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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.


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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Operator: "Thank you for calling Pizza Hut. May I have your national ID number?"



Customer: "Hi, I'd like to place an order."



Operator: "I must have your NIDN first, sir?"



Customer: "My National ID Number, yeah, hold on, eh, it's 6102049998-45-54610."



Operator: "Thank you, Mr. Sheehan. I see you live at 1742 Meadowland Drive, and the phone number's 494-2366. Your office number over at Lincoln Insurance is 745-2302 and your cell number's 266-2566. Email address is sheehan@home.net. Which number are you calling from, sir?"



Customer: "Huh? I'm at home. Where d'ya get all this information?"



Operator: "We're wired into the HSS, sir."



Customer: "The HSS, what is that?"



Operator: "We're wired into the Homeland Security System, sir. This will add only 15 seconds to your ordering time."



Customer: (Sighs) "Oh, well, I'd like to order a couple of your All-Meat Special pizzas."



Operator: "I don't think that's a good idea, sir."



Customer: "Whaddya mean?"



Operator: "Sir, your medical records and commode sensors indicate that you've got very high blood pressure and extremely high cholesterol. Your National Health Care provider won't allow such an unhealthy choice."



Customer: "What?!?! What do you recommend, then?"



Operator: "You might try our low-fat Soybean Pizza. I'm sure you'll like it."



Customer: "What makes you think I'd like something like that?"



Operator: "Well, you checked out 'Gourmet Soybean Recipes' from your local library last week, sir. That's why I made the suggestion."



Customer: "All right, all right. Give me two family-sized ones, then."



Operator: "That should be plenty for you, your wife and your four kids, and your two dogs can finish the crusts, sir. Your total is $49.99."



Customer: "Lemme give you my credit card number."



Operator: "I'm sorry sir, but I'm afraid you'll have to pay in cash. Your credit card balance is over its limit."



Customer: "I'll run over to the ATM and get some cash before your driver gets here."



Operator: "That won't work either, sir. Your checking account's overdrawn also."



Customer: "Never mind! Just send the pizzas. I'll have the cash ready. How long will it take?"



Operator: "We're running a little behind, sir. It'll be about 45 minutes, sir. If you're in a hurry you might want to pick 'em up while you're out getting the cash, but then, carrying pizzas on a motorcycle can be a little awkward."



Customer: "Wait! How do you know I ride a bike?"



Operator: "It says here you're in arrears on your car payments, so your car got repo'ed. But your Harley's paid for and you just filled the tank yesterday."



Customer: Well I'll be a "@#%/$@&?#!"



Operator: "I'd advise watching your language, sir. You've already got a July 4, 2006 conviction for cussing out a cop and another one I see here in September for contempt at your hearing for cussing at a judge...Oh yes, I see here that you just got out from a 90 day stay in the State Correctional Facility. Is this your first pizza since your return to society?



Customer: (Speechless)



Operator: "Will there be anything else, sir?"



Customer: "Yes, I have a coupon for a free 2-liter of Coke."



Operator: "I'm sorry sir, but our ad's exclusionary clause prevents us from offering free soda to diabetics. The New Constitution prohibits this. Thank you for calling Pizza Hut!"



[from mom's closet]



America, please vote for George W. Bush.




[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Monday, March 29, 2004

Because the days have since bled into each other, no one in Dumaguete knows whether it is a Saturday or a Sunday... or a Friday to look forward to for a weekend away from the real. What we know for sure is this: the real and the unreal have long since bedded each other in caloric lust, their vapors becoming summer heart and heat. And so we have forgotten our calendars, all of us, as we descend into a season of endless sun. We can only vaguely remember the days before this limbo, when everything had its schedule: our lives around the clock, and then the rewards, like bones to obedient dogs, as in occassional holiday of beaches, or books (long abandoned in piles of must-reads) to cursorily glaze over, or afternoons to laze away in hammocks under acacia trees. Weekends with punctuations. The short squeeze before heartless Mondays. All those things we have come to know in lives increasingly wearied by the drumbeat of citified expectations. We know, by the skin of our rituals, that weekdays have come to distinguish themselves by the precisions of official hours, and deadlines as concrete as papers to check, calls to make, people to deal with. These are days that begin with breakfast at 6, Bundy clocks at 8, and commutes through diesel smoke to come home to mindless soap operas by 5 or 6, depending on the traffic.



But the summer has returned, as stealthy as the blue sky that crept from the wetness of February, to lay claim to the air with the familiar descending dryness, and quiet, of a small Southern city abandoned by students. It is a return to the hometown quiet that was once its character, and will be its once again, even if only for a short while, until June. We know by heart that the coming days will pass, and nights, too, in a doldrum of sweet boredom. We will soon forget that there are days with names, seven of them in a week. So now, no one knows what today is, not even the stray dogs sunning themselves in the cement sidewalks outside my apartment in Tubod: they used to howl every single Friday night, perhaps to serenade some ghost or other, I don't know. These dogs were my marks for the clock in my head. But I haven't heard from them for the last two Fridays, not a whimper or a slight howl. All they do is droll and chase after little boys in bicycles. There was also a slight surprise today, waking to a Monday without my knowing it. I used to know what day it was -- without glancing at the small calendar that hides among the clutter of my small desk -- by sensing the kind of heat that pervades skin, or by the smell of the earth outside my window: hard and busy for weekdays (especially on Tuesdays), and a kind of gentle musk for Saturdays, which turn bittersweet by Sunday morning. Now, there is only a smell of summer -- sepia, nostalgic, lazy. Full of sun.



Today, I woke up way past noon, something I haven't done in a very long time. Then I scanned the TV for a while as I waited for my sleepy body to catch up with the rhythms of the day (the ramble of pedicabs passing by outside, the shouts of children playing tayokok somewhere, the grumble of my own slowly dawning hunger....). After I showered -- slowly, skin gently soaking up water -- I made plans to lunch at 4 in the afternoon somewhere downtown, where I know that life still remains. And so here I am. Blogging. Just for a bit. After this, there will be a visit to the Boulevard, if my feet doesn't take me somewhere else. In the seaside Boulevard, I know the sunlight will be golden and gentle. There, they will bounce off the blue-green of Tañon Strait, and will make the horizon twinkle like a mirage. Everything will be perfect and lazy, the way a Dumaguete summer should be. And I will not wonder anymore if God is in His heaven. He is not. He is somewhere in Siquijor drinking a piñacolada, as bright and colorful as the red and blue batik shirt I know He is wearing.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Friday, March 26, 2004

Why did Jack and Jill fall down the hill? Believe it or not, they were trying to get it on.



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.


He. Hehe. Hehehe. Read the rest here.



[via bookslut]


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The following search words in Google and Yahoo! led to this blog.



incest pictures mothers impregnated by sons

something's gotta give boobies

"mookie" "katigbak"

kundiman

El crimen de padre amaro essay

TANGO+BLOG

"who gets the shoe"

art "closed vagina"

"lost in translation" "what did he say"

dinah, tango

James M. Kauffman

Men's cum on vaginas

ian rosales

DUMAGUETE SCANDAL PICTURES

the secret tango dancer

gagamboy erik matti

philippine tango

the secret tango dancer

philippine dancer



Many of the search terms above are quite understandable, of course. But for the rest? Why? Why? Why?


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Monday, March 22, 2004

Who knows what tomorrow brings?



From the wires...

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.


So start living already, folks.



[via goluboy]


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Sunday, March 21, 2004

Go ahead, sing. You know you want to....



MR. DJ

Sung by Sharon Cuneta



Mister DJ can I make a request

Pwede ba `yung love song ko

Mister DJ para sa `kin ito

Sana ay OK sa `yo

Hihintayin ko na patugtugin mo

Thank you uli sa 'yo



Kahit luma na ang aming awit

Nais ko ring marinig

Kahit man lang sa `king alaala

Ay makasama ko s'ya

Nas'an man s'ya mayr'on mang iba

Ito'y para sa kanya



Chorus

At sana'y nakikinig s'ya

Naaalala kaya n'ya

Ang love song namin noon

Na niluma na nang panahon

Mister DJ salamat sa `yo

Sumasabay din ako

Sa love song namin noon

Na niluma na nang panahon



Repeat first stanza except last two lines

Repeat last two lines of second stanza

Repeat chorus except last word




… panahon



Coda

Mister DJ (6x)

"Hello? Mr. DJ, Hi! Pwede ba 'kong mag-request?

Yah, yun bang kantang gustong-gusto ko.

Oo… thank you…"


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Friday, March 19, 2004

People, please... I have a question.



Why is it that for someone who has publicly and passionately declared he's utterly disgusted by our filthy blogs (so much so that he is prepared to go to such length as hector about us from a graduation day pulpit), he keeps coming back to our blogs for more and more....



... and more...



...and more...



and more?



Is this the case of the moth attracted to the flame? The virgin who doth protests too much really wanting to be deflowered? Care for a little psychoanalysis, anybody?





And seriously, who invited him to read us? I didn't!


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





A priest speaks out about our grave population issue...



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.


Read the whole article.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Thursday, March 18, 2004

La-dee-da, la-dee-da, la-la





From The New York Times...



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?


I've fallen in love with Diane Keaton again. What a wonderful -- funny and honest! -- performance in Nancy Meyer's Something's Gotta Give, a worthy addendum to Woody Allen's Annie Hall. You know you've seen a great movie when it won't get out of your mind even after you get out of the movie theater. And this was one viewing session where the movie was shown double-with Chasing Liberty with Mandy Moore, which came right after Something.



But even now I'm asking, Mandy-who?



What do you know... I got more worked up watching (and guffawing over!) two old foggies, Jack Nicholson and Diane, having sex, with all wrinkles intact -- than watching Mandy Moore strip and make out with Matthew Goode.



Dear God.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Hehehe. Thanks for the lead, Tedo! My Secret Admirer strikes again... and I am just feeling so sexy right now. Dines! Why didn't you tell me about this ba? Such delicious comments, I'm having an orgasm.



From Nada O. Nil's thread of comments:



[All words in italics mine]



Dinah blogged:



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:



Whew!!!



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.



Dinah replies:



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.



Dinah giggles:



And who might you be, "sucker"? :)



Ryan replies:



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.]



Dinah guffaws:



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



Ryan replies:



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.


Seriously, Ryan, I like you. I like you very much. Hands off, Tedo!



And I'm beginning to seriously believe you do not really mean what you all say, all these things about religion and morality and stuff. You're sound just soooo campy, only a blind man who do not know humor will believe you. It's brilliant! You're brilliant! Liberal satire in the form of Conservative bite! The sexy wolf in sheep clothing! Woohoo!



If I weren't married to wonderful, wonderful M., I would have said, "Call me."



But the thread continues...



Ryan replies:



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.



Dinah:



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.



Ryan:



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.



Dinah:



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.


Tedo shouldn't have restrained himself. More to come? God, I hope so. This is better than ABS-CBN's Marina! Oh, the beauty of blogging...



Then again, Call Me, Ryan. I think we'll make good friends. Really. Being friends with you should be very kinky. And you know me, I like kink. Right, Dines, honeypot?


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





My mother spends a night in the hospital for some procedure. Endoscopy. The whole thing sounds harmless enough—although also invasive. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it is for her ulcers, I guess. She has been complaining of pains in her belly area for days, but refused to see a doctor for a long time. “Quacks, all of them!” she’d say. “I’d rather pray.”



Later she called me up out of the blue, one night: “Dr. So-and-so says I have ulcers!” the way other people talk about having a new grandchild.



“It’s because you don’t eat enough, Ma,” I tell her. I roll my eyes. Not out of apathy, but for her theatrics. She has the passionate sense of passive aggression down pat. I have perfected the art of not humoring her. She loves me for it. We share the same birthday—thus we know the cosmic drama with which we shape our lives.



She has a big refrigerator, which she refuses to stock. “I’m all alone in the big house,” she’d say this same mantra over and over that it has become a prayer, “I can’t eat all that food, you know.” (Then again, she gets full by the second bite of whatever it is that is on her plate, plus a glass of water and green banana.)



It is also her way of persuading us into a kind of guilt: that of her empty nest, her queendom now devoid of sons to berate, and feed. But what did I expect from someone who raised six boys singlehandedly?



In Holy Child Hospital where she once bore me 28 years ago, she parades around the room in her casual wear and jewelry. “Why don’t you get into your hospital gown?” I ask.



She dismisses this suggestion with a flick of her wrist. “The doctor has not come by yet. Besides, I’m watching my soap operas.”



Later, when the doctor comes to tell her to get ready for her IV, I help her in the bathroom into her crisp hospital gown, which she likes. “I like the way it scrapes my skin,” she says. “What perfect laundry.”



I do not want to watch the doctor insert the IV needle into her arm. At 71, mother still flinches from the prick. Or suggestions of it. Then she suddenly shoos me away. We both laugh out loud for no reason at all.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Because the Bible Says So



[From Peace, Love, and Gristle]



I.



On her US radio show recently, right-winger Dr. Laura Schlessinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a U.S. resident, which was posted on the Internet.



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.

Professor Emeritus

Dept. of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

University of Virginia


I googled the good professor's name to see if he really does exist, and yes, he is indeed a faculty of the University of Virginia. His full contact information is:



James M. Kauffman

Professor of Education

University of Virginia

jmk9t (at) virginia (dot) edu



I'm tempted to email him to say thanks for the very funny piece. Hell, why don't we all?





II.



The Presidential Prayer Team (of the U.S.) is currently urging us to: "Pray for the President as he seeks wisdom on how to legally codify the definition of marriage. Pray that it will be according to Biblical principles. With many forces insisting on variant definitions of marriage, pray that God's Word and His standards will be honored by our government."



Any good religious person believes prayer should be balanced by action. So here, in support of the Prayer Team's admirable goals, is a proposed Constitutional Amendment codifying marriage entirely on Biblical principles:



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)


Who gets the shoe?


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Saturday, March 13, 2004

Oh my God. I'm ancient.



Now, they're doing the '90s Nostalgia thing?



But I haven't gotten over the '80s yet, for Pete's sake! I was drinking coffee in Dunkin Donuts a few nights ago, post-midnight, while checking student papers and earnestly seeking distraction... and then there was Kool and the Gang blasting their "Cherish" song over the radio -- and suddenly I was in Nostalgia heaven.



I hated this song in high school, for Pete's sake, and now I'm loving it? Oh God.



Then again, M. also reminded me yesterday, "Hey, you've already been to your high school tenth year reunion."



I looked at his 20-year-old face, and muttered: "Whatever."



Whatever? Could I carbon-date myself even more with such an ancient expression? "Whatever" is just so ten years ago. Does anybody even remember Clueless?



This is just soooo sad.


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It's raining again.... But such fine rain it is. Suddenly Dumaguete looks exactly like the memory I have of it when I was a kid, and I used to go to my grade school quite early in the morning (a full two hours before flag ceremony, which meant going to school when there was still barely any daylight out -- on account of having been accused by some of my teachers of "chronic tardiness," so of course I had to show them that I could wake up early if I really wanted to -- and I did, for about three months, only to have my teachers calling my mother in once more, telling her that, this time, they were worried that I was coming to school too early): It is a misty, foggy day... a little cold, with a bit of drizzle, the scent and leaves of the acacia trees hanging and floating about in a kind of sepia slow motion. So very New England, what Dumaguete has not been for the past few years.



I should be back blogging in a week or so. Work mushrooms and I don't even know where exactly to begin.



And it doesn't help that despite my busy schedule (we just had our presentation of The Vagina Monologues last night), I am doing a marathon of the second and third seasons of Queer as Folk, no thanks to Beadle-Doodles, who also gave me a copy of Bishonen (see screendancing) during his brief visit back to Dumaguete.



What can one flesh-and-blood guy do when he's presented with this....





Or this...





Or this?





Nothing, but to surrender to the dictates of... um, studying the, ehem, Semiotics of Desire in Popular Television and Film.


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Saturday, March 06, 2004

Ehem.



Just taking a bit of a break from my self-imposed blogging vacation to post my first article as Inquirer Visayas correspondent. (Of course it's about the controversial Vagina Monologues here in Dumaguete, which some generously proportioned person in Silliman is trying to censor...) The question now is: Why am I writing for the Philippine Daily Inquirer when it can be so... you know, at times? Because it is the biggest newspaper in the country, because it pays on time and well, because my good friend Lito Zulueta edits and writes for it, and because Conrado de Quiros is such a giant presence.



So here goes...


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Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Why We Disappear



I

won't

be

blogging

for

a

week

or

so.

I

have

to

throw

myself

into

the

bliss

of

work

(yeah, right),

but

I

should

be

back

very,

very

soon.



Go ahead, miss me.


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Monday, March 01, 2004

Oh. My. God.





I'm just rereading Daniel J. Boorstin's The Discoverers -- one of my favorite books -- and now I read in the news that he's dead?



What a loss of a great, great mind! He was 89, yes, but still....



Wow.


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A powerful piece on same-sex marriage by Frank Rich in The New York Times....



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.


More....


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