“(They’re) Selling The Drama (but I’m not buying it)! Thank you!”

Today’s  topic: Drama Kings (and Queens to a little extent)

Been reading articles such as “How to Spot a Drama King” and “Signs You Are Dating A Drama King/Queen” lately. Because for some reason, I seem to “attract” quite a bit of people like these. When in reality “Drama” in a person is one of my biggest deal breakers. On a related note, I am currently enforcing a “Zero Tolerance Policy for Excessive/Unnecessary Drama, Bullshit and Lack of Respect”; warnings are usually given though (I have a “three strikes and you are out” policy. If I happen to care a lot about a person I might give 2 or three more extra chances, and I consider that very generous on my part.) Repeat offenders and violators will be ruthlessly severed from my life (very much like a doctor would remove a tumor) regardless of the nature of the relationship, and how long we have known each other (family, friends and significant others are on “equal footing”.)The “cutting-off” is most of the time, more an act of self-preservation rather than “hate” or for punitive purposes. The logic behind this is that I only have a limited amount of energy and if a person repeatedly “sucks it out” from me faster than I can say Lestat, then where does that leave me?

But first things first, what is “Drama”?

“Drama” is anything that causes you to waste your most valuable currency; mental energy. If there’s anything in your life that you’re thinking about that you don’t like, any friendships that cause negative emotions over positives…or any environment which you exist in that effects your emotional state in a negative way.” (this is according to one commentary on one of the blogs I was reading earlier, and is pretty spot on.)

A bit of “history” now.

  • My childhood was fraught with drama; At one point during my teenage years, I declared a moratorium on all excessive displays of emotion. This was often mistaken for “coldness” and “lack of emotion” -insert eye-roll here- which is never the case. My emotions tend to run deep, although expressing them in excess -especially anger- tend to tire me (I remember one case I was so upset, I couldn’t breathe literally). So like I said, I found a way early on to “regulate” my emotions. I also swore at the age of 12 that “my ideal relationship will be drama-free” (the volatility of my aforementioned childhood also made me quite “mature” in thinking for my age).
  • So fast forward to my adult years, working on my technique and reading books (the usual nerdy pursuits). Then for some reason, I’ve had a relationship with a guy who seems to thrive on creating drama (although I realized it quite late into the “partnership”). He sure had good points (I think) at the beginning, but mostly with him it’s the “Battle of the Mundane”, “Shake the Dead Rat Repeatedly”, “Hey Jealousy”, the “Passive-Aggressive Attack Mode” and the dreaded “Explain Why The Earth is Flat Using Quantum Physics In French” (in other words, the impossible). And did I mention the “Nostradamus Is My Middle Name Act”?Saying being with him was exhausting would be the understatement of the century. So well, I finally “hit my head” after a few years and now I am back on track. Excellent right? In some ways, that was an “eye-opener” (and mostly the cause of my “No Drama Policy”), enabling me to detect “red flags” into any future relationships.
And the award for
And the award for “Best Performance In A Drama Anthology” goes to…

But then, here is another example of the drama I’ve had to deal with recently:

  • I was communicating with this guy for a while now (a “potential partner”) and everything seems to be going well. But then we seem to have hit the “asteroid belt” of conversation and “Houston, We Have A Problem”! He is good-looking, witty, funny and educated as far as I can tell (we are even on the same wavelength, Star Wars fan too! Yey!) So naturally, there is the “flirting” stage with all the “sweet nothings” etc. Then of course, like any adult, you move to the actual getting to know each other phase (which is paramount in getting a “picture” of the person with whom you might potentially spend the rest of your life with). I answer his questions as honestly as I could (without discussing things which I deem would be in “poor taste”), but when I’m the one asking questions he avoids it faster than Han Solo could shoot Greedo. I let it go and switch to more “sweet nothings” for a bit, but I’ve noticed that at his age the guy tends to use the word “crush” repeatedly (I must suppress the urge to go all “Buffy” and say, “My God! Are you twelve?!”) Then, when I have not answered a message at the speed of light, asked me “Have you lost interest?” and “Am I that easy to forget?” For all we know I could be in the bathroom, working on my drawings and generally performing tasks which are essential to the business of living. I am at a loss on how to proceed at this time. But I’ll figure it out eventually.

I know this makes me sound incredibly “bitchy” and “mean”, but I value respect more than “romance” in any relationship. The shallow romance eventually fizzles-out but if you have genuine respect and true friendship with your partner, then that is a relationship that will withstand any test (I’ve seen it from many good people I know). You would forgo the need to “constantly monitor” or “control” your partner because you know that they truly respect you as a person of value and therefore avoid anything that would cause you hurt and loss of dignity. Anything based on that is carved in Adamantium (#geekmode). Well that’s what I believe.

I also believe in constant self-improvement and enjoying life as much as I can. I just needed to get this out of my system, hence the necessity of this post. 😉

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….and I’m back (sort of)!

Haven’t written anything in here for quite sometime. I intend to rectify that. A lot has happened (some I still can’t get my head around, but I’m definitely getting there. Hopefully.) new people met, a few adventures here and there. 🙂

Might overhaul the site a little bit. I like writing about diverse topics: travel (I’ve been to quite a few places recently), food (I’m still a certified food enthusiast, although I’ve decided to “watch what I eat”, switching to healthier options), art/drawing (my main interest, always has been), movie reviews, and random weirdness. I’ve also become interested in “fitness” (running marathons is something I enjoyed recently – starting with 10K, and another 21K next month) though I am by no means a “gym addict” – and have no desire whatsoever to be one, mind you. So in the following weeks I’ll try to write as much as I can. Writing is the equivalent of the “Pensieve” for me, not only helps me think clearly but also puts things in perspective when I’m slightly “out of sorts”. Man, the simple act of composing this entry felt like de-greasing an old rusty bucket of bolts (yey! another Star Wars reference, couldn’t help it, no?) I think I’ve been very rusty indeed in the writing department.

The “problem” I think is that I have too many “interests”. And they’re not even related to each other at times (cross stitching, photography and building Gundam models, what the heck right?) But I’ll try to “reconcile” them as much as I can (part of my New Year’s Resolution, if there ever was one).

The Lost Art

What a long week! And two months from now, I would have spent 3 decades on this “vale of tears”.  I’ll be 30 years old! Yeehaw! My face hasn’t changed much though. Not sure if that’s a bad or a good thing. I made a little progression “chart” below, just for fun. Ah, 1993 seemed such a long time ago!

By the way, I’m not talking about stolen artworks or lost paintings here. I’m referring to the “art of flirting”. When I was younger (meaning around 20 or so), I would have known exactly what to say to a guy showing some form of interest. I’ve never been a “flirting expert” in my 20’s but at least the conversation would have gotten somewhere interesting! The one I’m talking about in this case was some random American guy I recently met (not saying where). Here’s the gist of what transpired:

Guy: Hi! How are you?

Me: (a little surprised/bewildered, but slightly pleased. He’s not bad-looking and seemed nice too) I’m fine. Thank you!

(Compulsory introductory exchange)

(Awkward silence)….tick…tock…tick…tock…

Both of us: (smiling expectantly. Although after a minute or two, the smile starts to resemble that of Joker’s. Not a good thing. LOL.)

After several awkward attempts at establishing common ground, the whole thing fizzled like dead fireworks. Epic fail!

Guy said he loves romantic songs and movies. At which point I should have gotten the hint and said something like, “Oh yeah, me too!” Then proceeded to enumerate the various sugary chick flicks I’ve seen (my guilty pleasure. Haha! I would usually say I just love Science fiction and those artsy movies with no discernible endings, because I really do! But once in a while, I cave in to my inner girly-girl and watch those chick flicks)  and how our “meeting” seemed to resemble one of them. Add smiling a lot and batting eyelashes (well maybe not that).

I don’t really mind my age. At times, I don’t even feel 30, but things like these give some sort of wake-up call. In my imagined conversations with various imaginary guys (Haha), I even manage a joke or two. I’m not a bad conversationalist really (my friends tell me so, unless they’ve been lying to me all these years), I usually have good things to say. But when confronted with a real, live potential “person of interest”, all the knowledge seemed to have left my brain and ran for the hills in a hurry. 😛

Bridget Jones-ing (09/04)

>Daily Cigarette Intake: A stick (after “lunch” last night. Mainly because I’m stressed about the current state of my job. In fact, I would have resigned immediately as soon as I heard the words “merging” and “re-training”, but I’ve got bills to pay. So I’m waiting it out till December.)

>Weight: Not worried about my weight at all. I’m quite happy to be back in shape. All that jogging and avoiding meat seemed to have worked. All the lovely clothes from last, last year which had to be put on hiatus because they no longer fit are now back in circulation. Now it’s the “fat” jeans turn to be put on the back cabinet. I’m turning 30 next year so keeping healthy is a priority. Remember, I’m committed to spinsterhood and staying reasonably in shape will lessen the prospects of tripping over my own feet (by the time I reach 70), unable to move for days to call for help then die of starvation and possibly boredom. The neighbors will inevitably notice after a week or so (who could stand the stench after all??) Unless I happen to live in an isolated farmhouse. In which case I would be found after 3 decades or so by some random nosy kid, scare the living shit out of him/her and eventually become part of the local urban legend. Which I won’t mind actually.

>Daily Alcohol Intake: None today so far. But I just remembered that  I’ve got free beer vouchers from 2 Japanese restaurants I sort of frequent. Should have no problems getting blind, stinking drunk next weekend if I wanted to. 😛

It’s just one of those depressing days, really. Yes, and I’m watching “Bridget Jones Diary” (another one of my kindred spirits, aside from good old Liz Lemon). Oh, I forgot! I just noticed James Callis (Gaius Baltar from   Battlestar Galactica) was in this movie. 🙂

Not to give the misleading impression that I am spending all my days in a self-pitying torpor. No sir. Had a busy schedule this week in fact.

>Went home (meaning to the province) and spent some time with my mom and brother. Haven’t seen them for a month, I think.

>Then went out on “date” with my just-recently-single cousin (ate good food, moaned about our luck-or lack thereof-in relationships, and spent most of the day having fun). Will post our culinary adventures here sometime; when I get myself “organized” enough.

>Worked on my entry for the September 10 Painting Exhibit. Bit of progress. But I guess I should work on it more since I only have a few days left (instead of spending time writing blog posts and watching self-indulgent movies. :)) But what the hell, right??

“To Bridget, who cannot cook. But who we love, just as she is.” (best line from the movie, in my opinion)

The Joys of Dining Out (Alone)

For some reason, there is a notion that dining out with yourself as company is the equivalent of “pathetic”. Especially if you’re a woman. You can just visualize every head in the restaurant turning in your direction as soon as they hear the words “A table for one, please.” (on a side note: you can say that using your very best Darth Vader voice and wait for their reaction :D) *Eye Roll* Then it will certainly be followed by various pitying/patronizing looks and mutterings. What? Is this the high school cafeteria? Do you also expect the requisite jock to manhandle you (if you’re a guy) or the random snickering coming from the “popular” table (if you’re a girl). Please! Let’s grow up a bit and realize that the world does not revolve around you. And that unless you are Jennifer Aniston, nobody cares that you are single and dining out alone!

I usually dine out with one of my gay friends or my cousin (because I’m practically oozing pathetic from every pore and can’t find a decent guy to save my life. *snicker*). Said gay friend recently acquired a boyfriend (I’m happy for them by the way. But I don’t fancy being the proverbial third wheel), so it’s definitely a no-go in that direction. My cousin and I only see each other every other weekend. Does this mean I have to sit in my room, staring at the walls the entire day, because I don’t have anyone to go out with?? Didn’t think so. Besides, I’m a fan of dining out. I consider it a “treat” after  long hours of working my ass off.

I’ve been dining out by myself for quite sometime. And believe me, it does have benefits. One of which is you can really savor the food without having to make conversation. No discussions about the menu and no worries whether the food you are getting makes you appear like a glutton; thereby busting your chances of getting a second date (so yeah, go ahead, demolish that entire serving of Nabemono, with Gyoza or Takoyaki on the side; then order a large platter of Kani Salad  or Sashimi. Have a beer afterwards.) Another is that you can do anything you damn well please (as long as it does not involve yelling “It’s a trap!” at your fellow diners) 😀 I usually bring a book to read or take notes on the quality of the food or service I’m getting. Or surreptitiously watch and contemplate the rest of humanity from my table (for this purpose I  mostly request a seat near the window.)

Japanese restaurants are the best option, in my opinion, for “quirky-alone” diners like myself. Because they have the option of dining at the counter (bar) where you can also watch the chef prepare your food. That or mind your own business. I would definitely recommend Little Tokyo (a cluster of  authentic Japanese restaurants along Pasong Tamo, Makati). Great service and no-frills dining. No mutterings and judging stares so far. 😛

Lastly, so what if they are in fact judging you for dining out by yourself? Are they the ones paying the bill?? The answer is no. So there is absolutely no reason to be bothered, at all.

I’ll try Chelsea at Serendra this weekend. A little too upscale for my taste. But I could have imaginary conversations with Hannibal Lecter. 🙂

08/25 – 26/12 Odds and Ends

Listening to: “Wag Kang Matakot” by Eraserheads

Reading : “Julie and Julia” by Julie Powell

This is by far one of my more “productive” weekends. Meaning, I’ve actually managed to do something of import. As opposed to sleeping my ass off from sunrise to sundown (and sometimes all throughout the evening as well. I tend to wake up around 1:00 AM though).

One of my friends invited me to become a member of one of the art groups he’s currently into. An exhibit is due on September 10, 2012. So I’m currently working on my piece. Hopefully, I will be able to finish it before then. It’s pretty big (20×30, Acrylic on canvas), but I’m much comfortable working on larger pieces, more room for details and I don’t have to strain my eyes (and my hands).

From time to time I like to go out by myself.  So that’s what I did yesterday. Decided to visit Little Tokyo (along Pasong Tamo, Makati) and eat at “Hana” (one of my go-to restaurants aside from “Izakaya Kikufuji”). I had Chirashi Don (that is rice topped with various sashimi and seaweeds), Miso Soup (which comes with the Chirashi Don meal) and 6 pieces of steaming hot, authentic Takoyaki. Needless to say, I left with a full stomach (though not necessarily heavy). Oh, and they gave me another free drink stub. I might come back later for a bottle of beer. Cheers!

I also bought a couple of DVDs at MCS. They already have a Blue Ray copy of  Hunger Games ( the pirated variety of course) then went to “Market! Market!” and watched “Total Recall”. It’s an OK movie (if you happen to love seeing Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel kicking some serious ass. I’m not much of a Colin Farrell fan though). It strongly reminded me of “Blade Runner” (neon, Chinese signs, loads of grime and of course, who could forget the rain), “Fallout” (just look at the “No-Zone” sequence; I expected large green mutants to pop up and attack the characters) and oddly enough “The Bourne Identity”. Maybe we can call it “The Quaid Identity” or some such. 😀

Not sure what my plan is today. I might come back at Little Tokyo. I have half a mind to try the “Shinjuku Ramen House” and their famous Gyoza. I’ll try to see if I can finish at least 3/4’s of the painting  tonight.

Gender-roles and “fag hags”

Lately, I’ve been wondering why I have (had) so many gay friends. In fact, I’ve never been without a gay friend. From the time I started school through the various jobs and places I’ve been, I’ve always found it easy to befriend gay men. I also have a lot of  straight guy and women friends but it’s a whole different matter with gay guy-straight women friendships.

In my searches across the internet, I came across the term “fag hag” or women who have a lot of  or prefer gay men for friends. While I would never call my gay friends fags (lest I be bitch-slapped to death), and I’m certainly far from being a hag (well maybe during my “younger years”, but now I have better fashion sense, no small thanks to my sassy gay friends), I found it rather fascinating that there is some sort of “phenomena” behind this.

I’ve read a lot of purported reasons why women would purposely seek the company of gay men. But here’s my two cents. I think it’s because these gay guys are like me in the sense that they fall somewhere in between the gender-role spectrum. There’s the “overly feminine” and the “overly masculine” and there’s the somewhere in the middle. Before assumptions are made, I am not romantically or sexually attracted to any of my gay friends (that’s just a big no-no). Nor do I wish that they are straight. I like them just the way they are.

Let me explain further. While I would definitely identify myself as 100% heterosexual, I also tend to embody a lot of “masculine” traits which tend to either confuse or intimidate straight guys (I’m speaking from experience). What do I mean by confuse? Most of the time, just because I’m into “guy stuff” (like comics, violent video games, gory movies, military history/fiction, etc) they would assume that I’m certainly not straight or automatically relegate me to “just a friend” status . I am extremely annoyed by this. Where was it written that because I’m a woman, I can’t be interested in those things and still be straight?? Hey, I also happen to like cross-stitching and knitting! Couldn’t they exist side by side?

Sorry, I seem to have lost my composure there for a bit. But being an artist, I find it useful that I can appreciate both the “masculine” and the” feminine”. So I’ve drawn a bad-ass looking Jedi Knight, does that mean I can’t draw a great sexy pin-up of Nancy Callahan from Sin City? I don’t think so.

Another thing is, while I’m certainly far from fat, I’m not frail-as-waif  either (for body type comparison, see Battlestar Galactica’s Kara Thrace). I happen to possess bones that do not break at the slightest pressure. Is that a problem now?? Add my slightly “tomboyish” attitude. I wear make-up, dresses (I’m more of a tee/blouse and jeans person though) and all, but I guess it’s more of the way I carry myself. I hold my head high and swing my arms (not my hips!!) when I walk. And I walk rather fast. I could also be rather direct. Although I generally try to avoid arguments and would rather have things be resolved peacefully if possible. But once  my tolerance (which is considerable) is breached, then we really have a problem. I do not slap people, I’d rather punch them.

Point is, this is who I am and I don’t intend to bend over backwards to please some guy. So far, only one person (from my last relationship) has managed to understand  and like me they way I am. We had have had our differences of course (and so the relationship is sort of over) but that’s one of the things I liked about him. He had no problem with me loving gory/horror films, Call of Duty or Fallout (with the same enthusiasm that he has). Maybe because he is such a geek as well. But you know what I mean.

So, back to the topic of gay men. So my gay friends accept me for who I am. They are generally fun to be with (witty, sarcastic and funny). They call out my BS when they have to and do not let me wallow in self pity. They would boost my self confidence and give great fashion advise (I would still be wearing sweats to the office if not for them). Plus they open doors and carry my stuff for me too. And they’re not doing it to get in my pants because we love the same thing: men.

When Flaking Out is Not an Option

The odds are certainly in favour of this film. The best book-to-screen adaptation I’ve seen in a while. Jennifer Lawrence captured Katniss’ independent, resourceful, fierce, tough-as-nails-but-still-vulnerable and occasionally arrogant personality. Yeah, I know. Bella Swan (the eherm..’heroine’ of Twilight) comparisons are raging through the net, from The Guardian to Feministe. They can’t be helped I guess.

I really tried to finish the Twilight books, but my higher brain functions were objecting at the turn of every page! Lol. So I gave it up as a bad job. I did finish Twilight and Eclipse though. Anyway, back to the review. Comparisons to Bella cannot be helped, like I said. After all, there is a ‘triangle’ of sorts in The Hunger Games as well. But that’s where it ends. The similarities and differences have been discussed so much that I won’t go through the details anymore.

But here’s my two cents: Although both Bella and Katniss fell in love, Katniss will always be her own person. She is the Mockingjay, the Girl on Fire and not defined by her relationship with Peeta or Gale. Her primary concern is not whether she should choose between the two, but the survival of those she cares about and yeah, bringing down a corrupt and unjust system.

Whereas Bella was jumping off cliffs when Edward (a complete jerkass worthy of a restraining order) left, Katniss was busy strategizing with the rebels of District 13 when she and Peeta were briefly separated. Of course she felt lousy the whole time, but that’s the point!

There is nothing wrong with being in love. Hey, I’m a bit of a romantic myself. But I prefer couples whose relationship is more on equal footing (ex: Scully, Mulder from XFiles; John, Aeryn from Farscape; Han, Leia from Star Wars; Zoe, Wash from Firefly; Helo, Athena from Galactica). These couples can both kick ass and wipe the floor with the best of the best. They are certainly not perfect, but they do love one another and do not require their partners to be a limp noodle.

Oh and going back (coherence just jumped out of the window), I like Katniss’ attitude. Being the eldest and primary breadwinner of the family requires a ‘we’ll just have to grit our teeth and do it’ philosphy at times. Flaking out and being weepy is not an option to be considered. Katniss is tough but she is not uncaring, in fact she cares a great deal about the people around her. Just not in that ‘merry sunshine’ but in more of a ‘tough love’ way. And hey, she loves a good laugh too!

Why should it matter? Because if ever I’ll have daughters, I’d want them to be Katniss Everdeens or Ellen Ripleys or Hermione Grangers. Not Bella Swans.

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose…

Completely nonsensical title I know. This is to mark the change in my blog heading. It has been called “The Poison Pen Chronicles” since 2007, I think. So that’s six years. But since turning 29 this January, I’ve come to terms with my being past the usual marrying age and learned to poke fun on it. That is not to say I’ve never been in a relationship. I’m not quite sure what to make of my “relationship” status as of the moment (the song “Hot n’ Cold” by, ye gods, Katy Perry  pretty much sums it up). Anyway, the choice of title should be pretty easy to figure out. I’m quite Nerdy and one year away from being labeled a spinster. 😀

I swear to hold a Spinster’s Day celebration when I reach 30 and wear a shirt that says “They say the clock is ticking. I say “Frak it! ” and keep moving!” Not the wittiest statement I can come up with at the moment.  😛

Marriage for marriage’ sake is one of the worst decisions anyone can make (short of purposely ingesting poison) in my opinion. Not that the constant niggling from “concerned parties”  haven’t affected me from time to time, but it’s not like I can hold Hugh Jackman or George Clooney hostage and propose marriage behind the barrel of a shotgun.

Besides, I am quite happy with the way my life is at the moment. No sense in upsetting the balance with completely idiotic sentiments. And no I’m not in the least bitter. 😀

Life…from a certain point of view