s metropolis lies the sleepy town of Hakone. It is pretty, it is pricey, and if you squint your eyes on a foggy afternoon, it looks like one of those pretty towns inside Stephen King novels.

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It is home to Owakudani (‘O-jigoku’ or ‘Great Hell’ in olden times), a remnant of the last eruption of Mount Hakone thousands of years ago. Essentially a crater and still an active volcanic zone, there’s a ropeway to pass from one side of the crater to the other. Hundreds of feet in the air, the sulfuric flames beneath are a sight to behold. (It looks like the starting stages of Mars colonization.)

 

 

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Owakudani black eggs.

 

Hakone is blessed in Ryokans, ‘hot springs’, temples, and Lake Ashinoko. If fortune smiles upon you, cruising by Lake Ashinoko will give you a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji — she with the perfect snow-capped cone volcano.

As for us, Fortune laughed at us the moment we were about to cruise the lake to see Mt. Fuji. Suddenly, Hakone became rainy, went foggy, dropped to a 7C temperature, and hid Mt. Fuji. We laughed right back, of course. When we stepped off the ferry cruise and saw snow everywhere, we laughed right back because hey, there’s snow. When at night we got lost on our way to our hotel and the temperature dropped to 4C, we laughed right back because hey, what an experience. We laughed right back when we discovered the joys of vending machines, and that even a bottled coffee tastes excellent in Japan.

 

KYOTO

 

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Kyoto Skyline

 

History tells us that Kyoto was taken out of the list of Japanese cities where the atomic bomb is to be dropped because Kyoto is beautiful. And boy it truly, truly, truly is.

Temples, castles, shrines, UNESCO sites, jinrikisha (human-drawn carts), and girls wearing kimonos — those are Kyoto at a glance. Step by step the city somehow makes all your Rurouni Kenshin dreams come true. In what is largely considered the most beautiful city in Japan, this former capital is a dream. It’s not hard to imagine samurais, ninjas, geishas, and courtesans walking the city streets. Or intrigue unfolding beneath a full bloom cherry blossom lane.

 

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The Golden Pavilion.

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The Silver Pavilion.

 

My friends and I saw a geisha walking by Gion district, and she was such a sight to behold because there’s quite none like her. The tales are true; you’d know a geisha when you see one. We saw the first blooms of spring in the cherry blossom lane of Gion’s Shimbashi (Shirikawa) where even the canals are absolutely gorgeous. The day before that, we saw the early sakura buds coming to life as we stepped inside Toji Temple and strolled through the Philosopher’s Walk. When we walked the Silver Pavilion, I realized the Zen is true, Zen is here, and Zen is this. I let myself laugh at the gaudiness of the Golden Pavilion and the absurdity of how Kiyomizu-dera Temple, even when under renovation, is still beautiful. The city is arresting with its colors of vermillion red-orange Torii gates and brown woods and hills, and it is more so during Spring.

 

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Fushimi Inari Shrine, a sunsent, and cherry blossom trees

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The first signs of Spring shows itself on the Philosopher’s Path

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Toji Temple, the five storied pagoda

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Blossoms on the Shirikawa canal

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A cherry blossom lane in bloom in Gion, Kyoto’s geisha district

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Willow Tree in Fushimi Inari Shrine

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A Guardian Fox, and a cat disturbed from resting

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Pink sakura petals

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Toji Temple reflected

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Shirikawa Canal

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A garden at Tenryu-ji Temple

 

You can simply walk on a street surrounded by kimono-clad people and old buildings in one minute, turn a corner and be unceremoniously greeted by skyscrapers and bustling city noise in the next. Kyoto is a repeat of one beautiful scene to another, so much so that I suspect there is not one ugly place in Kyoto.

Kyoto is ridiculously beautiful.

 

OSAKA

 

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The cherry blossom lane in Osaka Castle Park.

 

Osaka is a city confused whether it should be cool, hip, or chill, and so it became all three. It is a favorite simply because I truly loved its atmosphere, pretentious that word may be. But some cities have personalities, and Osaka is one of those. It is the Chicago of Japan, so Attaché says. It’s nowhere as beautiful as Kyoto, but it is just as compelling.

 

 

Osaka is synonymous with food and so when my friends and I arrived in the Kitchen of The Nation, we ate. It’s easy to let Kuidaore (‘Eat ‘Till You Drop!’) be your guide, wallet be damned, when you go to Dotonbori (‘Dotombori’ in train station signs) and feast in king crab meat, melon bread with ice cream, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, kushikatsu, kobe beef. We let ourselves salivate over food we simply cannot afford or that we do not have the patience to wait-in-line for. Dotonbori is gritty, and so you let yourself be greeted by glitzy neon lights, the visuals that have no context, the stunning canal, the Glico Running Man, and the people you casually talk to while you eat. And if there’s a sale, you buy it because it’s cheaper than in Tokyo.

 

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White blossoms.

 

On spring, Osaka is stunning in its cherry blossom lane below the Osaka Castle. The City hijacks your money with its food, and you should also let it take your breath away. Their cherry blossom lane, when in full bloom, is white after white after white petals and trees. All you have to do is stand in the middle of it all and be blown away.

Of course, unmissable is the Universal Studios Japan, home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Hold your hippogriffs for this is the time to be extra in Osaka. When we went there, people were dressed in yellow and denim to look like Minions. So be outrageous, dress outrageous, and buy a butterbeer for Merlin’s sake.

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Hogwarts Castle.

 

HIROSHIMA

 

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An origami crane is placed in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome

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The A-Bomb Dome

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The A-Bomb Dome

Yes, we went there, heading straight to the Atomic Bomb Dome and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (and the eminent Hiroshima okonimiyaki after). There are fewer places on Earth where the messages for peace and nuclear disarmament are foremost than in Hiroshima.

 

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Okonomiyaki.

 

On August 6, 1945, “Little Boy” was dropped over the city of Hiroshima causing massive destruction and death. I have to admit, until then I didn’t know the actual extent of the bombing. Rebuilt after the war, Hiroshima stands tall as a City of Peace and as a reminder of the first use of a nuclear weapon on human population.

 MIYAJIMA

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Itsukushima Shrine’s The Great Torii.

From Hiroshima, we took a ferry and rode across a river to get to an island that was once called the Island of the Gods. The first sight to greet us was the famed The Great Torii, a giant tori gate that is imposing in its heights and seems to guard the island.

Once the ferry docks we took a walk towards the Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO site. The path is packed with people, roadside restaurants, and deer. If you want to eat, keep in mind that the roadside restaurants close early. I remember because I didn’t get to eat that ice cream I’ve been eyeing.

The Great Torii is beautiful when it floats in the water, and when the sun hits its orange shade, and when you stand looking at it from inside the Itsukushima Shrine.

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The glass windows in her little hiding room cracked

and she heard the wails of the undead
that had come for her.
All at once, the room smelled of decaying corpse;
all she could see were the unwashed blood,
the unholy mouths,
the dead hands.

There were n’more windows
— she realized.

She felt the breath of cold air, and her heart lurched forward.

She could see them
close for the first time,
hunger in their rotten corpse-eyes.

She felt the claw-like hands of the undead all over her.
And as their teeth sank into her still living flesh
She saw her blood — red and dripping and everywhere,
And Susan sobbed and sobbed and sobbed,
‘till she was no more.

 

*intellectual property protected.
 

 

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts Are Stars I Cannot Fathom Into Constellations

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I.

I have read The Great Gatsby years ago. While I appreciate the unfortunate reality it showed, it’s a story where its characters are miserable and unhappy. It is not a love story, and it has always made me wonder why some people make it as such. What it is, is a story of society’s double-faced treacheries, people’s refusal of change, one man’s ideals, one man’s hopes, and one man’s love for a girl. I think it a rare thing to meet someone so hopeful as Jay Gatsby. It is not always that you meet someone who has both the fortune and the misfortune to readily throw himself into his illusions and his dreams. It is just as unfortunate that his illusions led him to put Daisy Buchanan in a pedestal as high up as the stars. So when Daisy does tumble short of Gatsby’s dreams, no one faults her for it. But while blameless she is the tumble, the pretty and delicate Daisy Buchanan is anything but likable.

Did Daisy Buchanan love Jay Gatsby? No. Because you don’t treat the people you love like that. And this is not a love story.

They say The Great Gatsby tells of The American Dream. Perhaps it does. Perhaps the American Dream is Jay Gatsby’s self-made shady millions. Or perhaps the American Dream is what Daisy Buchanan is to Jay Gatsby: his, but never completely. Shallow, materialistic, and a tease.

Frankly, I do wonder why it’s considered as ‘The Great American Novel’.

II.

That said, I think F. Scott Fitzgerald is a truly terrific writer.

III.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we can pack up one day and leave behind everything? Go to a new place where no one knows you, meet new people, have a new set of friends. Get a fresh start for a new life…

We are all escape artists.

IV.

It was like a splash of water when it finally hit me: quarter-life crisis exists. I sometimes find myself battling in its midst, sometimes I co-exist with it. I hate it and then I leave it be, but then I’d hate it again. I have read once that we should all “bet in the great surprises of life.” In my better and my best days, I do. In my worse, I ponder on my lack of direction. That you wonder on whether you may or may not know what you want is both a funny and a wretched pill to swallow..

But at the end of the day, I trust that the answers will come. And so I live the questions now and bet on The Great Perhaps.

V.

At least I never had an existential crisis. I never looked inside myself or looked up at the stars and questioned why I exist. And I pray to the heavens that I never will.

VI.

A decade ago I was one of those people who can, with great pride, announce to everyone and anyone that I don’t really care what they think of me and mean it. At twenty-five, I have learned that this is not the case anymore. You would care what people think of you, and you would wonder why they think of you that way when the truth is actually so far off. Cliche’s may tell you not to mind others’ opinions of you, yet those cliche’s will not keep you from feeling down when you realize that people have such a low opinion of you. It may take a while, but you eventually realize that people will see you however they want to, and there is absolutely nothing more you can do about it. It’s a freeing realization.

VII.

It’s also freeing when you learn not to take things so personally.

VIII.

When the amount of shit you get exceeds the amount of fucks you give? Well, in the words of today’s acronym obsessed generation: TTGTFO.

Continue reading

Word.

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration,
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides
whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated,
and a person is humanized or dehumanized.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.
If we treat people as they ought to be,
we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”
 

–  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

You are a Lawyer. But Who Made You Holier-Than-Thou?

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Are the words “Earn Me” such a difficult concept to grasp? We are not entitled to anything. The universe does not owe us anything. Society however, finds it hard to catch up to this. And for some people, if not a lot, it’s an idea that is hard to grasp with.

See, just because you’re a lawyer doesn’t mean people ought to kneel before you to worship your intelligence and your lawyer-iness. You are not a ‘Your Grace’ or ‘Your Highness’, your IBP identification card is not a magic card of outright life privileges, the title before your name does not mean no one is to cross you as you go about your routine and the mere fact that you’re a lawyer does not mean that you are Holier-Than-Thou-Who-Is-Not-A-Lawyer. 

Not that I am dissing lawyers. I am a lawyer too. And it gives me all sorts of pride that I am. I am proud that I graduated from one of the best law schools in the country; that I am part of the batch of Bar passers with the second lowest passing rate in history (as of now); and that despite how passive I can be with my readings (and believe me I am) I not only passed the Bar Examinations the first time I took it, I made it to the original six percent of the passers without any grade falling below 50%.  (I still wonder how that came to be. But I think my indifference greatly helped me during the exam.)

But there’s a fine line between being proud and being a braggart. There is also a world of sameness between being a braggart and being an elitist. One thing leads to another and often, the words blur together. And I hate elitism and elitists. The fact that I am partly surrounded by such people since I was sixteen makes me frown at them more.

I cringe at the elitist bragging. Maybe it was meant as a joke, but the fact that it was thought about and words did come out says a lot. It’s still frown-worthy. If I’d get a hundred Pesos for everytime I have to not-say to someone ‘So what if you’re a lawyer?’, I’d be binge shopping every now and then.

The law profession is an exclusive social circle. Does it sound so hypoctrical if I say that I like the fact that it is? Perhaps. But then I would defend myself by saying there’s a wall the size of the Great Wall of China between being proud of the exclusive membership and shoving it to people’s throats expecting to be treated oh-so-very-well simply because you are a member of that exclusive social circle.

Television shows glamorize the law profession too much. (I’m looking at you Suits.) So do we. It is a source of hypocritical, conflicting pride. I do realize that there are innate privileges to being in the law profession such as people being in mild awe at your accomplishment and (quickly) getting things others can’t.

It’s not that I’m being ideal. I am far from being an idealistic person (anyone who says otherwise do not know me at all).

What happened to humility? In Bisaya, hilas ra ka kaayo. I just hate elitism.

 

 

The Tragedy of Damon Salvatore

"Somewhere along the way, you decided I was worth saving."

“Somewhere along the way, you decided I was worth saving.”

Unlike majority of the viewership, the older Salvatore crept up to me slowly. He was the show’s proverbial karma-houdini bad boy – pretty, charming, flirtatious, dangerous, insecure, lonely. Yet he was and remains to be not among my favorite characters. But his complexities and deep-set insecurities makes him the most interesting character out of them all. I once read Ian Somerhalder (the actor who plays him) describe him as someone who “can’t get any true anything”.

That sounds tragic and I didn’t get it at first. Many episodes later, I finally did.

Damon Salvatore doesn’t know what it feels like to be loved. Or his insecurities are so high up the wall he doesn’t realize he is, in fact, loved. He doesn’t get real love and when he somehow gets it, he wonders if it’s even true. And what a cruel thing that is, to be given a taste of what you have always wanted only for you to realize a second after, that it was never meant for you in the first place. (But then again, what do we know? The show’s far from over..)

I like the fact that somewhere along the way, he found two people who decided he was worth saving. After all, wouldn’t it be nice if someone decided you were too? I like the fact that no matter how many times his brother gave up on him, they still always manage to save each other in the end. I like the fact that he can love someone so loyally, so tragically, so unrequitedly. I like the fact that that statement is sad.

I like how much of a bound-in-leather-jacket-trainwreck he is. Damon is, after all, the hottest mess in the show: an irresistible broken chaos that needs to be fixed. And just like him and Alaric, like him and Elena, it would be tragical, the aftermath beautiful or disastrous. Like a carcrash waiting to happen.

 

***

I have been meaning to write something that doesn’t involve any legalese a while back. Believe me, Damon Salvatore was not on my mind at that time. It just so happened that a friend of mine mentioned him hours ago… and I thought, hey, I got an excuse to write the sentence “Somewhere along the way, you decided I was worth it” in the internet without people giving their own unwelcome interpretation of it.

Now back to work.

We’re After The Rainbow’s End

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I have a lot of wishes, all of them closely banded. Please let me get those onesss.

Matthew 7:7-8 

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

My Second Attempt at Suicide

I realized long ago that these demons that haunted me ever since I was a child don’t really go away. They grasp with claws and never let go. Clinging like parasites and sooner rather than later, they become these ugly insecurities that somehow manages to shape you. Suddenly there it is, compartmentalization becomes me. Most often, I pride myself how easily I can do it.

I know rejection very well since it looked me in the eye when I was just seven years old. I would never forget the mocking voices which had echoed so close to me for two years. Or their backs as they walked away from me that day it finally hit me. It is both funny and tragic – how I managed to put up with such sham and crap. But I guess when people desperately want to belong somewhere, they can put up with anything before they crack. Even six and seven year olds. And although I remember thinking how good it felt to finally end it, the damage has been done and the consequences had been imprinted: If you’re going to ask me to imply from your actions, to presume and to assume something that’s actually good for me, then I’d tell you quite honestly that I can’t do that. I’m not built that way. My default setting has always and sadly, will always be:

“The bad stuff is easier to believe. You ever notice that?” 

P.S.: The title is figurative. My First Attempt at Suicide was when I was in third year college when our Psychology professor told us to make a 10-page autobiography and I just couldn’t quite skip this part of my life.

Anyway, Back to Me

I don’t write much about myself. Probably because I don’t find it comfortable to do so. I don’t relish a blogged narrative of the terribly personal things in my life though I admire those who can do so with theirs. (OK fine, so I did it one time but I made it so private that only I can see it.) So I stick with my movie reviews, my opinions on books and the television series I have bothered to write an opinion on. And I realized, as I was looking at everything I’ve ever written here, that I am horribly limited.

It’s unfortunate, it’s sad, it’s tragic. This box that I have confined myself in.

So I sit here, and I think bugger that all. I’d like to write about me. 

So here it is… 25 THINGS ABOUT ME (a.k.a. 25 Topics I Randomly Picked From My Rambling, Unorganized Mind) (25 because I’m turning 25 this 24. The Mayans are wrong, I’ll still have my birthday even after the end of the world!)

having something like this in my own house someday would be like dreamland and paradise rolled into one. (wait, is there a difference?)

  1. My first love are books. Fictional ones. Not biographies, academically-oriented books and other sort of non-fictions and most definitely not self-help books. (Due to this I have yet to read The Purpose Driven Life and I have no intention of doing so.)
  2. I do, however, read the Bible. And while I have shamefully not been able to stick with a one-chapter-a-day as I have promised myself, I make it a point to stick with that promise as much as possible.
  3. I am in a lifelong search of completing my top 5 favorite books of all time. I have already found two that top that list: The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. There are contenders for the remaining three spots: Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Godfather by Mario Puzo, The Harry Potter books of J.K. Rowling and A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. But contenders they still are. They didn’t change my life in a way that The Bourne Identity and Pride and Prejudice had. Those two books sent me on a life mission to buy every book Robert Ludlum and Jane Austen has ever written. I’m proud to say my collection is almost complete now. Almost being the operative word.
  4. Someday when I have a house of my own, I’ll build myself my personal library with shelves and shelves of books. Like the picture above. Now that is heaven for me. (To my dear husband-to-be, whoever you are. Thank you and much love. 😀 )
  5. Ironically though, I don’t like non-personal libraries (that is: public libraries or school libraries). I don’t know why…
  6. I believe George R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire (the Game of Thrones in television vernacular) said it best when he wrote this: (Though I just have to say that I think I prefer the Towers of Minas Tirith to the war-laden Westeros. At least you know who your enemies are in Middle Earth. The same cannot be said of the Seven Kingdoms… Enemies there are like weeds sprouting everywhere, anywhere and even in a most treacherous manner.)

“The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real … for a moment at least … that long magic moment before we wake.

Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland, a parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient stones of Gormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on Southwest Airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true?

We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La.

They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to middle Earth.”

  1. I love the smell of Christmas morning and the feel of the cold Christmas air. Like a lot of people in the world, Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love Christmas for the same reasons a lot of people do: good food, family time, christmas caroling, presents everywhere… the list is endless. But I think it’s an extra special holiday for me just because I was born on the day before Christmas. You can frown any day of the year but not on Christmas day.
  2. When I was still a little kid I thought that the smooth white top of the grocery counters were like snow.
  3. Like every other girl in the world, I have a love-hate relationship with food. I love them but I don’t want to get fat. Rachel Weisz hit the bull’s eye when she said: “Los Angeles makes you feel ugly. I’m not going to pretend I haven’t secretly wanted to be super-skinny, because all girls do.But I have a woman’s body, not a boy’s body. Most women do and should feel proud of their butts and their breasts and their bellies.”
  4. I don’t like going to bars or going to parties that much (I still like to go occasionally). I just think there’s too many people there and sometimes I’m too lazy to bother with everyone. Compared to a roomful of glitzy people, I do sometimes prefer the company of a small group of friends or a night spent at home with my family, watching a good show or reading a good book.
  5. I would love to travel someday and look good while doing it. I haven’t the slightest money to spare to make this come true right now, but someday I will. I haven’t been to a lot of places, but someday when my money finally permits me, oh the places I will go.
  6. Someday, I’ll be in Paris. I’ll watch a Broadway show (or a theatre). No matter how clean it is, I never liked the smell of public transportation toilets. (I don’t know why I wrote that.)
  7. I’m an animal lover. That being said, I don’t like worms, bugs, cockroaches and other creepy crawlies. I like snakes though. I love everything in the Cat and Dog Family (the hyena, not too much) most of all. I like wolves. But since I know I can’t pet them without my hand being bitten off, I’d settle myself with Siberian Huskies instead. Someday, I’ll swim with sharks and come out of the water alive, uninjured and with all my limbs still intact. (Let me have my fiction here…)

Rome! By all means, Rome. I will cherish my visit here in memory as long as I live.

  1. I like old movies like The Sound of Music, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire.
  2. The Sound of Music remains as my favorite movie of all time. I love to sing with Maria, the Captain and the Von Trapp children  as the movie goes along.
  3. Scarlett O’Hara is my favorite female movie character. Emphasis on the movieI believe I have ranted about this back then. Incidentally, Vivien Leigh is my favorite actress.
  4. My favorite Audrey Hepburn movie is Roman Holiday (see picture above)One of the reasons of which is because I discovered Gregory Peck. I found Breakfast at Tiffany’s boring, but it had the best last fifteen minutes of any movie I have ever watched. (Perhaps if I watch it again, I won’t find it so boring.)
  5. I love movies. Among my favorite directors is Hayao Miyazaki. Among his movies, I love Spirited Away the most. I’ll also watch a movie simply because a creature like Brad Pitt is there. I also find Jeremy Renner roguishly, macho-ily irresistible… I have strayed off topic. I, like every other female in the planet, like romantic movies, romcoms and chickflicks. I also read mangas. I like josei and a few shoujo mangas so long as it doesn’t involve dumb, give-me-back-my-first-kiss, crying heroines (which would be about 70% of the time). Thankfully, I discovered the works of the amazing Sakisaka Io and I confess to having devoured her works like a junkie that needs her fix. (Your mangas are the only remaining ones that I care enough to read Ms. Sakisaka Io. Now if only they can NOW translate the latest chapters of Ao Haru Ride…)

  1. I’m vain. I think the people who knows me knows that.
  2. I have been domesticated. Lately, I have found myself liking being in the kitchen. Who knew I would ever be interested in learning how to cook? (Certainly not the me a year ago.) That said, my favorite part is still slicing stuffs up.
  3. I love how cold and clean my bed feels just after I have poured copious amounts of alcohol all over it. Yes, I waste a large portion of alcohol on my bed.
  4. I’m going to treat tretinoin as my best friend.
  5. When I was a kid, I told myself that I would never take up law when I grow up. I wanted to be a rich international master thief wanted by Interpol, not some boring, formal lawyer. I want my dangerous adventures. (Blame it on those Lupin cartoons back then.) Twenty years later I proved myself wrong. I realllyyyyy want to be a lawyer.
  6. I hardly make promises to other people. I believe you can have your closure on your own; a blogger once wrote that “there is no such thing as closure, at least when you expect it from another person because that shit comes from inside.” The blogger’s words, not mine. I just so happen to agree.
  7. Oh darling, I’m having my adventure.

–  Lovelies, Dearies, Darlings. Thank you for your time. –