Dough it yourself.

There was a time I was into food literature: non-fiction about the food we eat, why we enjoy some food, and the history of the food we consume. Learning about the hidden intricacies of mundane things is always delightful; and food, even the fancy kinds, are some of the most mundane things we partake everyday.

There was this book that I enjoyed reading, Gastronaut: Adventures in Food for the Romantic, the Foolhardy, and the Brave, where Stefan Gates narrates his various food adventures. In one essay, he decided to try incorporating various stuff from his body into his food: fingernail clippings, semen, urine. The only body stuff he didn’t use are hair (they can’t be digested and can cause problems with one’s intestines) and feces (it’s toxic). It was an interesting exercise in overcoming disgust due to body-related food taboos.

Read more: I was reminded of that essay while reading a viral story today about a woman who used her vaginal yeast to create bread.

#30DayWritingChallenge: Winning.

Day Twenty-Five: Winning.

I rarely win in raffles.

Some people are born lucky. They are more likely to win in games of chance. Their names are often drawn, even for consolation prizes. I had a co-worker who was so lucky, it actually backfired on her: her name was drawn twice in an office raffle. Unfortunately, raffle rules state that employees can only submit one entry per person, so she was disqualified for both prizes.

Whenever I attend company parties, there will be that point during the eventual raffle when I’ll hold my breath waiting for the announcement of the winner, only to exhale in disappointed because, as usual, my name was not called.

That’s more than ten years of working and annual company parties, plus the occasional parties thrown by the account’s client or some other employee-benefit contest.

It’s the same outside of work, even when I was younger. During school fairs, in church parties, even in the occasional traveling perya. I would spend all my money playing the color game and lose all of it without really winning anything.

There was one particular time when I actually won a raffle that I do remember.

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#30DayWritingChallenge: Losing.

Day Twenty-Four: Losing.

During the Nineties, Battle of the Brains was one of the more popular game shows on local TV. It was a weekly quiz show where different schools would send a team of delegates to compete with each other, answering questions from various categories (Science, Arts, Current Events, etc). During sixth grade, I was sent to compete in the Elementary School competition of the show with two other classmates.

Battle of the Brains

I’ve been in several inter-school quizzes before: Math Quiz Bees, Science Quiz Bees, Campus Journalism Meets. You can say I was the mental counterpart of school athletes. I was hopeless in sports and physical activities, but I was quite good in competitive quizzes. During grade school, I realized that it was an easy way to win high grades and exam exemptions from teachers. I still joined inter-school competitions in high school, but my more conservative high school teachers were not too impressed by it; my high school grades dipped because I was mostly a very lazy student.

Prior to the show, our team was put in a relatively intense training. Teachers sometimes pulled out from class so we can do mock quizzes and they timed us when answering various questions.

During the show proper, I remember being underwhelmed by the studio. It was much smaller than I expected from what is shown on television. It was grubbier and not as “high-tech” as how we thought it would be.

We lost. (This entry’s title was a giveaway, wasn’t it?)

We were second place, with a very close score with the winning school. Partly it was because of a True or False question that was initially answered incorrectly: I thought, because of only two options for an answer, answering incorrectly invalidates attempts to “steal” the points. The team that won was not above taking advantage of an answer that was practically given away.

#30DayWritingChallenge: The internet and me.

Day Eighteen: The internet and me.

An average day, occasionally written in the first person plural.

06:09 AM
Woke up. Checked the phone for new messages and notifications. Fell asleep again halfway through.

07:23 AM
Woke up properly. New messages in Facebook (ignore until midday). Fed the cats; they had been scratching our legs for the last two hours.

08:19 AM
Twitter sinkhole.

09:46 AM
New Viber message. Did not open it yet so it will not be seenzoned. Opened Godsville and sent our hero to the arena.

10:27 AM
Have we had breakfast yet?

11:51 AM
Fourth political tweet of the morning. Liked seven posts in the Facebook feed. Nothing interesting when timeline was refreshed.

12:11 PM
No, LiNa we are not interested.

01:47 PM
Finished downloading yet another movie I will not be watching any time soon. Pokemon Shuffle.

02:02 PM
The new Fairy Tail chapter is up!

03:45 PM
Skimmed through the articles in io9, Wired, and The Mary Sue. Picked several articles from the RSS feeds. Scheduled some tweets for later and tomorrow.

04:17 PM
Argued with someone in Twitter. Subretweeted.

05:43 PM
Fed the cats. Stop coming between my face and the phone’s screen, Godzilla.

06:28 PM
Fifteen new Instagram hearts! Oh. Four of them were for previous photos.

07:01 PM
Nothing interesting in Pinterest. Why didn’t we see this Facebook private message sooner?

08:39 PM
Nothing worthwhile in Grindr. Nothing worthwhile in PlanetRomeo. Nothing worthwhile in Hornet. A new woof in Scruff, but we don’t like his profile bio.

09:11 PM
Thought up of a pretentiously smug tweet. Takes a photo with a book cover in the background for added smartypants appeal.

10:24 PM
We have not yet written anything for that #30DayWritingChallenge. Quick blog entry.

11:44 PM
Spotted another hoax in Facebook. Man, these kids on the internet.

12:51 AM
So sleepy. Don’t forget to plug the phone to the charger. Maybe one last look at Twitter…

#30DayWritingChallenge: Memorable strangers.

Day Thirteen: Memorable strangers.

The last time I visited the lolas of the Home for the Golden Gays, they gathered in a small dance studio in Pasay, owned by one of the city councilors.

I enjoy visiting the lolas. They are always full of life when they are together, despite their situation after their former benefactor, Justo Justo, passed away. So as much as I enjoy seeing them, visits to the Golden Gays also give a sad, sorry feeling because I realize how little I can actually help them.

Pasay dance studio.

During this particular visit, there were young kids in the studio, practicing for a dance competition. The studio takes in students from among the lower and lower middle class families living in the area. The kids study various types of dance for free.

It inspiring, watching these kids dance, especially for someone who wasn’t gifted in highly-coordinated motion. They practiced their waltzes and rumbas, gliding easily along the shabby dance floor.

The studio takes in these students to keep them away from vice and bad company. I don’t know how effective the program is in practice; I know from experience that well-meaning projects like these are more optimistic in their aspirations than how things eventually turn out in real life.

Pasay dance studio.

While it is true that one can be taught how to dance, not everyone can dance with seemingly effortless grace. I do hope that many of these kids grow up not forgetting how to dance.

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