Tiny Thoughts On Not So Small Matters

ON WRITING:
Let’s not kid ourselves. We are not that special. Writing is something 98% of the world’s population can do given enough time, training, and experience.

MARRIAGE:
Wedded Bliss is overrated. Save for being married to your soul mate. I still have to meet a long-time married couple who don’t constantly complain about each other and feel that they are stuck with their mates.

MEN:
Very amusing. Try throwing them a bit of attention and they are quick to assume 1000 things that would make you roll your eyes massively in repeated fashion.

RACISTS:
Every white person seems proud to declare his or her being non-racist — until a non-white starts making an assertion or express an opinion. A deed that they think is a privilege granted solely to their kind.

BLOGGING:
Pretty much for losers and social misfits, and those who have loads and loads of time on their hands. Yeah right, we’re all pretty much (secret or self-confessed) misanthropes here. 🙂

AGING:
Kicking the bucket to boot. Still the greatest equalizer.

This Is My Home – I’m Here For The Long Run

Even my bloglife is a series of hellos and goodbyes. A blogger who used to figure prominently in my resolve to improve my writing skill some two years ago just decided he’s retiring from his regular postings on WordPress. It took me several months to click open his blog again. Things have changed. But I felt I had to Like his final entry. That much I owed him, in spite of everything.

Recently, I’ve started reading a woman blogger who writes with metaphorical flourish. She reminded me of one or two other female bloggers who uses figure of speech in their writing. The thing is, after reading what this woman had to say, I always ended up thinking, “What a wacko.” Not to mention her belligerence seems to be up in the air all the time. Other than assessing her writing style, there’s nothing much to gain from her blog. And I’ve neither time nor interest to spar with someone like her.

Look, we blog citizens here are under no obligation to anyone. I pretty much don’t get why bloggers, especially the petty women, get up in arms when you do not comment or click Follow as a corollary to visiting their sites. Accuse us of stalking, lurking, whatever. Aren’t we all in this realm? (She previously admitted to being one herself.) There’ll be no consignment on my part, FYI. Unlike most, I’m not here for powerblogging, nor to make money, nor to seek anyone’s approval, nor to merely get attention. If she doesn’t like sharing her blog to others, without strings attached, why not simply take it down? (Just like what I do once in a while whenever privacy weighs more to my sense of well-being.)

It’s much like commitment — which I found out doesn’t work for me here. I need my freedom.

This is why I’m sticking with categorically following blogs of the opposite gender (using only Google bookmark). It’s breezier to have them around.

To commemorate my four years of reading and writing through the comfort of this site, I’ve come up with some word play as a writing exercise. My blog serves as my memoir and journal. Although there’s always considerable discomfort in exposing the contents of my heart and mind, I’m in for the long run.

Serving as my personal time warp — in a transition that never seems to end.

Stuck in a world of crude expressions, colored insights, opinions on the run.

I, however, am trapped in the rapture of words forever.

Still thoughts seeming fresh and fair,

Like the specter in the concrete

the sunshine with the rainbow.

Even when hopes proved false …

From the faint white line

promising of no wit nor eloquence

I’m returning to the land of unstructured narratives,

where messages are misread

manifesting little shame in my emotional constitution.

And a placid existence that tries to reject despair.

So I will write by the candor and strength of my discontent,

slandering traditions,

with a gush of fantasy here and there.

Sustaining what’s left through the perpetuity of words,

I’m here for the long run.

—–

Reflections Upon What Brought Me To The World Of The Classics

No matter what my place of discontent, this is how I envision myself in a few years’ time: An okay-looking gal carrying ample experiences and some writing dexterity that will enable her to write competently about life, love, her self-willed sentiments, and diverse meditations on Jane Doe’s quotidian existence.

There’s no hunger within me to turn in a best-selling novel someday or become a prolifically accomplished writer in the future; my imagination isn’t that fecund, my creativity too run-of-the-mill. An Arcadian repository of my narratives, thoughts, and sensations is everything I intend to leave behind.

Lumbering through WordPress for a little more than three years now, I’ve had interesting encounters with a small number of bloggers here because, you know, I just don’t follow blogs, I really read them. I sometimes happily convert myself into a devoted fan of the blogwriters that got me hooked, yet things don’t go heavenly smooth all the time. Let me cite an example:

The past year I’ve got a sudden hankering for perusing The Classics. Why? Now there’s a story I’m obliged to tell my readers – in which one or two lessons can be gleaned from – before it gets lost in the mists of time.

Several months ago in my blog universe, there was this blogger who quixotically alluded to unicorns that could save mountains, and to the beautiful flowers that secretly bloom in darkness. Moreover, he could easily whip up admiration with his amorous verses and incisive discourse about life’s crossroads in the abstract. He’s, for the most part, a dreamer. He made certain, however, his real identity would remain a well-guarded secret, unless you seek him out privately. Which meant that other than this Mister Romantic Poet’s splendid writings, there was nothing else you could find attractive about him: One more kind of co-blogger best kept at arms’ length.

Enter this Canadian lady who introduced herself to me during my most difficult times early last year: A new divorcee who had been feeling out of sorts by reason of her new status. She seemed to be extending her blogger hand to me in goodwill – which engendered my fondness for her because she was being nice and understanding. She always looked pretty good in her gravatar photos. And oh, she has a distinctive narrative style to boot and writes like a true pro. Amazing woman, I believe.

Most of my blogger pals have been male. During that time each of them seemed to have checked her out by clicking her comment link on my blog, as substantiated by My Stats page. Did I mind? A bit – to be perfectly honest with you. Call it a woman thing on my part.

Mister Romantic Poet started Liking her entries. Much to my astonishment, he even went back to her maiden post where an interlocution manifesting of lucid flirtation took place. Ah ok, it’s a free world in here – no ground for me to feel slighted; although to reiterate once more, it’s a (Filipino) woman thing. Bear in mind the fact Mister Romantic Poet wasn’t even my crush then. Did my favourite (another) blogger pal – the one I liked the most – check her out and officially visit her site, too? Yes, he did…to my heartbreak (Silly silly me from time to time 🙂 ); which brought about the abrupt end of my association with her. Something that, in retrospect, I kind of regret…because men are never a good reason enough for the extinction of any female connection.

Back to Mister Romantic Poet who had profusely praised my lady commenter in the course of their inceptive conversation: Honestly, my consternation upon reading the exchange between them couldn’t bring me to regard him in the same manner afterwards. As if an infection had penetrated deep into whatever sterling estimation I had consigned to his persona before. Despite that, it paved the way for his revealing question to her which would subsequently refuse to fall from my memory: “Did you happen to read a lot of classics in your past that made you write this good?”

Aha, Bingo.

I’ve already forgotten my lady pal’s answer. But that particular query has stayed prominent on my mind for ages. Yeah yeah, it’s too late for me to catch up on the classics for the refinement of my writing skill. It won’t change the fact my literature in my younger years had been limited to Mills&Boons, idiotic women’s magazines and sundry articles on Hollywood gossip. Still, whenever I go to a bookstore these days, I can’t prevent myself from dropping by the Classics Section to browse. The books occasionally go on sale. My growing collection has aggregated to ten now and I have finished reading most of them. It’s worth engrossing oneself in a world where the likes of Thomas Hardy, Victor Hugo, George Eliot, Hermann Hesse and the Bronte sisters are in preponderance. How I wish I had started much earlier.

Perhaps I ought to thank Mr. Romantic Poet for all this. Unfortunately, he has long closed down his lovely blog.

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One of my ideal libraries. Charming…

 

One Proud Mom, Although…

It’s of utmost pleasure on my part to reveal here my son placed 2nd overall in the recent Board Exam for Electronics and Communications Engineers. People around have congratulated me. They said I must have done something right as his only parent. That made me smile.

His success in the national exam was actually the outcome of several months of his commitment to diligent studying. In addition, he has always felt passionate about his field. His father was into the technical profession, too, by the way. Like father, like son.

Before starting his college studies I had expressed my wish that he took up Music instead. My son is also a talented pianist and guitarist. I made sure he had the proper lessons with those two musical instruments in his childhood and teenage years. Isn’t it that Science and Maths are the tools for living, but Music and the rest of the Arts are the reasons for living? He was adamant, though, in his selection in preparing himself to become a full-fledged engineer someday. I backed down.

Six years later, here we are. I am beaming with pride. I’m happy with the results, too, of course. My son seems to have made the correct choice.

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from left: me, my son, my sis, my nephew

But I am here not just to tell you how proud I am of my son. It isn’t my style sugarcoating my reality. A spirit in pain is also hiding behind my smiles in our photos. For he and I are currently undergoing a difficult period in our lives. I am hoping it’s gonna be an evanescent phase for both of us.

There’s a downside to having a child who’s endowed with way academic strength than his or her progenitor. Suddenly, nothing I say seems to matter anymore. Suddenly,
there’s nothing left for me to do but take a backseat. It’s as if any contribution or
suggestion from my side is necessary no more. Oh yes – I must keep on reminding myself – he already turned 22 this April.

Yet I ruminate on the following parental guidelines that have echoed in my mind for so Image (2)long: Do your best for your child. Show him unconditional love. Make sure that he knows how much he matters to you, etc. I did my damnedest to follow them all. Now I realized all those loads of advice…are actually crap. Nothing in life is guaranteed. No relationship maxim, even between mother and child, from any sphere on this planet is a sure thing.

You might think I must have done something not right that brought about this predicament. Alright, I do own up to not being the perfect parent and to having committed some mistakes along the way. But God knows how hard I tried. How hard I really tried. And only God knows how much I love my only child; The love which made me swear to all the angels in heaven two decades ago I’d be a much better parent to my son in raising him than my own parents combined in rearing me. I subsequently thought I was succeeding through all the years that my son was growing up. He appeared to be turning out finer and finer each passing day – which made me cling to the credence that the bond cementing us together would be stronger than steel.

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Nowadays, however, I keep on questioning my prior performance as a mother and asking myself what went wrong.

Or perhaps, I deserve this because I hadn’t exactly been an ideal daughter to my parents either. On the whole – and I say this in supreme truthfulness – my son is a thousand times better individual and human being compared to me.

Still, how poignant it is to discern I have failed in everything. Motherhood, I had promised myself, would be my redemption. The one thing, I thought, I might do well in life. How could I have been so mistaken.

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After the oathtaking ceremony, my family members and I went to a restaurant for a quiet celebration. During dinner, while my son was occupied shooting the breeze with his cousins, my mother and siblings took time to ponder and talk about our situation.

“It’s hard having an only child, I guess.” I conveyed with somberness to them.

My sister responded, “No. You just had it hard being the only parent.”

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Inside a coffee shop during the celebration with my mother, my brother, my sister, my nephews, and my son.

This Lady Isn’t Convinced Blogger Guy Is That Bad

I am not convinced he is that bad a man. The Clown: Eric the Magnifik, that is.

So the guy is conceited. That’s what WordPress superstardom can do to a blogger here, lest you haven’t fathomed. So he wanted to build an empire: If he’s got the means and ability, why not? He’s a predator to boot, a female blogger accused. I don’t think so. That’s not the exact term to describe him or his actions. Let’s see, how about branding him a typical male. Yes. Hypocrisy aside, would any man have behaved differently taking into account The Clown’s circumstances? I doubt it. To all those women who have been swift to condemn him: How sure are you that the man you’re with doesn’t conduct himself in a similar manner?

The Clown didn’t pretend to be so much more than he already is around WordPress. He, in lieu, provided a platform to bloggers who wished that their voices be heard by more readers; for the benefit of the ones, like him, who are upfront enough to share about their imperfections, misfortunes, or brokenness. He was also generous to co-bloggers who had earned his good graces. He pulled several bloggers with him on his way up, in fact. And I didn’t see him try to benefit out of it materially, did he?

As a person, he would err from time to time naturally. He’s, after all, not Jesus Christ. So he has a thing for women taking selfies with a cigarette between their lips. I don’t understand such proclivity, but can that already be considered a crime? Raise hell if he had requested the women to send him photos with some sausage near their mouths.

I have no idea as to the woman’s age but I’ve a hunch she’s years younger than me; years younger than The Clown. She might not have carefully thought about the repercussions of her move to “expose” him. Her post was a bit confusing, too. She admitted flirting back with him. Of course guys would always mistake it for a green light. He thought it was ok to drop a sexual joke or remark during their private conversations. He did cross the line, admittedly. He proceeded to apologize profusely and offered amends; begged her repeatedly for the acceptance of his expression of regret. What baffled me was her resolution to remain hard-hearted; it’s like she got quite ignited by the idea of “outing” The Clown and trumpeting his real name to the world. Or, could there be something more personal to her decision than her agenda in warning others of his (predatory?) ways. I don’t know how long the girl has been blogging anyway. If she stays around longer, she’ll surely get to know of other less pleasant characters inhabiting this blogworld.

I still remember how an elderly male – who blogs about empathy and compassion on his site – once badgered me to send (revealing) photos of myself. [Unbidden, he’d send laughable “stuff” and nonsense of him in addition] Can anyone top that hoary dude, hmm? (My response to his request then, btw, was something like: har har har…you must be kidding, a#%hole)

The blogging universe is indeed populated by narcissists, opportunists, racists, fucking boring scribblers, and intellectual cuckoos; each carrying airs of arrogance in various modes. Still, there are wonderful peeps whose minds and sites, in spite of their individual flaws, that are worth visiting – to my delight.

On the subject of flirting in the blogosphere: it’s assuaging to have learned a majority of adult bloggers indulge in it sporadically. Who can argue with the reality that flirting, with words merely as your tool in this realm, is as potent as water which quickly vaporizes into thin air? Women here are no different from bored male construction workers, doctors and lab technicians at work all day. As long as it’s done with mildness, superficiality, precaution, and remoteness, who’s to sue us?

I’m appalled by those so-called friends (of The Clown) who immediately jumped on the bandwagon in slamming him. It looks as though they’re secretly rejoicing the fact the most popular male blogger on WP is gone. Frankly, it’s obvious their comments manifest of their jealousy with regards to The Clown’s fame, or of their own personal issues against him. Yet if The Clown comes back tomorrow, they’ll most likely be darting to his side again. For sure.

I’ve never had any kind of dealings with the famous blogger. I was merely another low-key reader – who had stumbled upon the man’s exceptional blog not long ago while hunting for a good read. I commented twice or thrice in his posts; that’s all. Someone like him doesn’t need an additional blogging buddy to his already long long list so I didn’t squeeze my way through. I figured, too, he’s the kind better appreciated at a distance: Me watching his antics from afar, while smiling softly, both in amusement and admiration.

The man has got charisma, aside from talent and skill. Interesting persona, we already got that. I doubt very much he had written all those honest, intense blog posts about his past primarily to deceive people or lure women to his side. And let’s face it: A man’s mind is, most of the time, focused on two things mainly – money and sex. Only when a blogger turns those two things tangible here in our blogworld does it become uncomfortable and scary. I doubt very much The Clown’s intentions include actually banging at female bloggers’ doors persuading them to have intercourse with him – except in an arrangement of mutual consent.

Rather than get enmeshed in the hullabaloo when the woman blogger “outed” him last January, he surprisingly deleted his blog and stayed silent. He might have done the right thing; I don’t know. But by george, I hope he gets back to blogging again. Because the guy can really write.

Besides, I ain’t convinced he’s that bad a person.

 

No Read No Like (Plus Stuff I Don’t Get)

The day the Malaysian jetliner mysteriously disappeared, my sister – who keeps up a jetsetting lifestyle – posted her concern for the fate of its 239 passengers and crew on her FB wall. When she called me up that night, I asked her for an update. Her speculation in all seriousness: “I guess it had gone down to the sea, or it had been swallowed up by a UFO.”

Her second guesstimate caught me by surprise I couldn’t help echoing, “Yu Ef Oh?!” Wait, this is my elder sibling who’s probably way way smarter than me as she had spent 20 years working as a newscaster and had hobnobbed with politicians and the who’s who from motley of societies throughout her career. I mean, UFO? Seriously.

“Sister, we’re at this stage of our lives (reaching middle-age), and you’re gonna tell me now a plane had been gobbled up by some loopy alien spaceship?”

She laughed softly then replied, “Who knows?”

If there had been a TV camera around, I’d have loved to turn my head and face it to show my indistinguishable expression; akin to what you see in a TV pun skit.

Another scene: In the academy where I work for, a long line forms every breaktime – during peak season – inside the ladies room. One time I informed my colleague we could go down and use the restroom on the third floor. Her resolute response (in Tagalog): “Me moo-moo dun!” [Translation: a ghost lingers there]

I went, “Huh?” I’m talking here about a co-teacher around my age who graduated from a university that can only take in the most astute minds of our country. “You believe in ghosts?”

She looked at me quizzically and answered, “Why, don’t you?”

I’m telling you, I could have made real use of that TV camera at that very moment.

***

Last week this bumper sticker question popped up on my FB News Feed:

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I gave it a shot and responded: Don’t settle. I got several Likes for that. All from women. Go figure.

***

An on-off blogpal casually remarked on his observation that the number of Likes in my recent posts seems to have increased a bit (a teenee-eenee bit, I must stress). I told him he absolutely got it wrong because I’m positive I’ve been talking to myself most of the time here in my site. What makes me deduce that? Beside the fact it’s easy to tell from the kind of responses I get, my stats hardly moves at all regardless of those tiny boxed gravatars I’ve earned at the bottom of my post.

It perplexes me, nevertheless, how those bloggers could take for granted both the Like and Follow buttons – clicking them with utter flippancy. You’ve no idea the number of times I’ve considered changing my blog title to “No Read, No Like.” Really.

But allow me to let the cat out of the bag for the meantime: I am still haunted by the fact my grav photo can be found in the Like gallery of some blog posts that, in full candor, did not make an impact on me. I did it, for the most part, out of reciprocity to stranger blogs that Liked me and, also out of my perceived commitment to a few of my (former) blog buddies. Yes. I’d been weak I gave in occasionally to blog politics. Hu hu… Condemn my blogsoul to eternal damnation henceforth.

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My face exactly at work when I didn’t get a good night’s sleep.

Anyway, as I keep on restating to my readers (if I’ve got any), you can accept me for the kind of feline scribbler that I am or, you are more than free to stay away. The Likes and Comments are useless and are not appreciated, in my contention, if they’re done in outright thoughtlessness or out of a sense of liability. Don’t worry about me: I can get used to having no one paying attention to me here once again (Hold it. Did I just say that? Uh, well…ok).

So please… NO READ NO LIKE!

Comprende?

🙂

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My face exactly at work when I didn’t get a good night’s sleep and am feeling hungry and am plain cranky.

All Feelings and Nothing Else

In person I’m not a major talker. I never was and I guess I never will be. I’ve no problem being viewed as taciturn anymore. In my younger years, some relatives and acquaintances had even ridiculed me for my innate reticence. Painfully shy since childhood, I concede to being one of those people who have come to live inside their heads with ease.

As the main avenue I can now turn to for consummate expression, the world of blogging has become a saving grace for me; in hopes it’ll constantly be the crucial place where I can strip my soul and be completely ingenuous in narrating the yarns of my existence.

But I don’t want to feel like I need to apologize for things that get uncovered in these pages. Or that I’ve got to prove anything about myself. We live in a world where each one of us is defined either by the material things we possess or by the relationship we should preserve with our fellow beings. I confess to not giving much of a darn to either. And that could mean I will continually have to pay the price for my unconventional perspectives and uncensored prose.

Yet the decision to face up to the consequences is a done deal.

My son is the driving force behind the set up of this blog. Perhaps in his future he’d want to know what his mother was all about, warts and all. He may want to read the things I wrote here someday (or not). If ever that time comes, my hope is that this site will still be around – even after I’m long gone.

You may ask: Why don’t I journalize in the privacy of my notebook instead? Exposing my writing, in contrast to keeping a confidential diary, prompts an effort on my part to check on my syntax and punctuation – a peripheral activity I find pleasurable in the process. It’s not a total win-win all the time, though. The impulse to convey my admiration or add my two cents in recognition of some co-blogger’s outstanding post makes me forget the invariable upshot of drawing attention to my own site – which shamelessly houses the contents of my mind and heart. Never was my intention to invite anyone to become a follower. Being misunderstood plus the misconception of my warmth are among the inevitable ramifications, too. These days it makes me wonder if it would have been wiser had I stayed an undisclosed fan or reader to them all.

My writing boldness is propped up by the fact I am thousands of miles away from all of you. I basically feel safe. A morsel of discomfort pinches me, however, whenever I see the country Philippines on my Stats. Except for one very young female co-blogger, I anticipate of no other reader from this side of my hemisphere.

Conversations with people around me in my physical world are mundane and unfulfilling. Colleagues and family members would seek my attention and companionship just so they could babble to their hearts’ content. They knew I would be listening. Not a tangible spirit in my actual realm has been aware that deep inside, there exists a long-standing discontent for not having enough people close by who are on the same wavelength with me.

In moments when I get tired of my own reflections, the need to dip myself in other people’s words come to me. Trapped by my circumstances, the blogging world arrives to the rescue. It’s a comfort allowing my own thoughts and concerns be buried under the voices and contemplation of others from time to time. Which brings me to mention more than a couple of fellow bloggers I’m fortunate to have known for their enviable psyche and superb skills of expression:

One of them has just written a beautiful piece about his parents who are on the brink of slipping away (his folks are probably the most beautiful elderly couple I’ve seen online). I wish I had the right words to say to him. But all I can reckon with certainty is – compared to me – he’ll be much stronger in dealing with it all when the zero hour comes, and that he’ll be able to carry on in a finer demeanor than I do.

And there’s this other long-time blog buddy whose father has just been confined in the hospital. Thankfully, it was nothing serious. Me and this bro pal of mine: we’ve always been like children in our online conversations; although I haven’t been an awesome friend or elder sis to him lately and most probably had sounded like a jaded twerp during our recent chats. Yet he surprisingly put up with me and has been quite patient. You haven’t lost me, dear brother. That’s all I can assure for now.

There’s also this phenomenal woman from a lovely island in Canada – who currently works in a rehab center – I’ve been itching to send a fan message and at the same time extend my apology to; for the reason I had misjudged her posts, at first impression, on the subject of men and love. In truth, she has been a true source of inspiration to me for her splendid works which are – on the whole – funny, intelligent, enlightening, touching. I still have to figure out how to get through to her without feeling like a bonehead.

My writings have been deemed melodramatic, cynical, and emotional; by individuals who, I realized in the end, hold nary an interest to get to know who I essentially am. The embarrassment I had felt then from their conjectures led to my attempts to alter the manner of my articulation here, until it seems I’ve begun writing like a man. But I’m a woman… which means that, yes, sometimes I am all feelings and nothing else.

This words I penned for my gravatar profile many moons ago:

Allow me this freedom; that I may find closure to my quest for endless new beginnings.”  It had been true then… It still holds true to this very day.