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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Am back from the just-concluded 7th Ateneo National Writers Workshop at good ol’ Sacred Heart Novitiate, where I kibitzed as an alumna of the previous year’s workshop. I wish my other fellow former fellows could have been there. I miss the whole Dyogastis League and was dying to see as many of them as possible, but only Mitch, Cady and I were able to make it.

Despite the many absences, however, I had a good two days there. Managed to wrench myself away from Work’s clammy grip for just a little while. It helped that the woods beyond Sacred Heart’s gates is an altogether different dimension, a mini-limbo with swings on every other balete, goats and carabaos grazing on random knolls, and an overall aura of Fak-Dis-Shit-Relax-Shhhh-Meme-Na-Margie-Meme-Na. After several weeks of skittering around the metro as a girl too employed for her own good, SHN’s vacuum was apt alleviation.

Apart from spacing out a lot, I also floundered around in the AILAP folk’s great company, sitting in on the workshop sessions, snarfing down ChocNut, challenging the tenets of sexual harassment with Sexy Man-Beast Yol, and, as every self-respecting workshop kibitzer is wont to do, getting nice and blasted on Fellows Night. I’m as typical a drunk as they come, really, so this entry is being typed with a very queasy tummy and the haziest sense of embarrassment.

Now I’m back home, oh-so-slowly crawling back to the fucking dramedy that is Work. I have a lot of straightening out to do in that department, specifically regarding my role in the film prod outfit, and know that there will be a lot of wonkiness to be had in the coming week.

So I am beyond thankful to have had that break in such a good environment. Last year’s workshop and all its glorious aspects have been revisited (though, fortunately, its impact has never really waned all this time), and I am glad to have been reminded of who I am and why I write. Time has flown fucking fast, events happy and horrid have flooded the past twelve months, and I’ve been trying to function as best as I can. I did need a different kind of limbo, if only for two days.

Now for a nap. And then Work. I swear.

posted by marguerite @ 6:11 PM


No Go, Retro
Saturday, October 20, 2007

My boss had warned me of the whole mercury in retrograde deal a few days back. Supposedly, the planet Mercury’s trip across our solar system gets a bit wonky this time of year, leading to much wonkiness in terms of communication—a screwing up of schedules, a warping of words, etc. Since I only have a half-assed regard for astrology and the like, I let his speech of caution slide, or at least yielded myself to the universe’s hare-brained schemes with zero resistance. Oh, Force-Greater-Than-I, (that is, if You are out there), hit me (but only if You want to).

Below are just some of yesterday’s occurrences:
6:15 am: An actor slated for a screentest is outside our office, mistaking the 6 pm call-time for 6 am. I wake up to his phone call.

10:00 am My friend Hunter S and I arrive at a café for breakfast. Hunter S forgets his wallet.

1:00 pm Hunter S and I arrive at a police station for Hunter S’s journalistic kibitizing (after getting lost), and miss the interviewee by minutes.

10:00 pm After whiling away the afternoon and early evening, Hunter S and I arrive at a university’s department (after getting lost) for more journalistic kibitzing, only to find out that Hunter S’s interview was scheduled for 10 am, and not 10 pm.

11:00 pm Hunter S drops me home. I haul myself up to my bedroom, fish around my black hole of a bag for my cellphone, and realize I had left it in Hunter S’s car. Sweet.

And apart from the above, I had also experienced much wonkiness with cellphones, the Internet, and ATM machines—a bout of techno-stress just a hair more frazzling than usual.

Regardless, I did have a good day yesterday, one comprised mostly of waiting and wondering and wandering. Hunter S was certain that the day’s events were part of some calculated glitch, just as the both of us were calculated glitches ourselves. Yet, now that I had typed down the supposed symptoms of this retrograde, the wonkiness doesn’t come off as that great of a cosmic conk-out, if it even was one. Not to say that I didn’t appreciate my license to read too much into that wild goose chase of a day. A good day in a curious way, neither milestone-laden nor desperately dull. I suppose I just don’t know what to believe. Just in case some otherworldly ploy had been pulled, though, I would have to applaud the Force-Greater-Than-I. Has quite a bit of spunk, that One.

posted by marguerite @ 12:37 PM


Bullets: Tired Skank Edition
Thursday, October 18, 2007

+ Woohoo!

+ Ordered one of these purdy, purdy babies:

Can't waiiiiit!

+ I am typing this in a supine position. (Did everyone take that PE test back in grade school where you had to draw stick figures in supine, prone, and other full-body positions? That was fun.) The number of jobs one has is indirectly proportional to his back's ability for torso support. And I'm flat as a tween's chest, baby.

+ I chanced upon the most disconcerting toys a few days ago. They were those gummy thingummies you "grow" by placing them in a jar of water for a few days. I had a dinosaur one of those. He was known as Albert. The ones I saw recently, though, were targeted for little girls. The first was a Grow Your Own Credit Card, which even I, capitalist scum that I am, was offended by. The second one, though, was a notch more ludicrous: Grow Your Own Best Friend, a little pink gummy girl in a jumper dress and pigtails. The packaging featured the following manifesto:

I'll be your best friend FOREVER!
I'm a good listener!
I'll always be there for you!
I'll never tell your secrets! I promise!
I won't let boys get in the way of our friendship! (I'm not kidding. That was on the box.)

Sounds like a lying ho-bag to me.

posted by marguerite @ 11:15 PM


Sunday, October 07, 2007

With my home so near to motel country, these dens of debauchery natural, almost imperceptible elements of my landscape, I don’t usually hold much fascination for these places when I pass by them. The first of the two instances when I actually did find pure novelty in them was when I was around seven. I was dead curious as to what Victoria, the pale, oval-faced, hush-hush motel maven, finger forever pressed to invisible lips, was telling motorists to keep mum about, being that her mug was everywhere I went. Unable to suppress my interest one evening, I asked my mom about her as we drove past the tall, imposing white bulk on Canley Road on which her largest visage could be found.

Margie: (pointing) Who’s that woman? What does she mean? What’s her secret? Do you know her secret?
Mom looks at Victoria and takes a long pause before answering.
Mom: That’s Victoria. She works for a motel.
Margie: A motel? What’s a motel? Is that like a hotel?
Mom: Yes. It’s like a hotel.
Margie: Why is it different?
Mom: Well, um. Well, a motel is smaller. And people don’t stay very long.
Margie: Wooooooowwww. Okay. So it’s like a mini-hotel? Mini-hotel? Motel?
Mom: Um, yes.
Margie:: (eyes growing larger) Woooooowwww. Okay.
A few moments of silence ensue.
Margie: (with tingling, tight-fisted resolve) One day, I’m going to stay at a motel.

After that magical mother-daughter moment, the only other time I felt that same pure sense of fascination was around two months ago, as I passed the same branch on the way to work. While the building maintained its height, bulk, pallor, and air of secrecy, it now has a billboard on which its latest features are advertised. Everyone already knows of the Matrix Room, the Austin Powers Party Room, the Oval Office Room, etc. and has remarked on them with that mixture of fear and delight characteristic of motel-related commentary. So I won’t go into those anymore. What I will bring up—with unadulterated admiration—is its latest ad.

It is for their Plain White Rice. It is quite minimalist, with a picture of plain white rice in a black lacquer bowl. I can’t remember the exact copy on it, but it’s something like Victoria Court’s Plain White Rice. Taste the Distinction.

Now, I have never been big on plain white rice and, until I saw this genius of a billboard, thought that I never will. But that ad is mesmerizing, damn it. How can anyone not desire a taste of this wondrous enigma? No other food enterprise, let alone motel chain, has dared to extol the excellence—the plainness! the whiteness!—of this modest, ubiquitous, staple tummy-filler! Dear god! It boggles my mind and my palate! Even though I’m pretty damn sure it’ll taste as inconsequential as any other bowl of plain white rice anywhere else, I still can’t help but play the impressionable consumer. To call attention to something so laughably unworthy of attention is brilliant. It makes you wonder what the whole deal is, makes you want to drive all the way up that steep ramp, slip into the next room, grab the phone and scream for A BOWL OF YOUR PLAIN WHITE RICE, PLEASE, YES, THANK YOU AND HURRY, DAMN IT, HURRY. HURRY. (Who has time to fuck, honey, when this establishment offers the most unbelievably distinct bowls of Plain White Rice in the known universe? So stop whining. Get off me. The rice is coming. Go play with the light knobs.)

So thank you, Victoria, for giving my sense of inquisitiveness some exercise. It has been a pleasure pondering over you and the highlights of your business, and I look forward to more of your splendor in future encounters.

posted by marguerite @ 12:48 AM


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Damned the man, saved the empire.




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