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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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Friday, November 25, 2005

entry arrow4:00 PM | No Fiesta For Me (Where I Talk about Idols and Sacrificial Food, Extreme Cinema, Bad Keyboard Design, Stale Pan de Sal, and Chicken Barbecue)

What should be a day of relaxation just isn't. In fact, I'm getting a headache. But I needed to get out of my apartment, which was becoming too comfortable, you know what I mean? I had planned to finish Katharine Graham's Personal History somewhere quiet today, but I guess that's out of the question now. I'm in an Internet cafe instead, and it's already four o'clock in the afternoon, and I've reset this stupid computer assigned to me three times already. What moron of a designer thought of putting a "power" button right beneath the "delete" key in this goddamn keyboard? Every time I want to delete something, my fingers -- which move from sheer memory of previous keyboards -- almost always settle on the "power" button, and then my screen goes blank, and then I have to press the "wake" button, which takes forever to function. When it does, my mouse doesn't work anymore, and the cursor on my monitor is nowhere to be found. I can't do anything else except to press the reset button if I want to finish this goddamn post. Grrrr.

There's no class, of course, and the city is abuzz with the fiesta spirit -- you can smell the lechon in the air almost. But I don't really consider myself the type of person who makes much ado with fiesta treats, and who goes from house to house to get them. I do know friends who frequently bus out to farflung municipalities just to fiesta; I don't get that. I just don't see myself going to other people's homes and expecting to be treated to a feast of cholesterol-laden food. Perhaps that's because I grew up devoutly Protestant, and I still remember those old preachers from my childhood admonishing their Christian flock that fiesta food is sacrificial meals to Catholic idols. Today, my family is blah about that restriction: we still don't celebrate fiesta at home, but that doesn't stop us from going to other people's homes and eat their "sacrificial offerings to idols." Ahaha.

So I woke up today quite late; almost noon, in fact. Then I went out to buy food in the corner karinderia. But what did I expect? It's closed for the fiesta, darn. To amuse myself while I griped and while I watched, back-to-back, Oprah on Star World and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Jack TV, I brewed some coffee with the last of my paper filter, and ate the pan de sal I bought last night from the nearby bakery. They were not fresh anymore. Nice lunch, I told myself. Eventually, stale bread proved too meager enough to settle my hunger pangs, so I showered, dressed up, and went straight to Jo's for some chicken inato, bird flu be damned.

Later, in the local pirates' lair, I bought a DVD of Three...Extremes, the anthology movie of extreme shorts megged by Fruit Chan (Dumplings), Takashi Miike (Box), and Chan-wook Park (Cut). Miike I already love because of Audition, which sealed for me once and for all how dating could be deadly, it could cut you to the bone like a fine piece of string. I've already seen last week Chan's feature-length version of Dumplings, which considers the idea that the way to looking young for eternity is to eat dumplings made out of ... unborn fetuses, and I loved it -- particularly the scene of the reddish globs of fetuses being chopped to fine pieces by the creepy/lovely Bai Ling. The fact that the movie was photographed to perfection by the acclaimed cinematographer Christopher Doyle made the whole process look delicious. How do you reconcile that with your moral bearings? You're being offered a cinematic vision of fried fetus, and you find yourself licking your chaps. The short version supposedly has a different ending, so that made me want to take a look into the anthology movie. I wonder why extreme cinema never made a dent in Philippine filmmaking, the way it has in Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. Maybe we're not that sophisticated enough to muster some courage?

I also bought Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle, because I'm an anime freak, and Ross McElwee's Bright Leaves, a documentary about tobacco, because I've been on a non-fictional mood lately.

I plan to watch Doom, too, because I've heard it's really a stupid movie. And I need that now: to waste away the rest of the afternoon watching something stupid. Then I could call it a day, and go to sleep early. Tomorrow, things go back to normal in Dumaguete. I have a three-hour Philippine literature class to attend to, and I'm really looking forward to going back to work. Seriously. Holidays are so cheap these days, they're a dime a dozen. There's already Monday's early celebration of Bonifacio Day to think about, and then Silliman University quickly follows that with a week's worth of intramural games. Sheesh.

I should really count my blessings, no?

I miss my bubu so much.

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