26 July 2010

What I've Learned 002: As Gloriously Third-World As You Can Get.

Second in an ongoing series of creative writing exercises inspired by Esquire's "What I've Learned" articles. This time, I've taken my cues from Tim Burton's interview; the first few words of each paragraph of the feature (in italics below) serve as prompts for my own answers.

2:37am, in a hotel
somewhere on French Island, WI
  • Before I started yoga, I had absolutely no idea how hard it really is. I think I sometimes sweat more doing yoga than lifting weights. But weightlifting doesn't give you the body awareness that yoga does. It's amazing, but I need a long shower afterward.

  • Most monster movies are silly as hell, even the "serious" ones. I love them all.

  • Once, when I was a child, I pretended to die to see what our dog, Matli, would do. I collapsed on our front porch and covered my face with my arm. She padded over, licked my arm a couple of times, and then just sat there. I like to think she would wait there forever for me to miraculously get back up. Of course I eventually did, so she was probably thinking "See, I told you so."

  • I’ve always been a bit more anal retentive when it comes to organizing my music. I don't like it when I see a friend's mp3 folders and they have these randomly-named music files all over the place. You need a system, dammit.

  • People have said to me, "I thought you were this laid-back, chill person. You're really not like that at all." Which always used to blow my mind, but that was when I wasn't really thinking outside of myself. I guess some people saw my inner anxieties better than I ever could. That was a pretty valuable insight.

  • There are people who pretend like they don't need any help and as a result keep spiraling downward into a mess of self-loathing and denial -- wait, I'm projecting here. Shit.

  • When I did shows and performances with Reggie as a part of J-Pros, the feeling right before we went onstage was something that couldn't be reproduced by anything else. It was a mixture of nervousness and excitement tinged with just the slightest amount of sheer terror. The absolute worst was thinking I was going to forget how a verse started, because a thousand things can go through your mind when you step out into the light. Fortunately, we learned to focus and our live show improved. I'm rusty as hell now though.

  • You can argue with somebody who says, "I hate sushi" until you're blue in the face, but they probably won't end up trying a piece of your salmon sashimi anyway. Don't get mad -- that only means more for you. All is fair in love and seafood.

  • In one of the books that I'm reading, I learned that back in the mid-1900s GM and other auto giants bought out trolley companies across the US with the implied intent of expanding our passenger rail system. They then dismantled all of them to eliminate competition with their product. Just think about what a cool train system we could be using today if that hadn't been allowed to happen. I haven't been on a proper train since visiting Europe a few years ago. I'm overdue for a nice train trip.

  • Sex scenes are usually "meh" to watch for the most part, until that one accidental occasion when you find yourself watching one with your parents. I believe that happened to my sister a few years ago; she was watching Monster's Ball with my brother and my parents. I wasn't there to witness this historically awkward situation, but Jose says she simply got up and left the room. I think I would've just started laughing uncontrollably. And then gotten up and left the room.

  • I sometimes meet people who have no idea what they're talking about, especially when it comes to generalizing between Filipino and American culture. It's very hard work to convince someone that no, one is not better than the other simply because, but the subject is so complex that I end up leaving it alone most of the time with no rebuttals and continue on. Some people are just set in their ways.

  • I remember a certain pleasure that can only be had when drinking ice-cold Coke out of a thin plastic bag with a straw -- the way it's purchased from street vendors in the Philippines. I haven't been back there in over a decade so I haven't a clue if they still serve it this way, but that's about as gloriously Third-World as you can get. Ahhh nostalgia.

  • I feel extremely at home in a recording booth. It's just me, headphones, a microphone and a sheet of lyrics. Very very simple, but very very right. I miss it a lot.

  • Everybody loves getting cards and letters in the mail, although it's so much easier to dash off an email or send a greeting on Facebook. I still like writing letters occasionally, typos and all. Blogging is fun and productive but nothing beats putting pen to paper. I just hope my handwriting remains somewhat legible.

2 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

The street venders in Mexico sell it the same way. You do look pretty ghetto carrying around a plastic bag and a straw, but, oh...the memories.

Ran said...

Man, I loved it. And even when we DID get Coke in a bottle, we folded the top end of the straw back inside of the bottle when we weren't drinking so the flies couldn't land on it. Pair that with some kind of salty snack and we were happy.

Post a Comment