Archive for the ‘GOOD READS’ Category

When you said you’re sorry you had to block me so completely, I said it’s okay. Because you have no idea I have to check my spam folder every day just to see if you reached out. And more often than not, you do. Spam is maps spelled backwards. And maybe someday, one of these days, you’d spam me the way. Back to you. 

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I don’t necessarily agree with the title but if you ever get the chance to, check out a pocket-sized little book called “No Tattoos Before You’re Thirty” by Sam de Brito. It’s basically a collection of witty, but useful/important advice the author is saving for his unborn children. The tone is very blunt, and tongue in cheek; advice given in a “guy” sort of way. And yet, a lot of it is quite moving. A lot of the advice he gives dwells on ‘issues’ parents are too embarrassed to tell their kids.

The book is divided into two parts: one part giving “daughter advice” and the other giving “son advice.” The “daughter advice” he gives ranges from:

“Don’t be the drunk chick.”

“Don’t roll your eyes at people.”

“Always stand up for old people.”

“Don’t talk to babies with cutesy voices, it shits me.”

…to things like:

“Never call boys first.”

…and,

“Orgasm involves teamwork, be patient with men.”

(I can’t remember any of the exact quotes, so I’m paraphrasing.)

Some of the daughter advice that made me laugh were:

“Don’t ever date a professional athlete, actor, or musician. If they’re successful, they’ll cheat on you, and if they’re not, they’ll be broke forever.”

and

“Take lots of pictures. You may think you look dorky now, but trust me girl, you’re just gorgeous, and you’ll want to have memories of it to look back on.”

One piece of daughter advice he gave that I found quite touching was…

“Don’t ever let anyone humiliate you during sex.”

and basically explaining that a woman should never do anything she doesn’t feel comfortable with, and that walking away and being a bitch is heaps better than becoming some guy’s porn fantasy.

That is somethings sex ed doesn’t teach you. Don’t you think that message will make more of an impact coming from your father, the strongest male figure in your life, than from any woman you know? But how many fathers would actually be comfortable enough to tell their daughters that? And yet, isn’t that such a caring thing to tell your daughter?

In school we’re taught the basic, technical stuff, and even the religious stuff, but nobody teaches you how to tell when a guy is trying to screw you over, or what to do when your boyfriend is pressuring you, or what to do when he’s going too far, or how to stand up for yourself. Every woman has had her own experience/s  with sexuality where she is left feeling slighted/ taken advantage of. And I do mean every woman. Why is it that we can’t say the same for men?

I, for one, wish I had learned how to stand up for myself when I was much younger. I wish I had someone tell me as it is. Damn Catholic school. All they teach you about sexuality is guilt and modesty, which you can’t really defend yourself with. They teach you to avoid bad situations, but not what to do in a bad situation.

Women usually get their sex ed from other women, but I think when it comes to the ‘unwritten lessons’, fathers should sit down with their daughters and tell it like it is. No other male will ever be that honest with you, because no other male will care about you as much as your dad. Plus, fathers were young and gago once, so they know how it all works.

I don’t know if sons would want to hear things like that from their mothers, but they should definitely talk to older women. Speaking of which, this is some of the “son advice” he gave:

“Have an affair with an older woman. By the time you hit 21, you should already have had a sexual encounter with a woman ten years your senior to “demistify” what sex is, and learn the ins and outs from someone with true experience.” (or something to that effect)

Hahaha well, I really don’t know about that, but if it makes men better lovers, well… men are entitled to their secrets, just as women are 😉

Another piece of advice he gave was, “If you can make her laugh, you can kiss her. If you can kiss her, well you can do other things.” (Well, humor always gets the girl.)

He also wrote about how important it is to charm a girl’s mother, keeping your finger nails clean, having manners, and making conversation with her, because if you win her over, then the father will follow. (I think all Pinoy boys already know that.)

Anyway, it’s a pretty good book. Try and check it out.

“Read this when you get home,” she said. I read it on the train.

I’m writing this letter to you while you’re off buying drinks. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever written a letter to somebody sitting next to me on a bench, but I feel it’s the only way I can get through to you. I mean, you’re hardly listening to anything I say. Am I right?

Do you realize you did something terrible to me today? You never even noticed that my hairstyle had changed, did you? I’ve been working on it forever, trying to grow it out, and finally, at the end of last week, I managed to get it into a style you could actually call girlish, but you never even noticed. It was looking pretty good, so I figured I’d give you a little shock when you saw me for the first time after such a long time, but it didn’t even register with you. Don’t you think that’s awful? I’ll bet you can’t even remember what I was wearing today. Hey, I’m a girl! So what if you’ve got something on your mind? You can spare me one decent look! All you had to say was “Cute hair,” and I would have been able to forgive you for being sunk in a million thoughts, but no!

Which is why I’m going to tell you a lie. It’s not true that I have to meet my sister in the Ginza. I was planning to spend the night at your place. I even brought my pajamas with me. It’s true. I’ve got my pajamas and a toothbrush in my bag. I must be an idiot! I mean, you never even invited me over to see your new place. Oh well, what the hell, you obviously want to be alone. Go ahead and think away to your heart’s content!

But don’t get me wrong. I’m not totally mad at you. I’m just sad. You were so nice to me when I was having my problems, but now that you’re having yours, it seems there’s not a thing I can do for you. You’re all locked up in that little world of yours, and when I try knocking on the door, you just sort of look up for a second and go right back inside.

So now I see you coming back with our drinks – walking and thinking. I was hoping you’d trip, but you didn’t. Now you’re sitting next to me chugging down your cola. I was holding out one last hope that you’d notice and say, “Hey, your hair’s changed!” but no go. If you had, I would have ripped this letter up and said, “Let’s go to your place. I’ll make you a nice supper. And afterward we can get in bed and cuddle.” But you’re about as sensitive as a steel plate. Good-bye.

P.S. Please don’t talk to me next time we meet in class.

***

You are the anchor that holds me.

Confession from the words of another.

“I want you. I’m much more of an animal than you think. I wanted you from the first moment I saw you — and the only thing I’m ashamed of is that I did not know it. I did not know why the brightest moments I found were the ones in your presence, where I could lift my head to look at you. I did not know the nature of what I felt, nor the reason. I know it now. That is all I want. I want you in my bed — and you are free of me for all the rest of your time. There’s nothing you’ll have to pretend — don’t think of me, don’t feel; don’t care — I do not want your mind, your will, your being or your soul, so long as it’s to me that you will come for that lowest one of your desires. I am an animal who wants nothing but the sensation of pleasure which you despise — but I want it from you. You’d give up any height of virtue for it, while I — I haven’t any to give up. There’s none I seek or wish to reach. I am so low that I would exchange the greatest sight of beauty in the world for the sight of your figure in the cab of a railroad engine. And seeing it, I would not be able to see it indifferently. You don’t have to fear that you’re now dependent upon me. It’s I who will depend on any whim of yours. You’ll have me any time you wish, anywhere, on any terms. Did you call it the obscenity of my talent? It’s such that it gives you a safer hold on me than on any other property you own. You may dispose of me as you please — I’m not afraid to admit it —  I have nothing to protect from you and nothing to reserve. You think that this is a threat to your achievement, but it is not to mine. I will sit at my desk, and work, and when the things around me get hard to bear, I will think that for my reward I will be in your bed that night. Did you call it depravity? I am much more depraved than you are: you hold it as your guilt, and I — as my pride. I’m more proud of it than of anything I’ve done. If I’m asked to name my proudest attainment, I will say: I have slept with ___________. I had earned it.

Atlas Shrugged, p. 239-240

..you will get C.

In other words, ask stupid questions, you get stupid answers. 

Either that, or hit ’em with “Who is John Galt?”, “Chicken or the egg?”. . . “What is love?” — “I don’t know.”

Never fails, never hurts, always safe.

“They used to rush through here, and it was wonderful to watch, it was the hurry of men who knew where they were going and were eager to get there. Now they’re hurrying because they are afraid. It’s not a purpose that drives them, it’s fear. They’re not going anywhere, they’re escaping. And I don’t think they know what it is that they want to escape. They don’t look at one another. They jerk when brushed against. They smile too much, but it’s an ugly kind of smiling: it’s not joy, it’s pleading. I don’t know what it is that’s happening to the world. Oh, well, who is John Galt?”

“I don’t like that empty piece of slang. What does it mean? Where did it come from?”

“Nobody knows.”

“Why do people keep saying it? Nobody seems to explain just what it stands for, yet they all use it as if they knew the meaning.”

“Why does it disturb you?”

“I don’t like what they seem to mean when they say it.”

“I don’t either.”

It’s not so much as the answers we give or get, but the questions we ask. A question can exist without an answer. But there would be no need for the latter without the former.

WORD.

*Greta Garbo standoff sigh*

..because, truthfully, it takes too much effort to be miserable.

“He shook his head. This was not the time for his old doubts. He felt that he could forgive anything to anyone, because happiness was the greatest agent of purification. He felt certain that every living being wished him well tonight. He wanted to meet someone, to face the first stranger, to stand disarmed and open, and to say, “Look at me.” People, he thought, were as hungry for a sight of joy as he had always been–for a moment’s relief from that gray load of suffering which seemed so unexplicable and unnecessary. He had never been able to understand why men should be unhappy.

UNBREAKABLE

Posted: August 18, 2010 in GOOD READS, WHOZITS & WHATZITS

If Only Life Had A Snooze Button

by Michelle Gonzales


My alarm goes off.

It’s 8am on a Monday. I press the snooze button. I say a little prayer, lift my head slowly from a mountain of pillows (I can’t lay flat or I won’t get air to my lungs) and put my body in an upright position, making sure I don’t do any sudden movements or I’ll start to cough my way out of breath. I’m finally up.

I take a puff of my inhaler #1, walk slowly away from bed into the bathroom. I brush my teeth, jump into the shower, making sure to leave the door open so the steam won’t suffocate me. I go back into the room, take a puff of inhaler #2 and get ready.

I put my phone on vibrate, take my stuff and head out the room. I take a bottled water just in case I get tired on my way to the car. I say bye to my dog, my fish, and my robo hamsters. I take baby steps to the parking lot, into the car.

It’s a 30-minute ride to work. I keep the radio on, but most of the time random stuff just goes through my head. Approaching the entrance to the building, I look for my ID card. I kiss Chet goodbye, and head to the elevator on to the 2nd floor, where people sometimes give me that why-are-you-being-so-lazy-to-take-the-stairs-instead look. I don’t mind them.

I get to my desk, and go through the stuff I need to do for the day. A meeting here, a client call there.

A day without a phone call with a client is considered a good day for me. It only means I don’t have to talk, explain, or laugh, and get out of breath and cough my brains out while on the phone. But if I have to do it, then I try my best to get it done.

It’s almost noon. My co-workers invite me to eat out. Fridays and Delicious Heights are my favorite restaurants to go to, only because instead of walking, I get to ride in a car going there. My answer would normally be yes, except when it’s a Monday or if they want to walk to the pizza place down the street. I don’t do “walks down the street” anymore. It’s just going to take me forever, and I would probably need oxygen.

People like to do their summer hours on Fridays, I do mine on Mondays. I get to leave work at 1pm and my mom picks me up. It’s her only day off from work, and the only time she’s in Jersey. It’s the only time we really get to spend some time together. I get home at 1:30pm, or sometimes go with her to run errands, but I usually just stay in the car so I don’t have to move so much.

Getting home and getting up the stairs to our 2nd floor apartment is probably my biggest challenge everyday. I need about 5 to 10 minutes (sometimes with the oxygen tank involved) after the hike to settle myself down and breathe normally again. Once I’m up the stairs, I rarely ever want to come down at night again to hang out with friends or do anything. Because that means having to shower, get ready, walk to the car, then go up the stairs again when I get home. It’s just too much work.

It’s almost midnight. I need to take a puff of my inhaler #1 again, say a prayer, and if it’s a really bad day, maybe hook myself up to the oxygen tank one last time until I fall asleep. I wake up around 3am, turn the machine off and go back to sleep hoping that I wouldn’t be out of breath anymore, at least not until I wake up again.

My alarm goes off.

It’s 8am on a Tuesday. I press the snooze button. I say a little prayer, hoping that I would somehow stay where I am a little while longer and that today would somehow be a better day.

If only life had a snooze button.

***

She’s my soul sister. “Hippie soul sisters” as she put it. We’re one and the same. But somehow, I feel like she’s been taking all the beating. I take puffs on my nth cigarette of the day; she takes puffs of her inhaler for the nth time in a day. It’s not fair.

But what is?