Back when I was in the senior status of my high school, I never would’ve answered the “What do you wanna be?” part of the “Life Essay.” Mainly because during that time I only cared about two things: a relationship which was going into a slow but imminent self-destruction mode and a game plan in trying to avoid being tagged as the “promdi” when I successfully immerse myself in the metro/university life. Not because I’m ashamed of where I come from but because I’m not a fan how little people of the north know about us from down south.
Those considerations seemed pretty “legit” to me back in the days.
But now that I’ve severed the ties between me and my “What do you wanna be?” part of my existence and into threshold of my “Are you alright with what you are?” phase, there are three things that I’ve come into conclusion.
1. I did not become what I set out to be. Well at least not yet. Contrary to what goal-oriented people say, bumps on the road aren’t just bumps on the road. Just like what our good friends from DPWH have set up on our national roads, these speed bumps aren’t just there to piss motorists off. They’re there to make drivers slow their vehicles down. That’s what bumps do to us. They make us slow down and they allow us to think beyond our normal thinking habit. To address the goals of our inner identity. To question what we really want to become, not only with what our degree programs can do for us in the not so distant future. I’m not what my degree program says I am, at least not yet. And some of my colleagues and friends might raise an eyebrow on that, but hey, Tim Duncan actually started as a volleyball player before the NBA dubbed him as Mister Fundamentalist. I might not be in the destination I paid for but I’m pretty much okay with where I got dropped off.
2. Friends are not, and will never ever be, a poor choice of investment. They’re your lifeboats. When everything makes you feel like you’re on the losing end, friends keep you from jumping over the edge and completely turning yourself into a poor man’s Lindsay Lohan. True, they may not serve as the best inspiration. But when you see people like you struggling to keep up with the ever-changing world, it’s nice to know that no matter what type of fecal matter this place throws at you, you’re not gonna be the only one cleaning yourself up. And that’s in the least erotic sense possible.
3. I still may not be in the VIP seat, but I swear I’m on my way there. Well, I think this is pretty self-explanatory don’t you think?
SPIN's August issue pays tribute to the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's Nevermind, and as part of our package we tapped some of our favorite contemporary artists to cover the influential album’s 13 songs, in their original order. The download is called Newermind, and it’s our gift to you.
We were happy that two of Kurt Cobain’s personal faves — the Meat Puppets and the Vaselines, both of whom Nirvana famously covered during their MTV Unplugged taping — joined our effort. Below you’ll find the complete album tracklist, with reflections from each contributing artist.
Take note that in this post I am leaving out the Batman franchise because I am in the midst of a love-hate relationship. And I guess that all my sentiments should be reserved for another blog.
Anyway, back to the main topic: The High Immensity in which DC Movies Suck. Yes, let’s make that our thesis statement. If some of you who are reading this blog disagree then let me point out one huge example. Just this year, DC (along with Warner Bros) released Green Lantern. Now normally, I would wait for the DVD to come out but being a comic book geek and a film nerd I had to catch it on the big screen.
P.S. I’d prefer those two terms over couch potato and professional bum.
Here’s the thing with Green Lantern. It’s a film about a cocky test pilot named Hal Jordan who witnesses a dying alien’s ship crash into Earth. And honoring his final wish, Hal takes on the mantle and becomes the first humanoid Green Lantern. So…here’s the REAL thing. It seemed like the movie was trying to say everything all at once. Enemy over enemy over a brooding enemy (yes I’m talking about Sinestro). It felt like I was sitting through a 3 part television series. It was just too much.
First (SPOILER WARNING), Hal tried to fend of this yellow gust called Parallax which would take more than a smile if you base it on the prologue of the film. Second, Hal tried to save Earth from Hector Hammond, a brilliant scientist who acts like a 9 year old army brat. And third, Sinestro was all over the place, waiting to be fended of. All of these things were happening while our main character had to overcome his personal fear (which, for an army pilot, is quite alarming. But what can I say? I’m not trying to defend the Earth with a green lantern from a dying purple alien). There’s just to much to go around in one single movie. I mean, there’s a reason why the first Spider-Man was a successful hit.
The ending was also a bit silly. It’s as if the movie was addressed to a bunch of 12 year olds. But then again Blake Lively was there so I take that back. During the great confrontation of the Green Lantern and Parallax (SPOILER WARNING) all that Hal had to do was just to utter those cheesy words. And boom! Automatic extra strength. Boy! Why didn’t the other Green Lanterns think of that? And what was Parallax’s ability? Were you listening to him? Was he trying to scare the Green Lantern to death? And where were they when the Yellow gust tried to gobble Earth up. If Parallax was such a threat to the entire galaxy why did they chicken out. They had to wait for Hal to finish fighting before they did something.
Generally, I think the producers were trying to please everybody. That’s why it didn’t pan out. Just take a nap or go see Thor again.
But don’t worry Ryan Reynolds, you’re still my Van Wilder.
I was a bit skeptical to see Michael Bay’s third and (please please please) final Transformers film on the big screen for three not-so-obvious reasons. 1) Revenge of the Fallen was…let’s just say…a disappointment, 2) Megan Fox got replaced by a Victoria Secret model. Let me say that again, a Victoria Secret Model (although, I wouldn’t go as far as arguing who’s the better actor), and 3) You just had to ruin Neil Armstrong for me, did you now Mister Bay?
But of course part of being a film major is watching whatever comes out in the theaters hoping to get some inspiration for my personal films. Anyway…
In case, for some reasons that would either 1. make me worry or 2. make me laugh, you haven’t noticed Marvel (yes, the same Marvel that brought you the entire Fantastic Four franchise and Ben Affleck as Daredevil. They’re sorry about that, maybe it’s time to move one already. Okay?) started developing the Avengers movie storyline back when Ed Norton was still the Hulk (don’t worry Mark, we love you). Since then, teasers have been released in different Avengers-related movies such as Iron Man, Thor and now Captain America. Well what’s special about the last one was that Marvel (or Joss Whedon, depending on who you care the most) released an official trailer of the real Avengers movie which is good since I’m getting extremely bored with the fan made trailer.
I applaud the resourcefulness of these fake trailer-makers but we’ve had enough.
So if you’re a huge fan of the team-up then this one’s good. Personally, I enjoy these characters from Marvel since they bring that certain pizzazz into my semi-translucent existence. And although the origin of the Avengers was not because of a greater call but rather motivated by the need to sell more comic books (I refuse to use the word comics, pfft, childish) I still think the Avengers are cool.
I think what really impressed me all these years was that the movies that are involved in the Avengers franchise really did well commercially and critically; thinking that production Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America gave it a gap of few years. This is good because it’s hard and nearly impossible to create a franchise based on movies that, how shall I put this delicately, suck. Well unless you’re Michael Bay and then you can just create anything you want…no matter how dumb it looks.
Anyway, I guess I wrote this to express my excitement over the upcoming blockbuster. Ooops! I mean upcoming film (Don’t jinx it, dude).
I can’t remember the exact time she uttered those words but I do know that it happened past midnight. Her eyes were swollen from crying too much. Her voice was hoarse from yelling. Her black dress was smudged with whatever was in that place: an assortment of cocktails, most probably.
It was not her best moment.
But she looked great nonetheless. I stared at her as I was trying to savor that moment. She looked worried, like that moment when you’re on the brink of making a career-changing decision…well, maybe if you would multiply that emotion a thousandfold. Her concern was genuine, something that I truly appreciate. Not everyone can emit that certain inexplicable emotion towards someone like me. So she’s someone worth taking a moment to look at.
I can’t live forever, that’s what she said. It took a few seconds to really ponder on that statement. It’s true, I don’t live forever. I neither have the means nor the resources towards immortality. It’s a funny thing, life and death. With a dash that separates the moment you greet the world and the moment you bid farewell, it is both haunting and beautiful…life that is, not death. For death is nothing but a culmination of everything that you have contributed, good or bad, on this big oblate spheroid. A celebration to some, a deadline to others.
I can’t live forever, that’s what she said. But a memory, yes a memory, can do it for me.
I looked at her and smiled. “Yes. But that doesn’t mean you’d have to live for me.”
"If you go there," She paused mid-sentence. I wasn’t sure why but my money goes with I-don’t-wanna-say-it-you-say-it. "You might not come back."
I let out a little chuckle which, judging from the way she looked at me, wasn’t the wisest thing. It was funny, for a moment I tried to re-evaluate the actions that I was supposed to do.
"Might. That’s a powerful word," I replied.
She approached me and grabbed my hand. Trying to pull me away from the only thing that separates me from her. I kept asking myself why I couldn’t run away with her. But maybe I was justifying my urge to actually run away with her. Yes, maybe that. Unfortunately I was doing a bad job at it.
Unlike most situations, I did have a choice. But in this world, the best of choices is rarely at hand.
"Listen. I’ll find you," I promised her. "You just have to trust me."
"What if you don’t come back?" She asked.
I pulled something out of my pocket, a coin. I would’ve preferred a much more sentimental object but given the circumstances at present, I guess it was too much to ask for. I dropped the coin on her palm.
"I’m gonna need that soon. So I’ll be back for that okay?" I said.
"I’m gonna hold you accountable for that," She replied as I hugged her tight, something that I have been aching to do for a very long time.
"I’ll be back," I whispered.
Life and death are made of choices. Whether the choices are good or bad, these are still consequences that one must face. Because even the slightest of dashes can make the most in a person’s life. She is what brought me here, and for that I will forever thank her.
Now I can be sure of my choice.
I choose her.
I jumped, knowing that this may cost me a few days or weeks or months or years. This may cost me forever. But it was all worth it.
I may not live forever, but her memory of me will. And in time I will come back to be with her.
“Take that risk with me.” I grabbed her hand as we ventured into our unknown.
People say that if and when we meet the perfect person who will change our lives in an exponential proportion, one could never take that in with conviction. Not even if it’s staring right into your face. Young people, fed up with the false promises of pop movies, music and culture, deny this dogma of romance.
I used to be one with the young ones.
But fate has its…tricky ways.
She looked amazing for a day that was downright melancholic. I wasn’t used to seeing her that close, or that pretty for that matter.
A few years ago, I decided to stop writing about my mundane existence thinking that the world really wouldn’t care.
To be honest, the world really doesn’t care about me. It just goes on and on and on. But there are moments in a man’s life wherein he believes that the world may have stopped for a while to say, “Hey man, I can see you. Now go have a great one.”
Now before I start ranting, I want to show kindness to those who regularly visit my blog (sarcastic laughter…how exactly do you do that anyway? No, seriously?), I’m gonna write this one in such a manner that wouldn’t make you want to claw your eyes out.
Hmm… Alright, here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m just gonna let you take a sneak peek.
Okay. Here goes. My awesome day started way way early, and I liked it. Can you imagine Captain America in front of my doorstep (well, technically the hostel’s doorstep but that wouldn’t be as dramatic as my doorstep. Right?)? Oh yeah! Now, you can’t argue with the fact that Captain America is as awesome as having Steve Jobs for an uncle but what mattered to me most was not the Hero-Stuck-In-An-Iceberg, what was so important to me was the deliverer of my hero.
She’s my real hero.
I would love to tell you everything that happened that day but that wouldn’t be fair to her. It was a really awesome day and I intend to keep it between us. All I can tell you is that she’s an awesome lady (you’re awesome! You know that) and I’m lucky I have her.
Earlier I wrote that the world doesn’t care about you. After all, you’re a just a little speck from his/her perspective. But again there are moments that make you think that you’re somebody that the world smiles upon.
This is one of those moments.
I apologize for the abrupt ending of this post. I’ll do better next time. To be honest, I still don’t have a clear reason as to why I’m writing this.
But I’m pretty sure it has something to do with… You know what? I’m not gonna say it here.
I Was Eating Chicken Tinola And Pansit When The World Ended
I was at Lola’s house when the world ended.
It was a cloudy/sunny day, a perfect day for families, parties, love affairs and the habitual drug deals. My Lola was making chicken tinola and pansit while my mother was helping her wash the pans and the knives. Junior was sitting at the curb of the footpath in front of lola’s Spanish-designed ancestral home, with a soccerball in his left hand and a skateboard in this right.
Father was too busy fixing lola’s old jeep. The rotten machine kept coughing from all holes. Stinky old bastard. But father loved that car. He used to say that that jeep had been in this family long before Ate Jeng was born. Lola used to take father in the park with that jeep. They had wonderful moments with that car.
Ate Jeng was at Lola’s room, also busy with her computer. She wouldn’t let go of it. She kept grinning and laughing, as if the machine was alive and was telling her jokes. I tried to take a peek but she yelled me away.
I was sitting in our “duyan” when the world ended.
I saw a huge grey cloud pushing our cloudy sky away from us. It wasn’t a nimbus cloud (My mother taught me the different clouds). Nimbus clouds don’t carry green light streaks. From inside the grey cloud I saw tiny fly-like insects come out. I knew that these insects weren’t flies because they were bigger than Junior’s skateboard. Mrs Lozada also showed us an enlarged picture of a housefly and it looked nothing like those things up in the air.
But these insects had a buzz. They filled the air with buzz.
One by one, people from our village went out to see the grey cloud. Mang Johnoy, the tito who delivers water, told us that his son called in from Dubai to say that they also saw a grey cloud with green light streaks.
Father called the police but the lines were down.
Lola went out of the house and handed me a rosary. She did the same thing to Junior who was already wrapped in mother’s arms.
Ate Jeng was too busy to notice the grey cloud with green light streaks.
Father motioned us inside to eat lunch. He told us that maybe it’s just another storm cloud. I told him that nimbus clouds don’t carry green light streaks but he just smiled at me.
Mother called Ate Jeng to the table. After Lola’s prayer, we started eating silently. No one was talking, not even Junior who was always the life of the family. We just ate the chicken tinola and the pansit Lola prepared.
I could hear Lola’s radio from the kitchen; a man was talking about the grey clouds.
I was eating chicken tinola and pansit when the world ended.
I’m James Goodson and it is 8:00 PM. It’s a little late for work but I don’t mind. The pay is good anyway. It has my regular fee and a very generous tip. I wonder what the man meant when he said huge pests. I hope it’s nothing serious.
Hmmm. Big house. This is gonna be a long night. No wonder Mr. Baldwin wants to keep this on a low key. A big house with probably an even bigger pest problem would really scare off their rich party friends.
<5:00pm - Office>
So this is how I spend my Friday afternoon, waiting for some rich guy who wants to deal with his pests on a Friday.
God, I hope he pays well.
"Mister Goodson, Mister Baldwin and Mister Urich will see you now. And smoking is not allowed here, sir."
"Good afternoon Mister Goodson, have a seat."
"So…what seems to be the problem here?"
"Oh! The huge pests aren’t in the office. We keep this place pretty clean. They are currently infesting my father’s place."
"So what I want you to do Mister Ronald is to—-"
"James. It’s James."
"Oh, my name is James."
"I had a pet rodent named James once."
"Yeah? What kind of rodent?"
"By the way Mister James Goodson, do you believe in gods?"
"Anyway, what I want you to do… James is to go to my father’s house and deal with it."
"I understand you’re very capable of doing such a job."
"The best, sir."
"There’s this one thing though. My father won’t be home til 8 later so you’re going to have to do this at that time. He wants to be there when you do your job. He doesn’t trust too many mortals with his house."
"I meant people. Anyway, do we have a deal?"
"Very well then. Get the address and your check from the secretary. My father will see you later."
<8:07pm - Mansion>
Mister Baldwin was right. His dad really has trust issues. It looks like there really is no one here. Well, except for that guard.
"Are you Mister Obadiah Sin?"
"Yes. And you’re James Goodson. My son sent you. Come in."
"I’ve been meaning to ask, is Mister Urich your son too? You look quite similar."
"I made him, if that’s what you want to know."
"So, what kind of pests are we dealing with here?"
"Young man, do you believe in gods?"
"I don’t know sir. But I’m not very religious, I can tell you that. Although to be honest sir, I don’t think my beliefs are going to help solve your pest problem which by the way, you still haven’t told me."
"For years, I have been meaning to get rid of these pests. You have no idea how long I have waited for this. You see, these pests were mine ones, my creations."
This really doesn’t sound good.
"Deal with it."
"Can you turn on the light sir? I can’t see anything."
"That’s the whole point my dear boy."
Then it hit me.
These figures, I feel them. Every one of them.
Imagine the saddest moment of your life, multiply it by a million times and that’s half of what I feel now. Every touch a figure gives me makes me want to shed every tear in my body; makes me want to scream my lungs out.
Imagine losing your entire family… no your entire country… no the entire world. Imagine that you are the only person left. Imagine the isolation—-
That’s nowhere near what I’m feeling right now.
If someone would point a shotgun to my head and pull the trigger, I’d kiss that person in gratitude.
I realized that these are the pests that they wanted me to handle.
I tried my best to get away. I tried everything. My heart could not take the pain, the suffering. Their wails are agonizing.
"You are James Goodson! Descendant of Hoor, the blind god! A demi-god! You are the only man-god who can absorb these tormenting pests. Feed on their pain."
"You heartless old bastard! Who were those people?"
"Gods, my dear boy. Or rather remnants of them. The lost gods, those who were no longer worshipped. Their sufferings were my pests. And you relieved them. For that, I thank you."
"Who are you?"
"When I had power, my creations called me Odin. Now, I am no one but an old man. I was a father, a creator. People worshipped me and my sons. Now I am nothing. And someday, I will join them into the abyss. Someday, I will be truly forgotten."
I was right. It was a long night for all the wrong reasons.
For three moons, the waves crashed and the lands burned.
Now, everything is finally in order. And everything is finally coming to place.
We are now ready for the New World.
Here I am, sitting atop the mountain of the Almighty Himself, waiting for the Great Turtles to arrive. On my right is the Great Emperor of Eastern Red Lands. And on my left, He Who Sits On The Back Of The Great Flying Serpent. Even the Almighty Himself is here but I could not see him perfectly for his white clouds are circling above him.
Last night I killed a werewolf. It wasn’t much of a hassle really. She was, let’s just say, a newbie. No real killing experience whatsoever, maybe just her second shed which meant deers and boars.
No humans yet.
I have to admit shooting her bothered me a little bit. She was young and confused. And it wasn’t her fault. Being a werewolf isn’t anybody’s fault really. Contrary to people’s beliefs, werewolf bite doesn’t always turn you into one. You need to have the perfect body, otherwise you’d just curl up like a strip of bacon and die. It’s hard to explain but my point is, not everyone has what it takes to be one with those who walk with the moon.
Anyway, this girl was really young. 21 maybe, give or take 2 years. She was crying when she asked me to help her. And that’s what I did.
Well, the most humane thing to do is to assist her and tell her everything’s gonna be fine. But my humane side has abandoned me for quite some time already. And there was nothing I could do to help alleviate the situation.
She was crying when I pulled the trigger.
Werewolf number 26.
That was the most I could do. End the pain. End the torture. Her torture, not mine. Can I let you in on a little secret? I envied her final breaths as my silver corroded her flesh. Her curse was about to end. Mine continues to haunt me.
I’m gonna break my routine here and actually write something about myself. Yeah, in case you haven’t noticed, I stopped writing about personal shit. I have no idea why, but I guess my life really isn’t that cosmic to begin with. Grin. Anyway, now I have a reason to make one.
It’s just A reason but it’s a damn good one. That should be enough.
For your sake and the sake of those who actually visit my blog site (enormous laughter) I will write this blog using words that would help you grasp the central idea of this post while maintaining your high ability to tolerate the Disney-esque vibe of this world. And just to be clear I am not insulting your intelligence (unless you’re FOX NEWS) but just allow me put this one in a way that let’s just say won’t make you sit in a tub in some sort of fetal position while the shower is on.
Okay, here goes.
Imagine you’re a superhero, one with really really cool powers. And everything’s okay with your life. You have good friends, you “save” a lot of people, your secret identity is safe. You know, the works. And then you meet this new superhero who’s extremely awesome. And this superhero happens to enjoy hanging out with you. You know, kinda like Superman and Batman. Only this time, Batman is a very awesome girl. Yeah, a she. I know using Batman sounds wrong but I hope you’re getting my point.
So yeah. Imagine she’s pretty awesome. And she enjoys hanging out with you. And you could go on and on about her. She makes your life better. It’s like that warm fudge all over your sundae. No, I’ll make you one even better: It’s like opening a chocolate bar and finding a golden ticket. Wait, that’s not enough. It’s like buying a DVD of Avatar and getting the entire store as a freebie. There! Justice!
I guess my point here is… Well, I don’t think there really is one. God, this is awkward. Now, I have no idea why I wrote this in the first place.
I may not be around for long. This sucks, really. I would’ve loved to see her dance one last time. Now I’m lying on the street; bruised, scratched, shot. I can feel this tremendous pain in my belly. Bad place for a gunshot wound.
This may be the end. But if it’s any consolation, at least I got to trade my life for hers.
That one’s a pretty damn good bargain.
"You’re bleeding!" She said as she knelt to look closely at my wound. Her long black hair was now all over her face, the eyeliner that once made her eyes even more beautiful was now smudged to imperfection, her black cocktail dress…wet and messed up.
Yet she still looked pretty darn good. I even felt under-dressed. No kidding.
"Yeah. Didn’t see that one coming." I replied. I completely forgot that I was wearing a voice changer. I sounded like Batman. God, if only I had Batman’s armor. Wishful thinking. I turned the changer off. "Are you okay?" There.
"Yes. Yes." She tried to remove my jacket so she could see the wound. I don’t know why she did it, she wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway. I grit my teeth in pain. "Sorry! I’m sorry!" She raised her hands. "It’s fine." I smiled so I could comfort her. That’s the least I could do. "Happens every time. No need to worry."
I lied of course. She smiled…nervously, probably her desperate attempt to make me feel better.
"You should…get back…inside." It’s getting harder to breathe now. "Your friends…" I stopped to take a deep breath. It’s a bit hard to breathe when you’re wearing this stupid mask. She noticed that. She gently raised my head to unzip my mask from the back. I moved my head away from her.
"It’s okay." She smiled nervously.
I gave in. She unzipped my mask and removed it from my face. I was embarrassed. I looked like shit, beaten and broken. She got a purple handkerchief from her clutch bag and wiped off the blood from my face.
"I’m really sorry." She said while trying to hold back her tears.
"It’s…fine" The pain was getting worse and worse. I felt like a hot blade was inside me. "Maybe next time…you should really avoid…smoking in creepy alleys huh?" I gave her a wide smile just to keep her from getting scared. She let out a nervous chuckle.
"Thank you for saving me." She said. Boom! Rain. Perfect. Fate’s giving me a good ending. Thanks, I guess. I smiled. "That’s what I do."
I could no longer tell if she’s crying and it’s not because of the rain. My vision has already been compromised.
"Listen…um, could you do me a favor?" I asked her.
"Yes. Anything." She replied. She held my hand. I tried to squeeze it but I can’t. I can’t feel my left arm now. I must’ve lost a lot of blood already.
"Could you go inside now…and just call the cops from inside?" I told her. Breathe. Breathe.
"What do you want me to tell them?" She asked.
"Just tell them that you saw a man lying on the street. Probably with a bullet in his gut." I replied. "Tell them nothing…about what happened here. Promise me."
"Okay, but what about you?" She asked. I could hear her sobbing.
"I’ll be fine. The cops will take care of me." I lied. "Just…stay inside. Trust me, you don’t want to be here when the cops arrive."
"But…" I could sense her hesitation. "How would you…"
"Now might be the….worst time to ask unnecessary questions…don’t you think?" I smiled. "I’ll be fine. I promise. They’ll take care of me."
"Are you sure?" She asked.
"Not really." I grunted. My pain’s getting intolerable. "Please…go…now. And don’t look back."
She hesitated for a second. She then held my hand for the last time. Then she ran away. I tried to stay awake long enough to see her get far away from the alley.
Good girl. Smart girl.
Now my mission is done. I saved her. I can finally close my eyes. The cops will probably take care of my body. I can already see the news article about me tomorrow: Superhero Wannabe, Shot to Death. Nah, doesn’t matter. I got to save her.