Diary, 05 Dec – 11 Dec, 2018

Diary, 05 Dec – 11 Dec, 2018

tags:

diary, paul auster, umberto eco foucault’s pendulum, book review, apostle 2018 movie review, anarchism, confucianism, psoriasis, keyboard review, a4tech kls 5up, OTG keyboard lenovo tab, Johns Hopkins literary theory, history, historiography, knights templars, tantrayana buddhism

[05 DEC 2018]

I can’t think of anything good to write. I think this is because I don’t have anything good to write. Oh, I actually have soemthing interesting to tell you about imaginary future reader (redundant! all readers are from the future. there are no past readers of this account). I am writing this using this set-up: A lenovo tablet hooked up through this device called on OTG cable to an external keyboard (a4tech kls 5 up). This is the set-up that I’ve been looking for for the longest time. For one, there isn’t that much distraction. It is simple and basic. You have the keyboard, you have the screen. The program is basic too. There is no spellcheck for example, so that all the writings in here, need to be checked later on for spelling errors. This wouldn’t be a difficult task, thanks to technology. I can just transfer the file into my laptop and open it in one of the full-fledged writing softwares in there, do some editing, and poof output finished. Truly exciting times we’re living in.

Another thing is that I can carry this set-up anywhere. It is just a keyboard and the tablet. Though maybe I could not bring this to the library as the keyboard with me typing in it can get a bit loud. Maybe one of the student assistants would silently sidle up to me, and whisper in my ear, sir you can’t do that …

“Do what?”

“Make noise in the library.”

“But I am doing very important research, how am I going to proceed with my work?”

“Maybe use a pen and paper?” Her eyes are pleading to me to just you know, not be an asshole, and I’d smile, okay, but just because it’s you that came here and not one of those other student assistants.

But my train of thought is gone, and I am back to staring at the clouds and the blue sky outside of the library. I also did not bring my notebook and pencil, and so yeah …

I can actually see myself writing my papers with this set-up. I can just write and write, and do the editing later. If only I have used this set-up so much earlier … regrets, regrets …

06DEC2018

So the old keyboard is workign again, and I am just so happy. I like this keyboard to say the least. I have written about the reasons why I lke it previously. Mostly it is because of the enter key. This keyboard has the old-school rectangle enter key. The new design is similar in all aspects except for that, and it irks me. The new keyboard design has the key in the shape of a sideways L, and it just messes with the way that I type. I can reach at least 90 wpm using this old keyboard. With the new one, it’s only in the low to mid 80s. This old -still -usable keyboard’s problem is that it doesn’t automatically plug n play. There’s some issue with the connector, and we thought maybe I could replace it with the connector from the new one and it would work as new. That’s what I’m hoping would happen.

Today I have just been so tired. Maybe it is because of the 16:8 diet I have been trying. It is the second day, and I think I am getting used to it. I managed to do it for four days back in N.E. I think part of the reason why I’ve just been so sleepy is that my body is just re-adjusting to the climate here. I have forgotten how cold it actually is here after having spent more than a month in N.E. This new revelation has cemented in me the idea that I will base myself here in the future. But this is still not the time. I have to actually still yet go out there and make something out of myself. Then I can say that I have the right to stay here. I still miss the trees though, those wonderful majestic mahogany trees that were cut down. It would have been much colder if those trees weren’t cut down.

My psoriasis is at peak worst condition. I am at the end of my clear cycle, and I can start medicating tomorrow (7dec2018). It is really bad, so bad. I accidentally bumped into something and peeled off a scab and motherfucker gushed like a blood fountain. This happened about a week ago, and it still stings. It is primiarly now in my back, so much so at my back, and my calves and thighs. Two fingers of my left hand are also affected (pointing, middle). There are also some big ones at my shoulders. My scalp is just terrible, and my ears as well. My toes are affected, and my fear is that it would affect my nails and be like those others with worse symptoms – yellowing, deformed nails. The thought is terrifying.

I should be reading, but I am so tired. Could it be the psoriasis? Is this one of the symptoms. Need to do research on this. Skin is so itchy and painful right now. At least the weather’s colder here, so it’s tolerable somewhat. I really think that I have to take painkillers for this. Paracetamol only. The last time I took Ibuprofen, I had a sort of allergic reaction. It was scary.

07DEC2018

Earlier went to the city to buy this keyboard, an A4Tech KLS 5, the new all-black version. I am going to dismantle this later in order to use a part from it for the old keyboard, hoping that the old keyboard coul still be salvaged. I was lucky that I was patient in my search for this specific keyboard, as the one I found in Octagon store in Centrio cost about 630 pesos or so. I looked at some other shop and finally found this one on sale. It only cost 575. I have just enough money for the fare back home. And now I am using it, and everything looks spiffy.

I am not going to dismantle this yet. I like that it’s more quite than the old keyboard. I should have brought the other keyboard back home with me from Nueva Ecija. Well at least I could just give this other one to the other sibling so that it could aid in gaming. It’s hard to game with a laptop using the laptop’s built-in keyboard.

On the way there, inside the van, a most interesting passenger. A middle-aged woman, who is a bit lacking in mental faculties. Kept singing every now and then while the van is on its way to the city. It was interesting to say the least. Most managed to tolerate it, I mean what else could they do? The wife of the driver, who assists the passengers, bantered with the woman, asked questions, asked if maybe they could drop her off at V—-. She has not bathed or dressed well, and the driver’s wife said that the other passengers can smell her. The smelly woman was not belligerent, only she was annoying. She can answer questions, but there is clearly something wrong with her.

There was a fire somewhere near A—-, when I was on my way there towards the terminal going C——. I have just purchased the keyboard and immediately started for home. I stopped by Shopwise to buy something to drink (Zest-o orange, a small bottle of Absolute water). The guard just checked my bag, the Dell laptop bag of my brother’s new laptop (which he has left in his room and thus was not using, and thus was free to be used by me). If you bring this type of bag, they would just let you carry it in the shopping and grocery areas. So that’s the plan next time when I visit the malls.
– – –
I am thinking of writing a story. Don’t know about what. Som
– – –

8DEC2018

While washing the dishes earlier, I thought about the concept of ‘rectification of names’, whether this concept can be applied politically and in a radical manner. I can see its use among anarchists for example and other libertarian movements. They’d use it against perceived enemies, saying we know your true names and faces, we know what you really are. Stuff like that, pretty dramatic. But it does not have to be. It’s just a way of saying that we know things for what they really are.

The concept is from Confucianism. It is for a well-ordered society. Anarchism isn’t chaos. It is about a just and well-ordered society. Between an unjust peace and justice, which would you choose? Of course these aren’t the only options, but just think in such a way that these are the only options.

This also calls for clarity in language. There is no need to be so confusing. If you can explain it using simple words, do so. Otherwise it’s just adding more confusion to this already sad and confusing world.
– – –
just linked this to dropbox. i wonder what happens if there’s no internet connection.
– – –
Update on the keyboard. So I did as was planned, and it worked! Everything works. The inner guts of the new keyboard is exactly the same as that of the old one, so it was just a very simple process of transferring the working cable of the new keyboard to the chassis of the old keyboard. It worked immediately and I was elated to say the least. This keyboard, so many wondeful memories, so much nostalgia. If this were a magical universe we’re living in, I would probably have this keyboard as my horcrux or something. It’s weird being so attached to an object. This is a very useful object though, and I think it is alright to have a strong connection to it. Swords, pens, knives, other tools, other implements with which humanity has used to create, it’s okay to feel like this towards them. But the point is that these are just tools, and it is what you do with it that is important. So that’s that with this matter with the keyboard. It is now time to turn to the more difficult task at hand- to actually write something.
– – –

09 DEC 2018

It is night now, thirty minutes to midnight. I went out earlier, after dinner for a walk. I trudged the usual path from the house straight to the park in the old Municipal Building. It was cold, and it seems my body has forgotten how cold it actually is to be here. I have only been back for a few days after having been gone for more than a month. I’m still adjusting I think.

I did not actually go inside the park. I stopped by the multi-purpose hall near it, and then headed back. There were so many people still. The idea was to aid my digestion after having had a heavy meal. This is for the prevention of possible stomach issues, which I sadly know too much about.

I managed to read the portion in the Johns Hopkins literary theory book about ‘Historical Method’. There were several familiar names: Schlegel, Hegel, Herder, Vico, Croce. It was, sadly something I found not that interesting. I don’t know, maybe when I am in the right frame of mind it would be cast in a new light and the world would be a much interesting place, and I really need to stop being so sarcastic. I need to still finish the part about Chinese literary theory before jumping on to other entries. I think I am in the Mao period now. So that would be interesting.

Also read a few pages of Eco’s Pendulum. I am at the part where they’re talking about the Templars. I thought it was interesting. How so? Well first the method of presenting, or framing the history of the Templars. In the novel, it is discussed because it is the thesis topic of one of the main characters. The other characters are book men as well, and they are familiar somewhat with this topic, and so you get all these funny commentaries and dialogue regarding the Templars. It’s very clever. This is a bookish book. I like when fiction works are like that. Self-reflexive? Meta? Self-referential? I forgot the exact word for this. Anyway, you also find this in the works of Paul Auster.

Deformed. Distorted. Warped. I can’t find the exact word for that disparaging description of Tantrayana Buddhism I read in a book once. If only I was able to summon the word while talking with Ms. M, then the conversation would have been clearer. Also, forgot Hayden White’s name when I talked about history being more of an art than a science. Only found out that White himsef wrote a blurb at the back of the book that I brought with me that day. Facepalm. Anyway, you can’t overanalyze conversations that already happened in the past. The best thing is to focus on the things to do and talk about in the future. Moderation, moderation, even in worrying.

– – – –

10 DEC 2018 [[SPOILERS ALERT. APOSTLE (2018)]]

Just watched Apostle (2018) earlier. It is set in the early 1900s, and is about this guy who goes in search of his sister who is with this cult in this island. I think it’s a great, entertaining film. The main lead is intense. He is a skilled actor. I think all the actors in this movie performed well. I like well-done period pieces, and Apostle is an example of this. It is gritty, authentic-looking, it makes you feel immersed in the story. There are a lot of bloody scenes in this film, but they are not overdone. They may be gruesome, but I think the gruesomeness was necessary.

The main lead’s (Thomas, played by that guy from the series ‘Legion’) back story adds a lot to the narrative. It explains why the Goddess chose him later on. My explanation for this is that the Goddess saw his spiritual worth or depth through the sufferings that he has experienced. The final scene shows the final fulfillment of this arc regarding his faith and spirituality.

I find the perspective of Quinn, the main antagonist, with regards to the captured Goddess, interesting. His understanding is that the Goddess is just a machine. It is not something to be feared or venerated, just something to be used for the benefit of the people. This is in contrast to Malcolm, one-third of the triumvirate of the Founders of the Town. Quinn claims that Malcolm has started to worship the Goddess, and that Malcolm would sacrifice the people themselves to the Goddess.

There is also an interesting theme in this movie about life and birth. When Quinn finds out that his daughter Fionn has become pregnant, he goes into a rampage, asking her who was impregnated her, castigating her, telling her of the horrible thing that the child will be. This is because the Goddess’s fertility powers has become feeble and twisted, so that the Island is suffering from crop failures and reproductive problems in their livestock. He tells her that the child will be this twisted blob of flesh that no mother would call her own. I thought it was pretty darn dramatic and intense language. This confrontation scene between the father and daughter is a highlight of this movie. Wonderfully-acted on both parts.

In the end, to continue with the theme of life and birth, and really, rebirth, we see the dying Thomas being absorbed by the island. We are made to infer that he will be the next power source for the island, taking up the role previously played by that of the captured Goddess whom he has ‘freed’. Now that Quinn is gone, this new supernatural force would be more in line with how things should be, and so maybe the people can return and rebuild the town or something. But they probably should no longer practice those Inquisition-style interrogation and ‘cleansing’ this time around.

– – – –

11 DEC 2018

My supply of the ointment ran out two days ago, and I am forced to ration the medication for the scalp, applying it onto non-scalp parts of my skin. Every morning or afternoon, a few moments after waking up, I start sunbathing. It’s been effective the last time I tried it. The problem here is that these days it’s been mostly cloudy. So I have to really take notice of when the sun’s out and take adv

=–=—=-=—=

 

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This file was started just to have some place to type before going on to actually wrte something. 3 mar 2019

I really want a file in order to sharpen the hand saw, in order that I can cut the plywood with the minimum amount of damage on the edge. And then after I would make the book stand, and then etc etc.

5mar2019. The real nightmare is living here, in this place, with all these people. This is me just being dramatic. Just being my usual self, whenever I am able to find myself, whenever I am able to form coherent sentences. Most of the time, I am plagued by the itchiness and pain of my skin condition which is psoriasis. It has gotten worse in the past months and weeks. I think I am going on remission with my plaque, but my guttate and pustular are just brutal. The skin on the tips of my big toes are thickened, and when they get thick enough, they will begin to crack and bleed. And then comes the pain. My hands are also the same way. The base of my thumbs are covered in scales that easily peel off and crack and bleed. And then comes the pain. Whenever they get overly-moisturized they will start to sting. And so that’s why it’s a challenge, a real challenge for me to write anything these days. But I am still hoping. My writing isn’t for money or recognition, it is just for its own sake. Sure I do get political at times, but I mostly write for writing’s sake. For myself, for entertaining myself, for improving the skill that I supposedly I have, as claimed by my professors and former teachers. So I blame them. I blame everyone. I blame myself most of all.

When it gets really bad, I sometimes feel like this guy

I think the key to happiness is just learning and creating things, mastering things. Like recently I made these bookends out of scrap plywood and two by fours. The two by fours were the support beams of the double-bunk beds that I sawed off years ago when I decided to make the double bunk beds into two separate beds, as the underside of the top bunk has gotten so worn and rickety that I hated going to sleep at night because it felt like I am in some horror movie. Anyway, the bookends worked perfectly. I made four in all, which means two sets. Two pairs. And then a few weeks after making the bookends, I thought, hey why not go all out and make a bookstand, like the one I saw years ago used mostly by law students back in college? So that’s what I did. I cut off a rectangular portion from what remained of the plywood from my initial project. I used another two by four as base for the book stand, a few sawing and hammerings, and sanding using sandpaper, and the project is done, and it works perfectly, and this is what I mean by happiness being accomplished little by little, in the mastery and creation of little things. I also brought clothespins which I use to keep open the book. The clothespins aren’t overly grippy, so they don’t do damage to the pages of the book. I am currently looking at bookmark design ideas. One design I am looking at is the use of paperclips, but I think this is too damaging to the page as the clips are too thick and grippy for when you shut the book. It would leave marks and indentations that over time, thought maybe would not damage the book, leaves it in a not so ideal-looking state.

This set-up, the bookstand, works really well with those massive books that I have had for a long time. Maybe I can now actually get to finishing them. I still have the wonderfully-bound 2666 book by Bolano which I bought years ago, pre-2011, and have just been sitting there mostly unread because I find it a real chore to keep the massive book open. With the bookstand, this problem has been solved, and add to this the new discovery of using clothespins to keep books open, and I think I am on my way to really making a progress on my reading it.

The next couple of days, maybe next week, my other books will be delivered here. My overall current plan has been to personally make a big massive wooden bookshelf with my own hands. This bookshelf or maybe book cabinet would occupy maybe an entire wall of the house and I would place my books there and my table will be facing this wall of books as I write and daydream of writing stories and other writing outputs. Really my collection is so disorganized, I still have many books that have gone out into the world, having lent them to friends and acquiantances, and still have not found their way back to me. I miss them. One particularly whose loss grieves me is that hardbound copy of ‘Living Dolls: A Magical History on the Quest for Mechanical Life’ by Gaby Wood. The book jacket art had this image of a mechanical hand on it. The hand is opened up in a square on its palm, and you could see the inner workings and gears of that part of the automata. I thought it was just beautiful and amazing and so apt in distilling that whole atmosphere of the book. There is a Gothic-ness to the whole book, there is a darkness and sadness to it. That whole idea about creating semblances of human beings, but not quite getting it right. Automata, particularly humanoid automata has this haunted and ghostly aura to it. They embody our fears and desires in uncanny ways. I wish that book would find me.

I plan on making an inventory, a list, or at least photographing my books collection. I have to create a system somehow, to make the collection useful or navigable, though this is not to say that I am swamped and unable to make use of what I have. In my own way, I am able to somehow make do with the messiness of the categorizing. I sometimes place books here and there, I sometimes have trouble finding the exact paragraph on the book where I stopped reading, and so I read and re-read whole sections of the pages facing me. And it does get annoying, but it’s okay, it’s part of the book experience.

And so I read and read, and write, and do little things that occupy my mind and time, and meanwhile the entire country is going to shit. Nothing I can do about it. Little I can do about it. That’s it, let’s start with the little things. Let’s not be overly-millenianist, or messianic about it. Do that little thing you think you can do for the improvement of what? Society? Man, do you even like these people? Well not all of them, just the ones that I like, so it would not so shitty for them in the future. How to remain hopeful in all these.

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I should be reading, but it’s Christmas and I am writing this instead

“Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them; but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.”

― Arthur Schopenhauer

“On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero. “

– Fight Club

– – – – —

– I should be reading, and digesting what I’m reading, but … lazy. Schopenhauer was right – if only the books you purchased comes with the time necessary to read it too. This could be a thing/mechanism in a fantasy story. Each time you spend reading a book, time stops. Implications. So you can’t be killed when you’re reading? So if a person wants to live a long time, he/she just needs to read all the time? But he/she still has to sleep, eat … so this just means that people who have a reading habit are younger than, age slower than people who don’t read. Rich people can’t just hire other people to read for them. They need to do the reading themselves. But then rich people already have enough resources where they are able to just spend their time reading. This would mean that libraries are places that the poor can age at a rate just like the rich. Either way, the rich and the poor would be well-read and at least this would result in a more knowledgeable population. There is an incentive to read then.

-But it’s not just any kind of book. Here is where the writer’s biases, well let’s be kind – tastes, will show. It will only be books of a certain kind that will have this time-stopping effect. Schopenhauer’s philosophical works will be one of these books. I think it is only proper that his works should be included as he was the originator (that I know of of the idea). So let’s add other books by philosophers who are like Schopenhauer – Nietzsche, other atheistic philosophers like Voltaire maybe, and not just their lighter works, but those heavy, hard to understand ones too.

– However, the person should be interested in these works in the first place. These are not light reading, you have to invest your attention, your imagination, your various intellectual capacities to these works. So, already there’s a weeding out that’s going to happen. Only those of a certain inclination or personality type or character would read these works. Even if you’re rich and powerful, you still can’t just benefit from these works. You have to have the right personality.

– I don’t know, I don’t really know. So in this fantasy world, this is the only magical mechanism. How would this society function? Well of course the source of power will be tightly controlled or contested. These will become sacred texts. There will also be issues with the language of the text. Like so what would happen if these texts are translated? Maybe nothing.

– So this then would be a story about the control of texts. The poor population then would have no access to these. It is the rich and the powerful who would have access to this. But not necessarily. There could be like a priesthood or something that would keep the sacred texts closely guarded. They house the texts in this large massive hall/cavern/building? I’m thinking in the scale of those buildings in the Dune franchise. Just big and cavernous and sprawling.

– Ultimately, I think it’s not that useful directly for power and material success purposes. It’s more of a cultivation of the self thing, it’s more of a character formation thing. So they’ll be young, younger, but they have a certain kind of personality that is maybe intellectually or aesthetically pleasing. But who in the world where there’s still hunger and pain and suffering, would have the time to appreciate it? ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’ sort of reasoning. It’s not enough that a thing should be beautiful. It should be useful too. But there are beautiful useless things, and some things are beautiful precisely because they are useless. Is this making any sense?

– So they’re young and well-read and maybe are a bunch of heavy thinkers, but they’re powerless. How would they turn this into something advantageous for their group? Well they could be teachers. I think this magical mechanism would be perfect for teachers. But then they would be influenced by their reading, so again that’s a limitation, or rather a flavor of their thought. These texts are self-propagating, or rather self-preserving. They preserve a certain kind of thought or mentality, a certain personality type. So in a way that is a kind of power, a kind of immortality. But it is not the immortality of an individual, but that of a certain type of human being.

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Story idea. Saturday, December 15 2018

Story idea. Saturday, December 15 2018

A young woman wakes up in a room, on a bed, with the body of a young man. The body has not yet decomposed, so there is nothing revolting (well except for the presence of death). There is a faint smell of car smoke in the room, and the young woman manages to crawl to the door, open it and take a breathe of air. She loses consciousness. Wakes up days later in the hospital, surrounded by parents. Stern mother, stern father. She is able to talk with them, etc., they ask her who the man in the room was with her. She has no idea.

The story then becomes this process of knowing who the young man was in the room with her. In the end it turns out, it was a platonic friend. Another revelation: it was a suicide pact between them. It was her who invited him to a double suicide. They’ve both been depressed and suicidal for a time. They could not tell anyone, they wrote in their respective blogs. They found each other online. No common real-world friends between them. Because of the slight brain trauma caused by oxygen deprivation, she lost several memories, most of the recent ones anyway. Her long-term memories are fine.

How she remembered was because of her laptop. Someone, a sibling? a parent? brings it to her room one day. They haven’t been able to open it because it is password protected. It wasn’t until she unlocked it, then started browsing using the hospital’s pretty speedy internet that she found her blog, the correspondence between her and the young man, etc. It seems they’ve been communicating, sending pictures and messages, for a while. It seems they’ve grown closer with each other through that period.

Her memory of the young man is refreshed through her reading of the messages they exchanged, through the entries in his blog. Now, we go back to the present conundrum. Does she still want to proceed with her suicide? Is she still suicidal?

– – —

Why the suicide pact? Because no one wants to die alone. He did not want her to be alone. Why did he not stop her? Because he was suicidal too, and also maybe he did not want to die alone.

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Preliminary Thoughts on the Mud Story

10 NOV 2018

. . . maybe writing with a pencil is better. You can vary the thickness of the lines to your exact liking. Easier too to correct mistakes. But really, it doesn’t matter. Write using whatever medium is necessary. Another advantage: lines do not break like with a pen when the pen’s ballpoint doesn’t turn and stops the flow of ink. You can write upside down like what I’m doing now. It also I think is similar in appearance to ballpen when scanned. You can edit afterwards with a photoediting software anyway. It does get smudged though, so you have to be careful. This is especially a problem with left-handed folks because you have to rest the side of your palm on the paper which you have already written stuff on. You feel like one of those old-timey journalists with their notebooks and pencils, etc. Maybe I’d write a story just to see if it is possible.

I need to read Alice Guilliermo’s essay on Maoist aesthetics as applied in the Philippine setting. Might be useful in the story I’m planning. What kind of story is it going to be? Man against Supernatural forces? But in the end it turns out to be Man against Himself. What a twist. No one would see it coming. It must be interesting to me. I must not be bored with it. Mud golem rises out of the ricefields of Nueva Ecija. Rainy day, people watching. Creature’s progress is very slow, but unstoppable. It is ambling down towards the Capital, all the while absorbing things along its path. What is its purpose? How did it come alive? Is it even alive? What is life anyway? The protesters were right. The GM rice isn’t a good thing. It was found as the culprit for the Mud Golem that terrorized/rampaged through the plains of Nueva Ecija. We don’t know the exact science, nor we ever will. We just have to take their words for it. And so there’s police, there are protesters, there are NGO people, Church people. Just pull into the story whoever could be affected.

I don’t know where this is going. Probably nowhere. Or to Malacanang. It would be dump/dissolve/mudify itself in the Malacanang. Why? SYMBOLISM! Nah, too easy/in-your-face/blatant/lazy. We need a story. What makes a story? Focus maybe on a character. Make the reader sympathize with the character. Stories set in ricefields. Lucius Shepard. ‘Salvador’. ‘Things They Carried’ – O’Brien. Reaction/commentary from the media. Blogs, etc. would label this as fake news. Fake news until the mud engulfs the Palace. Until the grounds are covered in muck. Until it’s already too late. Dumbasses don’t even know what’s real anymore. Social media has fried their brains. Shriveled their conscience. The Mud Monster smells like sewage. That’s because it absorbed water from a sewage plant, the raw unprocessed shitwaterof the people of this nation. OKAY! Think of a POV character. Think of scenes. How does this creature look? What do the People call it? GM Putik? How can I capture the interest of the reader? Weird group attempts to magic the golem out of existence. Some occult research group in some university. Found footage.
We feel the spirit of those who suffered [what?] in the giant mud golem. We will attempt to exorcise the spirits out of this sad sad creature. To pray that the mud be now left at peace. Spokeswoman/President/Leader of the occult group talks to media. In-depth panel discussion in late night shows. Maybe a bombing scene. The military would drop bombs on it from the sky. Doesn’t work. It just regrows lost appendages. Maybe Ultraman can help. JICA could assist in some way. Children watching from afar as Ultraman battles the mud giant. I should focus on the mud. ‘DEFAMILIARIZE’ the mud. Make people see it in a new way. Rsearch soil and mud composition of Nueva Ecija. Hero – undergrad student, final year, agriculture, was doing research when mud monster appeared. Microscopes. Lab coat. Comments from Professors. SOIL SCIENCE. The mud seems to be alive. Not microorganisms in the mud, not animals in the mud, but the mud itself! How is this possible? Maybe he would find the mechanism to destroy the mud creature. You know what this brings up? LAND OWNERSHIP. Can the owner of the ricefield from where the mud creature arose be held liable for the damages caused by said mud creature? Probably not. Don’t forget to describe the flora and fauna, as this is an ecological story. Geography. Clouds arrnaged like in a regular grid square pattern. Dogs, birds, cats, coconut trees, mango trees, fish ponds. HUMAN-MADE BUILDINGS – Agrivet supply stores, farm supply stores, elementary schools, gov’t buildings, barangay halls, multi-purpose gymnasiums . . .

Does MC live in a dorm or does he commute everyday? Commuting every day would be better. Can showcase or describe surroundings/environment/setting more this way. What operating system does he use in his laptop? How many friends does he have? How old is he? Where does he live? What do his parents do? Any siblings? Just bring up/add detail that would relevant to the story. University life, univerrsity cultures … Stereotypes of students from said this or that university. Weird/start contrast between the scenic/placid vast ricefields and the high-speed traffic/life/existence in and along the highways. Heat, sky, sun, pollution. Chickens transported in trucks and tricycles. There’s a dead one in the bottom cage. Probably from heat exhaustion. Poor animals. How in heaven does this relate to the story? Probably doesn’t. Dead chicken to establish tone of story? Read more short stories to learn how shit works. That Uruguayan writer who wrote that story about a decapitated chicken _ _ _

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Music I am into these days

So beautiful, yet so skinny. It kind of made me sad seeing her. Her arms like twigs, almost half the width of the neck of the guitar she’s playing. She looked like a scarecrow, especially wearing that billowy floral-patterned dress. Otherwise, she’s perfect. I really hope she’s fine and healthy. [Nakano Miho, of the blues rock n’roll band Drop’s] I like their sound, I’m listening to it right now. The guitar especially is very bluesy. They are very unlike the other all-girl Japanese rock bands I’ve listened to. Her voice is nothing special. And that’s what makes it endearing. It sounds authentic, genuine. There is little to no artifice. It’s just pure expression. Blues, rock and folk don’t need great vocalists. They do just fine with someone who can reach and maintain certain notes consistently. It’s more on emotiveness rather than vocal abilities.

I think part of the appeal is that I don’t understand the lyrics. I can just imagine or try to grasp the meaning by tone of voice, by the sound, rather than the lyrics. And it sounds melancholic and warm, makes you want to just lie down and relax. The way she performs, her expressions and movements on stage, she’s the real deal.

My musical tastes I like to think have changed significantly since my time in high school when I really started being choosy and aware of the music I’m listening to. Now I’m into girl group kpop. Not even that, I like certain songs of certain groups. I don’t like most of the output of the S.Korean pop industry. I just stick to the ones I find unusual and well-done, and then listen to that until I’m bored. I wait a while, maybe a few days, then I listen to them again. ‘Baby Face’ by WJSN/Cosmic Girls for example. It is so sweet and bubbly, so cloying that it verges on parody of the genre. But it is so well-done and the voice is just perfect that it is repeatedly listenable. ‘Galaxy’ by Ladies’ Code is a sombre and sorrowful piece. The music video to this especially wonderful. Everything looks so sleek and cold and sad. This work is shadowed by tragedy, as it came after the accident which took the lives of two members of the group and left the others injured. Maybe it’s this fact that adds to my being attracted to this song. And I cannot say for certain since I’ve only known the group with this sad knowledge. Nevertheless I think the song can be judged for its merits. I think it is unique and unusual and beautiful. It is slower and more introspective-sounding than most kpop songs these days. I like the flow of the song. It starts slow, the elements are added one by one, then it speeds up to the chorus which is so catchy. It repeat this alternating fast and slow tempo until the end.

If you are somewhat familiar with these groups, you should have known by now that these are all female-voiced. This could be a blowblack from all those years in high school and college when I mostly listened to heavy metal and grunge, most of which are fronted by male vocalists. There are a few bands like The Breeders and Veruca Salt which are female-fronted that I listened to, but mostly I was into male-voiced rock bands. In the past months and years I swung towards the other extreme – Bubblegum Europop, again female-voiced. Groups like Sqeezer, Whigfield, Aqua. These are the most poppish of the pop songs that were produced during the 90s, which was the period of my childhood. I guss part of the appeal in their consumption is nostalgia. These were always playing in the background then and maybe they managed to engrave themselves into my subconscious, surfacing every now and then. Carly Rae Jepsen is also another artist I’m into these days. Her album ‘Emotion’ and ‘Emotion Side B’ are wonderful pop goodness.

Now I think I’m moving back slightly to heavier stuff. But I still prefer if it’s female-voiced, and not so overly bubbly. Maybe the voice could be a bit raspy, like Nakano Miho’s, and maybe the guitar is bluesy too, and there need not be any drums.

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Old Gods Returning

I pray for the return of the Old Gods so they would bring justice once more in these islands. Maybe a time traveller would go back in the past and capture these Gods, I don’t know how, and bring them into this present time. These Gods would be so confused at first, but in the end they’d shrug their shoulders and be like whatever, let’s just do this thing, I get paid in gold right? The time traveller says yes, and opens his shiny futuristic satchel filled with shiny golden nuggets to show to the God that he’s real, he ain’t joking yo.

It turns out to be an assassination. Political campaign period, politician singing to the watching seating populace in front of the massive stage. Old and fat and corrupt as fuck, see him try a few dance moves from this new dance hit the kids are into these days. The seated lower-level politicians behind him, on the stage, laugh and clap, the bastards are so amused. The people are so amused. The futuristic golden nugget guy meanwhile is peeking from a hidden spot somewhere. He is not amused. He orders the God to do his thing.

The God is tattooed all over with repeating connected geometric shapes. There’s a large bold ring of this around his lower torso, thighs and calves. He is wearing a red loincloth and on each buttcheek is a large spiral almost covering the entire skin. He is short but compact, well-built. His skin is a deep brown color, the color of a certain type of clay only found deep in the hinterlands of Mindanao island. He has long black shiny hair. He hefts his spear, positions himself and chucks it thirty meters straight towards the undulating, gyrating form of the campaigning politician where it penetrates through the breastbone, impaling the heart.

The crowd falls silent, and then erupts into screams. The panicking multitude starts running towards the exits. The politicians on stage slither their own separate ways into their respective sports utility vehicles. Some of the politicians and security personnel minister to the fallen politico. The guards look everywhere, searching for the assailant, but alas, he is nowhere to be found. It is only later when they review various footage of the event that they are able to fully piece things together.

The God and the Man from the Future eat at Jollibee. The God has been persuaded to change into more time-appropriate clothing. His hair is tied in a manbun, he is wearing jeans, and poloshirt with short sleeves revealing his biceps and forearms filled with tattoos. He eats with his fingers, carefully separating chicken flesh from chicken bone, all the while licking his fingers and talking to the Future Man about the prospect of future collaborations. Future Man says oh we still have a lot more jobs to do, don’t worry. He smiles and takes a sip from his pineapple juice.

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