24 December 2010

a funny kind of sad

And the soundtrack of this post is brought to you by the lyrically poignant duo from our favorite '80s musicians called Tears For Fears.

...welcome to your life/ there's no turning back...

Sometimes, the only way to cope with a stressful situation is to engage it full on, collide with it head on, like bungee jumping to conquer your fear of heights, in a manner of speaking.

So with the dreaded uber-commercial holiday that is Christmas, it's either integrate or isolate for me. Both tactics work every year, for the past d
ecade (and more). Imagine being in a country where Christmas countdowns are done as early as September, and listening to Christmas songs extend up to January. I kid you not, folks. Try coming here in Manila to experience it. We put the jeez! in "Happy Birthday Jesus." Promise.

...acting on your best behavior/ turn your back on mother nature...

So yesterday, I was preparing myself to do the second "i" -- isolate, to just hibernate here in my cocoon I call home, but I remembered I have to see this movie sequel of a movie I so loved in my youth (review later). Plus I remembered I had to buy a few items at the mall. So the two-in-one mission p
ulled me out of the second "i" mode and engaged me totally with the first "i" mode - integration.

And what better way to integrate one's self in this stressful yuletid
e time than to go to a freaking mall. Stupid me did that - headed to the nearest SM mall here in Marikina where I was hoping to catch Tron Legacy in 3D. Alas, I came a little late so I decided to first check the department store for the items I wanted to get. And next thing you know, I gave in to getting more stuff that seemed to accumulate in my to-do list. And since I have this itch to tick off things in my to-do list immediately, haaaay... I ended up spending like 3 hours or so roaming around the mall buying the stuff I needed. Yes, perfect timing, huh. Amidst mommies running around getting gifts for their spoiled kiddies and daddies trying to convince mommies for unnecessary purchases, this queer girl was just walking around like a zombie, walking like she just didn't care, since she had her Ipod with her. And that's the trick with me, my coping -- music. Yes, I can see you, Christmas, but I can't hear youuuuuuu.

...into that void of silence / where we cry without sound...

And when I sat down to eat and journal in one of my favorite cafe corners at this mall, this music suddenly played:

and i find it kind of funny
i find it kind of sad
the dreams in
which i'm dying
are the best i've ever had

Yes, indeed, Roland and Curt, it's definitely a mad, mad, mad, mad world here in Manila during yuletide. Funny. A funny kind of sad, to rework your lyrics.

... high time we made a stand / and shook up the views / of the common man...

This was my view when I was sitting and journaling while waitin
g for my dinner to while away time before the next movie screening:

Lovely. Lights aren't uber-kill this year here. Not that I have a point of comparison. Or maybe my view obliterates the other tacky decor. Whatever. And from the photo, you would think that the mall is quiet and has less people. Wrong!

... these are the things i can do without / come on / i'm talking to you...

But one ever-reliable coping mechanism I have to combat this yuletide stress is channeling the downtown syndrome as I call it. I guess
this is why I like living in a cosmopolitan place; this downtown syndrome works best in such places.

Petula Clark has this '60s hit or something, a song I reall
y like since I was small. In a way, you can say that this is my own personal anthem:

When you're alone
And life is making you lonely,
You can always go downtown

When you've got worries,

All the noise and the hurry

Seems to help, I know, downtown

Just listen to the music
of the traffic in the city

Linger on the sidewalk
where the neon signs are pretty

How can you lose?

The lights are much brighter there

You can forget all your troubles,
forget all your cares and go

Downtown, things'll be great when you're

Downtown, no finer place for sure

Downtown, everything's waiting
for you

Don't hang around

And let your problems surround you

There are movie shows downtown

Maybe you know

Some little places to go to

Where they never close downtown

Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle bossanova

You'll be dancing with 'em too before the night is over

Happy again

lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles,
forget all your cares and go

Downtown where all the lights are bright,
Downtown, waiting for you tonight,

Downtown, you're gonna be alrigh
t now

And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you,

Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to

Guide them along

So, maybe I'll see you there

We can forget all our troubles,
forget all our cares and go

Downtown, things'll be great when you're

Downtown, don't wait a minute more

Downtown, everything's waiting f
or you

And it was ever so poignant when Winona Ryder my love and Angelina Jolie my lust (yes, I am polyamorous that way, chos! :P) sang this in one of my favorite films of all time, Girl, Interrupted in a cute off-key tone hehe. Lavet!

they were singing to this other "inmate" friend
who was locked in isolation. man i love this scene!
photo from

Downtown. That's a good way of coping, especially if you're doing the integration mode thing. Listen to the rhythm of that gentle bossa nova indeed. Or in my case, the angst-ridden male singers of the '80s and '90s on my Ipod. Yes, TFF.

...you don't give me love / you give me pale shelter / you don't give me love / you give me cold hands / and i can't operate on this failure / when all i wanna be is / completely in command...

Don't ask me why I don't like Christmas so much. That is a long one. But aside from the obvious reasons -- crass commercialism and the forced-togetherness-rammed-down-your-throat-media-messages -- it's also about one ritual I don't give a damn about already. Sure, celebrate the birth of Christ but then, not everybody does, so why do we all have to celebrate it? Respect for those who don't follow this organized religion, please. I just want this season to pass without being reminded that He will come to Save Me and Redeem Me and all that jazz. Sorry agnostic girl speaking. Catholic school girl angst flashback mode.

... my features form with a change in the weather...

Hay, I can go on and on about this. But really, I just want a quiet space to be in, at this time of the year. So I guess I'll go into that isolation mode now, here in my cocoon I call home. Yes, I bah humbug, but I don't limit those who want to celebrate this season in full bloom. So I still accept gifts and greetings from well-meaning friends, acquaintances and relatives nonetheless. I could be a scrooge but I'm not totally cynically cold-hearted that way.

And that was one thing I like this year. Maybe some friends, as we all grow old gracefully, come to terms with lots of things in their lives, in our intertwined and tangential lives, that they send messages and feelers that, after all these years, they care, and they're there. For you. With you. This took me by surprise this year. A pleasant surprise at that, though.

... soon we will be older / when we gonna make it work?...

I was so touched with this small, simple yet touching gift this college friend of mine gave me. It had this personal touch of a letter only to me, and it was full of thoughts I never knew she thought of about our friendship. But I am so glad to hear it still, of course. After all these years, you never know how you affect other people, you never know how you are valued as a friend. So touched, grabe. I heart my friends so much.

Of course, the feeling is mutual. I value them as much as they value me. I am fiercely loyal like that. Taurean trait. Like my tagline in this blog says, I'm just one of two things in people's lives: either I'm your best friend or your worst enemy. And people know, and have experienced, being on both sides. I still abide by this tag, even if I've lost a few good friends along the way. Sans regret. No day but today, as they sang in Rent. People come and people go.

...kick out the style / bring back the jam / sowing the seeds of love...

And even if they know that I am not such a gift-giver this season, they still give me gifts. Universe bless them. Two friends gave me books this year. One has been doing that ever since anyway, and I value it so much. Also, I received lots of chocolates, mostly from colleagues. Hm. Will give that away to kids maybe, as I'm beginning to dislike chocolate this year. Yes, that's another story. I don't know. Maybe some other time.

... we've got the whole wide world in our hands...

Well, I don't know where this post is heading now, but I guess it's my own weird way of greeting all of you. Regardless. Yeah, I'm weird that way. Anyway, signing off now. Back after the big shebang. You can listen to us later at our Cine Chichirya radio show at 6pm, all about Christmas movies and why they are crafted the way they are. And hehe I love it that two out of three of your radio hosts dislike Christmas hahaha. Just listen to discover who, aside from me. That's on DZUP 1602am band if you're in Manila and via dzup.org / dilc.upd.edu.ph live streaming if you're out of town or the country.

Anyway, HOP-PY HOLEY DAZE folks. Don't get heartburn. Eat/drink moderately.


  1. :D :D :D

    your stream of conscious thought is hot :P thank you for sharing

  2. and thank you for the flattering comment :)