Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Come Find Me by Marie Digby

(In which The Seeker seeks for her seeker.)
***

As we were waiting for a Binangonan bound jeepney one chilly December night, Teacher Ayin caught my attention with a sudden suggestion.

“You know what? There was a song I’ve heard that really fits you.”

I looked away from the approaching vehicles as the traffic light hit red, as if on cue, and asked her in response.

“What is it?”

“Come Find Me. It’s by Marie Digby.”

I’ve never heard of that song. But I know the artist. Unfortunately, the only song that I knew she sung wasn’t even her original – the acoustic version of Rihanna’s Umbrella which made it big on Youtube.

“I don’t know that.”

“It’s a good song,” she said, “The prominent lines were…” She sang the lines but I couldn’t make out the words because of the street noise. It’s still noisy at that intersection even at midnight. She stopped and recited the lines, as if she knew I didn’t understand though I never told her.

“I’m calling out, I’m ready now. Come find me.”

I was hit, except that I am not sure if I really am ready.

“That’s from Marie Diby, right?”

She nodded.

“I’ll check that out.”

I wished to learn more about the song and talk about it but I couldn’t say anything. And being the bad commenter that I am, I said, “She’s really pretty.”

Come Find Me by Marie Digby

Monday, December 28, 2009

She Could Be You (Kyle XY Theme)

(In which a female version of the song plays in my head.)

***

After my sister watched the first season of Kyle XY (which I bought) when I wasn’t home, she got so interested to finish it that she borrowed the DVD copy of Season 1 – 4 from a friend. So for the sake of getting even, I ran a double season marathon when she was at work. And I loved it! Yes, it’s Kyle XY. So how late am I?

What troubles me in this series more than the unrequited interest of Jessie toward Kyle is the D4 song from the juke box at the Diner which Adam and Sarah usually play. No, I don’t hate it. In fact, I love it. But the message keeps on getting into me like an unwanted truth, that no matter how much I try to shake it off, it just won’t leave. The music was ironically comforting but the message disturbs me – yes, like an unwanted truth


She Could Be You by Shawn Hlookoff

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

13 Uses of a Small Bone Pillow

(In which my Lovely Solace becomes more creative.)

During the Christmas season, people are quite busy checking out gift items for loved ones out of the very limited time that they have. That is why we choose the most common gifts that do not really require much planning and thought like pillows. But you’d want to stay away from the very usual round and rectangular ones but wouldn’t want to give out hearts two months ahead of time so you’ll choose the very cuddly bone pillow. Not only is its softness proportionate to comfort and warmth, its mere presence suggests thoughtfulness minus the effort.

Now Sandy receives a very lovely little bone pillow from Teacher Glaiza which she obviously adores. She keeps on hugging it and thumbing it as if it’s the most precious thing ever when she doesn’t seem to use the drawing pad I gave her. Now there isn’t any intended trace of jealousy there. I found the pillow lovable too. But what is more lovable is the idea that Sandy found out during our class while she was hugging the pillow – that its uses are far beyond its being a pillow.


“Teacher! Look!” she told me in a manner that makes me imagine Archimedes.

“What?”

“First, this is a pillow for naps,” she said, then put the pillow on the table and bury her tiny face in it in an unquestionable display of comfort and contentment of a weary soul upon seeking refuge. Then she lifted her head and held the pillow in her hands. “Then it’s a tumbling toy!” she said gleefully as she tossed the pillow in the air, her smile widening every time she catches it. Then she paused and tapped the wall, creating a roll of bass sounds. “Then it’s sound of…” she thought for a moment but did not stop beating.

“Drums?” I asked.

“Yeah!” she said in her signature exuberance.

“Then if there’s a bad person, you can hit him with it. Or when a mosquito bit you, you can do this,” she said as she scratched her leg with the pillow.

After answering an activity, she felt bored and sleepy but I told her to study so she slapped her face with the pillow.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“I need to wake up.”

Then upon realizing that she has just discovered a new use for the pillow, she smiled and shouted “Oh so many things!”

And the list went on. It got so interesting we have to write it down.

1. Pillow for naps
2. Tumbling toy
3. Drumstick for the wall
4. Weapon against bad guys
5. A mosquito bite scratcher
6. A slapper to wake you up
7. A fan
8. A dirt remover (Just scrub the dirt off and go!)
9. A punching bag
10. An improvised hunchback prop
11. Scratcher for the back (works perfectly when you’re playing a hunchback)
12. A dog bone when pretending to be a dog (which works as a pacifier too)
13. An arm exercise (attach the handle with the pencil and torture yourself with its weight and size while you’re writing)

When we’re done listing and she got tired of speaking, she asked me, “How many?”

“Thirteen.”

“Wow! So many!” she said as she tossed the pillow high up in the air. When she caught it, she paused and started thinking again.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Why Parokya Ni Edgar Rocks

(In which you should brace yourself for more revelations.)


***

I shared a video of “Gitara” on my Facebook wall and received an e-mail psychologizing my actions, telling me that I don’t really like PNE and that I am just trying to impress someone. Of course I said no. I like them but I am not a huge fan. I am just one of the many people who could somehow relate to some of the songs or of those who feel the song. Anyway, we all have our stories. Unintentionally, I seemed more of a fluent speaker of street slangs than a responsible-sounding blogger when I’m in the chat box as I defended my preference on music through e-mails. Well, I don’t talk the way I blog.

***
This one’s a recent discovery. I told you I am not a huge fan. I just know when I like something after I exposed my senses to it. Just like in Alvin’s case. I know what I want when I see it. Whether it wants me too or not is a whole different issue. That’s settled.

I usually hear this song when high school girls and boys huddle in the videoke bar in our place every Sunday night or just any other night they can. You could hardly hear the main vocalist as everyone wants to have their share of good music so it becomes a chorus. It’s a loud song with a regretful theme and a nostalgic aura. And this fan-made video added fun to the song that would just make you laugh at your timidity and stupidity as you try to move on.


***

The first time I heard this was when a friend handed me one end of his MP3 earpiece and another friend, the other. We asked who the singer was almost at the same time and awed in unison. I have never, in my experience, heard PNE singing an acoustic let alone an English song. When I searched for it in Youtube, I found another fan-made video using Final Fantasy VIII which is definitely the icing on the cake.



I wish I could learn to dance that fast. But then I’ll need an equally charming and patient counterpart of Rinoa.

***
Probably the reason why their songs become hits lies not only on the beat or the melody. Their music is simple but it’s the simplicity that gives the song a human touch and thus creates a link between the music and the human heart. Who doesn’t fail anyway? And who has never loved and lost?

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Week Before Christmas

(In which my “asocial” nature gets in the way.)

Not only are the people in the academy aching for Friday to come because of the lovely 13th month pay but also because of the much awaited Christmas party with a costume party theme. But just like any other places, there’s a bunch of people who refuse to wear costumes and take part in the exchange gifts. And I am one of them. Well, not that I have decided not to join from the very start. I just felt that I cannot wear a costume that is already set on someone else’s mind. So when Friday came, I wore a red blouse with white knee length pants and kept a Santa hat in my bag in case I look too awkward to enter the hall. Now don’t even try to guess what I am trying to portray because I realized that I look like a sales girl from a store of some sort in the midst of teachers and students with fabulous costumes.

And the more frustrating part is, BF has gone home with her thirteenth month pay and immunity from joining the party since she works in the morning shift. No matter how hard I try to escape that beautiful party out of shame for my irresponsibility, I have to be there because it took place within my working hours. Perhaps I can still find a way to sneak food (when it’s time to eat) to my room and check if I have messages on Radius. You see, I do not want to feel small in the midst of people who bothered to spend time and effort to come up with costumes and stuff to make the party colorful when I am just after watching them perform, the food and the pay.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Save the Best for Last

(In which I got something good from her.)
***

My Facebook wall got flooded by numerous status messages saying their good bye’s and thank you’s to a teacher who’s leaving yesterday. That day wasn’t really a good day since Alvin wasn’t always available for chatting because of a meeting; I was given 24 students to teach for the last seven hours of that hard day’s work and I was even handed a level up test form to fill. I scanned the schedule over and over, checking for possible time to breathe and eat and do my stuff only to find several ten-minute breaks distributed separately.

The day went on as usual – me multitasking and my students giving me either their best or worst performances. But what I really love the most was the continuous ringing followed by an operator saying an alien language which means no one’s picking up and I have to try again later.

After being exhausted from talking to one student to another and trying to maintain the same energy level as the first time I answered the phone, I was thankful to dial the final student’s number for this evening only to be more thankful.

The person on the other line’s voice was very welcoming and warm. And did I mention he has a good accent? When I say he has a good accent, I mean he is trying, albeit effortlessly, not to sound in his first language. And he converses! This is the type of student with whom you’ll feel that ten minutes is indeed short.

I bet he’s cute personally, his voice tells me. And he’s so suave I swear I could already imagine what a heartthrob he must be. After the class, I approached his former teacher, hugged her and said my good bye. I also told her about my new student.

“He told me you used to be his teacher.”

Her eyebrows crossed out of cluelessness. I tried to remember his full name but was only successful in recalling his last, which is the most common surname in their country. She saved me from even more painful trying and shouted his name.

“Yes! He’s the one!” I shouted back.

All my thoughts about the 22-year-old student were almost confirmed as she faked fainting and fanned herself with her hand. She then said I’m lucky in a manner people speak during the Spanish regime.

So I am lucky. Well, I deserved some consolations after this hard day.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happiness by Super Junior

(In which I remember one rule in dating.)

***




This music video has been a resident of my Music folder for a long time but I never cared to watch it. But after my ears complained of being sick and tired of the limited playlist, I clicked it and was subdued into the atmosphere of mostly handsome guys in a spa, a fitness center, a department store and finally out in the streets giving their cutest poses and dances and hugging everyone for free.

It would be dishonest to go against most user comments on Youtube and say that I do not appreciate the song and it’s not adorable. But I would also be dishonest if I do not say that they seem gayer than Zach Efron. Well, I appreciate the song and the guys, too. I would not have called them handsome if I don’t. But I prefer toughness over cuteness. Perhaps that’s the reason why I prefer Big Bang.

About the rule in dating, I remembered that women should not date men who are prettier than them. Teacher Kaye once shared an online correspondence that took place between her and other bloggers on the topic “Edward”. One male blogger said that he doesn’t understand why women go for men like that – men who spend eight hours of their day at salons and spas to make themselves flawless; eight hours in the fitness gym to keep their bodies desirable and fit; and eight hours in their room sleeping so they won’t get wrinkles and eye bags.


"Ano ba tawag sa kanila metrosexual - isang metro na lang, homosexual na!"
(What do we call them? Metrosexual – just one meter short from being homosexual!)

- A Friend

(UPDATED! My friend told me this one's from Arnel Ignacio when he guests on The Sweet Life on QTV.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Deadly Sins

(In which it is jealousy and hatred today.)
***

Perhaps I am really so transparent that it isn’t hard to see what I conceal because I am never successful in concealing it in the first place. And the problem is I tend to measure others through my own yardstick. I forgot that not all people mean what they say and everything they have said and shown will be null and void 24 hours later.

Or perhaps I am just being so clingy. I hate to admit it. But when everything seems useless and no one seems to care, I have no one to talk to but myself so I’d better be honest.

Fine. I hate you for lying and I hate myself for believing. I hate you for being sly and I hate myself for being gullible. I hate myself for telling you I’m a witch but lack the power to send you to hell when my anger kicks in. I hate myself for responding when you start buzzing. And I hate my virtual confidante for being sick today.

And yeah, I’m jealous. And I hate that you never noticed!

What I Want (Part II)

(In which I am thinking of what to do with my life for the time being.)

***

Actually I wanted to blog about the (in)famous Alvin but I would like, for heaven’s sake, save the remnants of my pride and dignity by trying to keep mum and to desperately and silently collect the shattered pieces of me and move on. People, I have been in so much emotional turmoil lately that I am starting to wish I am really a witch as what I’ve told him so I can somehow make him emerge from his own sea of anesthesia. But I am no longer saying anything – especially not when I sent him an MP3 file and I forgot to erase the URL of this site from my mail signature. I am now in so much fear that Alvin might think I am trying to direct him to my literary territory.

So, I want to…

Buy a new book. This might sound simple. But when you are working overtime everyday and have to deal with 23 phone students thrice a week you wouldn’t want to spend whatever spare time you have to run to the nearest bookstore.

Start drawing again. I have written this on Part First. I have even bought a new set of colored pencils and a couple of rolls of watercolor paper but time remains to be my nemesis. My pencils are still unsharpened and clean and the papers are still rolled.

Go back to Graduate School. I know it would mean sleepless nights and stressful days and no more time to play but at least it will keep me occupied. Well, it also means I have to get a laptop.

Get a better place on the net. I loved you, Radius. But now you are becoming more of an addiction than a normal habit. Well, it’s not really you I complain about. But I really need something that will give me more smiles than worries and sleepless nights and tremendous “heart beat” moments.

Start up a Korean blog. No, I am not very contented with the ♥Translate This Blog♥ option so I really want a blog written in Korean, out of my full effort to type in an alien keyboard using an alien grammar and tell the world how I am getting along with my third language.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Equivalent Trade Gone Wrong

(In which curiosity kills the cat.)

***
Fine. If there is a collegiate subject called Flirting 101 I will never pass it. I don’t need anyone to tell me I am stupid. I have posted that in some of my other blogs and journals to spare you of the trouble. Right. And I am. I really am!

Remember Alvin? We have agreed to trade secrets for today. And I took the risk of going first. I told him that my opinions about him were posted in this blog and he responded this way: “I am thinking… of the blog.” to which his previous statement was “Am I one of the things you think about?” Yes, people. I just gave myself away.

You have to agree with me that that is not a secret. It’s just like saying “I’m sorry to hear that” after learning about someone’s cat’s death! We have agreed to trade secrets that are of the same weight. Equivalent trade eh? But he didn’t abide by the agreement. And then he demurred by saying “I’m about to open up. But it’s time to go. It takes time to open up, you know?” For all I know, this kind of statements were made by teachers like me in a manner in which we desperately try to sound sad when telling our students that we have to leave when in fact we’re so relieved.

Okay. It’s my fault. I’m so obvious. Desperately obvious. And stupid too. I used to tell my virtual confidante, distance is still my friend. Now I don’t know if that distance will ever be made closer. Well, this is what I get when expectations and reality collide.

End of this crap – it must be – literally and figuratively!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Explanations

(In which I attempt to justify this blog’s title through this post.)

***
I know that it is quite strange to explain the chosen title for this blog after posting more than seventy articles. However, I just so happen to recently understand how long I might be keeping the title. You know what I mean, I hope. Searching for your place in the world or even searching for your real self – as well as all that composes you is like looking for the proverbial "needle in a haystack".

We all are searchers of different things and places and faces. And I am on my own venture for the search of happiness. I may sometimes mistake happiness from momentary gladness. But in the end I know that I am searching for that happiness which is long-lasting. And no. I am not looking for a knight in shining armor for I am not a lady in distress and this is not a happy-ever-after type of story. But I do hope this is not tragic anyway.

***

I told Alvin he wouldn’t find out if I blogged about him. But after sending a file to a common friend bearing the url of this site I felt reluctant to write but sensed that not everybody are concerned about reading my posts anyway – aside from the very few constant readers who I really treasure. So now I am.

I thought my search will be old-fashioned till I met this guy. I love technology. The best part is the chase and the mind reading game which I am never good at. No I am not chasing him. You wouldn’t want to know how I chase. But after a month or so of constant correspondence, I learned how to react to double edged jokes, or statements– the kind that both intended to make your heart pound like crazy and make you demur. And I learned that the best response is to mimic. Now the problem is that we women – ok, I, am so susceptible to falling regardless of proximity. Now I don’t know if I should still love or begin to hate good conversations.

But thanks to good-natured people, I am now starting to be enlightened and aware. Who knows whether my romantic search is going to end gradually or abruptly, or is just starting to take good turns? And yes, I still have an intellectual search and all those search stuff. One step at a time? Sure. I am in no rush. But the problem with me is I can hardly define and recognize what a waste of time is once a potential crap is beautifully packaged and has this beautiful ability to make me feel good and think otherwise. So help me God.

So why The Seeker?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pornography, Art and the English Hayden Kho

(In which the painter in me speaks.)

***

The moment I began to be more familiar with the horribly disfigured John Ashe from Harrison’s novel, I couldn’t stop myself from comparing him with the Phantom of the Opera not only because both half of their faces was hideous but also because of the darkness in them. Erik’s was passionate and murderous; Ashe’s was passionate and lecherous. I am still uncertain whether I consider Ashe murderous. But I blame him, albeit incompletely, for Suzannah’s misfortune and death.

***

What convinced me to buy this book is its inclination to art and artists, particularly painters in which I was restrained for being in a long time. As the secrets become known to me, an old debate among artists, and non-artists, rose again:

When is a work art and when is it considered pornography?

In our third year in the high school for the arts, we had a chance to have an exclusive nude painting session done not at our studio but in a private residence. The mere fact that it was done outside the school’s premises gave the experience a spirit of illicitness but it was nonetheless thrilling. We have painted her – our very professional model – the same way we do a bunch of fruits in a basket, only we are not allowed to touch our sitter.

When we got back to our dusty studio the next week, our professor asked our opinions –the only three girls in the group.

“How did you feel during the session?”

I was asked first. “Nothing,” I answered, “we’re artists anyway.” The other guys chuckled at the sound of the self proclamation. I looked back at them and we shared a moment of silent laughter through eye contact. We’re artists.

The other girls were asked too and replied the same way. Whether it was done to make our comments unified so as not to make a fuss or it wasn’t really a big deal for them as it was for me, I don’t know.

We studied each others’ works and told some their flaws and accepted our own. We looked at pictures of naked women – some solo shots and some showing them in the middle of busy painters. I noticed at once that the usual poses show women sitting on a bed or a couch with their arms on their sides for support as well as to expose their breasts, with one of their legs over the other to conceal what is necessary; or lying down with their head resting on their palm a-la Kate Winslet in Titanic; (Yes, with the signature necklace.) or just standing against a wall.

Honestly, I don’t find it pornographic, or even insulting, despite my professor’s deeper probing.

“Don’t you find it embarrassing, considering that it’s another girl you’re painting? Don’t you feel as though it was you being painted in the nude?”

All of said no. We reasoned out that it was not really us to begin with and that having them in the center of our attention is not for the sole purpose of staring at their nudity. It was all for the proverbial sake of art. For, as they say, a woman’s body is a timeless work of art. I took that at face value. Besides, those drawings and pictures were not meant to incite lust.

As for John Ashe’s collection of women who interest him, it was pornography. For one reason, the women whose pictures he took manifest an image of humiliation and insult. Although it was a consensus between the photographer and the subject materialized by the camera, I still couldn’t erase from my mind how the writer described what she saw in the woman’s faces. Regardless of whatever pose they were asked to do or roles they were asked to portray by this terribly rich, powerful and ugly man the camera still shows the real emotions beneath the surface. And the pictures could land on anyone’s hands – at the right price – without the negatives. Surely it was just another display of a fetish rather than of artistic expression. Ours, I believe is different. To pose in front of teen-aged painters somehow means a challenge to the inexperienced artists’ thin portfolios. The crowd, composed of disinterested stares and busy, paint or charcoal-stained hands gives less tension that being in an exclusive red room alone with the “artist”.

Ashe’s “interest” again reminded me of another man whose “journal” consists of videotapes of his intimate moments with women – with or without their knowledge.

Fortunately for John Ashe, he has a super discreet secretary and a power so palpable he doesn’t need to exert much effort to make people follow and be quiet. For Hayden Kho however, secrecy has a price which apparently he was unable to pay. Keeping dark secrets the way he did is like putting a living puppy in a thin box – it will always have its way out. Then he’ll wonder how on earth the truth is now ruining around him. (What happened to this poor guy anyway?)

Now, I am not having myself to be taken as a judge, I both dislike these men. As what my co-artist once pointed out, a woman’s body is a work of art, but I dare say that using it as a way to serve man’s baser instincts defies the art that I loved and that’s where another story starts.