chili reads

the plague

Ola. Guess who’s back from the grave. A month into my break finally gave me reason to update this thing again. About my life, lol. Although it remained completely uneventful since the last time I posted. Hmm. Runthrough again with classic enumeration.

On University and Work

  1. Well. Survived last sem. I used survived because I barely came on top of my overwhelming laziness and extreme lack of motivation. Grades turned out alright though, but I want to strangle my international economics professor, that shithead. Anyway. Generally speaking, that semester wasn’t so value-adding in retrospect. Partially because I didn’t like my professors and also because I was just so burnt out from the previous one.
  2. Actually also planned on taking midyear classes, but unsurprisingly, I didn’t enroll because I was too lazy. Here is one of the reasons why I decided to post again.
  3. Signed myself up for more shit and work in my orgs. My friends keep asking me why I did it (don’t do it hoe, then ohmygod) but I guess I just wanted to feel like my work was value-adding and fruitful again. Like they say, it’s satisfying to work with a good team so I’m just feeling my way around for now. Actually enjoying the work so far.

On My Regression Into the Void that is KPOP

  1. Somehow, I found myself back in my kpop phase. Jesus. This is all EXO’s fault. Actually now that I think about it, I spent the latter half of last sem reading all the fic I could get my hands on. I gotta say man, the EXO ficdom is gloriously kinky. Like, sexual awakening levels of kinky. And I don’t say that shit lightly, I consider myself a fic connoisseur (LOLLIN). Bring on the knife play and bottom bitch!Jongdae.
  2. Many surprising gems in the ficdom (surprising because plowing through the EXO fan/ficdom is like going to war and expecting diamonds), so allow me to list down a few favorites: Kkangpae (wonderfully kinky sekai, mafia!AU), Endgame (brilliant spy!AU sekai), Gesamtkunstwerk (who doesn’t love 49k words about creative burnouts, and gorgeous character analysis? top form from the wonderful Di), the heart where i have roots (supreme character and relationship development. cried through this eternal sunshine!AU chankai), The Fine Line Between Love and Jackson Pollock (what can i say, i’m a sucker for art and reckless Chankai), Purgatorio for Two (murakami-like mood. jesus wept. and i don’t even ship baekyeol), Park “Pussy Smasher” Chanyeol (because i’m trash and this won me over with jongdae. this actually hit too close to home i’m depressed because it’s my pwp fantasy come to life). I should stop here. I could go on and on about fic and not run out of shit to say, ya know.
  3. Because of the sekai in LMR, I am /this/ close to writing the fic I want to read. That is, my reckless youths, roadtrip AU. Whiskey, Siken, a bottle of pills, coffee and cigarettes, dingy motels and apple pie a la mode, and Corvettes. Oh the dysfunction! I foresee gunplay and a load of miscommunication. I’m not sorry.
  4. In other KPOP developments, I can’t believe I still don’t have tickets to Big Bang’s concert. LOSER and BAE BAE were my anthems to surviving Hell Week. As well as Chanyeol’s voice. And his grey hair. And Jeonghan’s angel face. And JACKSON WANG. And SHINEE’s Odd Eye and Minho’s biceps and ass. Zitao’s laughter and rap in Rewind. Jesus H Christ. HELP. I’ve got a soft spot for tall Korean rappers with deep voices and I made a fangirl trash twitter account because of it. 😦

On Other Interests

  1. The annual film festivals are nearing and I’m really looking forward to Eiga Sai (Japanese film fest). Hoping to catch Princess Jellyfish and couple of other films. Apparently the theme is something about food, so it’s perfect.
  2. Also starting to rekindle my romance with animanga and comedy TV again. My break’s been spent by basically switching around marathons of Bob’s Burgers, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Orange is the New Black and Yowamushi Pedal. I swear, I’ll get around to updating myself with Game of Thrones soon.
  3. Oddly enough, I didn’t keep track of my film watching this year. I guess the whole list thing unconsciously put pressure on me that I feel strangely burnt out. Still watching movies though, but I guess that also took a back seat in lieu of KPOP reawakening, lol. Mad Max was brilliant. Also enjoyed crying over the Korean classic My Sassy Girl.
  4. Finished a book on the art and science of memory by Joshua Foer called Moonwalking with Einstein. Take that, naysayers! Mind palaces are real and effective!
  5. I’m trying to tell myself to create more reports about the shit I want to learn (i.e. Map of Africa, Dutch 101, etc) but my body clock is so fucked up that I wake up past noon every day and find that I’m just reacting to my life. But I really want to remember how it feels like to learn something for myself again, without any pressure.
  6. I’ve gotten into the hobby of penpalling and it’s a wonderful thing! I have penpals from all over the world– from Arkansas, to Amiens in France, to India. It’s slow, unassuming and intimate. Glad I have something to keep to myself right now. Although I really am coughing up serious cash because of the godforsaken postal service here. Worth it though.
  7. Also had a brief stint with calligraphy. Materials are serious investments so I’m still thinking if I’ll push through with it. Probably will end up trying out cross stitching again instead.
  8. I really, really should get around to posting my Japan 2015 photos because it was a lovely trip. Lightroom is just a little shit and again, laziness.
  9. I’ve been trying to learn how to live ~independently because The Netherlands 2016 is really starting to calcify. I’m actually currently alone in our new pad. Learning how to cook and uhh, /chores/ are really foreign to me (shit, what a millennial!) but I’m liking the freedom. I’ve been spending a lot of days here and even developed a habit of swimming, so I guess this is working out fine. I can cook chicken wings now.

On The Plague of Thoughts 

I guess this isn’t really a blog post from me if I don’t talk about anything related to my thoughts eating me up. Just yesterday I felt an overwhelming feeling of nausea. Psychosomatic, I think. After going out with a couple of friends I just came home literally wanting to puke my guts out. And I thought of all of the things I wanted from myself and what I wanted from everything and what I didn’t want and I just wanted to literally vomit. I keep telling myself to take every feeling as it is, to let it pass, to not let it control me and I’m getting better at it, I think. I think of the lives I could lead and the one I currently have and it’s hard not to weigh yourself down with the usual, useless disappointment. And like. How do I stop getting so frustrated by other people’s actions? It’s not as if I can change them. Ultimately it ends up with me mad, frustrated, chainsmoking reds into a coffee sachet because I’m poor, jaded bitch with ridiculous, stupid life decisions. I think I just need some time off and have a sundowner again.

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lunatic, the wanting comes in waves

Loose branches rustle in the strange air of
Night. Standing in the middle of the abandoned park,
on the thin metal slide, the World coos in anticipation,
it is Time. I shift my gaze to the sky.
There are two beams of light, two bodies over my head
yet I only know of one, I only know of One
Moon, and She pulls me deep into
Desperation, dank and dark behind her shadow
in the push and pull of the tides of Memory.
She hides her face and her calloused Hands
in changing phases, but her delicate wrists
always unveil in ritualistic
Slowness, like a secret being whispered
into small holes by the side of trees
so Here is my blessing, the cleansing.
this baptism by borrowed
Fire, by the warmth of her palm
pressing her prayers into mine, as if
gliding on my wavelength the Moment freezes
and the air is pregnant with Silence.
She holds her breath. it Cocoons straight
in my veins, holding her close. Her
light is not hers, but it is nothing if
not a message. Here, in our borrowed World.
Basking in the glow of stolen Light, I
greet her with faint, trembling fingers. Fate
pointing to my chest, right on the spot
where her light is the brightest, in this
World, where her wrists are bound, a waxing song
crystallizes in my ears. This is not home,
but you are Welcome. You are safe. Safe as
my Wanting can be. Find me in this world.


Inspired by Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. I really miss Japan. This is for another day.

the girl who wanted to be God

Planet Terror-31

“I am afraid of getting older. I am afraid of getting married. Spare me from cooking three meals a day—spare me from the relentless cage of routine and rote. I want to be free. (…) I want, I think, to be omniscient… I think I would like to call myself “The girl who wanted to be God.” Yet if I were not in this body, where would I be—perhaps I am destined to be classified and qualified. But, oh, I cry out against it. I am I—I am powerful—but to what extent? I am I.” Sylvia Plath, Letters Home

Hey. This isn’t really anything. I just wanted to talk. To write. To quote that Plath quote I really like, and to post that rad mega-cool ultra-hip photo of me as Simone de Beauvoir (that’s Anton behind me as Jean-Paul Sartre lol) last Halloween for Planet Terror (thanks Jude!). I just wanted to let you know, whoever you are (if you really are there), that I’m still alive. I’m having a pretty shit time at uni right now. Not because of any drama but you know, the usual hell sem worries, except now it’s overblown and shit’s hit the fan and wow, I can’t believe I’m still awake at 3:18 am when I’ve been sleep-deprived for the past 5 months. Speaking of no sleep. My insomnia’s been worsening. I have acne and I haven’t smoked in a fortnight and I think I not-slept my way to a hemorrhoid but yeah. I’m doing the usual shit. Otherwise I’m doing a bit okay. I think I’m in a better place, or maybe it’s just the stress taking too much of my time and thoughts. Anyway. That’s a good thing, right?

I also watched a couple of movies recently. I really liked Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story. I like how it doesn’t judge anyone. It’s human condition, to forget that we should love people in the right way. We’re too busy trying to be understood that we forget to be understanding. I get it. How do we reconcile that though? How do we find the balance of selfish and selfless? Or do we have to tip it to one side?

Moving on. This is the trippiest video I’ve ever seen in my life. Chamber of Reflections is my favorite track on Salad Days though. Mac DeMarco is a revelation. Jumping to Korea. Taemin and Kai’s collab Pretty Boy made me survive my EL50 paper. I finally understand why some people don’t like K-Pop. I think it’s a cultural thing. Westerners favor more “authentic” music, so they dislike musicians that have curated images (e.g. Lana Del Rey vs. Taylor Swift). K-Pop, however, works exactly because they change images very easily and rapidly. Each song or album is a new concept. It’s like experimentation and art and culture on steroids. I fucking love that. There’s always something new in Korea.

Moving on. Over the past fortnight, while I was supposedly studying for my Econ majors (TANGENT: I got a perfect score on my liquor market analysis from Prof. Ho. I literally cried. I was failing that class and I had to rewrite that paper 8 hours before passing it because Word crashed. Point is, let me feel proud about that. Yay for validation, I’m on the right track.)– I made a long-ass, super detailed itinerary for my week long trip to Japan next April. Sorta went crazy writing it. 2 days in Osaka, 2 days in Kyoto, 2-3 in Tokyo. I am fucking excited. Literally everything I’m planning, from second sem schedule to fitness goals, are hinged on this Japan trip. Fucking. Excited. I feel bad that I don’t have enough time to visit my host family in Kumamoto though. Hopefully I can go back there if ever I get accepted for that exchange program next year. About that. I applied (for the lulz) for an exchange program to the Netherlands or to Japan. Aiming for Utrecht or Osaka/Kyushu Uni next fall. Not sure if I want to continue with it though, but anyway there’s still an interview.

Meanwhile. My sem’s not yet over (since I still have my stat finals on Monday) but I’m finally tasting freedom. Because of said freedom, I’ve booked a spa date with my friend Alysson and I’m watching Ravel and Debussy played by the Manila Orchestra on Friday with Fatemeh. I’m starting to get a hang of 1-1 hangouts. Usually I’m very awkward being alone with someone else but ever since UP I’m starting to like being alone-ish. Good thing too I guess. I’m also really, really excited about my best friend Nicole’s debut on January, we’re headed to my favorite place on Earth El Nido for a 4-day trip. Really. Really. Excited. So I got that going for me. I’m finally going to be able to go to a beach with my main gal pals to unwind and have fun and have all the pina coladas I want.

I also have the time to read books over the break. Eyeing Pessl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics (found it in a booksale for 200Php!),Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century (finally!) and Murakami’s 1Q84. Feeling quite bummed about the fact that I don’t think I can reach my movie target this year (120’s a bit of a long shot at this time) but at least there’s still next year.

Overall I feel generally okay right now. I need to work on my friendship skillz though. I’ve been a shit friend to a lot of people. Also my writing habits. As you can see I’m really in a funk right now, I’ve only been writing to churn out academic papers and I haven’t written a poem in months. But now I’m just really tired and burned out. I really need a break. I guess I have Christmas to do it. Also, note to self: you want an external hard-drive for Christmas. And retail therapy (records and clothes. And make-up).

Only thing that’s been really bothering me lately is my discontent. I feel myself wanting more, not really from anyone else but from myself. It’s always good to improve yourself but it seems that I always want to be everyone and anyone and do everything and anything and yeah, I want to think and feel everything and I want to reach that point. I want to be God. Such hubris. Should I stop myself? Should I take the leap of faith? Whatever I believe in, my actions will operate on and perhaps I’ll be closer to the truth. Will I create truth? Do I dare, disturb the universe? It always goes back to this.

swimming upriver towards happiness

i can’t tell if i’m crying because of my horrible microeconomics exam today, or because of this goddamn fic. or both. probably both.

jesus. i’m tired. i also can’t believe that there’s roughly 2 months til another year. god, i feel old (among other things). i’m finally going to have one exam-free week in this monstrous hell of a sem. silver lining?

atlas, pasan ko ang mundo

“It’s dark because you’re trying too hard,” said Susila. “Dark because you want it to be light. Remember what you used to tell me when I was a little girl. ‘Lightly, child, lightly. You’ve got to learn to do everything lightly. Think lightly, act lightly, feel lightly. Yes, feel lightly, even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.’ I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig. Lightly, lightly—it was the best advice ever given me. Well, now I’m going to say the same thing to you, Lakshmi . . . Lightly, my darling, lightly. Even when it comes to dying. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic. No rhetoric, no tremolos, no self-conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Goethe or Little Nell. And, of course, no theology, no metaphysics. Just the fact of dying and the fact of the Clear Light. So throw away all your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling. On tiptoes; and no luggage, not even a sponge bag. Completely unencumbered.”
Excerpt from Aldous Huxley’s Island

TO ORPHEUS

It isn’t madness but shame for wanting
and shame for not having what I want,

which is a kind of madness—drunk,
3 a.m., the stairwell too steep to climb.

The bed can wait. I go to the pool instead,
strip and step in, the smell of smoke and sweat

washing from hair and skin. The wet kiss:
his mouth pressed here, my neck, and there,

my chest—in the end—went nowhere.
Cars pass with coupled strangers. I wade.

The brick wall stretches into the sky,
the sky empty, save the constellations,

whose lives I love—yours most of all,
father of poets, whose lyre filled trees

and stones with awe, the lover torn to shreds
and thrown in to the river. Tonight,

you’re the swan, lost among pinholes of light,
your throat bitten by a black hole

that takes and takes and never fills. I kick,
stroke my tired arms to buoy this body.

It makes ring after perfect ring, but each one
breaks along the edge. You who never were,

did you look down on the world at last
and see that more won’t be enough? Not now.

Not ever. Want picks the human heart.
You’re the lie I won’t believe forever.
by Blas Falconer

Mersault’s Sun

There is a certain kind of fatigue caused by the sun.
This pushes me to desperation. I inhabit the air around you
for a split second, waves of heat cascading down my back.
Finger on the trigger. The wind shifts direction, wavering,
wavering; I compel you to listen. This is heat, this is day,
my will slipping through my fingers like sand. Red in
warmth, yellow in fire. All alight, all raised to death.
I am burning, I am aflame: the Sun is high above.

the profundity of thinking small

“But what is ‘saved’ time spent for? To earn more money so one can purchase more goodies– to be kept cold in a second refrigerator. Our lives are sad and empty because we are not like that ‘saved’ time. Time is not to be saved, for essentially there is no way of keeping it. There are no deposits for time.

One should not bother with it, then. There are no ‘time’ banks the way that there are banks in which money and jewelry can be deposited. Think small of time. Denigrate it till it is no longer a factor in our lives. There is only this day. There are only three meals. There is only this amount of money. Those are the givens in which I exist. I must master these givens. Yielding is a step towards ennui.”

Edilberto M. Alegre

Sisyphus

A heavy breath escapes, echoing small relief.
Mimesis– each frame a copy, each frame reflects
again, stale light suspended around your radius.

The ground spills out of the sides of its path,
forged Mountain stretches steeper, your hold
wavering, rock straining beneath your fingers in

sweet Rebellion– all air static and yours, Electric
Blue, is blue of heat: warm and warning?
such Resistance; such is, in human persistence
against the Divine. There is no escaping wrath.

This is your vengeance, the final act that repeats,
the scream that deafens in silence. Here are our
revolving cycles of Ritual. All have been found.

We have known all along. Merciless Time
Cannot stop the tide from passing, the heavens
Wait patiently. Repeat.