Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Smell of Spoiled Testosterone

Damn they firewalled friendster in the office! That's why I've been truant around these parts. (Naks truant. I just got acquainted with that word as of late.) I've been meaning to hole in a cyber cafe the past weekends but I got sidetracked by other concerns. Here I am finally doing my blog in one of them cyber whore houses in Kalentong. I wanted to go to my suking cafe but for some weird reason it's closed. I had to look for somewhere else so here I am in this darkly lit gaming cafe. I have no choice but to sit beside sweaty post-teen boys playing RPG. God the place smells weird! It reeks of spoiled testosterone! I've never been in a room where I'm the single soul thinking. (I don't mean to disparage online gamers. I know the games require some gray matter as well. I just don't get why these people have to talk aloud while playing! Ganun ba talaga? Parang naglalaro ng sakla sa sugalan.)


There's been an exodus of some sort in the office. Except for a few brave souls (including me), most of the key people in the department have packed their bags leaving Management (and HR) all fucked-up. I'm not about to tell here the real reason why they did it. But here's the hilarious part. Some people from the office believe they have been pirated by a company enganged in BPO. Talk about being clueless!


So what happens to me in Diwa? I get "transferred" to the newly instituted Acquisitions "Department" (I don't know if you can call a group made up of three people a department. Enlighten me.) I consider that the next best thing to @#4^6&. (Sorry I have to bleep that.)


Have you ever been sick in the head? I have. I've been sick of thinking that I'm sick. It's scary how powerful the brain is, making you feel things, real symptoms of real illnesses, which you really don't have. It's called anxiety attack. Man the last month was the most nervewracking! I still get aftershocks sometimes.


I did an experiment to verify the existence of what others call psychosomatic illness. I conditioned myself that my stomach was aching. I wanted my stomach to go bad. I internalized the pain, as if I really felt it. And it did. It gave me an excuse not to attend a get-together I wasn't so excited to go to anyway. Wanna try it?


Note: Originally posted at


This is incidentally my 69th post here at blogspot. My favorite number.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


This word started off my curiosity with literary giant Franz Kafka. I’ve heard his name in the past but my curiosity never got aroused. He was one of those high-browed names I chose not to read because I thought I would never understand their work anyway. I don’t want to make myself feel stupid.

I went to Powerbooks last Sunday hunting for new reads. I just finished the juvenile but very entertaining Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Before that I read The Chronicles of Narnia just in time for the movie’s showing. Anyway, I’m digressing. I had a book in mind already. I’ve always wanted to buy The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova ever since I first saw it on the shelves months ago. They only had hard-bound copies then which cost a fortune. I also had other books in mind back then so I put The Historian in queue. I finally bought a soft-bound pocket-sized copy last Sunday. While looking around, I saw Franz Kafka’s The Great Wall of China in the classics section. The word “Kafkaesque” came to my mind. I didn’t know exactly what that word meant except that an acquaintance of mine kept brandishing it to my face some time ago. I checked out an open copy of the very thin collection of shorts. It opened to the page of with a very short piece called "A Little Fable" which tells about a mouse whose world seemed to be growing smaller, closing in on him, as if its walls were crashing him. The mouse was unknowingly walking himself toward a corner of a room where a cat was waiting for him. The cat tells him in the end that the mouse could’ve saved himself if he just walked the other direction, away from the corners, away from the walls, away from the cat, and into the open space. That very wise suggestion the cat gave before eating the mouse.

What got my attention was Kafka’s dark and cruel perception of the world. You get no fairy tale endings from him, just plain tragedy. But it is not the sad kind of tragedy. The gloom that looms from his first few statements make you expect a not-so-hopeful ending. In fact, the mood he sets is downright hopeless. This expectation cushions, if not eliminates, the trauma of a tragic ending. Of course I am not generalizing Kafka’s body of work as if I read its full breadth. Aside from the collection I mentioned, the other Kafka work I read is The Metamorphosis which is supposedly his most famous.

Kafka’s major appeal to me is that in some strange and probably unexplained manner, Kafkaesque so to speak, I can relate to his characters. I don’t know if that means I am a sad tragedy waiting to happen. But I do find some comfort in the normalcy of how he presents loneliness and cruelty. I am not hallucinating after all. He confirmed that the world is sad. I just hope he is wrong though to believe that the only way to fight it is by dying.