#30DayWritingChallenge: Something that made me angry.

Day Twenty-Nine: Something that made me angry.

For a few years, I helped organize the Metro Manila Pride March. It’s called Metro Manila Pride now because it expanded beyond the marching. It was, at the same time, the best, the worst, and the craziest thing I ever did.

What a lot of people, even those who attend the parade, don’t realize is that the organizers often don’t have a lot of money for the whole thing. Not counting the program that is set after the parade (where participating organizations expect to give a speech on whatever that org stands for), the permits, the publicity, the registration materials, and all those stuff people don’t notice but are needed to bring about the entire thing cost money.

Every year is a miracle.

Needless to say, organizing the entire parade is stressful work. And that’s not unsurprising at all. But there are some things that needlessly add to the stress. Sometimes, you just wish you can punch some people in the face.

Pride March 2012 by Bardo Wu

Read the rest: It was the first time we’re doing the parade in Makati.

#30DayWritingChallenge: The best meal of my life.

Day Twenty-Three: The best meal of my life.

It is a common joke among former residents of the Chairless Apartment that whenever we start cooking pasta, it means we are running low on money.

Day 03 - Favorite Place

Normally when we buy groceries, we would include two kilos of dry spaghetti noodles and cans of fried sardines. We also always keep lots of garlic and pepper in the kitchen cupboard.

On days when we have enough money among ourselves, we would eat out or order food delivered to the apartment. If we feel like cooking, we would think of comfort food we miss and prepare them: pork sinigang, kare-kare, menudo, ginisang munggo. Nearly everyone in the house can cook, and we help each other in the kitchen.

On lean days, we bring out the pasta.

A dream where I sang a song by Asin.

A dream from last month I found recorded in my phone’s notepad (likely a few weeks before we went to Nasugbu):

I was talking to Ronan Secondez in the living room of my parents’ house in Makati. Bern had just left us so he could sleep in my old bedroom.

I found my often ignored journal so I could write a reminder: Asin’s song Pagbabalik (the title I wrote, for some reason, was Muli). I sang the song to Ronan.

When opened, the last few pages of my journal contained notes from Bern: letters addressed to me, written during those times he was waiting for me.

Kuya, how do I cross to the other side?

A few nights ago, I dragged Bern out to walk around the building at midnight. Anniel and Carlos were supposed to drop by our place and we were waiting for them, so I needed to do something to stop me from falling asleep.

We saw Neighbor Carl outside his unit and decided to hang out a little to gossip about his next-door neighbor’s sexual habits, which Carl found out the first night the new neighbors were in their apartment. Apparently, the couple who just moved in were so noisy when they made love, tenants from other floors stepped out to find out where the noise was coming from. Most of them initially thought that someone was playing porn with the volume way high. It wasn’t from a movie.

Carl also told of how, while playing videogames at dawn, he stopped when he felt someone was looking at him. By the open door of his unit was a young woman staring at him. She then asked him, “Kuya, how do I cross to the other side?”

Lost Girl - creepy girl

It turned out the young woman was drunk and was trying to return to her friend’s unit in front of Carl’s in the opposite building. She must’ve been that drunk because to cross to the opposite building, she merely had to walk to the elevators three meters away.

Drunk not-ghost girl returned after a few minutes and asked if she could crash at Carl’s couch because her friends were all asleep and were not answering her knocks. She was blabbing until after sunrise, when her friends finally woke up.

The most amusing statement Carl recalled was her sadly complaining that she’s still not married. Apparently her contemporaries were and she felt she was already left behind. Except that she was only twenty-three.

The best story from Carl was about the nightmare he woke from that afternoon:

He was watching a Survivor-like reality TV show. The TV producers planted a fake ghost-monster in the island to scare the contestants. However, a real ghost-monster came to the island and began killing the contestants one by one.

Towards the end, the ghost-monster looked into the camera. He then came of out the TV, standing in front of Carl. Carl, realizing he was dreaming, woke himself. He was telling his housemate of his dream when the ghost-monster appeared and attacked his housemate. And then, Carl woke up properly, and couldn’t move for a few moments because he ended up contorting himself while he slept.

Ask everyone who had experienced it: recursive dreams are waaaay disturbing.

Everything is more fun with dancing midgets.

When Bern first heard Duck Sauce’s Barbra Streisand, he couldn’t believe it was a real song. It’s a insanely catchy disco house song with no actual lyrics: you’d hear a long chorus of “oohs” interrupted by random insertions of a guy saying “Barbra Streisand”. That’s it.

We were thinking alternative music video concepts for the song and I suggested it’s be fun to set the video in a club with dancing midgets in flamboyant club wear. At that point where the song says “Barbra Streisand”, there is an abrupt transition to a static photo of Ms Streisand, zooming and panning in two cycle for two second. And then we’re back to seeing dancing midgets.

The next instance of “Barbra Streisand” will show a different Streisand photo. Towards the end of the video, all the midgets will be wearing flat masks of Barbra Streisand’s face.

Oompa Loompa

Of course, I’m shamelessly ripping off Charlie and the Chocolate factory and Being John Malkovich here, but everything is more fun with dancing midgets, just like Mirror, Mirror.

Thinking about the song sort of backfired because it’s now stuck in my head since Saturday. Except that the interruption doesn’t say “Barbra Streisand” anymore. Instead, what I hear is:

Barbara Walters.