December 2005


It's Christmas eve. And to put a tmesis between Christmas and eve (eg freakin', bloody, f*!?ed-up, or any reviling or blasphemous word that comes to mind) to describe the present state of preparedness for the coming holiday wouldn't help the situation at all.

This blog, for instance, is unattended for weeks: drafts to post, entries to write, messages to read.

Orlando. I haven't written anything about my recent trip with G in Florida. That tops my blog-to-write backlog. Screw the backlog. Here's the gist. Went to Orlando, gray skies, cloudy weather, bunked in an old and cheap Holiday Inn, wearied ourselves in themeparks, blew our brains out from barf-inducing rides, fed ourselves with burgers and chinese (stuck needles of cholesterol is more like it), went wild and carnal, left broke and sick. Whew!

Oh, and a plane crashed in Miami while we were about to take-off. That really capped our weekend trip.

And so, here I am, back in NY (tmesis applicable: happening). Christmas tree is out, spruced and lit up. Snow is absent, odd as it may read. Malls are packed; parking spaces becoming rare.

Speaking of malls, I just came from one and people are everywhere. Lines knot into restrooms, and I am talking about toilets for men here! Same is true with cash counters and fitting rooms. Shopping. It's a curse. Unforgiveable, too. You lose money and tire yourself crazy.

Ah, Christmas postcards! Unsigned and unsent, still. I reckon, by the time it reaches a friend, it would be Easter already. Go ahead, blame it on procrastination. I know I will.

We're having grilled sirloin steaks for the Christmas eve dinner. That's something to look forward to, yeah? That might have to wait. G and I are still wrapping gifts. Last-minute, I know. Again, procrastination. Pinoy kasi!

OK, enough musings (and irregular sentences). Work! Work! Work! The house is a mess! Wrappers, receipts, plastic bags, adhesive tapes, scissors, and chips are taking over the living room floor. Jesus Christ! (Happy Birthday, by the way). Merry Christmas!

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US President George W. Bush — yes, the man who found himself locked in an auditorium in China two weeks ago (and yes, the same one who tried to mediate between two squabbling dogs in the White House amidst pressing socio-economic problems) — has finally admitted that the decision to wage a war on Iraq came from 'wrong intelligence' and has taken responsibility for it.

Finally, the (arguably) most powerful leader in the world used his not so powerful IQ and delivered the message to his people: I have poor judgment and made a terrible decision out of it.

The entire world knew the Iraq war and invasion were wrong; The entire world knew the real reason and motive behind the war and invasion; And the entire world knew Dubya and his decisions on Iraq and terrorism, per se, were wrong since Colin Powell made sweeping accusations on Iraq's capability to manufacture WMD in the UN's Security Council back in 2002.

How can Dubya be right when he barks up the wrong tree? How can he mistake Saddam Hussein for Osama bin-laden? How can he fight terrorism in a country where the only exports it sends overseas are not trained terrorists but drilled oil? How can he pass the buck to 'wrong intelligence' when it is clearly his own decision to settle an old score with Saddam Hussein and secure oil contracts in the end under his fumbling (and obviously misdirected) campaign on terrorism?

If there is anything the entire world was guilty of, it was giving Dubya too much benefit of the doubt and entertaining wild what ifs in dire hopes terrorism (and Osama bin Laden, who, by the way, remains at-large) would crumble as hard as the blown down WTC.

Four years later, with more than 2,000 KIA troops and no trace of any WMD, the war on Iraq proves to be the biggest blunder in intelligence and leadership (Dubya, personified).

Despite this blunder, Americans have decided to keep Dubya and his intelligence through re-election. But for the rest of the world, all it had to do was to presume with greater intelligence that Dubya was waging a wrongful war on Iraq.

And now, the presumption is confirmed true: Guilty! 

After laboring through it for a good couple of months, I finally finished reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illuminated. Don't get me wrong; I enjoyed the book in all its comic glory and tragic climax. I relished the book's rich narration of discovering one's roots in Nazi-torn environment even if I'm no Jew. I just have this silly obsession with reading slowly a good book — mincing every word and rereading exceptional lines, like taking a scrimp-of-a-bite out of a cheesecake for hours (hmmmmmm).

But perhaps because I am no Jew, I felt lost in some parts of the book that I had a crash course of sorts about Jews through Wikipedia on occassions too many. Of course I didn't mind at all. The better for me to understand and appreciate the book.

I'd like to write and a post a blog review about it soon but for now, I am just… illuminated of how great the book turned out to be!

I admire Foer's writing style; there's something distinct and precise about it, especially the way points and punch lines are delivered. I envy his gift. I have yet to shake up my dormant muse and find the courage to write my own stories — all bottled up in my fickle and already cluttered head.

Anyway, now that I have finally given Everything Is Illuminated it's time of day (heck, months!), I yearn to start leafing through Foer's next fiction Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close.

I unknot the strings of my PJs while I open my bedroom door to psych my contracting bladder wall that I am heeding its nagging (and waking) call. I am pissed, pun intended. I say OK, OK, I'm off to the toilet! As I turn the knob and pull the door, I start to squint my eyes bracing them from my pitch-dark bedroom to the usual bright, sunlit living room.

The door flings open. I stop squinting. It's still dark. I check the time: 8AM.

Weird.

I walk towards the window pressing my you-know-what from exploding, half expecting to see an element that resembles something close to any Spielberg or Shyamalan movie. The window glass is misty, so I give it a quick rub with my other hand. And there it is: A wide blanket of snow on rooftops, pavements, trees, posts, vacant lots, and the entire neighborhood!

I don't know how others feel, but seeing snow is a fascination G and I relish. Perhaps because we were both raised in tropical Manila that expecting and experiencing snow are affairs we earnestly take interest in. On our first winter day years back, we posed in every snowy nook and wearied the camera and tolerated the usual encumbrances of chapped lips, dry skin, and numbed jaws from the winter cold.

Today, it snows. And I say a warm hello! to the start of winter.

Time to ready the camera and poses; Time to pull out the thick blankets, heavy coats, scarfs, jackets, mittens, and bonnets; Time to turn up the heater and put the airconditioners and fans in the closet; Time to think of Christmas and the holiday season, and; (taking cue from my bladder-in-protest) Time to rush to the toilet and relieve myself… 

My life is rated R!

Life Rated R

What is your life rated? (MPAA Scale)

Take Other Caffeine Nebula Quizzes

You can tell, I am bored…

Politics in Manila reared its ugly head yet again as the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) finally scrapped basketball from the official sports list in this month's staging of the 23rd Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in the Philippines.

The controversy-ridden Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) has been suspended from the roster of accredited sports bodies under POC for reasons (1) BAP failed to honor its commitment with the POC in the formation of a national basketball team from major leagues to compete in international competitons, and; (2) the BAP chair (along with some basketball players) was found to be a non-Filipino, which is unconstitutional.

Officials of both sports bodies have been at odds for months and the stand off has hurt the participation of national players in basketball games overseas including the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship in Malaysia. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) is poised to suspend BAP, as recommended by POC, and prevent the Philippines from fielding a national team in any international game. Because of this, Filipinos will be deprived of a basketball team in this year's SEAG where the Philippines consistently dominate and reap gold for years.

Sad, really. Politicians are spoiling the very passion and pastime of every common Filipino. Basketball is a national Philippine sport as soccer is in Brazil. Sure, Filipino players are not as tall as the Chinese; not as disciplined as the Japanese; not as superstar-like as Americans, but the display of skill and heart to play is always there. So much so that Filipinos revere basketball players, raising them up on pedestals as heroes, idols, and even Gods (and elect into politics — ah, the irony!).

Basketball championship in SEAG may yield only one gold, but if history will repeat itself this year as in 1991 when the Philippines lost overall SEAG championship to Indonesia by a mere gold, these politicians embroiled in the suspension of basketball will reckon the nation's wrath of political disenchantment and disgust.

No basketball in SEAG? What an injustice! Blow the whistle and call 'Foul!'