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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Things and people I miss

Playing video games.

Not worrying about money.

1995 and the "golden age" of modern OPM alternative rock.

Playing really long video games, especially the epic RPGs that take 80-100 hours to finish.

My friend Denise Melendres.

My dad's old ten-speed Peugeot road bike.

Recess and lunch breaks with my friends from senior year high school.

Bro. Arian Lopez, FSC.

The De La Salle Zobel Publications and Public Relations office.

PANTONE 121 CVU.

Making layout for Counterpoint.

Everyone that became part of the staff of Counterpoint.

My youth.

Falling in love.

Charmed out of my oath

I swore just a few months ago that I wouldn't fall for colleagues again.

Apparently I haven't learned my lesson.

Yes, yes, there is a certain someone I find attractive and I am smitten, again. I have two options: make use of the brief time I have left to get to know her better, or leave her be and regret the what-might-have-beens later.

Decisions, decisions. It's more complicated this time.

Crud. What on earth am I doing?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

"...You know where to find me"

I see a shadow every day and night
I walk a hundred streets of neon lights,
Only when I'm crying
Can you hear me crying?
So many times you always wanted more,
Chasing illusions that you're longing for
Wish I wasn't crying
Can you hear me crying?

There's an ocean between us
You know where to find me
You reach out and touch me
I feel you in my own heart
More than a lifetime
Still goes on forever
But it helps to remember
You're only an ocean away

Was there a moment when I felt no pain?
I want to feel it in my life again
Let it be over now
Oh, oh, over now
'Cause I remember all the days and nights
We used to walk the streets of neon lights
Oh, I want you here with me
Oh, be here with me

There's an ocean between us
You know where to find me
You reach out and touch me
I feel you in my own heart
More than a lifetime
Still goes on forever
But it helps to remember
You're only an ocean away

So many times you always wanted more,
Chasing illusions that you're longing for
Wish I wasn't crying
Can you hear me crying?

There's an ocean between us
You know where to find me
Just reach out and touch me
I feel you in my own heart
More than a lifetime
It seems like forever
But I'll always remember
You're only an ocean away

Only an ocean away...

- Sarah Brightman, "Only an Ocean Away"

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ennui: Quarter-life crisis part deux

I want something new.

I don't like my circumstances at present. I am tired. I get cranky. I get weird. One by one, the reasons why I'm enjoying work seem like they're deleting themselves. I still have about ten months to go if I really want to leave.

Perhaps I just need a break; it's been a while since I had one. I filed for a week of vacation leave in mid-August. As yet, I have no idea what I'll be doing with my time. I want to invite some friends, but at the same time I would rather go somewhere or do something by myself in that span of time.

Sadness is creeping over me. Why exactly, I don't know. It just is. It's got nothing to do with love. I'm just dissatisfied and disillusioned, perhaps, with what's happening to me. I feel I should be doing something else that isn't such a waste of my youth. This was probably what my dad saw almost fifteen years ago.

The long and short of it is, all I really want to do is laugh. I want to guffaw and have it ping off the walls until my gut hurts. I'm tired of laughing and having it stop abruptly. I'm tired of being a laugh track for other people's stand-up comedy acts.

I want to meet someone who can make me---and I should really trademark this phrase because I use it so often---"stupidly happy."

That's because I want to live laughing.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Music to have an out-of-body experience for

Thanks to my colleague Gerald, my ears have been treated to some of the best music I've heard in months.

He lent me two CDs, one of Bliss' album "Quiet Letters" and the other of "Voyage 2," a world music compilation. Both are excellent examples of ambient music that really should be appreciated by more people. I was hypnotized by Sarah Brightman's "Eden," seduced by Angelo Badalamenti's "Falling" (the theme from "Twin Peaks"), lulled by Bliss' "Sleep Will Come" and brought to the halcyon days of my first relationship with their most famous song, "Kissing."

Such music entices me to leave my physical body behind and harmoniously meld with its melody. As eerie as that sounds, it's true.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Break out

I am finally free.

Free from the imprisonment of watching countless reruns of the what-could-have-beens of my life. Free from the compulsion to look at your face every now and then. Free from drowning in the quicksand pit of self-pity, regret and self-loathing I found myself in for months.

It was like waking up from a dream that had gone on for so long it began to turn sour on its own, as rancid as fermenting milk. I kept drinking gulp after gulp of the stuff without knowing any better, without realizing there was only so much I could take before I got so toxic.

The things I did to save me from torturing my own heart are regrettable, but perhaps I had to do them.

My eyes turn to the days ahead, no longer bloodshot with agony...at least until love fails me again. But that will perhaps be a long time coming.



I should get a haircut and a facial. I look like an inmate.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Nandyan ka lamang pala.

Kung saan-saan na napadpad
Naglakad, lumangoy at lumipad
Tuwing akala ko, pag-ibig ay tunay na
Hindi pala, hindi pala

N'ung hindi na nakatingin
At saka ka dumating
Nandyan ka lamang pala!
Di ka lang nagsasalita

Ikaw pala ang aking hinahanap
Ang bahaghari ko sa likod ng ulap
Ikaw ang hulog ng langit sa puso kong napunit
Dahil sa dramang paulit-ulit
Kanina ka pa ba nariyan?

Ikaw pala ang aking hinahanap-hanap
Ikaw pala'ng awit na di matanggal sa 'king isipan
Di na mahalaga kung saan ako dalhin ng hangin
Basta nandito ka sa 'king piling

N'ung hindi na nakatingin
At saka ka dumating
Nandyan ka lamang pala!
Di ka lang nagsasalita

Ikaw pala ang aking hinahanap
Ang bahaghari ko sa likod ng ulap
Ikaw ang hulog ng langit sa puso kong napunit
Dahil sa dramang paulit-ulit
Kanina ka pa ba nariyan?

Oh, ikaw pala ang aking hinahanap
Ang bahaghari ko sa likod ng ulap
Ikaw ang hulog ng langit sa puso kong napunit
Dahil sa dramang paulit-ulit
Kanina ka pa ba nariyan?

Ikaw pala...haaahaaahaaaa...
Ikaw pala...haaahaaahaaaa...

Ikaw pala! (Sino, nasaan, kailan ka ba...)
Ikaw pala! (Sino, nasaan, kailan ka ba...)
Ikaw pala! (Sino, nasaan, kailan ka ba...)
Ikaw pala...

- Sugar Free, "Ikaw Pala"

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A letter to my new friend in Houston

I have more or less recuperated, thanks. I managed to complete the week without having to dip into my stock of sick leaves. I am grateful I never got to the point where the sickness would leave me significantly weakened.

I paid a price for that, however. I was not able to chat you up on the evenings that I really wanted to.

Yes, you told me that I should not just sleep but rest---i.e. lie in bed and do nothing. Because of that, I have rediscovered the sheer fun of jumping between TV channels, looking for stuff to watch on a Friday night, after a prolonged hiatus away from the boob tube.

However that paled in comparison to the companionship you had given me these past couple of weeks. All told, we are still strangers. Yet this early, I am sure you and I have something quite special between us. You are unlike most of the friends I have made at work, with whom I still have some hesitation in conversing. An entire ocean and miles of land separate us, yet we can chat the hours away like the old friends I wish we'd become someday.

After the disappointment and heartbreak I have shared with you, I realize you were the panacea I was waiting for. I enjoy your company and your insights, and I genuinely know that you do the same with me.

As long as I have friends like you, I do not need romance. I do not need to gamble on relationships. Besides, you already know I think sex and prettiness are overrated.

Thank you, my friend. May the sun kiss your life all your days.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

One of those times when I drink tea...

I am sick.

I've been feeling under the weather all week, but this is the worst yet. My eyes are spinning, there's a jackhammer in my head, I have sniffles and a cough, and my energy's pretty much drained. I'm nursing a very slight fever by now, but that's the least of my worries. I haven't had to resort to taking any sick leave yet, but I'm not so sure about maintaining the status quo any more.

To avoid exacerbating my present situation, I spend the days on autopilot and grab every chance I get to sleep. It has to be said, the sleep isn't helping much. I slept ten solid hours last night and I felt no better when I got up.

One of my personal quirks manifested itself lately: I drink tea when I'm sick.

I generally hate being sick because I get so damn bored when I am. I know it's a reminder to take it easy and that my body isn't as strong as others' but that doesn't mean I have to enjoy it.

Sigh. I am weak and tired. I should take a vacation and do nothing but sleep the day through. Anyway, the weekend is just around the corner; I have to last only one not-so-stressful day more.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Quarter-life crisis

As I mentioned in another post, Rachel is leaving for America. It was all so sudden, but basically she's leaving because she wants a vacation and she'll do some soul-searching there for half a year. She told me she wanted to find out if there were opportunities for her in the "land of the free, home of the brave."

I could understand why she decided on doing this. The two of us are in the dreaded "quarter-life crisis," where we're starting to question what we're doing with our lives and how it doesn't exactly match what we wanted to be doing. True to form, she's being braver about it than I am, gambling her savings and the last of her current US visa on this trip. She's not without her worries, though, as she wonders if it's going to be worth it.

As far as I'm concerned I think it will be. The trip will have valuable lessons, even if she doesn't land a permanent job. I told her I learned from my new friend Nina that she'd really have to bust her gut to survive on her own over there, independently. That in itself will make the trip worth it.

I wish her the best of luck. Thanks, Rachel. We'll keep in touch.

Not alone

Tonight I take solace in the fact that I am not alone in my plight after all.

Denise is going through the same emotional rut as I am, and we are both coping with it one day at a time. My only regret is I went through the same emotional rut over her and I did some pretty nasty things I now apologize for.

Here's to coping, Den. We can and will live through this. And we should see each other more often.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

And now, a word or two from my favorite TV show

It's a basic truth of the human condition that everybody lies. The only variable is about what. The weird thing about telling someone they're dying is it tends to focus their priorities. You find out what matters to them. What they're willing to die for. What they're willing to lie for.

- Dr. Gregory House, "House," season 1 episode 21

I thought you were too screwed up to love anyone. I was wrong. You just couldn't love me. It's okay. I'm happy for you.

- Dr. Allison Cameron, "House," season 1 episode 22

My blog, an endless wellspring?

I have no expectations of this blog. While my ex may have started me off, I've kept my blog for six years simply because it's my way of unwinding. The personal nature of my blog, limited customization and my own less-than-charming personality mean that my readership figure is low by design. (Don't tell me it's otherwise, I know this as a fact.)

So it's always nice when good word comes in about my little piece of online estate.

My high school friend, blockmate and thesismate Leia chatted me up on YM "by mistake" and mentioned my blog. She said it's as if I never ran out of things to share. It's odd because most of what's printed in these pages is simply my personal nonsense, the petty ravings of a mind that lacks quality sleep.

After graduation she stayed in DLSU for her master's degree and a job at the Cultural Arts Office. It's been a while since we last saw each other, and she missed talking with me. The feeling is mutual; I miss her zest and wacky ideas. We've been together for such a long time.

So many of my college friends are going abroad. Rachel's leaving for America soon, so Leia and I might just bump into each other at her despedida dinner tonight.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The last time I buy new sneakers this year...I hope

The day Paolo Cruz and I became level 6 champions was the same day my trusty Adidas Samba Millenniums finally gave up. Two years and a few months after buying them from Santa Monica in California, the soles sheared themselves off their uppers.

Unfortunately this means I have to spend again...and I'm hoping this is the last time I buy footwear in the foreseeable future. I had grown tired of Yonex's poor durability and arch support, and by now I knew I shouldn't be slapping the Taraflex with futsal shoes that, while good to play with, trap an intense amount of heat in my toes. I also suffered for a while with shoes that fit my right foot fine, but made my slightly bigger left foot sore.

This time I went to SM Megamall and dropped by Mizuno's store. I looked all around Makati for a badminton shoe of theirs in my size, in vain. I got the Wave Gate II and found the size-27.0 pair a little loose, but tightening the laces and performing some light footwork at the shop yielded a surprisingly good fit. I got them for PhP2750---still cheap for any pair of sneakers nowadays, let alone a purpose-built badminton shoe!

Badminton is hard on the feet and hard on footwear. Ahh, the price of my favorite sport...


Because I'm not writing as much as I used to...

I really should write more often. There's a lot on my mind that unfortunately has not been put down on paper. Since it's pretty late, though, I'll keep this short.

My friend Mao is unfortunately ending her blog. I've always been fond of her way of writing and how profound it is. She's always been a better writer than I ever was. Now that she's left for America I fear I won't have any means of checking how she's doing. But if this means she becomes "personally independent" then I am nothing but glad for her.

The last book I bought was Ha Jin's novel "The Crazed." Ha Jin is at it again, with his bleak prose and simple situations, this time illustrating the failures of an academic mind trapped in 1989's China.

Try as I may, I am still having difficulty living my day-to-day life with my brains and emotions detached. If only that were realistically possible, things could be so much easier. But no, there's gotta be something for my character here somewhere. I should stick this out and see what happens.

My biggest consolation is I've made a new friend. I took the chance to get to know her as a human being and I am delighted with what I have discovered so far.

Celine was right when she told me over lunch that the best relationships are those that are effortless to begin and maintain. This is precisely one of those cases.

I am young and still have a lot ahead of me. I should stop wasting my time and punishing myself for things I can't do anything about.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Denying nectar

I stroll through shop upon shop, wishing I had the money. I flitter between them, the hummingbird that I am, looking at all the gadgets I desire but not committing to any, knowing that they will be the cause of my financial failure.

I must cut on my expenses.

Yesterday I had my racket re-strung at Toby's, bought the "Music and Lyrics" OST CD, Case Logic's CD visor/organizer and some Armor All glass cleaner.

I feel like I spent too much already. Sigh. This vicious conflict of envy vs. finances will never end.

This is a start though. At least I am thinking about something else, no longer as mired in my heartbreak.