Monday, August 30, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Digression 5: The Woman Who Cried Wolf

My aunt and I never got along. Never.

She disliked me as much as I despised her. I was able to witness as she, along with her family stole from us. Heard the rumors spread behind our backs, was told about the times she used to hit my older sisters every chance she got, and manipulated my fragile grandmother for personal gain. What was supposed to be a happy event every time one sees a family member was never the case when she was around. Her mere presence changes things quicker than a heartbeat, we become guarded, weary and exasperated beyond measure. The lies between her teeth became too unbearable after years of hearing various versions of a sad, poor life that she was living.

Last night however, was a different story. When her daughter called, we were told that my aunt was in the hospital. It was an emergency and was asking for help.

A shadow of doubt. A nagging uneasiness.
We have been duped countless times in the past for far worse stories.

This time though, it was true after all. She was indeed in the hospital in a coma.

A few hours later, she died.

Things never changed between us and her family while she was alive. I had reservations about what I knew was about to happen. The pessimist in me just would not be shushed. Knowing my family, I knew they would soften up as they always did.

That same night, our family arranged everything for her and for her family. Hospital, funeral parlor, services, food, even the clothes she would wear...

Less than 24 hours later, we were told that her family does not need nor want our help. Wasn't it just timely that they declared such after everything has been paid for?

The pessimist in me is still triumphant. The family member in me however was crushed, for I knew that they needed all the help they could get. If they truly did not need any assistance, they never would have called. A little appreciation and not a spat of misguided pride would have sufficed. Now I am being asked by my immediate family to go to the funeral parlor to pay my last respects. How am I supposed to go there and do as they asked me to, if I do not feel even the littlest inclination of respect?

Does death mean that all misgivings of the departed are forgotten? That all wrong actions are granted forgiveness? Am I so evil not to feel remorse over her passing? Sad, yes. Remorse, not at all. I am more worried about my grandmother finding out that she has lost a daughter.

I am not a saint nor will I ever pretend to be one. I am not the most forgiving of soul. I'd rather stay home and be called heartless rather than pretend that I am grieving. I would never offer a shoulder to cry on, when the first thing I want to do is to whack them in the head for being a bunch of parasites in our lives.

Day 26 - A recipe

Seafood Paella

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 2 chicken legs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish chorizo sausage
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • drained and hand-crushed
  • 1 cup rice, short to medium grain
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 3 cups water
  • shrimps, peeled with heads and tails on
  • lobster tails, split
  • clams
  • mussels
  • crabs
  • parsley leaves, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen and thawed
  • bellpeppers, sliced
  • lemon wedges, for serving

How to cook:

  • Rinse the chicken pieces and pat them dry. Mix the oregano and paprika with some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the pieces of chicken; marinate for 30 minutes so the flavor can sink in a bit.
  • Heat the olive oil in a paella pan or wide shallow skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the pan, skin-side down and brown on all sides, turning with tongs. Add the chorizo and continue to cook until the oil is a vibrant red color. Remove the chicken and sausage to a platter lined with paper towels.
  • Return the pan to the stove and lower the heat to medium. Make a sofrito by sauteing the garlic, onion, and tomatoes; cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld; season with salt and pepper. Fold in the rice, stirring to coat the grains. Stir the saffron into the rice. Pour in the water and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Do not cover or constantly stir like risotto.
  • Add the shrimp, lobster, clams, the reserved chicken, and the chorizo. Give the paella a couple of good stirs to tuck in all the pieces and just let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes. Scatter the peas on top and continue to cook for 5 minutes, until the paella looks fluffy and moist. The ideal paella has a toasted rice bottom called socarrat. Allow to rest, off the heat for 5 minutes, and garnish with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 23 — A fanfiction

by Xam

Arizona - Callie (Grey's Anatomy)

"She has been staring at her drink for the past 30 minutes..."

I heard a voice beside me say "Huh" and I vaguely realized I have said it out loud. Margaret gave me a quizzical look and I brushed her inquiries aside with a smile. Fortunately, she dropped the subject and continued discussing a gathering she is planning this coming week. I tried to listen the best I could but my eyes seem to keep wandering to that lone figure across the bar who is still staring at her drink for almost an hour now!

Dr. Calliope Torres, Senior Resident Orthopedic Surgeon. I've heard them call her Callie. She doesn't look like a Callie; Callie doesn't suit her at all. Callie is a name I would call a 4 year old girl with ponytails. Nope, she is all woman; strong, capable and confident; at least when I see her at the hospital...

I smile and tried to focus on Margaret. She seems all excited about this party and has been a very good friend to me since I arrived here in Seattle. The least I could do is try to be positive and enthusiastic, since she is throwing this party largely for my sake. For me to meet new people, probably somebody interesting. I'm not really that crazy about being set up but I really appreciated the gesture especially since I am relatively new in town.

I stole a glance to my right and was surprised to see somebody sitting beside her. Damn! I only averted my eyes for a minute and somebody discovered her already! No, wait... that girl looks familiar... I've seen her with Dr. Sloan from Plastics and they seem to be a couple. Hmm, in fact I think I have actually heard from one of my scrub nurses that they are indeed an item, eventhough she is just an intern and he is the attending surgeon of Plastic Surgery. Geez! The gossip from the nurses' station is sure all encompassing. But then again, if not for that, I wouldn't have known about her and Dr. Erica Hahn...

Uh-oh, where is she going? Was that tears I saw? Is she leaving already?
She hasn't paid yet though.
I didn't think anymore; I told Margaret I need to go to the ladies room and excused myself. I don't know what I am doing or what am I going say to say to her, but there is something about her that makes me want to take a leap of faith, even if I end up making an ass of myself.

Oh God! Please don't let me make me make a fool of myself with this girl!
I took a deep breath and turned the doorknob of the bar bathroom; it was unlocked.
She hurriedly tried to wipe traces of tears away but I know better.
Her reflection on the mirror says it all.

"Hey! Ortho, right?", I heard myself say out loud.

"Yeah". She is trying hard to be composed despite everything; I think I admired her a thousandfold more upon hearing that.

I want to just keep staring at her gorgeous brown eyes, but I am still a stranger in a bathroom to her. I decided to introduce myself to try and put her more at ease.

"I'm Arizona. Robbins. Peds Surgery. I've seen you at the hospital."

She still seems surprised but I felt her relax a little with that knowledge. It made me feel braver to inquire more about her.

"Are you okay?"

I felt the walls slowly go up, "You know I'm fine. Fine"

I chastised myself for moving too soon. I started babbling; I didn't mean to, but she looks almost ready to flee and that is the last thing I want. I want to reach out to her, want to comfort her, let her know that I know where she is coming from and that I understand...

"People talk. Where we work. They talk. A lot. So for the sake of being honest, I just want you to know that I know things about you... Because people talk"; I laughed nervously, hoping she is getting what I'm driving at.

She had a moment of confusion and it dawned on her. "Oh, you mean...?" I nodded in the affirmative. They are right about this woman being sharp and quick-witted and I am loving
it more by the minute.

"Terrific!" A curtain of devastation fell on her beautiful features. Damn, not the reaction
that I was hoping for. I started babbling again. I cringed inwardly and chastised myself;
Arizona Robbins, fix this now!

"It is actually! The talk People really like you over there. They respect you and they're
concerned, and interested..They really like you" I emphasized interested but the walls
seems to be going up higher and higher. She didn't notice the interested part.

I tried once more, "Some of them REALLY like you", to no avail.

I was going to elaborate further but the sad look on her eyes and the way her shoulders slumped dejectedly by her side made me stop. "You just.. you look upset" Suddenly I realized that what she needs right now, what is more important is to let her know, reassure her that there are people who care about her and who would want a chance to be with her.

"And I just thought that you should know... that the talk is good.” She still looks so sad;

I raced to get my point across. “And when you are not upset; when you are over being upset, there will be people lining up for you". I am one of them, but I kept that last bit to myself,
for fear of scaring her away again.

She relaxed a little and gave a half-hearted laugh. Her walls seems to stop growing for a moment. "You wanna give me some names?"

Ah Woman! Haven't you been listening all this time?

I looked at her. REALLY looked at her. She was trying to avert her eyes from me. But she was so vulnerable, hopeful and beautiful and I wanted her to know that I am right here but I don't know how to without scaring her and her walls seem to stop growing for a while and maybe if I could just get through to her and make her understand...
next thing I knew, I was kissing her...

Time froze for a minute; even my brain who can't stop babbling halted in its tracks when her soft lips met mine. All I know was that it felt right. She felt right in my arms...

When I broke the kiss and looked at her, I find her looking at me. REALLY looking at me; I am glad to not to see that sadness in her eyes; she is more beautiful without it.

I said to her ,“I think you'll know” And for the first time, I knew that she heard me.

I walked out the bar bathroom thinking to myself, Nope, definitely not a Callie.
And then I smiled, Nice meeting you Calliope.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Digression 4: There's no changing you

I am sick and tired of hearing you complain. The only time you feel grateful is when the odds are gloriously on your side, and even that lasts only but a few moments. You would always find the next thing to complain about, to whine about and to find lacking in this life of yours. How I wish that for one day, for just one day you are to be given a different set of eyes and an unselfish heart. Then maybe, just maybe you would be able to hold on to the people who should truly matter in your life.

Digression 3: Kailangang lunukin.

Ginusto ko ito hindi ba,
eh bakit nasasaktan ako?

Day 20 — Person you want to apologize to

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 18 — A quote from a TV show

Whoever said that plenty of fish in the sea was lying; sometimes there's only one fish. Trust me.
- Ally Mcbeal

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 16 — A place you want to go to one day

This may be the only place that I am willing to actually endure such heat.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 15 — A YouTube video

"Sana ako pa rin. Sana ako na lang, ako na lang ulit."
*sniff* Oh what sniveling sap I have become... *sniff*

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 13 — A fictional book

A re-telling of Cinderella with a lesbian twist *yum*

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Digression 2: Read somewhere...

You know it's over when your used to be song
doesn't affect you anymore.
*le sigh*

Day 12 — A TV program you are currently addicted to

Zak Bagans, need I say more?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 11 — A passage from a book

I dipped my hands in the water.
Liquid time.
And I thought,
"Go home and write the story again.
Keep writing it because one day she will read it."
You can change the story. You are the story...
Love is the keeper of the clocks.
I took off my watch and dropped it into the water.
Time take it.
Your face, your hands, the movement of your body
Your body is my Book of Hours.
Open it. Read it.
This is the true history of the world.


Sunday, August 08, 2010

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Friday, August 06, 2010

Day 06 — Your favorite movie

Yeah yeah I know it's a trilogy
and you're only asking for one particular movie.
It does count still right? Oh what the hell...

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Digression 1: Topsy-turvy

Why do I even bother?
Is it really too much to hope and to dream?
I guess all I have are mere delusions
and the thing with these delusions,
it almost always comes back with a bitchslap.
I hate myself.

Day 04 — Your favorite book

Written on the body is a secret code only visible in certain lights: the accumulations of a lifetime gather there. In places the palimpsest is so heavily worked that the letters feel like Braille. I like to keep my body rolled up away from prying eyes, never unfold too much, or tell the whole story. I didn't know that Louise would have reading hands. She has translated me into her own book.

It's a simple story; love found, love lost, love found again - maybe. The unnamed narrator falls for a married woman called Louise. Louise leaves her husband but when she finds she has cancer, she leaves her new lover too. Written on the Body is a journey of self-discovery made through the metaphors of desire and disease.

All of my books are about boundaries and desire - the boundaries we should try to cross, like fear and class and skin-colour and expectation, and the boundaries that seem to define us, such as our sense of self, our gender. Disease, especially a disease like cancer or aids, breaks down the boundaries of the immune system and forces a new self on us that we often don't recognise. Our territory is eaten away. We are parcelled out into healthy areas and metastasised areas. Parts of us are still whole, too much has been invaded.

Against this, I wanted to look again, (I am always looking again) at love's ability to shatter and heal simultaneously. Loving someone else destroys our ideas of who we are and what we want. Priorities change, friends change, houses change, we change. Part of the strangeness of being human is our need of boundaries, parameters, definitions, explanations, and our need for them to be overturned. For most people, only the positives of love and faith (and a child is both), or the negatives of disaster and disease, achieve this. Death comes too late. The final shattering affects others, but not ourselves. - J.W.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Day 01 — Your favorite song

30 days of me >:)

I was tagged in one of those 30 day activity (nothing physical believe me, I am much too lazy for such) that I would like to indulge in.
So for 30 consecutive days, I would be posting whatever is required on a particular day.
Hmm, let me give this a try then :)