Saturday, December 31, 2011

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

A few hours till we kick this year in the balls and shove it out the door, good riddance goodbye. After some last-minute gift shopping for the kids - spanning the length of Greenhills in the morning all the way to Mall of Asia just a couple of hours ago - I was lying in bed wondering...well, having no solid plans, what to do this New Year's Eve.

Ah, but leave it to serendipity that my question would be answered by a delightful version of this lovely old ditty from two of my favorite people in the celluloid universe: the star-crossed couple from (500) Days of Summer themselves.

Although this song isn't very familiar to most of us, I've always liked its upbeat hopefulness, much the same way I enjoy the naughty playfulness of its Yuletide companion piece, Baby It's Cold Outside.

Anyway, I'm meandering. Just thought I'd leave this as my last post for 2011, instead of some whiny year-ender look back or some pithy commentary on how we're getting older and some shiznit like that.

Anyhow, here are Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Enjoy, and Happy Nude New Year!

Bonus: Lyrics. Sing along. You know you want to.

Maybe it’s much too early in the game
Ah, but I thought I’d ask you just the same
What are you doing New Year’s
New Year’s Eve?

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it’s exactly twelve o’clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year
New Year’s Eve

Maybe I’m crazy to suppose
I’d ever be the one you chose
Out of a thousand invitations
You’d receive

Ah, but in case I stand one little chance
Here comes the jackpot question in advance
What are you doing New Year’s
New Year’s Eve?

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it’s exactly twelve o’clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year
New Year’s Eve

What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Nick of Time

I just discovered last night over Noche Buena with the fam, that my 15- and 12-year old nephews still believed in Santa Claus - no thanks to my wicked, fairy-tale enabling brother.

Hence, I bring you the Santa story, by way of Neil Gaiman. From his original poem "Nicholas Was."

Ho, ho, ho.

Monday, December 19, 2011

One Less Wolf In A World Of Sheep

“We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.” 

- Christopher Hitchens, 1949 -2011

Bitterly divisive, cleverly outspoken, caustically opinionated and infuriatingly brilliant. Writer, author, and "polymorphous polemicist." Contributor, columnist, and essayist at Vanity Fair, Slate, and The Atlantic Monthly, among others.

Famous atheist, author of God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything and The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Unbeliever. Rebuker of organized religion, scourge of Henry Kissinger, and not-a-big-fan of Mother Teresa (in his infamous article in Slate, he called her "a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud." 
He also called her a "thieving, fanatical Albanian dwarf" at one point - and this was shortly after she died.) 

As the Washington Post put it, he was "the world's most articulate unbeliever."

Christopher Hitchens was egotistical, maddening, and for all his intelligence, not always right (he was, curiously, a staunch supporter of the Iraq War which, coincidentally, officially ended on the day he died). He could be mean, stubborn, petty and callous - but his intellect was always sharp as a knife, and he was never afraid to swipe, stab, and slash at stupidity in all its infinite forms.

He was supremely, uncompromisingly confident in whatever position he took, but would always welcome debate and dissent - often at the opponent's risk. He was the living, ruthless, and often vicious embodiment of "Let's agree to disagree, even though you're an addlepated twit." Indeed, as he said in the video below (after excoriating, in short order, Mother Teresa, Hitler, the RCC, and meeting Shakespeare in the afterlife) :

“I'd urge you to look at those who tell you, those people who tell you - at your age - that you're dead till you believe as they do. What a terrible thing to be telling to children. And that you can only live by accepting an absolute authority. Don't think of that as a gift; think of it as a poisoned chalice. Push it aside, however tempting it is. 

Take the risk of thinking for yourself. Much more happiness, 
truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” 

Goodnight and goodbye, you great godless heathen.

Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

O, Hai and Dry

Well, I knew I'd miss the date.'s been a little over a year since I quit stopped smoking.

I shoulda taken bets. Still...yay, me, I guess, right?

And thanks to my latest waltz with mortality, I also haven't been drinking for more than a month now. 


With all the drunken Christmas parties left and right, the timing sure sucks. And I so miss alcohol. It's so useful when trying to get into straight guys' pants.

Good thing I never get the DT's *casts side-eye at the late, lamented Amy Winehouse*

In a bit of good news, though, I finally, FINALLY shot my wad after more than a month of abstinence, courtesy again of the grim fandango. *thanks Pamela Handerson*




I may not be a lush anymore, but I am not some fucking ascetic! 

You people.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Il N'y A Pas D'Amour Heureux

Il N'y A Pas D'Amour Heureux was originally a poem written in 1943 by novelist and poet Louis Aragon. It was later revised and set to music by composer Georges Brassens. While the mood of both poem and song is melancholy and pessimistic, Aragon - whose work was deeply colored by his experiences of hardship during World War II - actually focuses on both the negative and positive aspects of love. His point, essentially, is that true love is not free from sadness or pain.

Hence, the titular "There is no (perfectly) happy love."

Rien n'est jamais acquis à l'homme. Ni sa force.
                                             Man never truly possesses anything. Not his strength.

Ni sa faiblesse ni son coeur. Et quand il croit
                                              Not his weakness nor his heart. And when he thinks

Ouvrir ses bras, son ombre est celle d'une croix.
Of opening his arms, his shadow forms a cross.

Et quand il croit serrer son bonheur, il le broie.
And when he tries to embrace his happiness, he crushes it.

Sa vie est un étrange et douloureux divorce. 
His life is a strange and painful divorce.

Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux.
There is no happy love.

Mon bel amour, mon cher amour, ma déchirure.
My beautiful love, my dear love, my torn heart.

Je te porte dans moi comme un oiseau blessé.
                                                    I carry you in me just like a wounded bird.

Et ceux-là sans savoir nous regardent passer
And those who unknowingly watch us walk by

Répétant après moi les mots que j'ai tressés.
Repeat after me the words that I have woven.

Et qui pour tes grands yeux tout aussitôt moururent.
                                                And which have already died in your bright eyes.

Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux.
There is no happy love.

Le temps d'apprendre à vivre il est déjà trop tard.
The time to learn to live is already long gone.

Que pleurent dans la nuit nos cœurs à l'unisson.
Our hearts cry in unison at night.

Ce qu'il faut de regrets pour payer un frisson.
What it takes in regrets to pay for a thrill.

Ce qu'il faut de malheur pour la moindre chanson.
What it takes in sorrow for the simplest song.

Ce qu'il faut de sanglots 
What it takes in sad tears

Pour un air de guitare.
For one tune on a guitar.

Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux.
There is no happy love.

Unlike the song, the original poem ends on a more hopeful note, acknowledging that sadness, conflict and suffering are integral, unavoidable components of love. And yet,if we are genuinely in love with a person, all the unhappiness that accompanies love becomes worth it.


Il n'y a pas d'amour qui ne soit à douleur.
Il n'y a pas d'amour dont on ne soit meurtri.

There is no love which is not pain.
There is no love which does not bruise.

Il n'y a pas d'amour dont on ne soit flétri.
Il n'y a pas d'amour qui ne vive de pleurs.

There is no love which does not fade.
There is no love which does not live from tears.

Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux.
Mais c'est notre amour à tous les deux.

There is no happy love. 
But it is our own love.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Tipping Point

When do you say "Enough"?

Many of us endure many things in the name of - ugh, just saying it makes me wince, but - love. But it need not be just about romantic affairs. We put up with many things in our varied relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and the general human race.

We forgive. We give second, third, fourth, almost unlimited chances. We turn a blind eye to the most obvious of deceptions and lies and somehow, deep inside, hope and hope that things will change, that he will change, that "love" is worth fighting for.

But to love is to be human, and to be human is to be fallible and weak.

And while love may start out strong, the erosion of eros starts silently, almost imperceptibly, until the cracks are too visible to ignore and the facade starts to crumble.

I've been an angry, angry man far longer than I care to remember.

And now I'm just tired.

Too exhausted to be sad enough to shed tears at a good-riddance good-bye I had known was inevitable.

Too worn-out to even reflect if I would ever regret the harsh but true words I sent.

Too weary to even worry about regret.

What a surprise.

Something as prosaic as fatigue turns out to be the tipping point.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I am not a sentimental man - at least, I do not consider myself to be one. But this is a rare instance in which I feel it is appropriate to give thanks where thanks are due, and although we do not celebrate Turkey Day in these parts, I thought the date aligned itself nicely with what I have to give thanks for.

My prolonged absence from the blogosphere which practically consisted of the entire month of November can be attributed to the fact that I was felled - and felled so terribly - by some dark and lingering malaise towards the end of October. Maybe I'll write about it sometime, but right now all I wish is to banish the memory of those dark weeks from my consciousness.

Instead, we shall focus on the silver linings I uncovered in that personal whirlwind of hell I spun helplessly in for almost a month.

Even before "the incident" happened, I had been feeling a little guilty about not spending enough time with my folks, as well as the rest of my family. Chalk it up to too much work, laziness, and the smug superiority of a bachelor who's been living on his own for more than a decade.

Well, Fate, as is its wont, doth work in roundabout ways. When a fever refused to abate after more than a week, it became abundantly clear that I was being besieged by more than just a pesky flu virus. And after being tipped off by my snitch of a maid (who probably just dreaded the thought of discovering me hideously lifeless on the bed one fine day), my clan descended upon my house en masse, with my father himself appearing at my bedroom door at 2:30 in the morning commanding me to get up and be taken to the hospital right away. After regaining my composure after being startled by this imperious dark shadow against my door, I promptly put on my usual scowl and bitched "Dad, it's 2:30 in the morning. We'll go to the damned hospital tomorrow, okay? Geeez."

Tests, a biopsy, and more tedious tests followed, and the highlight of what was actually my second hospital visit (I had dragged myself to the ER three days earlier, determined to be sure that I wasn't suffering from dengue, which was my initial - and mistaken - suspicion) was the irony of my senior citizen father pushing me around in a wheelchair, the poignancy of which was only negated when he tried to steer me down the hospital's exit ramp frontally, instead of backwards. Of course the force of gravity coupled with the incline caused the wheelchair to go careening off down the ramp, with my father and a guard in hot pursuit, as I resigned myself to the fate of crashing into the open, waiting door of my truck and possibly landing inside like I was starring in some horrific Three Stooges skit.

Be that as it may, Fate, again, provided me with my very own personal nursemaid in the form of my sister, a former nursing student who went into teaching instead and was now working on her Masters and was, so conveniently, on her sem break. And so it was that I spent quality bonding time with her for two straight weeks, as I railed against my baffling and indefinable illness as she provided a steady, stable, soothing presence.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner in bed sounds like a delectable proposition, but things look very different when you're running 40 degree fevers daily. My temperature would rollercoaster like the New York Stock Exchange, dipping to predictable highs and lows as my sister duly took note of my bodily fluctuations. And as an added bonus to my body alternating between bone-wracking chills and high fevers, standing and walking became increasingly difficult, getting to the point where the few steps from my bed to the john meant an agonizing ordeal of feeling like my feet and calves were being sliced by scalpels with every excruciating movement.

I once wrote that all sick men revert into boys crying for their mommies, and I'm certainly no exception to that. My mom visited me regularly, valiantly battling her motion sickness which was exacerbated by my brother's Daytona-inspired driving, and these visits served to calm my fears and reassure me that hey, maybe everything was going to be fine. I would learn later on that during her first visit, she took one look at me and already intuited what was really wrong, but she did not share it with me then, not wanting to alarm me. Instead, she shared her suspicion with my father, which explained why, in the middle of his next visit (they took turns visiting me, like Ferdinand and Imelda not taking the same plane to ensure the continuance of the conjugal dictatorship), my father oddly asked me to align my palms.

And if you know what aligning your palms is supposed to mean, then you and I must've shared a common childhood.


I am grateful to discover and prove beyond a doubt that my parents still love me, and love me enough to be so worried and concerned about my health and general well-being.

I am grateful to know that even though he does not say it, my father shows his love in other ways. He brought me a thick woolen blanket that must've weighed 50 pounds, in order to stifle the chills that racked my bones at 3 a.m. He also brought me a pair of really neat titanium crutches which I steadfastly refused to use, as well as the hot water bottle I requested.

I am grateful for my sister and the time we spent together. I am grateful that she took up Nursing and that she has a kind and caring spirit, and that she sacrificed her sem break in order to take care of me, me who cannot remember when exactly in August her birthday is.

I am grateful that the rest of my family showed up and that their visits brought me some joy, adding a semblance of normalcy when my whole world was being rocked to its foundations by the abnormal.

I am grateful that my mom rallied her amigas and corralled them into praying for my recovery, with her "prayer warriors" reaching as far as my aunts in benighted Arizona.

I am grateful that Fate led us to uncover what was really going on with my body and why I was increasingly and literally getting crippled by the day, and that I was able to connect with healers who were able to give immediate answers and remedy what three different doctors and interminable lab tests could not.

I am grateful that I am better, that I am on the mend, and that what happened - while terrible - was not the thing I feared.

I am grateful to be alive, and to be reminded that no, we don't have all the time in the world, no matter how invincible we think we are.

And right now, I'm grateful just to have been able to write this, and if you read it all the way through, then I'm grateful for your interest and attention.

Many thanks.

Happy Turkey Day.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Live Long And Prosper


Days after I wrote about National Coming Out Day, look who boldly went where few men have gone before.

Actor Zachary Quinto (Mr. Spock, Sylar, among other incarnations), whose sexual orientation has long fueled Hollywood gossip, finally crossed the frontier in a low-key, casual manner in an interview in New York Magazine about his involvement in the play Angels in America:

"I just think revisiting that work and revisiting the themes of that work at a time when the political and social climate of the country is shifting so dramatically and so irreversibly, to really come up against the echoes of that hatred and that bigotry and that fear that still exists in our culture, just in a different context now — you know, I feel it was just a really interesting exploration for me.

Doing that play made me realize how fortunate I am to have been born when I was born. And to not have to witness the decimation of an entire generation of amazingly talented and otherwise vital men. And at the same time, as a gay man (emphasis mine), it made me feel like I — there's still so much work to be done. There's still so many things that need to be looked at and addressed. The undercurrent of that fear and that, you know, insidiousness still is swarming. It's still all around us. To revisit that world at all, it took a toll on me. It definitely was an incredible experience but it was really daunting at times."

Interestingly, in his website, Quinto attributes his decision to come out on the recent suicide of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, who killed himself after being bullied at school for being gay:

"when i found out that jamey rodemeyer killed himself - i felt deeply troubled.  but when i found out that jamey rodemeyer had made an it gets better video only months before taking his own life - i felt indescribable despair.  i also made an it gets better video last year (video below) - in the wake of the senseless and tragic gay teen suicides that were sweeping the nation at the time.  but in light of jamey's death - it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it - is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality. "

On behalf of the next generation, may you live long and prosper.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

National Coming Out Day

Why, yes, Virginia, there is such a thing.

NCOD (as opposed to NOCD*) is 

" internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, or queer-coming out regarding one's sexual orientation and/or gender identity being akin to a cultural rite of passage for LGBT people. The holiday is observed annually by members of the  queer community and their straight supporters on October 11."

Sooooooo yesterday, but hey, any excuse to party, y'all.

I'm a bit of a fence-sitter when it comes to this whole "coming out" business. Sure, I'm practically out to all the Malate queers and characters, as well as to most of the significant people in my life. My family, of course, does not discuss my sexual preference, but then again, we don't discuss the sexual preference of my brother, either, and he's disgustingly straight. I suppose my mom just wants us to keep believing babies are made when two people really really really love one another and have a stork on speed-dial.

Buuuuuuttttt, I digress.

I'd love to hold forth on the merits and demerits of "coming out", but I think you'd enjoy the different opinions expressed here. While you're at it, feel free to post your own opinions in the Comments Section (theirs or mine or both) and/or gawk at the allegedly-closeted celebrities they practically outed there.

Too easy.

Hey, baby.


For my part - being the contrarian dick and sick puppy that I loudly and proudly am - in observance of this LGBT event, I shall leave you with my take on the insufferably unctuous "It Gets Better" campaign.


And with that, I'm outtie.

Or not.

*Not Our Class, Darling. Best delivered with champagne in one hand, disdain in the other.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Château de Versailles Part 2

"We're beautiful and dirty rich."

Wandering around what is probably the most extravagant palace in Europe, I couldn't help but remember Sofia Coppola's Marie-Antoinette. I kept seeing visions of Kirsten Dunst aka Mary-Anne, Party Princess of Austria, traipsing down the ornate halls in her voluminous skirts, engaging in juvenile behavior and navigating court intrigue whenever she wasn't trying to get Louis-Auguste to bonk her so she could finally produce the next dauphin and get France off her case.

One can't blame poor Mary-Anne for losing her head, though. Versailles - like many other great works of art and architecture - can certainly be overwhelming. It is a sensory overload of sights and, back in its glory days, smells, as well. As Wiki put it:

"The smell at Versailles was said to be 'unique out of all the palaces in Europe' (duc Saint-Simon). There were no functioning toilets until 1768. By the time of the French Revolution in 1789 there were only 9, and those belonged to the King and his closest family members. The rest of the palace simply had to live with the constant smell of the privy-chambers clinging to their clothes, apartments and the general atmosphere. Although banned, chamber pots were constantly emptied out of the nearest window." 


Anyhow, a single day is truly insufficient to take in the grand majesty of Versailles. But one fine day was all I had, and therefore had to make the most of it.

Therefore, mesdames et messieurs, as the ever-so-proper Comtesse des Noailles so eloquently put it:

Scrub to 2:30 if you wish to skip the morning's petit lever.

Bonjour, mes petits anges!

Magnificent frescoes sweep across the ceilings.

A view of the chapel of Versailles.

Le Grand Appartement du Roi.

This is what a bed fit for a king looks like.

These chairs held the derrieres of the king's loyal courtiers, 
who performed the king's levée every morning.

The Sun King strikes a serious pose.

An antechamber to the petit appartement du roi -
 his majesty's even more private quarters.

The palace...

...was simply overcome...

...with gilt.

Après les appartements du roi...

...on présente le petit appartement de la reine.

Mary Anne slept here.

The ornate canopy above the bed.

And the rest of the gilt-stricken room.
Actually, Mary-Anne's quarters reminded me so much of...cake.

Donc...qu'ils mangent de la brioche?