No one is supposed to live in this world friendless. I know the good that friendship does for me but I can’t quite define what a friend is. And the concept grows nebulous — as with all things growing complex — the older you get.
Others have pointed this out. We have no qualifiers for friends the way we’re ever stringent about romantic partners or spouses. A formal declaration must be made for the latter two; guidelines are laid down and regularly revised.
We apply the label to an acquaintance after a warm exchange and maybe laughter over cold beer. Even so, the affection is often one-way, thus we get disappointed or hurt when, in the succeeding days, the other doesn’t assume the shape of our friend mould. The lack of rules negates our right to be mad.
I am interested in the pull that’s felt upon meeting someone for the first time. That connection or the strong desire to connect, even to care deeply. Sometimes we’re happy to be with the same people at a distance. Like the waitress who …
Bring me flowers. It'll make my day. Perfect gifts, they are: highly symbolic and practical. A bouquet of flowers is a burst of emotions. It's alive and real at the moment — it'll die soon. And so like feelings it must be renewed, reasserted over and over. And so bring me flowers again, and again.
Trinkets are tacky, food is messy, but flowers, you can assign any meaning to them and they unburden the receiver of clutter. Flowers discard themselves by wilting.
Teaching myself the art of arranging flowers, I came across this tip, which makes me think of a princess locked in a castle: Sometimes people think they should set their vase of flowers in a sunny windowsill since that is where a plant would be happiest. However, cut flowers are actually the opposite of potted plants. They are at their peak of perfection. Sun and heat will encourage them to "mature" and thus quicken their demise. Instead, keep your cut flowers in a cool dark spot if you would like them to las…
Today I was honest when a friend asked, How are you? I said things are moving so slow. With the certainty of a mother whose job it is to trick her child into calmness (silence) he blurted, It'll pick up. Am no child so my sincere response was, How did you know?
"Coz we're in retrograde." Again the certitude.
Now I'm one of those who has no clue, except for its negative connotation, what a retrograde is — even if I do read my sun, moon, and rising signs forecast — but at this point he was really convincing.
Not sadness for a loss of life but a pang of nostalgia. That's how I felt when I heard about Chris Cornell's death.
The afternoon weather was rather relaxed. Rain cooled the air. We welcome this given what seemed like summer baking in infernal heat. Late lunch was made, served, had. Logged on to Netflix. Watched the stupid but nevertheless entertaining Stephen King novel-inspired Secret Window.
Peeked at Twitter (or returned to Twitter after a quick dip into life?). There the news was.
Whatever sadness I felt, it was directed towards the fans awaiting the band's next gigs. I know I can put myself in their shoes. I do love Soundgarden, though I may not have followed them as intently. Cornell's voice will remain — I don't see it within the context of gender or genre, it just is magnificent.
Naturally went on a binge—
Quintessence of badassery
Missing this brand of loud
—Reminded of how grand, how badass Soundgarden and Chris Cornell were.
Over the weekend I saw two stage performances: one a preview, the other a premiere; one by a college drama guild, the other by a professional theater outfit. Both musicals, both tell familiar tales — one concerning politics, the other, religion.
The former, Lean; the latter, Godspell.
Lean: If all else fails, there’s music
Will Gary Granada please write more musicals?
The composer injects a dose of rock with patriotic élan into UP Naming Mahal that any listener, regardless of alma mater, will find a connection to the anthem. Without neglecting its humor, he turns the pejorative catchphrase ‘Only in the Philippines’ into a full-on critique of the national elections in Dito lang sa Pilipinas. These, along with other rousing Granada-penned songs, I heard at the concert preview of Lean last Friday.
Lean is short for Leandro Alejandro, the name of prominent UP student and nationalist shot dead in 1987. The musical, which revolves around his activism, premiered in 1997 and featured OPM arti…
I just admire Matthew Koma. I will always wish him well. The first time I interviewed him (for his first show at Chaos Manila), I was surprised by his wisdom and candor. He says the most practical and at the same profound things. He's witty and chill. My kind of guy.
Last week, March 11 to be exact, he came back for another show, and I did everything I could (which wasn't much, since the people at Chaos were super cool) to score another one-on-one with him for GIST. Matthew was in a better mood. He remembered me!
Told him it was my birthday the day before and that his show was my birthday gift to myself. After the interview, I asked for an updated selfie and told him, 'I want us to look like we're friends,' to which he quickly replied, 'We ARE friends'.
But the best thing that happened that night was he gave me a hug — an actual hug, you know, with pressure.
I don’t have it in me to laugh at a woman who, for the first time in her life, learns how to pleasure herself. Nor at a woman who begs to be touched by a man, by her husband no less.
When I saw a preview of In the next room or the vibrator play, I was wary of cheap laughs drawn upon people’s ignorance over their bodies and objects being inserted where they can somehow fit. But the play is far from callow. The latter half of the title is a nasty trick, though, to incite curiosity; for the crux of the story is marital disconnection. Playwright Sarah Ruhl has written a clever drama, which humor is only incidental, never its driving force as what the adverts would have you believe.
“That is how he fell in love with me, he said he was determined to keep up with me — he only saw the back of my head before we married because I was always one step ahead. He said he had to marry me to see my face,” Catherine Givings talks about her passion for walking and her husband Dr. Givings, a gyne…
It will strike different chords with different folks. With someone who majored in Literature and whose reflexes include poetry, Margaret Edson’s Wit is a chaffing reminder that command of language is in the slightest degree command of life; and mastery of the highest form of literature does not save one from leading a corny life.
50-year-old Vivian Bearing, PhD is a professor of seventeenth-century poetry, specializing in the Holy Sonnets of John Donne. She’s ready to die. Resigned, at least, to a future contained in a ‘two-hour glass’. Enough time for her to muse about mortality in front of an obliging audience.
Professors (the better ones) are precisely that: performers. Dr Bearing makes the theater her lecture hall. The subject, we’re not sure. Stage-four metastatic ovarian cancer? Metaphysical wit? Punctuations turning worlds upside-down? Kindness, meaning? Until her very last minutes, she needs to parse everything:
I am not in isolation because I have cancer… I am in isolation b…
“Our experiences and beliefs are liable frequently to be dismissed with a quizzical, slightly alarmed, ‘Really? How weird!’, accompanied by a raised eyebrow, amounting in a small way to a denial of our legitimacy and humanity,” writes Alain de Botton in his book, The Consolations of Philosophy. He then, in commiseration, talks about Montaigne, who, by learning the beliefs and behaviors of people from other regions through travelling and reading, “could gain legitimacy for parts of himself of which there was no evidence in the vicinity—the Roman parts, the Greek parts, the sides of himself that were more Mexican and Tupi than Gascon, the parts that would have liked to have six wives or have a shaved back or wash twelve times a day…”
The Consolations of Philosophy essentially does two things: provide the titular consolation and exhibit the practicability of Philosophy. The common problems of man are presented and corresponding philosophers—their lives and views—are considered to discu…
Bridget Jones writes in her diary what I won't dare write in my own: current weight, calorie intake, sexual encounters, humiliations and defeats; and in a manner I cannot even begin to master: straightforward and witty.
Chick lit is an unexplored (because avoided) territory for me. My impression of the genre is tied to whiny girls belaboring the obvious about love, men, and other girls. So why the sudden foray into the unknown? No special reason, except the human urge to sometimes try something different and know. Plus, my inner Anglophile whispered, Bridget is brilliant.
The book was published when I was still in high school, though I only learned about it in college when the film adaptation came out. It is, I realize, for the better that I've read it now than then; for surely back when I was 19, I would have little appreciation for the theory that
Homosexuals and single women in their thirties have natural bonding: both being accustomed to disappointing their parents an…