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Of the spotless mind.

So this week I was finally able to cross out one film from my bucket list, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. I have always known of its cult following and great reviews but never really got around to watching it because -- oh not surprisingly, I keep forgetting. (How ironic, eh?) Anyway, thanks to the awesome boy-no-space-friend, I finally did this week.

All I can say is, why did I not see it any sooner? By far one of the best movies of the decade. Heck, ever.

(Spoiler alert! If you haven't seen it, skip this entry. Or better yet, watch it already! Go go go, torrent!)

The first thing that struck me about the movie was the couple, really. Joel and Clem are complete opposites, presented to us with their own seemingly incompatible eccentricities, and yet in that initial moment of meeting, you just know there's a connection. I love how they both did not fit in the stereotyped perfect couple cookie mold, because they made the movie all the more enchanting to watch. I'd like believe somewhere out there, there is someone as complex (if not more) than me, and together we can complement the complicated mess that we are.

But of course, the undeniable element of this play is the idea of forgetting. Lacuna, Inc. is a company that claims to have the scientific capabilities of erasing only certain parts of your memory. By mapping which parts of your brain store these memories (through recalling and story-telling) and by surrendering all the items which will remind you of that which you want to forget, they can selectively remove them from your mind and the next day, wake up with no recollection of anything even remotely close to that event in your life. And that is precisely what the main characters did. Went to Lacuna, Inc. and got their exes removed. Not a trace of their former lover. Very ideal for past relationships don't you think?

I've had my own share of painful experiences (romantic or otherwise) that, truth be told, I would very much rather forget. If only I can erase it completely off my mind, maybe I would especially with a seemingly easy procedure. And wouldn't that be practical? No more nasty fights with your current lover about your not-so-distant past. No more missing, longing, wanting of something from the past that should be over. No more loose ties or remnants of unresolved feelings. And best of all, no regrets. Just a clean, fresh slate for everyone.

It sounds awesome, right? Forgetting sounds like the perfect escape.

The question was staring me in the eye: Given the chance, would I want to forget?

One thing about me though (and this is, sadly, non-fictional) is that I am very forgetful. Ask my mom that, and she'll probably give you an entire notebook filled with events caused by my short-term memory loss tendencies. Like that one time I left a newly bought swimsuit at MOA. Or when I forgot to pay for something. Or when I forget (present tense) my ID, wallet, cellphone and anything else essential. The list goes on and on. I don't know why, maybe I lack potassium or maybe I just hit my head really hard somewhere along the last eighteen years of my life, but I'm just really makakalimutin. And it not only annoys my mom to bits, but of course, me too. It takes a toll on my personal life. Oh imagine the horrors of forgetting something for class or for an exam! Those "I know I know this!" moments -- nghhh. Terribly frustrating. And if only I could find a cure to this, trust me, I'd poop bricks if that's what it would take. If only my forgetfulness can be selective -- only embarrassing and hurtful moments, rather than really significant ones. (Like monthsaries? Haha.)

But then I thought, erasing something as big a deal as that, say, an entire relationship will not only remove all memory of the fights and the nasty arguments, but as well as the good times -- the time you tried (and failed) to tie a cherry knot using your tongue, singing annoying tween songs that are pointless but popular nonetheless, almost dying as you drove an ATV, spoon-fights and wrestling sessions, sunsets and walks in the rain -- everything. I would have nothing to hold on to, even the beautiful memories that made me happiest, because everything would be gone.

And you know what? No thanks. Give me all the emo cheesy songs I'd have to sing, the pints of ice cream I'd have to eat, the countless seemingly endless days I'd have to go through just to get over the pain. But I would never trade the memory of a significant relationship all for the sake of a clean slate. If it means forgetting even all the pleasure that came with that pain, then no thank you. For me, there is no memory worth forgetting. Because one little fact we unfortunately tend to forget is this: no matter how hard it may seem at first, you will get over it. You will see the silver lining. You will learn. One day you'll wake up, and it wouldn't hurt so bad anymore. Then you can look back on it not with remorse but contentment. Contentment that for that much pain, you also got so much more: strength. I'd much rather look back on life with a little remorse but with a sense of redemption, rather than look back on nothing.

I wish I never have to go through forgetting huge, important parts of my life. The scientific procedure in the movie is fictional, but amnesia, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease are all real. I'm scared of one day waking up and having no recollection of the life I lived, the life I'm living. I always want to remember. Everything. Every little detail.

Yes, even that time I farted real bad inside a prospective guy's car. *dies* Hey, what do you know, said guy is now the boy-nospace-friend. Maybe it was because of my undeniable fierceness? In every sense of the word :P


Shuffle Wednesdays.

"Sometimes, things find you when you need them to find you, I believe that. And for me its usually song lyrics."

- Peyton Sawyer

Wednesday is undeniably the most boring day of the weak. I call it the "hump" day because it's right smack in the middle -- the weekend seems so far away and it always feels like there are a LOT more stuff to do. Don't you get that feeling? Wednesdays are always hard to get by. So, I decided, why not do something to look forward to every Wednesday?

Enter Shuffle Wednesdays. Because my favorite thing to do on my iPod (next to organizing my playlists) is playing Shuffle on it, why not share it with all you guys? I will come up with several random songs using the Shuffle mode and put them here for your auditory pleasure. It feels like a big deal to me actually because I've always been possessive about the songs and bands I know and love. I have an unexplained aversion towards mainstream, and so I prefer my favorite music to remain under the radar. But it's about time I grow up and learn to share them with you guys. After all, you deserve something more from this blog other than just my rantings after all these years.

On to the music. I'll give you a full batch of ten for the first one. Download them, listen to them, share them, do whatever you please. Press Play!

3x5 by John Mayer
(As/Is Live In Cleveland, OH)
"I'm writing you to / catch you up on places I've been / and you have this letter / you probably got excited / but there's nothing else inside it / didn't have a camera by my side this time / hoping I would see the world through both my eyes / maybe I will tell you all about it /when I'm in the mood to lose my way with words"
- As I have always said, John Mayer is poetry with an acoustic guitar. He never fails with his songs. Never. I just downloaded his entire discography (that's 2GB worth of album tracks and live performances) and may I just say, it was sooo worth it. So don't be surprised when he always pops up in the Shuffle. Also: Thank God his concert was moved to October 1st!

I'll Catch You by The Get Up Kids
(Something To Write Home About)
"Don't worry / I'll catch you / Don't worry / I'll catch you / Don't ever worry / No need for reminding / You're still all that matters to me"
- This song have always meant a lot to me, especially in my junior year of high school when I first heard it. It's a song that starts out gentle and slow, that some may consider to be bordering on emo but is still to me one of the simplest but most beautiful songs ever written. It was played in Episode 3x15 of One Tree Hill.

Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off by Panic! At The Disco
(A Fever You Can't Sweat Off)
"You know it will always just be me / Let's get these teen hearts beating faster / Faster / So testosterone boys / and harlequin girls / will you dance to this beat / and hold a lover close"
- Who doesn't know of this song? It will always be my "Valentine's Day" theme song. The acoustic version is much more awesome though. Brendon Urie's bedroom voice = WHOA.

To Wish Impossible Things by The Cure
"Remember how it used to be? / ...It was the sweetness of your skin / it was the hope of all we might have been / that fills me with the hope to wish impossible things."
- One of my favorites from this band. It sings of longing and regret. Very haunting, and gives you the kind of nostalgia that is almost painful to listen to as it is to feel.

Akin Ka Na Lang (Necktie Version) by Itchyworms
(Noon Time Show: Commercial Break Edition)
"Akin ka na lang / iingatan ko ang puso mo / akin ka na lang / at wala nang hihigit pa sa'yo."
- Cheery pop rock happiness is always served best by Itchyworms. I love this version better than the original. It's every wishful/desperate admirer's song.

Since I Told You It's Over by Stereophonics
(You Gotta Go There To Come Back)
"So take a look at me now / since I told you it's over / you got a hole in your heart / I'll find a four leaf clover / you can't tell me this now / this far down the line / that you're never, ever gonna get over me."
- This can be a good accompanying song/response to "To Wish Impossible Things" since on the other hand this sings of disbelief that his ex still cannot get over him.

Teasing To Please by Cute Is What We Aim For
(Left Side, Strong Side)
"I'm selfish / as selfish comes / you're giving me a run for my money / honey."
- It's such a shame that this band broke up already because I loved them a lot. I discovered them in my junior year also, and a number of their songs possess that rare quality of being catchy yet very meaningful.

Satellite by Dave Matthews Band
(Under The Table And Dreaming)
"Satellite in my eyes / like a diamond in the sky / how I wonder / satellite from the moon / and the world your balloon."
- Dave Matthews Band. Enough saaaaid.

Slow Dancing In A Burning Room by John Mayer
(Live at Merriweather Post Pavillion)
"We're going down / and you can see it too / We're going down / and you know that we're doomed / my dear / we're slow dancing in a burning room."
- One of the most aching and truthful songs ever written. The first time I heard this in my dorm room during freshman year of college, I cried. I swear I did. It's such a painful admission of a doomed relationship -- there's no way out, it's a dead end. If this doesn't get to you, you're made of stone.

Non Amarmi by Aleandro Baldi & Francesca Allotta
"Non amarmi perche' vivo all'ombra / non amarmi per cambiare il mondo / tanto il mondo non si cambia / e siamo tutti specchi / fatti per guardarsi /e diventare soli e vecchi."
Translation: "Don't love me because I live in the shadow / don't love me to change the world / because anyway the world won't change / and we are all mirrors / made to be looked at / and become lonely and old."
- We discussed this song in my Italian11 class, and I ended up loving the song. The speaker is telling his lover to not love him because of his imperfections and his inadequacy to give her the love she deserves. Italians are known romantics and when translated to English, this will undeniably fall under the "super cheesy" category. But I don't know, I fell in love with this song. After this, I started downloading Italian songs for my own listening pleasure and for educational purposes as well.

Enjoy the first Shuffle! Until next Wednesday ;)



Sigh of relief.

Finally after the loooong wait, my grades for the second semester are complete. Hooray for balancing petix and nerd time! Here's to more semesters like this~

I hope this earns me one thousand good daughter points :D



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I lie awake, riffs floating in between my ears, colds stifled inside nostrils, thoughts smothered for later. It was lethargic how the night went on without a wink of sleep paying me a visit. How odd it felt to stare at the shadows on the ceiling, tossing and turning around in bed, adjusting the electric fan for more than two hours when you're used to dozing off to slumber just a few seconds after hitting the pillow.

For a night of sleeplessness, it was filled to the brim with questions. And never-ending songs. Indeed, a 30GB iPod is a sudden insomniac's best friend.

And suddenly, slowly, the night unfolded itself to me. It was lethargic. But it was empty. It was as if seeing swirling colors in bubbles -- you see them there and yet they don't seem to exist. I cannot explain it. All I know was that I was hearing and feeling something different from the music I have always listened to in my iPod. Words were coming to me, ideas were popping out of my head. I was confused. Was I in trance? Or was I just desperately sleepless? Why the sudden gush of words, of pictures, of questions?

I wanted to write it down. To type it. To draw it. There was something in my mind but unless it became tangible I cannot make sense of it. It was like being silently suffocated, however I didn't know by what. (Although, for some part, maybe it was due to my bad colds, which was why I found myself sniffing the Vicks inhaler for quite a lot of times that night.)

But the fear of unleashing the mother's wrath for one's unsleeping offspring stopped me. I hugged my pillow tight, hoping to make it go away, or at least reserve it for some other time -- maybe after more sleep. Yet, I couldn't fall asleep. Army Millare's lines were haunting. Still I tossed, and turned, resisting the urge to exhaust my mind into figuring out the complex at that time of dawn. I had to sleep.

Okay, so I did fall asleep. Albeit very, very late and discontinuously. I still don't know what happened to me last night. Why did it feel so empty, yet refreshing? Am I going crazy? It feels like I am. It's the weirdest shit, I know. I knowww.

And now, in a (seemingly failed) attempt to explain what happened, I'm at a loss for words. I don't know. It doesn't make sense. I tried triggering the state of daze again by plugging in Up Dharma Down's songs but nothing comes to me. What happened to me last night?

Maybe it's my mind telling me to loosen up. Relax. Get rest. Or maybe it's about time I stop listening to my iPod before I go to sleep.


Meet Porphyria.

My newest baby.

If that's the case, then that makes me Porphyria's lover :> Except that I will never strangle her to death.


Summer (classes)

As the jeep passed by the Oblation, turning a left towards the waiting shed before Vargas Museum, I glanced my head outside the window hoping to see how far I still was from the AS-FC walk because I was almost late for my 9 am class. But what flashed before me was a picturesque view of tall trees shading the Academic Oval as if warmly welcoming you to another day into its arms. I see this everyday but this morning it felt new and inviting. It was 8:57 on my watch, but I just really had to stop for a second and appreciate the view before I went back to rushing to my class.

It's been almost three years, but I don't think I will ever get tired of UP.

This is the first time I would be taking summer classes -- ever. My philosophy has always been to enjoy the summer break because it's the only reward you can really give yourself after an extremely stressful year. It gives you ample time to fully recharge before bracing yourself for yet another battle with the university life. But because of blockmate-pressure and the desire to make this summer more productive than usual, I enrolled for CL114 (Drama), which is a prerequisite to CW 141 (Playwriting). Our creative writing specialization classes require a specific genre of literature as a prerequisite, so this is one way of lessening my load for next semester. It's not all that bad really because I'm with two of my best friends but what sucks is that while everyone else is probably frolicking in the sand, or still curled lazily in front of the TV, I have to drag myself out of bed everyday to learn about Euripides and melodrama.

Honestly though, I'm not really complaining that much. I mean sure, I would much rather spend my time at home honing my mouse-clicking and keyboard-typing skills. But the optimist in me is looking forward to this actually. At least I'm going to immerse myself in literature, something I love enough to work hard at no matter how difficult it may seem. And if anything, there are only four weeks left anyway, so it will all be over soon.

Meanwhile, I'm spending my afternoons catching up on some of my favorite shows, Sex and The City and Ally McBeal, both of which I love because their lead characters are living the life I've always been dreaming of: that of a writer and of a lawyer. Who would've thought that I'm actually getting closer to becoming both? :)


Retail therapy.

My mom and I had a shopping date at 168 in Divisoria today. It's been quite some time since I last went shopping there. Oh, how I missed it! Nothing beats shopping at Divisoria; it is the ultimate shopping adventure -- from the relentless pursuit of the perfect item to the persistent haggling to the struggle with the crowd. The aisles never seem to end, and the stores never seem to run out of goods. The whole experience is enough to wipe anyone out to exhaustion. Ahh, it all sounds stressful. But ironically, there is a reason why it's called therapy - it's alleviating.

It's the Vistan gene. Me, my mom, and titas and lola from the mother's side are all shopaholics. We scour the streets of Divisoria, Bangkok, Singapore, and Bali for hours and hours on end with nothing but our inexorable desire to look for the best buys with us. (And yes, comfortable slippers.) Sometimes we start early (we get to 168 before 8:30) or sometimes we get there late (like in Bangkok's night markets) but whatever the time is, we're always ready to comb through all the stores with much gusto. It's a form of bonding for us. It's no wonder my lolo never complains about our shopping compulsion -- imagine, with him on a trip are five shopaholic girls. He's gotten very much used to it.

One thing about shopping is that it has a way of alleviating my neuroses. Like, after everything stressful and frustrating that has happened to me, when I get to buy something for myself that I know I worked hard for, it's rewarding. It makes me feel like I deserve something. It motivates me. I know it's wrong to be so materialistic, but for me, shopping isn't about amassing a huge amount of clothes for me to brag about. It's about giving myself something that makes me feel better. I guess it stems from the little principle my parents taught me that if you do good, then you deserve something good. If I have enough money and earned the right to reward myself, why shouldn't I shop?

But more than that, I think the satisfaction in shopping springs from the struggle. You find joy in not just buying for yourself, but in the actual pursuit for it. The search is what thrills you, like you're on a hunt for some secret treasure you have yet to discover. You enter a tiangge with no exact purchase in mind, just always with that feeling of "I know it when I see it." And you do. You find a glorious item on a stall and you just know you were meant to have it. You haggle with the saleslady, sometimes flattering them, sometimes feigning indifference, but always with the same goal in mind: to own it. And when at last you get to have it, when that plastic bag is finally in your hands, there's no greater feeling. You don't need anything else. (Or at least until the next cute item.)

Shopping is exhilarating, really.

I guess life is one big shopping adventure. We shop for the best experiences, find the greatest adventures, look for the perfect people. We never stop walking, never stop searching until we get that which we truly want. Because let's face it, settling for anything is never satisfying. We have to really comb through everything to get our heart's desires. And when we do get them, at no matter what cost, we know, we just know, that everything is going to be okay.

And why wouldn't everything be okay when you have the cutest blouse to start your summer with? :)

P.S. The best shopping buddy is always the Mom.



It's always in the most ungodly of hours that creativity sneaks in.

Ever since the beginning of my second year, my body clock has gone way off base. Before, midnight meant that distant acquaintance I just bump into ever so rarely, but now it's like a good old friend welcoming me into the deeper retreats of dawn. I blame acads for this of course. Why else would I be sleeping late if it weren't for papers and reports to finish? But okay, sometimes it's Facebook's fault too (and Plurk's.) And yes, I'm still also partly blaming the jet lag from my US trip last summer -- hey, it was fifteen long hours!

I am not an insomniac, just to clarify things. No, I am not in denial. I still can sleep at night when I will myself to sleep. I just close my eyes shut and off I go to deep slumber. But I can't believe that I actually got used to this staying up late. Me, the sleepyhead. Me, the conscious eight-hour-sleeper. Me, who hated staying up late for anything. And now look at me. I am a shadow of the night. I lie in wait for the darkness. I have become part of that elusive dimness that I used to tiptoe in hesitantly. I am an acquired, self-taught, insomniac. I don't like it but I have to.

It happens when there are pages of critical analyses waiting to be done, or stories to be written, or poems to be revised. For some reason, ideas just do not come to me in broad daylight. It's as if words escape me on purpose, tormenting me as I stare dumbly at the blinking vertical cursor on screen. It's torture especially when my whole body is aching for the bed, whose sheets are longing to wrap themselves around me and, and the pillows, which my arms so badly want to embrace. But I cannot because my mind cannot fathom sleeping without getting any work done. And so I slave myself off into the night, with inspiration dawning upon me only until the wee hours of the morning. (Maybe it's supposed to dawn at dawn? Hmm.)

But honestly, I've slowly found comfort in the night. When everyone else is asleep, no one asking, no one talking, no one to entertain, no one to listen to -- that's when I feel most at ease. I used to think that I could not survive in silence; I had to talk, I had to hear something, someone. And yet, it surprises me how I crave for the quietude that only the depths of the night can give me. It's the only time I can think to myself, talk to myself, hear myself. Reaching this level of stillness always give me some sort of high, like I can go to places or I can come up with something incredible. It's always in these ungodly hours that I feel attuned with everything but yet only aware of myself.

It's weird shit, I know.

I think it's because of these post-midnight moments that I realize how much I actually value silence and my alone time. Nowadays, I don't like being disturbed that much. I do mind when my personal bubble is invaded. Sometimes, I just really want to go home and hibernate. So what, have I been unconsciously turned into a hermit? Have I been deceiving myself, all my life thinking I was a social butterfly but deep down I'm really an introvert, a loner? Well, I do enjoy hanging out with friends and family, meeting new people, talking about anything and everything. But I guess it's just also rewarding to have these quiet moments all to myself. It soothes me. Ironically, I am able to recharge myself in my sleeplessness.

But wait. Who am I kidding? I love sleeping. I really do. I'd give anything to have a decent eight-hour slumber. Lack of sleep is bad for the health. It causes breakouts and does not allow you to get the complete rest and recharging your body needs for another day's work. It's not good at all. Why am I even justifying this? WHY?

I blame the jet lag. And maybe, sleeplessness.


Grammar Nazi.

I am probably the last person in the (cyber) world who still does not have a Tumblr account. I don't know why but the whole thing just does not really appeal to me. And please don't even try the "You just haven't tried it long enough to enjoy it," excuse on me because I did try it at one point but it never got to me. Sure, it looks fun reblogging and sharing pictures and quotes. Call me old-fashioned but I actually like and prefer having a blog in which I can really write on and does not need to have followers to be deemed worthy of maintaining. I don't need the pressure of having to follow people whose lives I don't give a care about and seeing them constantly re-appear on my dashboard -- I think Facebook is already doing too much of that for me.

That being said, I can't help noticing how much my Facebook homepage has been converted into a second avenue for Tumblr updates. The other day I couldn't help clicking when I saw one interesting quote -- I figured this was what Tumblr thrived on: the intrigue and curiosity by what one has posted -- and was suddenly taken into an unplanned Tumblr-hopping. This is the part where I should be saying, "Boy was I wrong to turn my back on this place! It's awesome!" But no. What I got was a sad, sad realization.

More than half of Tumblogs I stumbled upon (sTumbld? Haha) had typographies with really, really bad grammar. As in, holy [expletive] awful. The place was brimming with love or emo quotes, most of them having the most obvious but often neglected grammatical errors. And actually very cheesy too but I can let the mushiness slide. The grammar however, I cannot. I don't know if this was just the Grammar Nazi/English major in me kicking in, but whatever it was, it pained me. Really.

First thing that came to mind was "Why?" Why can't they differentiate YOUR from YOU'RE? Or THEIR from THEY'RE? Or that EVERYONE is always singular therefore it's supposed to be "Everyone 'has' or 'had'" and not "Everyone have"? Come on, we learned these in grade school. It's really all just basic grammar.

And the next thing was another big "Why?" Why aren't people reacting? These quotes are still being reblogged repeatedly with only "Love it!" and "Awww, tagos??" comments but no one actually commenting on them. I understand it may be embarrassing, but if you can't correct it, you can at least not reblog it. The more it gets re-published, the more people think it's okay. In the first place, I'm not even sure if people know they are grammatical errors or they're just letting it slide. I have to admit that it irks me, especially when the errors are glaring at me in big, bold, colorful letters [e.g. "Everyone have that one special person.."] as if doing it on purpose. It's irritating to see some angry girl having a poorly constructed bitchy statement to her ex on her page. Honey, not intimidating at all, trust me.

Now before you go on the offense let me just say: We're human, we're not perfect. I know. And I too admit to grammatical mistakes sometimes. We can't help it, especially when we're really furious or excited. Of course we're bound to miss a few letters here and there. But that shouldn't be an excuse for sloppy grammar every single time. We should at least be conscious of the rules because they wouldn't be taught to us if they weren't important.

Maybe some of you will say, "Who needs to get the English language right anyway? Most people understand it whether you get it wrong or not." Let me tell you how fallacious that statement is. The number of people "getting" that grammatically incorrect statement doesn't make it any less wrong. It still has an error; it still needs to be corrected. The English language is a system with rules and guidelines that we follow in order to use and maximize the language fully, and we cannot do that unless we actually go by them. It's like proving an equation without using the right theorems. Where's the sense in that?

It saddens me that most people don't care about grammar anymore. They deem it unimportant compared to other more pressing issues in life to worry about. Well, that may be true. But it wouldn't hurt to at least brush up and go back to the basics now, would it? If anything it can only lead to self-improvement and less embarrassment. I think there's nothing classier than a bitch who can get her prepositions right.

I hold the English language in high regard, not only because I'm a CW major but simply because it is a language that should be respected. Much like Filipino or any other lingua franca for that matter. Grammar is one of the most basic but essential things we learn in school that actually matters a lot in the real world -- the least we can do is get it right.

And while we're on this, you can check this out: 10 Words You Need To Stop Misspelling.