about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Monday, December 24, 2001

What an evil, jaded old fart I am. In the spirit of keeping peace with things, I'd just like to greet you all a happy Christmas.
Christmas has been in the air for longer than I've noticed. Tomorrow's already Christmas Day, and yet I feel as if I'm stuck somewhere around December 1st.

Ever since high school came, Christmas for me is without its usual overload of anticipation and sentimentality. Perhaps it's because I've outgrown the entire package of chilly days, ridiculous decorations of Christmas trees and mistletoe (because the Philippines is a tropical country), and the tireless spending, shopping and wrapping of gifts to give. Or perhaps it's simply because I've been too busy to notice the fictitious but grand regalia slowly being put up around me. Or maybe it's because, for a CHRISTIAN celebration, Christmas --- that oxymoronic monstrosity of extravagance disguised as a poor kid's simple birthday --- is held on a PAGAN holiday.

Or because I've become too jaded with the romanticized, idealized vision of Christmas as a universal feast where everyone temporarily forgets their problems in a sumptuous noche buena dinner and a pile of torn gift wrappers. Corollarily, it's because many not-so-lucky people don't celebrate Christmas with the same metropolitan excess of extravagance and luxury. They don't have fiesta ham and chicken pastel for noche buena; instead their meager feast consists of sardines, tuna and rice from relief operations.

Whatever the reason...maybe I don't look at Christmas the same way I used to because I grew up and developed a conscience.

Friday, December 14, 2001

I have a little archive of all these entries in the "Youngblood" column of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I've been interested in what people around my age have had to say about their own complicated lives. I started collecting and retyping these articles around 1999, and the last one I encoded was just the other day's issue.

My collecting these relevant articles is just a reminder to myself that other people out there who are my age share and sometimes have worse problems than I have. They share what I think about idiosyncratic things. In short, "Youngblood" reminds me that I am not alone.

If there's anyone who wants a copy of what I've archived so far, just e-mail me a request.
Finally got a heart-to-heart talk with Erik. I promised him I wouldn't share any details, but I'm just glad we understand each other.
Wow, the second term's practically over. We just finished our three finals exams today. I feel like I can finally rest a bit after all the insanity of the second term.

When I look at my third-term EAF (that's basically my schedule and payment form at La Salle), I can't help but think about how different my subjects seem in comparison with the second. This term, we were practically library rats doing research or looking for readings on the Cold War and international trade. Next term, we're going to be aspiring accountants and algebraic number-crunchers. What a paradigm shift. It's unsettling.

Sunday, December 02, 2001

It was Den's debut later that evening, in a quaint little restaurant called Barbara's in Intramuros. It meant that I had to borrow my dad's trusty old pinstripe blazer again, since I don't have any suits in my closet.

To my surprise, only a few of my blockmates --- Tristan, Erik, Angel, Anna, Leia, Chab and Rachel --- came to the event. I was pretty sure Den invited more of us. I suppose it really didn't matter; we were there for her and that's all that mattered. We were one noisy table, mainly dabbling with Chab's relationship with her boyfriend and what the girls planned to say during their turn at the "18 candles" part. Erik kept his phone company. He was lonely for some reason. I'd rather not get involved; he might just feel worse.

At the debut I finally got to meet Sean, Denise's "infamous" brother (all I knew of him before was based on her squabble stories), and he was responsible for the video presentation that evening. That was my first glimpse of Den's childhood. Knowing her bubbly and naughty personality, I wondered why most of the pictures used in the video never showed her smiling as a kid. Hmmm...

Later on Den's mom made her impromptu speech. Her relationship with Denise reminded me of my own relationship with my mom...but no, my mom and I don't get along that well. I also got to meet some of Den's childhood friends from CSA through Mel...but I don't think I made much of a good impression on them. I was tired by then, and great as the debut was, I despised the "dance" music played by the amateur DJs. (Sorry.)

Midnight came and I had to leave. For something Denise called a haphazardly planned debut, it was fine for the most part. Happy 18th birthday, Denise.
Just had a very busy Saturday.

We had our Field Day for ROTC. That basically means all of us special units joined in six games. I joined in tug-o-war and I was exhausted afterwards. My palms had rope burns. Our unit, the Navigators, placed second overall. Not too bad...

After that I had to fetch my sister and buy my gift for Denise's debut. That included lots of side trips around Glorietta, since Bianca saw a lot of little trinkets she fancied. She was a big help in selecting my gift, actually.

Thursday, November 29, 2001

My problem with Denise and Erik is over...for now.

It's been yet another instance of me being given the "friend speech." You probably know how it goes...just when you reveal to the girl your feelings for her, she goes, "I'm sorry but I can't reciprocate your feelings," or something related to that. Romantic cynics say, this speech just means, "You're pushing your luck too far."

I'm not sure I agree to that though. I was lucky this time, I guess; things didn't turn out as bad as I thought. Denise and I still remain friends and we've acted literally as if my confession never happened. There hasn't been any voluntary isolation on her part either. We're still largely the same two out-of-whack weirdos we've been in the past three months. Judging at how bad things may potentially have become, I never really expected anything like this --- anything this good --- to happen.

Erik and I aren't any closer however. I'm beginning to lose hope with him. Oh well. There's only so much I can do for the person; he'll have to sort his feelings out himself.

Sunday, November 25, 2001

A little shoutout goes to my friend Carmela Sogono. Thanks for cheering me up via e-mail...coming from a Zobel friend, that means a lot to me. :)

Saturday, November 24, 2001

I had to fetch my sister from my high school the other night. They were having this movie awards night event modeled after the Oscars, and the movies on award were their batches' own creations. It was part of Zobel's grand 23rd Foundation Week celebration.

I found it all so commercialized. Something about Zobel now seems as if it's trying too hard to attract people's attention. Everything's covered with banners for pizza companies, cellular phone service providers, teen magazines and whatnot. They invited celebrities and bands either to perform in between awards or to present the awards themselves. Everything I saw that night proved my suspicions of how cheap my high school alma mater's students --- and their parents --- really are.

My favorite aunt, Tita Vik, mentioned something about Zobel back in All Saints' Day (November 1st). She said Zobel was the school of choice for the "nouveau rich." They are those who keep flaunting their wealth to the world because they want every fucking soul on the planet to know that they struck it big-time. This was because the nouveau rich usually started out poor, with nothing to flaunt.

It's rather ironic that the family De La Salle Zobel is named after is known for being the classic example of the "old rich." The Zobel de Ayalas are secure of themselves and their wealth, hence there is no need for them to flaunt anything. They've been rich for ages, but you can spot them on weekends in Forbes Park, wearing tank tops and cycling shorts, pedaling on mountain bikes to the nearest deli. Honorable, they are. Rich Filipinos should take a hint from them.
DISCLAIMER:
Okay, I've been very silent the past few weeks. I haven't posted anything here in such a long time. In reality however, I've been mulling over a few personal problems over the course of my "sabbatical". I just didn't feel as if posting personal problems here would be any good simply because they'll cease to be personal the second I hit the "publish" button on my blog editor. Worse, I feel responsible for the egos and feelings I may hurt in posting my thoughts. I'll hide any real-life characters behind fictional names just in case.

Anyway...(sigh)...here goes shit...

---
Erik and I are newfound college friends, coming from different schools. During our first term the two of us were good buddies; it seemed like we thought and acted alike, with a few differences (e.g. he smokes and I don't, he likes R&B while I loathe it, etc.).

When the second term started I [slowly] realized that Erik was drifting away from our group. He was smoking more often and he later seemed dazed and distracted, as if he lost his focus somewhat. I was late in realizing that he'd broken up with his girlfriend at the end of the first term (around September), which I believe is the reason for his behavior. Being the friend I am, I told him about what I felt and he was okay about it.

As the 2nd term went along, I found myself getting acquainted with Denise. To put it bluntly, I'll admit I recently developed a crush on her. I was beginning to think about whether I should go court her, or simply remain her friend until some other time. I was still mulling about this when Erik came into the picture and began to get close with Denise as well. She's been very receptive to his charms.

To be honest, I think I'm way behind compared to Erik. People who've known me a long time know me as a torpe guy...your timid unromantic loser incapable of making the first move. Erik, in comparison, has had previous relationship(s)...it doesn't take much of a genius to find out who wins out over whom. Other people have noticed this going on and are left uneasy about it.

Here's my problem. Although it makes me jealous and irritated to see Erik and Denise with each other directly in front of me, I feel I'm not obligated to tell any of them how angry/annoyed I really feel. First off, both people are my friends. I don't want to lose them, especially Erik, since I'm actually more concerned about his behavior than most, even though I'm reserved about it. Second, I've heard that Denise's reception toward Manny is her normal treatment toward her male friends. Without being too forward, I am just worried that Erik might be patching up the hole left by his recent breakup with a love that doesn't quite hold its weight in gold, much less water. Lastly, I am now questioning whether or not Denise is a friend of mine worth keeping or not...not because of something she's consciously done, but because of her underlying behavior. If I may put it correctly, I think Denise has successfully teased both Erik and I, either consciously or unconsciously.

I've been thinking about this over the last week, and I think the best way to solve this is to stay away from both of them and act with full restraint. Not because I detest them, but because this is what I think is the right decision. Sacrifices must be made, and although I personally feel I've been making too many of them in my short life, I willfully concede to Erik if it's going to help our friendship in any way.

If anyone even reads this blog, please e-mail me your thoughts. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

---
We had this volleyball game yesterday against another block. We won! Although I really feel I should practice more...

---
It's kind of sad knowing that the girl you like is being courted by your best friend. When I look back at my high school days (and how I loathe looking back at high school days), I regret the many times I developed crushes on girls with boyfriends or suitors. When will I ever grow myself the spine to court the girl(s) I like? I feel like a hopeless case.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Sorry. Nothing much comes to my mind these days. I'll post again when I feel like it.
Wow, haven't posted in a long while.

Friday, November 09, 2001

Today I learned that going to your nearest arcade (in my case, Timezone) and playing games of Percussion Freaks and Dance Maniax is equivalent to jogging laps. I learned that first-hand.

After my games I drove home and tried jogging my usual 4-5 laps around the 600m church-barangay hall-park triangle. At my second lap my sides were already aching. Hmmm...Konami's games are more athletic than I thought. Too bad not enough people play them, especially my beloved Percussion Freaks...
Had a great couple of days. In PEONEPF (simply, the first PE subject in DLSU) we were involved in a little contest. We were supposed to make like the Pep Squad and perform pyramids and other such formations. We managed to perfect our group's pyramid with 20 minutes' worth of planning and 10 seconds' worth of execution. Great! I feel like I can do anything...

Well, anything perhaps play basketball. I suck at that. I'll take volleyball anytime.
I've gotten over that episode of anger toward my former Ateneo/UP-bound high school classmates. I don't care what happens to them. I've simply become apathetic.

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

Upon reading my entry two days ago, Tita Vik appealed to me via e-mail. She was concerned because I may not have to stand the company of my high school classmates here in DLSU, but I may have to when I get into a hotshot advertising agency. She told me this out of concern and personal experience.

I am thankful for her concern. But this isn't just something I merely cooked up at the night of the party. I've been feeling like this since sixth grade---and it's been quite a long while. Seven years, in fact.

Sunday, November 04, 2001

A little shoutout goes to my favorite aunt. Tita Vik, hello there! Thanks for visiting!
On a positive note, though, I jog regularly nowadays. My resting heart rate's down to 68 beats a minute from a previous 80. Pretty damn good.
I attended Carmela Sogono's debut last night. (She's a high school classmate of mine.) I was expecting more of my high school classmates to attend since it was semestral break time for Ateneo and UP people.

Honestly, I had high hopes for the occasion. Aside from being happy for Mela, I thought it would be as if my classmates and I would be thirsting for each other's company. (Okay, that was greatly exaggerated.) At the very least, though, I thought we'd update ourselves with lively chat and whatnot.

I don't know how I managed to delude myself into thinking that a reunion like this would be the sort of thing I'd be looking for two terms into college. When I met most of my old classmates, I realized that I didn't care for them anymore. I couldn't care less how they were purportedly losing sleep and getting low grades in Ateneo or getting confused in UP. I don't fucking care. They can burn in hell.

I realized that I SHOULDN'T have cared for them too damned much way back in high school. All the efforts I put into being cordial with these people actually amounted only to them using me. I felt so used: they don't even remember me or have a sincere chat. A simple "Hello" seals the dour welcome for most of those insensitive cads.

Ever since I met my wonderful college blockmates, I've been in a fix concerning my past. Half of me wanted to visit every one of them and ask about how life was in Ateneo or UP. My other half wanted to burn past bridges and forget all but my dearest high school friends. It's rather obvious which side won out in the end.

I wonder if Mom was right about the same thing happening to relationships...

Saturday, November 03, 2001

I've been off the air for a couple of weeks...I apparently spend so much time on the Internet. I have to cut down.

Thursday, October 18, 2001

Have you guys made any friends over the Internet? I know I have.

I once wrote a letter for Electronic Gaming Monthly about women gamers not being given enough credit. I think it appeared in August 2000. Unexpectedly, I began to receive all these e-mail letters from people I hardly knew --- mostly Americans. Almost all of them thought that I was female. Looking back, I bet they were looking for an easy girl just because I happened to write to EGM.

One of them was different though --- one of them was an actual game girl from Cincinnati. Let's just call her Sarah.

We began writing each other over the course of months about anything at all --- what games we wanted, what we were doing over the summer, what we were busy with, how things were with her boyfriend. Looking back, I still have to ask myself what she thought of little old Filipino me. Eventually we "moved on to better things" --- the last letter I sent her was dated this June. Never got a reply from her since.

The Internet is quite a bad place for getting to know total strangers. I know there are all these common-interest sites --- you know, those like PinoyExchange or MSN Chat where you get to meet people who happen to be in the same college as you are, or those who you agree with on trivial things such as shades or shoes --- designed to bring all us strangers together. But they can only go so far as to initiate contact. Both parties have to be mutually interested in keeping tabs with each other.

It's funny how something that brings people together isn't working as well as it should.
I feel mighty fine. I can repeat my seven laps of jogging after all. Why don't I exercise more? It's about time I felt really good about myself.
DLSU won the UAAP championship for the fourth time. But I gotta say that Ateneo rookie, LA Tenorio, frightened the shit out of me. He was too damn good. If only the Archers guarded his reverse lay-up more...Ateneo wouldn't have had such a runaway lead.

What am I blabbering about? The only thing that matters is that we won. Go for Five, Archers!

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

In thirty minutes the historic battle between Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University commences in a winner-take-all match. Can't wait...although I have to watch at home, seeing that Araneta Coliseum tickets sold like hot pandesal. Oh well. :(
Someone named King replied to my decidedly anti-Ateneo post a couple of days back. Yeah, I have to admit that what I posted on this site wasn't really nice (and not all Ateneo people are actually bastards like I said so).

But even then...I take a lot of pride in my school. Hehehe. Animo La Salle.

Peace, dude. It's nice knowing that school pride is still alive after all...
It's only been a couple of months since I was granted permission to drive myself to school, but so far I've gotten to this conclusion: I live to drive. I love driving. Give me any car with a stick shift and I'll rev it along the highway.

Heheheh. To think I haven't watched "The Fast and the Furious" yet. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2001

I've always wanted a way to know how many people actually read my honest not-so-spiritual outpourings online. So I decided to leave you guys a way to comment on what I've been blabbering about. Just click on the ( Comments ) button next to each post. Thanks. I'm hoping to hear from all of you soon enough.
We were at my grandma's house at Caloocan this afternoon, just as we go there every couple of weeks. A cousin of mine just gave birth to her new daughter a couple of weeks back and this was the first time I saw the new family member.

Whenever I look at kids and babies, I am amazed at how darned cute they are. I try cheering them up to no avail. I've never been good around kids... A bigger concern of mine, though, is that at my age I am fully capable of having sex with a woman and (accidentally) giving her a baby. Yet I don't have the slightest idea of how to raise my own children, let alone be a good uncle/older cousin to my juvenile delinquent relatives.

Maybe that's a big reason why I haven't courted any girls and wooed them into having painful unprotected sex with me. Call me a sex-starved loser, but at least give my brains and sensibility some credit.
I've gotten really sick of Internet ads --- especially those which pop out of nowhere just when you visit a site. Suddenly a conflagration of consoles and new windows interrupts your browsing experience.

Even though I absolutely love advertising (it's what I plan to have as my job), I hate using the Internet as a medium. It's so intrusive. I prefer good old radio, television and print ads. There's actually a challenge to keep your audience's attention especially to print ads. Radio ads here in the Philippines have gotten very good as of late. TV ads are a mixed bag.
I receive a lot of spam e-mail from my friends and blockmates --- often those which have been forwarded so many times that the forwarded-to lists are longer than the messages themselves. Some of them, especially those that come with cool Flash attachments, are gems I keep on my overloaded 4GB hard drive. Most of them, however, are trivial things I dispose of right away, despite the warnings of my having "bad luck" if I delete them into oblivion.

It gets me to wonder: What has happened to e-mail nowadays? People say it's the most popular and most widely used Internet service, and I understand how cool it is to send a remote friend a simple/not-so-simple message, with an attached file or two, in seconds. But seriously, I detest having to use e-mail only to forward and receive countless pieces of trash. I use e-mail mainly to have my projects printed somewhere else, write my friends letters, meet new people on PinoyExchange.com and send anime reviews to Animetric.com. I forward only the spam I find really interesting, and even then I do so only occasionally.

I have owned a total of four e-mail addresses my entire life. Two of those I enrolled to personally. One came with my high school, De La Salle Zobel (it's expired now I think), and the other one came with my enrollment into DLSU (which I never use).

Just a call to e-mail addicts: Please limit your spam. Most of the time it ISN'T funny.

Friday, October 12, 2001

ANIMO LA SALLE!

These three words are the most popular cheer of my school. To many, it's the unbridled proof of the show of school pride, as droves of people pour into the Araneta Coliseum through scraped cars, overpriced tickets and whatnot to support the De La Salle men's basketball team in the UAAP games. But upon entering college, I begin to realize that those three words mean nothing but shit. They're not really cheering for the school's greater glory. They're cheering because they want a break!

Unlike many students of De La Salle University, I was also a student of De La Salle Zobel back in grade school and high school. Hence, the words "Animo La Salle" and "school pride" actually mean something to me. When our team wins in the UAAP games, I'm not jubilant simply because the administrators of DLSU promised to suspend classes the next day. I watch the games and I cheer for my team because I want my school to do its best under pressure. I want DLSU to beat the living crap out of those arrogant Ateneo bastards.

It's actually sad getting to college seeing that school pride isn't as important as it was back in my childhood. Perhaps I'm simply a jaded idealist. I guess I forgot that in college, grades and a cumulative GPA are the bottom line...
This week seems so fast. I feel like it's still Wednesday when it's actually Friday right now. Maybe that's the effect of studying in great old DLSU.
Hello and good day to those who stumble upon reading this page. I feel strangely happy for some reason. And no, it's not because I drove some inane individuals out of my life forever...I'm actually a compassionate person...

Thursday, October 11, 2001

Okay...violent mode OFF...

Sigh...What do I want in a woman? What do I want in a prospective girlfriend?

Right now I honestly still don't know. One thing hasn't changed though: I am still helpless and raring to date "impossible" girls. They're all too beautiful not to be taken.
I'm thinking about moving out of my house as soon as possible, i.e. the instant I get out of college with my degrees in Communication Arts and Marketing Management. I feel like taking a long-deserved break from my parents' narrow-minded inanity.

I'm an evil son, ain't I? Au contrare, my friends. I've been as fucking obedient as I could be. Now cut me some slack!
I betcha my parents wouldn't call it anything special. God damnit, appreciate me for once!
At Physical Education (PE) class today, I managed to run 7 laps around the Sports Center oval in 6 minutes flat. I was supposed to finish in 8 minutes. Pretty good for someone who doesn't jog nor exercise that much. I felt elated. I felt invincible. But my lungs felt like burnt rope afterward.

I think I wanna do it again. :)
For those who read this and think this is simply a smattering of lies: Let me tell you that every one of my thoughts posted on this page is based on real-life experiences.

So yes, my parents are as bad as I write about them. It's not simply my rebellious nature...my parents really are the craziest a person can get. Simply forgetting to say "Thank you" after you've done so countless times before is subject to a full berating.

"Don't you appreciate that you have a car to drive and that you get free parking...?!" Why was it that when I helped clean the car last Saturday, you never even bothered to say "Thank you" to me then? It's a simple instance of forgetting...why can't you simply let it go LIKE I DID?

My parents have this eye for criticizing EVERYTHING I do "wrong." Nothing I do is ever right or satisfactory to them. Not even the fact that I got on the freaking Dean's List on my first term in college.

I guess that's why I have friends in the first place...I sorely need to be appreciated. With them, at least, I can take comfort in the fact that I am actually worth something. That my life is actually worth living.
A little hello goes out to my blockmate Zerissa Yulo. Thanks for keeping me company (and amusing me in conversation) during that horrible traffic jam this evening.

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

I feel strangely drained of things I want to type. Oh well. Maybe it's because I felt a little better today, now that most of my tension is gone.
That's okay, I get to drive myself to school four school days out of six, anyway. Who cares if I'm actually driving my mom's car?
I just read this week's issue of 2bu! in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. They featured cars and teenage driving this week. I could only drool after my two dream superminis, the Nissan Verita and the Toyota Echo/Yaris.

Is it getting so blatantly obvious that I'm a car freak? Heheheh...

Tuesday, October 09, 2001

I should ease off on Internet usage. I've eaten half my family's allotted hours in just 9 days. Bad.
I got so spooked that when a blockmate of mine called for an assignment I could only answer him with a series of "uh-huhs."

I am scared of my parents. They are the sort of people I can never answer back to, even though I and others in my home know that they are very wrong. I am scared especially of my father. He will never, at any circumstances, accept his own mistakes. He will never back down from arguments even though he has nothing valid to retort further. And, given the chance of getting in a tight spot, he will not hesitate to resort to force.

I am scared of myself. Given enough agitation and a hot enough head, I can actually be my father's spawn. I inherited his temper and his arrogant self-righteousness. One thing prevents me from fully following his example however: my fear for the people I call my friends.

I don't know if it's any justification, but this is the reason why I opted to be a doormat, used and abused by other people. I wanted to contain my rash, impulsive character. Sadly, it's only leading me to self-destruction---and worse, I'm getting people I care about into my messes. I'm still getting tantrums and episodes of anger badly hidden by my silent, serious frowning face.
It's weird how cheesy music can calm my frayed nerves. I'm forced into listening to these 1980s ballads and I strangely feel better. WEIRD.

Or maybe it's because I'm typing my chemistry lab report in a PC rental store. Oh well...
I'm inviting other (REAL) friends who read this to post here too. Give me an e-mail at sakurai@edsamail.com.ph if you're interested.
I feel really angry. Just as I praised my blockmates the other day, I quickly realize how a lot of them are actually users.

Is it really my fault that I get into situations with users all my life? To think that I've been into similar situations so many times before...you'd think I'd already learned my lessons way back in high school. Am I so naive that I don't realize that people only befriend me as a convenient power tool until it's too damned late? Why can't I simply lash out and yell out how idiotic people around me are?

Maybe I'm simply masochistic. Or maybe (God forbid) I'm simply too darn nice for my own good.

Monday, October 08, 2001

Gee, I sure do post fast. I'm surprising myself.
Some shout-outs going to Pam Pastor and Paolo "Kwapaw" Lacdao. Thanks.

Also, my great blockmates in LC24. I would've posted a link to our block webpage here, but it's a members-only MSN Community page, and I don't control access to it (someone else does), so tough luck...
This term we have a subject called International Studies (INSTUDI for short). It's one of those subjects where a professor can solely either keep students' attention or lose it forever.

Since I have this knack for history, I initially thought that this subject would be okay. It's not a prerequisite, but since I'm in the College of Liberal Arts I have no choice but to slug it out this term. It turns out I'm beginning to hate INSTUDI. Who in his/her right mind would stand a professor who assigns readings every meeting and DOESN'T discuss any of the said readings in class? Our prof doesn't teach. She merely squeezes what we have read from her sources whenever she meets with us.

College has been an eye-opener for me, that's for sure. I now realize that there are college professors which are such a total waste of time that they simply guess your final grade. To think that I could've learned about these so-called "educators" in high school...
I've always been curious of how real boyfriend-girlfriend relationships work. Especially so because I've never been in one before. Wondering about relationships can only take me so far though.

I remember a conversation I had with my blockmate Leika San Juan. Our Anthropology professor was listening to other blockmates of mine reporting on different theoretical orientations of anthropology...stuff which doesn't stoke my fancy. It so happened we were seated next to each other. In time we talked about a lot of things. The conversation casually shifted to that of Leika asking, "May girlfriend ka na ba?"

I said no. "Never."

She was incredulous and bewildered, as if I wasn't normal. I raised my eyebrows. "Uh, what's so wrong with that?"

She simply couldn't believe that a guy like me had never been into a relationship before. True, I'd had crushes on so many girls, but a relationship? Never.

At that time, Leika had broken up with her boyfriend. She talked about how deceptive relationships could be. It's the usual thing that every high school guy or girl wants. I think she admitted to getting into a relationship simply because everyone else was doing it. At first it was nice, conveniently having someone to watch over and be mindful of her. Slowly, however, things turned sour. (I'd rather not get into the details.) The last thing that she told me on the subject was to avoid relationships, at least for now. They're not worth the trouble.

I'm eighteen years old, turning nineteen in February. Leika is currently sixteen and she's had one failed relationship. At first I was embarrassed, making my way into college without even having a girl to call my lover. After our conversation, though, I feel sort of...lucky.
Just an observation: I gotta wonder what it is with women nowadays. I don't have any idea why they feel so empowered to bitch around and act upon their periods. I don't think it's solely because of this whole "women's lib" and feminism thing though.

While on the subject, I also have to wonder what it is with men nowadays. They're so weak! They'd do almost anything to give in to women's whims. It's as if the world's suddenly turned around and dictated: If it were not for men's sperm cells, there wouldn't be a need for men at all.

I noticed this all by watching TV sitcoms, movies and college people. Women tend to forget that men are humans too. Men tend to forget that they deserve a break.

Okay, violent mode OFF...
It's weird. Just when everything seems to be happy and all, this thing called loneliness suddenly strikes behind your back and leaves you miserable.

I've tried understanding why "loneliness attacks" keep coming at me every so often...I've been doing this "studying" for about five years. After five years I still don't understand why it does. True, I seem to be a very well-off chap, compared to the beggars which pester us DLSU students every day along Taft Avenue. But I still feel kind of lonely. Why, damnit, why?

Lately I've been trying to be careful about how I act around my friends. They tend to misinterpret what I feel for something else. There's gotta be somewhere out there who'd understand how I feel though...

Sunday, October 07, 2001

I have to leave you guys now...my sister has to use the computer...
I cleaned our cars' engines with my mom and dad today. I never thought cleaning engines would be such hard work...and then I suddenly realized that all that was needed was to let the detergent do its job for a few minutes. Just hose the grease afterwards, and repeat when the grime's still there...thank God for Joy detergent...

We bought a second-hand 1999 Honda City just this weekend. It was bought to replace our aging 1992 Toyota Corolla, which has been through a lot of things. The Corolla's the car I drive most often, since it's only recently that I got my driver's license (but I've been driving long before that).

It's rather hard to think of saying farewell to this neat car. It's old and it shows it. The suspension's gone low because of tired coil springs; sometimes the chassis scrapes through the pavement going over humps. The clutch's beginning to slip through the gears---sometimes power doesn't go to the wheels ASAP. The air conditioner's been temperamental sometimes. But overall, my mom and I still love the car and hate the thought of letting it go. It's a great car with gobs of power when you need it...and it drives really well...hmmm...

We supposedly cleaned and washed the Corolla to make a good impression on potential buyers. I didn't expect, however, that the car would be making an impression on me. Sigh...
Ever since I came to De La Salle University last June, the beggars in and around the University Mall (UM) and the Vito Cruz LRT station have been a regular sight. They lie on the station stairs, tap on the glass windows of the Taft branch of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and wander around Taft Avenue, waiting to salvage any monetary amount of kindness extended to them.

I know I should empathize with these poor fellows and hand them some cash, but I usually don't. I hate the fact that once you give them your loose change, they'll be expecting you to do the same thing whenever you're around. It's irritating. For many of these people, there's no clear demarcation between generosity and extortion. I still feel that I should do something for them however. I guess that's guilt acting inside of me then...
[...kssshhhhht, kshhhhhht...He....llo, hello...mike test, mike...test...]

Am I on air? Oh, really? Uh, um...okay.

Welcome to my crazy little world. I've wanted to do something like this for the longest time. I was just being cautious because I thought maybe this wasn't a guy thing to do, but screw what other people think; I'm in college anyway...

Perhaps an introduction is in order. I am Juan Miguel de Leon, a male college student. People call me JM for short, and I am an active member of the PinoyExchange forums (I log on as shun_sakurai). That's basically all anyone has to know about me. In time I suppose people will know more about who I am, how I think and why I even decided to be here.

So thanks for being my first ever audience.