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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

But Wait! There's More!

Enter the coolest blog ever. And no, this is not about piss sex.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Is No More

That's it folks.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

On Familiar Faces


First off, let me do a senseless rave about my new blog skin. It looks friggin' awesome! The blue-lit buildings make for an appropriate backdrop sympathizing with my mediocre writing. I know this is one of those things that doesn't affect lives or something, but as damnation beckons, this is the shit, folks!

Last Friday featured the complete TPG (Trailer Park Guys. Don't ask.) on their very first group outing since the summer of 2006 in Zambales. The difference is that we went to a pool resort in Antipolo, which happens to be a far cry from the beaches everybody is frequenting to this time of the year. On the upside, it really didn't matter because we sang, smoked, and swam like there's no tomorrow. I also learned how to do a back flip pool dive, which is the highlight of the whole 12 hours we're on the resort. It's all about conquering your fear and disconnecting yourself from your physical state.

It's also strange to think that, back in 2006, almost everyone was single and fresh from the rigors and drudgery of school. Now, everybody's brought their beaus and appears to have been seasoned by the years of either working our asses off in the corporate world or sleeping through the boring lectures of college professors. This is just another way of saying that we've all gotten older and progressing with our premeditated existence. However, we're still the same despite it all. We still love to sing crappy songs on the karaoke and know who to mix awesome cocktail drinks.


The next day, I met another group of people whom I owe all the pleasure to have known in my professional life, the Webdate gang. (Notice how I talk about the same group of friends on my posts? I thrive in repetition.) Everybody was almost there (Seriously, can't we all be complete just this once?) but we met at such an unfortunate condition -- the father of one gang passed away this week. It's funny to think how death binds people together for the purpose of paying respect to the fallen and his/her family members. But then again, I really can't put too much thought about it. Life is short, which is why I try to hang out with the guys every now and then. My stay with the girlfriend was succinct, but it packed lots of laughter from start to end. The irony stings a bit after realizing that we're having a blast at a funeral home, but the group pretty much finds comfort in the strangeness of it and makes good in any situation we're put in. Again, never a dull moment with these guys.

Monday, May 11, 2009

On...


I'm always dropping emotional turds whenever I start writing from this pathetic page of mine, but screw it. Everybody knows I'm square, so let's leave it at all, shall we?

Since taking that damned article writing job I've learned to hate before but have now taken comfort in doing for the unholy purpose of additional income (or lack thereof, but more on that later), I have lost the urgency to write something substantial in my blog. No surprise there. My added skill of producing a 450-word article in 40 minutes on a constant basis (although not anymore, but read on) has greatly compromise by ability to really write. You know, something that has nothing to do with search engine optimization, keyword density, niche sites, and countless other internet marketing jargon that has zero value in actual life.

Aside from that, morale in my professional life is currently at its roller coaster stage. Although I experience this feeling of elation with regard to the nature of work in my full-time endeavor, this certain emotion only takes course once a week when we actually have something to do. The other four days are ruled by the falling sensation of idleness due to the instability of the project when in comes to handing out daily tasks. As a result, I am left clueless from the whole ordeal. Come to think of it, the hard times when I felt hammered and pummeled by 15 hours worth of corporate slavery is way better than what I'm going through right now. At least I felt something back then. Now, zilch.

Outside the workplace and into the throes of summer, the season has shaped up to be a bore, where the unpredictability of not only the weather, but everything in general has ruined plans of days in the sun and sand. There's really no use in comparing, but when I think about the glorious days of summers past, I think of Puerto Galera where I ran its shores and screamed "Pakyu Ateneo!" in all my drunken awesomeness, Zambales with our soccer matches with the Koreans, and Potipot for, well, scandalous videos we made in its unadulterated white sands. On the upside, May is still on its way, so there's hope for some bigger shitstorm in store. Yes, something more to write about!


God, there's really nothing fun to actually write about, save one -- the Webdate gang. Met a couple of the guys after work last week, and despite not having the whole group to sit down, drink alcohol, and let our collective stupidity take hold of our actions, there always has been a constant product of our fortunate meetings. There's no minute wasted, as the air becomes colored with white hot smoke and uncompromising slurs, and everybody sings "Nobela" by Join The Club in unison at some shoddy videoke bar. It's always a fucking pleasure.

The turds have stopped.

Monday, April 6, 2009

On Silent Waters Running Dead

I went under a lot of construction during the past few weeks.

During hard times when I have to release the anger vent up inside to somebody or something without looking like a complete douche after, I have to look for avenues where I can channel said emotion into something less destructive.

I erased my Facebook account for the time being. The reason? Something’s got to give. I didn’t have the cajones to erase either my Multiply or Myspace accounts because a lot of memories have been invested on them throughout the years.

I eat lunch alone. There’s no better company for loneliness than with two sticks of Phillip Morris and a tuna sandwich while sitting on the table outside the dining area without a view. But who am I kidding? Regardless of my feelings, I am always alone during the day.

But everything’s okay now.


I almost didn’t get to see Wrestlemania 25 until I phoned my friend and asked if I could watch it at his place, since our cable provider does not air the channel that shows the granddaddy of all wrestling events. Here are my thoughts about the whole shebang:

  • WWE threw a swerve when it had CM Punk win the Money in the Bank. It’s not half as bad as you’d think, considering that Punk gets to show more of his worth the second time around. But what about Kane? Fact: his Wrestlemania moment has been long overdue especially after being bombarded with witless angles (Katie Vick, anyone?) while remaining loyal to the company over the years. Fact: His movie, See No Evil, released in 2006 grossed more than any of the John Cena and Steve Austin movies did when they hit cinemas, making him a much more appealing star that has the potential to cross over the mainstream and bring the wrestling industry a whiff at the limelight.
  • Undertaker winning against HBK could have done without those annoying near-falls that disregarded the legitimacy of their finishers. (I know this is professional wrestling, so establishing objective grounds to argue for realism is like pitching water with your hands. But hear me out for a minute here.) There were at least three near-falls that could have been shaved off to make the match tighter around the edges. Don’t get me wrong; the dark vs. light theme made for a great spectacle – fantastic, even – as witnessing two of the best Wrestlemania slug it out in a five-star classic easily resulted in the best match of the evening…
  • …but the best moment of the night goes to Santina Marella winning the 25-Driva Battle Royale to determine Ms. Wrestlemania. Heel-larious.
  • With all due respect, Snuka looked like he was pulled out from the geriatric ward and injected with lots of sedatives. Goddamn.
  • I took a bath, brushed my teeth, slept a little, had a bad dream, felt like I died a little, woke up, surfed the internet for a while, went fishing at a nearby lake by myself WHICH I NEVER DO BECAUSE THERE'S NO LAKE AROUND OUR PARTS, and Undertaker is still walking on the aisle to the ring. Can’t the guy walk any slower?!?
  • The main event of HHH vs. Orton, although solid as a concrete wall, was not able to generate, or at least maintain, momentum and crowd interaction that it wished it had. Sad.
Thank God I didn’t watch the live screening of Wrestlemania 25 that cost 300php in cinemas at nine in the morning because that would’ve pissed me off. Aside from the ones I mentioned, nothing really made an impression to me. Better luck next year, I suppose.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

On Citing Sources


I have been keeping a secret for almost a week now, but now is probably the time to finally reveal it. Just so you know, what I'm about to say wouldn't really be a big deal unless you really care about me (I doubt), but here goes nothing.

One of my write-ups was cited as a reference in Wikipedia.

Whoopee-fucking-do, right?

A couple of years ago, I volunteered to be a staff writer for Daily Vault, an online music album review site. I wrote a piece about At The Gates' Slaughter of the Soul (a damn fine album), and sent it to them in hopes of getting accepted. Luckily for me, they liked the work and took me for the spot as writer with an alias of Benny Balneg. For almost two years, I was able to conjure my inner asshole and lambasted albums that I felt weren't worth shit. However, for every album that royally sucked cock, there were albums that gave me an awesome boner. Hence, I subjected them to praises of the highest order, or something.

Even though I have to pretend having authority and passing judgment over art and its delicate excesses (at least on my part), I enjoyed the job. Sure, I didn't get paid for my work, but the promotional albums I got from indie bands and artists were more than enough.

After almost two years of my online journalistic pursuits, I stopped writing. I moved on. Simple as that.

During my moments devoid of inspired activity a couple of days ago, I searched for my name in Google just for kicks. After the results appeared, I saw a site return of "Do The Bartman" entry on Wikipedia with my name on it. With intense curiosity, I opened the page.

I wrote a review of The Simpsons Sing The Blues for Daily Vault. Barring any sentimental bias I harbored for the album, since it happens to be the first album I brought off record bars with my Dad, it was one of those albums that failed to give me wood, but thoroughly loved it nevertheless. Just to quote from my review:


I cannot gloat further at the fact that The Simpsons Sing The Blues is the perfect musical accompaniment to the show’s quirky appeal. For those planning to revel in the brilliance of the television series, and even for those interested in unlocking the secret of the show’s success, now is the time to get your blues on.

Damn right. Anyway, back to the Wiki page. Scrolling down to the Reception part of the entry was a line that kinda, nay, totally blew me away.
The Daily Vault's Benny Balneg liked that the song disengaged itself from the album's "blues tag" and incorporated more "contemporary elements" into its sound. He added that he thought the song had a "catchy beat" and an "infectious chorus".

After reading this, I turned off the computer, took a bath, and went to sleep.

Friday, February 27, 2009

On the Prodigal Son


I wrote an entry a year ago devaluing the article writing profession, stating that writing loads of articles over a short period of time is focused mainly on production while disregarding the writer as a self-entity. In this case, a writer being treated like a machine is not the main concern, but rather how the toxicity of his current work contaminates his creative well. I experienced firsthand the inability for expression in which everything that I write feels barren and divorced from life.

After years of distancing myself from such work, I will soon find myself again in the company of empty words, 400 per article to be exact. Bulk article writing isn't really that bad after all. The workload is killer, no doubt, but I don't mind doing something -- hell, anything -- to make my day worthwhile, aside from the extra income that comes along with it. Apparently, doing nothing makes everything difficult to resist.

---

On a side note, the Oscars wrapped up its festivities by having Sean Penn win the coveted Best Male Actor category over comeback kid Mickey Rourke. Although I haven't seen Milk, kudos to Mr. Penn for a win well-deserved. Now that I got that out of the way, let me share my real, albeit biased, thoughts about this issue.

WHAT THE FUCK WERE THEY THINKING!? I know the Academy eventually rewards actors and directors after being nominated a couple of times too many. Penn won with Mystic River in 2003 while Martin Scorsese, a famed director who went home with eggs on all his nominations, bagged the trophy with The Departed in 2006. (And just so you know, they didn't win on the year that they truly deserved. Just something to think about.) But really now, how can anyone deny the delicacy and bravura of Rourke's portrayal of a broken-down wrestler?

Maybe it's because of the speculation that Rourke will appear on the Super Bowl of professional wrestling, Wrestlemania, that the Academy felt obligated to instead award a guy who won't tarnish the supposed prestige of the award by not associating his name with a sport looked down by everyone. Really now, isn't this shit supposed to be over by now? What makes any other sport or entertainment program better than professional wrestling considering the fact that the scripted matches are part of its entertainment value? Again, something to think about.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On Philo


At hindsight, philosophy is a dreaded college course not so much as it is a chore to understand the groundbreaking concepts relating to self and the other, but more so of the fact that philosophy is an anomaly -- a useless but nonetheless important pursuit worthy of study. Useless in a sense that it is difficult to apply said concepts in pragmatic situations we face in our daily lives. Important, because no matter how students of the course get a glimpse of how futile everything in the world is, there is still a seed of hope that we cling on to in spite of society's degradation.

Philosophy does not produce a wealth of earthly pleasures, i.e. money, business success, and a reassured future. It deals with the realization of man's purpose that we are nothing and our perseverance to strive for become something.

I just came from a delicate discussion about poetry in class and it strikes me then how the retarded and pretentious philosophical ideas dealing with the impossibility to discover the object-in-itself helped raise the stage of poetry's objectivity prior passing through the spectacles of readers tainted with subjectivity.

Weird. After all this time of blaming philosophy (in good nature, no less) for my current worldview and mental state, it suddenly awakens my senses, reminding me how everything eventually leads back to philosophy.

Epiphany moment! Pillow fight!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On Artistry


The inaugural Philippines Writers Festival 2009 was celebrated last week and I was able to attend one of the talks held as Marikina Shoe Expo. It was about how international workshops can affect aspiring Filipino writers with their craft. I was hoping to attend the talk about the emergence of blogging and online publishing as an avenue for writers to achieve validity in their works, but I was nevertheless satisfied with the talk I attended.

Listening to the esteemed panelists discuss their passion for arts and seeing the audience consisting of open-minded undergraduates nod in agreement with the insights delivered have reminded me of how much I enjoyed the craft back then. I had a blast reading and writing literature and trying to grasp concepts from primary philosophical texts assigned for class (you gotta hate Kant). Difficult but nonetheless rewarding experience, just as much as it is a treat to do.

Looking back at all those things from years past kinda makes you wonder how life makes for a bad comedian. My inclination towards the arts has slowly lost the slant due to the fact that I have been busy chop-socking the bollocks as a full-time employee in my current work. I know, it's dreadful.

Don't get me wrong, a 9-5 job has its perks, but the maintenance of a choice lifestyle through salary may, nay, should be the only reason why everybody has a job. What I'm referring to here is how a streamlined life has a tendency to destroy or hinder at the very least one's aspirations to live their real passions. Not funny at all.

I get envious when students from our class talk about writing a novel, having it published, and winning an award for it because I wish I still possess their idealism of how life operates outside the confines of the academe. After getting my feet wet in the corporate world, I immediately get my head dunked in a used toilet bowl after discovering its horror: it's a controlling world that not only fashions the way you look, feel, and act, but also prohibits you from living.

Ah, living. Such a big word. Life is so much more than sitting in front of your computer while enclosed in your cubicle. Life is outside the walls of enclosures: the traffic jam, the smog, the rain, the beauty of despair, the profundity of emptiness and ennui, the happiness of being, the boredom. The boredom. The experience of knowing that there are other things out there that needs to be seen and felt.

And yet I'm still here, doing the exact opposite of what I just preached. The students will be next.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On Ennui and Secrets



I finished work within two hours upon my arrival, basically accomplishing the entire project slated for the next two weeks. Not to mention, I'll have to commit extra hours in the office within the week in order to avoid a shed in my pay once the salary kicks in my account. All in all, lovely times are abound (note the tinge of sarcasm here).

And so here I am with this quaint blog entry.

Boredom can lead you to do conventional things in hopes of confusing them as productivity. Like registering for a Facebook account. Not my cup of tea, but hey, I'm all for hastening my stay in the office. Or so I thought.

I just read the Civil War Chronicles, which I have been clamoring to do since last year, and it did provide an ample distraction from the problem of idleness I have in my hands. However, the series reminded me of my shot desire to pursue a comic book collection, leaving me faintly depressed and frustrated. Screw comics.

My co-workers and I held a photoshoot for this pilot presentation to be submitted to a potential client. The proceedings went well, but the photos exposed the blemishes and scars on my face as a result of popping and pricking those annoying pimples. Not really a problem, until the pictures underwent editing process and the guys have to clean out the fuck marks using Photoshoot. I keep overhearing laughter from their side of the office at the expense of these awful marks on my face. It's fine. Whatever makes them happy.

The real whammy of this whole ennui thing is this sinking and isolated feeling that, well, let's just say that this past weekend was awesome, nay, glorious (save for that Marley & Me tryst that I will never commit again), and seemed to have recalled the beautiful sense of purpose I have been living for the past year. However, this week has twisted back purpose to its harsh form caused by external forces beyond my facilities. There goes the rub.
Thus said boredom.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

On What's Up?



Approximately two weeks ago, I spent my weekends with my co-workers and had our first-ever team building in Island Cove, Cavite (formerly Covelandia). Not much of a social person, but knowing that an overnight team building is a rhetoric for an evening's worth of drinking binge after much ballyhoo, I had to go. That and because the event is required.

The whole shebang was surprisingly fun; no dull moments whatsoever. It was mostly a physical and highly competitive excursion, as everybody had to participate in the games and run and paddle like mad in the obstacle race and boat relay, respectively. Not to mention, everybody engaged in their activity of choice after sundown by means of sliding down their swimming pool countless of times, playing billiards, karaoke singing, binge drinking, acting like a total retard, or all of the above. San the poking-the-ball-with-a-stick activity, I succeeded in not only doing most of them, but also puking the very essence of my consciousness in the toilet. However, the crowning moment of the entire trip was my inability to attend the forum portion that included the General Manager of the company because I was too damn wasted. Fuck, that was awesome.

After the team building, we returned the following day doing the same copy and pasting job that has been torturing our team since my arrival in the company, proving my theory that good things never last long. But hey, it's all good, man.

---

After a couple of days at work, it turned out that all is not good. Ever since the start of the year, there have rough patches spread out in my days that the only productive thing I can actually do is smoke alone. Oh yeah, I smoke nowadays since late last year. It's a bitch. What's even much more of a bitch is that I have to try to act as if everything's fine and dandy. But such is life. As the Detroit Pistons say, "If it ain't rough, it ain't right."

---

I am essentially a depressed person and enjoy sad movies during my spare time, but my proclivity of deriving happiness from sadness took a hit after seeing "Dancer In The Dark" by Lars Von Trier. The film is simply a tragedy of epic proportions that even I couldn't stomach. Aside from Bjork singing that mesmerizing "I've Seen It All," the movie doesn't allow viewers to feel anything but sheer hopelessness from start to finish. In a nutshell, a horribly draining and pointless indulgence.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

On 100

After four years, I have finally posted my 100th entry in this blog. Yes.

Most people hold a lot of respect for anything that reaches or exceeds up to a hundred, whether it be number of years past, age, or something. It's the longevity that probably gets people wet with adulation and envy at the same time. However, in the realm of blogging, a hundred entries don't mean a lot. Nevertheless, it does mean a lot to me, especially after all these years thinking that this blog won't last very long.

As I've said before, the purpose of this blog is to help me get over the acrid taste left by my final years in college. I do not hold any grudges of studying in the university, don't get me wrong, but the interpersonal experiences that I've had, regardless of how few they were, leave a lot less to be desired. It was the time of my first heartbreak, triggering the Sartre in me to sever myself from human contact, leaving me to have lunch, study in the library, and wait for class to start all by myself. Thus, a chunk of my loner persona permeates a lot through the annals of this blog (if anybody bothered to browse through its lame content).

In the creation of this blog, I intended to puke out all my quirky and strange ways, serving as an outlet to my distaste of things within the periphery of my senses. Uh-oh, post-teen angst alert. But kidding aside, I hated everything back then, which led to the conception of Damned In Blue.

It's been fun to write useless things and compose them as if they mattered to everybody. Nobody really cares if I had an awesome 2006, a renaissance of sorts. I had a kick-ass job that unfortunately had to do with adult writing, a trip to Zambales and Hong Kong that proved to be the turning point of my year, and of course, became finalists of the 2006 Red Horse Muziklaban. Or in 2007, when I went to Bohol and romanced with saltwater and sand. The crazy thing is, I loved every minute of writing them and getting to delve into a side of me that I usually ignore, and waiting for a response for those who take time and read. Kinda like flashing my cock to strangers in the street and checking our their genuine and priceless reactions.

So this entry isn't much of a day-in-the-life-of sort, but it's a tribute to the wasteful three years that I invested for this ass of a blog. And I'm ready for more.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

On Wrassling


I just saw The Wrestler (Mickey Rourke) the other day and I felt I had to write something about it. However, let me begin this entry by saying that, being a wrestling fan, I am absolutely moved by the film.

The Wrestler is hands down the best wrestling movie ever made. Screw Ready to Rumble and its hackneyed attempt to entertain and put the glamor of wrestling into the big screen because, to put it bluntly, there is nothing glamorous about the sport. It is gritty, bloody, messy, and puts everything on the line, things that were successfully shown in the movie.

Looking at the film into a more precise level, The Wrestler is perhaps the most evocative portrait of a person who has dedicated his life in the art of a harrowing sport that is almost akin to a freak show. Not that wrestlers are freaks, but the risks they have to take, trials they have to undergo, and tribulations they have to endure have forced some of them to lead a life similar to Randy "Ram" Robinson -- broken-down, suffering from multiple conditions, separated from his family and, most importantly, from reality. He tries to find light from what seemed to be the end of what he held dear in undergoing heart bypass after a wrestling match by finding romantic grounds with a stripper named Cassidy, who, like a wrestler, puts her body on the line every time she takes the stage, and trying to set things right with his estranged daughter.

For a moment, Randy seems to be adjusting to life after wrestling pretty well when his plans were pushing through. However, the pull of being "The Ram" prevents him from living a life he longed for. A scene where he took drugs, fucked with a complete stranger, and woke up the next morning in an unknown apartment is a telling sign that he still clings to his past as the Main Event guy who sold out arenas with his memorable matches. He parties hard, only to hit hard on reality when Cassidy treats him as nothing more than a customer, severing any mutual ties between them. Most importantly, Randy missed out on a dinner she was supposed to have with her daughter, which was the only chance of absolution for the mistakes he has done in the past to his family.

There was nothing else left for Randy to do but return to the ring and carry on with his match against Ayatollah, celebrating the 20th year since the historic match took place. Just as he was about to make his entrance to the ring, Cassidy appears and dissuades Randy from getting hurt out there and putting his life in danger once again. Randy replies by saying that the only place he gets hurt is out there, pointing to nowhere, to reality. Because he is a nobody without his tights, elbow pads, and boot. In the ring, he is someone everybody respects and loves. The ring is his home, and Cassidy leaving behind the curtain before delivering his patented Ram Jam off the top rope reiterates this fact. He soars, and the film slowly fades.

WWE owner Vince McMahon was given a special showing of the film and he didn't appreciate it one bit. I wouldn't say that he had his head up his ass, but the film does expose the risks involved in being a professional wrestler. The depressing ending can be seen that wrestling is a downward spiral towards an empty life outside the squared circle, which is not good for a business that thrived in putting its employee's asses on the line. Suffice to say, his negative feelings towards the film is warranted. However, since I don't own a wrestling company, I politely say, "Screw you, McMahon."

Another thing, the ending song of The Wrestler where Bruce Springsteen sings about one-trick ponies, referring to "The Ram," is downright offensive to those who those people involved in the business. First off, WRESTLERS ARE NOT ONE-TRICK PONIES! The great ones persevere and sustain the status they achieved during their heydays because the fans love them. The things they have done in the ring will be passed from generation to generation and their legacies will live on forever. So fuck one-trick ponies. 4-Non Blondes is a one-trick pony. James Frey is a one-trick pony/fraud. Up theirs.

Last, wrestling is lame. Yes, I said it. It is a sport where the moves are planned and the ending is pre-meditated. But the beauty about it is that it's realer than you think. The blood is real. The chance of failure is definitely high. An early death is never out of the question. Wrestlers are people, and they are real.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

On Resolutions


I love resolutions because they almost always don't happen. We just plan on doing useless stuffs to start the year in order to turn a new leaf, only to lose interest mid-year because, well, we didn't change. We never do. Which is fun.

Now it's my turn.

  • Learn how to cook. At the very least, I should be able to prepare a semi-difficult dish, like Valenciana or something.

  • Play the guitar at least an hour a day. I simply lost my chops (not that I had a lot, mind you) because I meddle on menial things. After getting my mojo back, I'll record the riffs I make using Sonar or something so I can put them to use for the band or some other project.

  • Invest on guitar effects in search of the perfect sound.

  • Hopefully resign from my current work. Seriously.

  • Upgrade our car. Change the stereo, have it tinted, change its color, furnish the interior, put some weird shit on it. Anything.

  • Buy a laptop and use it to set up a site with a concept never thought of before. Like bungee jump porn.

  • Read Philippine Literature. Get acquainted with its history and obscure works so I can use them to pimp my social networking profiles using its quotes and stories.

  • Try not to obsess on being unable to become a comic collector. Shit.

  • Finish weffriddles this year. Ha!

  • Complete Haruki Murakami novels.

  • Watch Pulp Fiction. God, please.

  • Have a theme song before summer, like a "Cayman Island" by Kings of Convenience, to make that period much memorable to me. Summer is important to me, y'know?

  • Hopefully not go back to adult writing.

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