This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.
Stories and Poems
From a Forgotten Life
Ateneo de Naga University Press, 2018
Don't Tell Anyone:
With Shakira Andrea Sison
Pride Press / Anvil Publishing, 2017
Cupful of Anger,
Bottle Full of Smoke:
The Stories of
Jose V. Montebon Jr.
Silliman Writers Series, 2017
First Sight of Snow
and Other Stories
Encounters Chapbook Series
Et Al Books, 2014
Celebration: An Anthology to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Silliman University National Writers Workshop
Sands and Coral, 2011-2013
Silliman University, 2013
Handulantaw: Celebrating 50 Years of Culture and the Arts in Silliman
Tao Foundation and Silliman University Cultural Affairs Committee, 2013
Inday Goes About Her Day
Locsin Books, 2012
Beautiful Accidents: Stories
University of the Philippines Press, 2011
Old Movies and Other Stories
National Commission for Culture
and the Arts, 2006
FutureShock Prose: An Anthology of Young Writers and New Literatures
Sands and Coral, 2003
Nominated for Best Anthology
2004 National Book Awards
They seem innocent enough, but Jack and Jill may have become amorous as they climbed that hill for a pail of water. And instead of a water bird, "Goosey, goosey gander" may refer to a woman of ill repute, says Chris Roberts, a social-history graduate and librarian at the University of East London. Roberts has re-examined the origins of 24 popular nursery rhymes for a new book, Heavy Words Thrown Lightly. "The rhymes have all been well researched, but I have looked at them from a more modern, psychoanalytical perspective," he said.
100-Foot Asteroid Passes Close by Earth
By JOHN ANTCZAK, Associated Press Writer
PASADENA, Calif. - A 100-foot-diameter asteroid passed close but harmlessly by Earth on Thursday, astronomers said.
The hurtling rock passed about 26,500 miles above the southern Atlantic Ocean at 2:08 p.m. PST.
It was the closest recorded encounter between Earth and an asteroid, said Steven Chesley, an astronomer at NASA (news - web sites)'s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who works on a program looking for such objects.
Such encounters, however, are actually believed to occur at the rate of one every two years and have simply not been detected, he said.
"There certainly have been closer encounters that we didn't know about," he added.
Astronomers were continuing to observe the asteroid, 2004 FH, which was expected to be beyond the moon's orbit by early Friday.
It won't come fairly close to Earth again until 2044, when it will be within 930,000 miles.
Chesley said there was a lingering chance, on the order of one in a million, that it could hit sometime in the future, but that possibility is expected to be eliminated as its orbit is further refined.
The asteroid was close enough to Earth on Thursday to be visible through binoculars from vantage points in the southern hemisphere, Asia and Europe, Chesley said.
If it had hit Earth it likely would have broken up in the atmosphere. Its shock wave could have been strong enough to break windows on the ground, but nothing like the disastrous climate-changing effects that could result from the impact of an asteroid more than a half-mile in diameter, he said.
Astronomers had to scramble to observe 2004 FH because it was only discovered late Monday during a survey by two telescopes in New Mexico.
In a group of 10 couples that had come to be instructed in natural family planning (NFP), five of the mothers had themselves been in our feeding program as youngsters. They are now aged 15 to 18, with one to three children each, some of the children unbaptized and without the birth certificates that will be necessary for enrolling them in school. Their husbands are gasoline boys, truck helpers, etc. Disturbing evidence of a hereditary proletariat.
We do not know how many siblings these young parents had as they were growing up, so we cannot immediately conclude that their continued poverty is a consequence of family size. Other factors were surely involved, and those who would blame a single cause for poverty are obviously oversimplifying and deserve not to be trusted.
On the other hand, there is good evidence that large family size makes it difficult for families to move out of poverty. Many children mean more competition within the family for food, education and health services, for the attention of the parents, and, within the community, for low-skilled jobs. To be sure, some parents may wish to have many children as "insurance" against their old age, but at most this ensures survival at a subsistence level.
In an interview ... Ms. Keaton was asked about the "la-dee-da" moment. You would think such an indelible piece of screen history would have a clear provenance, but that is not the case. "La-dee-da" was in the script, Ms. Keaton said, a surprise considering that Mr. Allen said Ms. Keaton had come up with it on her own.
"He thinks I came up with it?" she said. "I'm going to use that, then. If he said it, he's got to be right. How could I be right?"
This reaction, an amalgam of caginess and insecurity, is a clue to Ms. Keaton's gift as a screen comedian. Like, say, Yogi Berra, she has a naturally shrewd eccentricity. Her famously unique wardrobe (for the interview she wore a black business suit, jacket and skirt, over a pair of blue jeans) is the fashion equivalent of philosophical Berra one-liners.
Her life is a Hollywood anomaly. She has never married (though she has had her share of high-profile romances, with Mr. Allen, Al Pacino and Warren Beatty). She lives with her two adopted children, an 8-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy. In any case, she has a personal and professional style that is difficult to explicate and impossible to duplicate.
"She's off the center, not a regular homogenized individual," said Jack Nicholson, her co-star in Something's Gotta Give, for which she earned a best-actress Oscar nomination. (Charlize Theron won the award.) "We were great together. She's got a funny slant on life to begin with, and it makes you want to be funny when you're around her. If you have trouble talking to her, that's your fault. But don't ask her to make a lot of lists."
As Harry and Erica, an ostensibly confirmed libertine and a professionally successful but romantically disappointed playwright, Mr. Nicholson and Ms. Keaton were great together. Reviewers were not only thrilled by a couple of senior pros working joyously in tandem — "We ham-and-egg it pretty good," was Mr. Nicholson's summary — but also aligned with A. O. Scott of The New York Times, who wrote of Ms. Keaton's "unparalleled comic skill."
At 58 Ms. Keaton is still distinctly pretty. She has disdained cosmetic surgery and looks her age; the lines in her face are well etched. In conversation, she is flighty, jittery, quick to laugh and smart: a lot like a grown-up Annie Hall, though she said she thought Annie would have been married by this time. Ask her to assess herself and her work, and she becomes a little flustered. Is she a comedy theoretician?
When I was 15, I spent the summer at my American uncle’s beach house in a sleepy town called Baclayon in the island of Bohol. I’d run out of books to read at my parents’ house and, while all the perky girls at school had band lessons and ballet classes over the summer, I was spending far too many hours holed up in my room, talking to myself. A little bit of sun and sand would probably do me good, my uncle and aunt thought.
I loved their beach house. It had bamboo floors and wicker furniture, a balcony with swings and hammocks, huge shells for bathroom sinks, and an attic with a window that opened to an uncluttered view of the sky above coconut trees. Best of all was the beach we had all to ourselves. There are very few times in my life when I know real peace and one of them is when I’m face-down on the sand, punished by a white-hot sun. I didn’t grow up around kindness, but on moments when I’m watching crablets scuttle across my outstretched fingers I feel like I’d been given enough of it.
My uncle took me out to the open sea one evening on a rowboat. He took a route that had us cutting across a mangrove patch and, while he motioned at me to keep still, he shone his light across that tiny forest, upsetting a cloud of bats, but delighting me. For hours he sat on that tiny rowboat, so I could swim in the ink-black ocean. It felt wonderful: floating on darkness, looking up at a sky sprinkled with stars. I remember feeling like the whole world mattered, and yet didn’t. And for a brief moment I felt small and beautiful.
Then Ryan commented:
Well, I am temporarily back.
The nature-trip you have so boasted in this post has no relation to reality. I have never felt any sympathy to "peace" visible and accessible in our natural surroundings, or what we may henceforth call the physical serenity, since this only constitutes a negligible fraction of infinitude. This is not genuine "peace"; otherwise, peace would be considered present in every bucolic parcel of earth, even if, in fact, smears of blood are therein traceable. In your literary construct, you implied that it is external serenity that causes or leads to internal tranquility.
This worldview is extremely defective and un-spiritual.
Peace is always spiritual. And real peace is always the one that originates from the inside and permeates the outside, no matter what the actual conditions of the physical vicinity are. This is the peace that Palestinians feel as they cling to their faith in the midst of bombs and chaos; the peace Christ epitomized on calvary. And yes, the peace that I immensely relished while some imbeciles persecuted me in their filthy blogs last month, remember?
One mark of a nonspiritual member of society is his penchant or even preoccupation with things and places that provide temporary peace through hideaways and entertainment. They are hedonists. It is my humble belief that if I were to attain peace within myself, I should start cleaning my own sphere of influence by purging it of hedonists, by squeezing the necks of these merchants of unrighteousness in a rowboat in the vast darkness of the Pacific Ocean with dazzling mermaids as faithful witnesses to my act of courage and sacrifice.
Oh dear. I feel utterly dirty now. I'm an evil, useless, worthless, shameless hedonist. Please, give me a bath, Ryan.
Tedo [I think] butts in:
If you allow me, an unworthy imbecile who owns a filthy blog to suck you off in order to totally cleanse you from any hedonistic influence, then I'd be very glad to do so. ;) I can do a mean sucking baby.
And who might you be, "sucker"? :)
Teach to me to write kuno beh, or else I will not stop calling you evil. Saw your Mom. Nanambok, nagwapa. I also saw the Evil One. [God, I hope he means the divine Marian.]
Dude, I'll do something even better. I'll create an LJ account for you, with a temporary password you can change later on. Think of a good username you'd like.
Yeah, my mom is still pretty, no? People mistake her for my younger sister. AAARRRGGGHHH. Not that I mind, actually. I rather enjoy it.
So did you break into his bedroom in the dead of the night and read him Bible passages in that little boy voice of yours? :D
Wow, an LJ account for me? But I am presently a farmer! Hahahaha. Since there are no landline phones in Ayungon, we don't have access to the Internet. I have to go to Bais to read you. Can you imagine what physical cost I have to pay just to read you? Nada, you are not cheap. I have also been busy taking care of my Mom. It is difficult to treat a loved one. She always over-rules my exercise prescriptions. Anyway, I will consider your proposal seriously. Give me two months. Is this for free? If ever this pushes through, I want try to stop moralizing and write about the finer things in life, like what you are doing. Reading you has made me loved to appreciate writing again.
I was in the car when I saw your Mom cross Hibbard Avenue last Wednesday night. Her hair is longer and her looks younger she could have passed herself off as your elder sister. I wanted to squeeze her hand and say hi, but I was afraid she won't be able to remember me. Nagwapo man gud ko. Everybody has been telling me. It's disgusting. Their idea of nobility is so skin-deep. It's so bad I never had the chance to sit in any of your Mom's classes way back. I heard she was a good teacher. (There was really a time I wanted to shift to History or Masscom. I never did well in PT school.) [He wanted to follow me from PT to Masscom? Such devotion!]
With regard to Ian, I didn't dare approach him. (We were both invited to Severino and Jackie's wedding--one of the reasons why I didn't go.) [Which is just so bad. We could have upstaged the groom and the bride!] He's a nice man, yes, but we just had never been chummy. [I tremble kasi when I see you.] I really hate it when he says he's conservative. We all know it's a big lie. It's a big lie. [My nose is growing!] He is richly self-deluded. No, I didn't break into his house in the dead of night to read him Bible verses. [Oh, I wish you did. In the middle of the night! To spout Bible verses! Oh, heaven!] He knows about the Bible more than I do. And that is exactly what's wrong with him: his approach to theology is too intellectual, too academic. The Bible is a book of faith. [God gave me a brain, and told me that he also coined the word "Why?" It will be disrespectful to disobey him.]
Btw, have you had breast augmentation? You are violating His will for you.
To which Dinah replied:
... I think you have a crush on Ian. Seriously. I can feel the love, brother. Hehehe. And, no, I have not had my boobies done, thank you very much. That's the real deal, sir. 35B, pure and unadulterated. Yes, they shall torment you forever.
Btw, this Ted friend of yours must fix his sense of humor. He's not funny. He said something very silly somewhere. It was abominable.
Wait...was it silly OR abominable? Be very specific.
And sadly, I can't view his and a few other blogs for now. I keep getting some stupid software error message. I might have to change my O/S again. Fuck!
What did he say? And do you have a secret crush on him? Heehee.
Ted's joke was conceived in the privacy of his toilet. I never thought he was capable of such obtuse remarks. His "secret" was abominable AND silly.
A crush on those two gentlemen? I will die laughing: Hahahaha!
Well, since the issue is being reduced now to whether I am gay or not, let me not defend myself by declaring, like a criminal pleading:" I am not guilty. I am not a thief."
In fact, if we drag the issue from the confines of subterfuge into the glare of biblical morality, the ultimate sexual question for each one of us is not what sex or gender we are, but what kind of purity we have in the deepest recesses of our hearts and minds. The question in question is not, "Are you male or female of gay?", but,"Are you sexually qualified to stand before God on Judgment Day?"
Personally, I would have to be immodest to answer this question: I am. I may be spiritually arrogant, but I am pure in heart.
I do not know whether my critics can make a similar boast about themselves. Judging by their blogs, they certainly cannot, and probably never will.
The altruist in me has been deeply bothered about what fate awaits by blog-keeping friends in the next life since all they care about is sexuality rather than purity. This is an ordeal that I grapple with as I view the setting sun each day in the placidness of our house by the sea.
Gee, thanks. I can now sleep with the very comforting thought that I shall suffer eternal damnation for enjoying my own body. I swear, I will never feel the same way about orgasms again, thanks to you. In fact, I will probably vomit right before I feel that delicious shiver run up and down my spine, and I shall run to the nearest lavatory to cleanse myself of all impure bodily juices. I shall now cultivate an intense distaste for The Penis, and I will regard men with nothing but a wary eye, because they are the purveyors of everything evil.
I foresee a very rich and fulfilling life ahead of me.
Ted jumps in:
Ryan, it was not meant to be a joke, the statement that I had a crush on you. I really had a crush on you and mind you, I didn't force myself to feel that way. It just happened. So naturally. I just felt that you were the ultimate nice, smart guy with cute face to boot. Perfect boyfriend material. But in my effort to keep myself "sexually qualified to stand before God on Judgment Day," I really didn't act on it. So I just kept it to myself.
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination... End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Law and how to follow them.
When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2). The passage clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?
Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?
I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev.24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan,
James M. Kauffman, Ed.D.
Dept. of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia
A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5.)
B. Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)
C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)
D. Marriage between a believer and a nonbeliever shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)
E. Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)
F. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen. 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)
Here's the denouement of the epic drama over gay marriage. It's going to happen, it's going to happen within a generation, and it's going to happen even though George W. Bush teed off his re-election campaign this week by calling for a constitutional amendment to outlaw it. As the country has now had weeks to digest, it has already happened in bulk in San Francisco, where images of couples waiting all night in the rain to be wed finally wiped Janet Jackson off our TV screens. The first of those couples, Phyllis Lyon, 79, and Del Martin, 83, were celebrating a partnership of 51 years. Take that, heterosexual marriage! The most famous practitioner of mixed-sex nuptials this year, Britney Spears, partook of a Vegas marriage that clocked in at 55 hours.