Thursday, December 30, 2010

Was that good for you as it was for me? ...

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I must admit that for a book that has at least 500 page, this was the book I read as quickly as I could. It broke my previous record. Reading from the first chapters, it was obviously written by a man and is a book that’s probably made to be on film. Which gave me the impression that it’s a sell out, let’s see… 21 million copies sold world wide… I thought so.

Reading the book was fun, it was gripping. It was as though the book grew tentacles and wrapped me, pulling and tugging then making me fall with my face flat on the pages. Then getting up and walking away.
After reading the last page, I had that feeling when one wakes up next to a girl whom you try very hard to remember the name, then it hit you that you didn’t bother asking the previous night. But you know only too well that what happened was thrilling while it lasted, as a matter of fact it was amazing, then you wake up with that awful taste in your mouth. Getting up and wearing your clothes the right way suddenly became a tedious task.
To make it simpler, reading the ending was a headache. After opening all the mystery boxes what’s there left? You’ve devoured the main dish and the dessert is just too bland. Should I continue reading only to find out that the protagonist hadn’t changed a bit and is still boning one of the women casually?

The book may be described as dark, twisted and “insert macabre suggestive word here” but let me assure you that this book is nothing more than pure entertainment that was wrapped with a sweet happy ending.

Perhaps having the book translated from its original language made it seem as though it was written by a ghost writer. Since I don’t know how to speak or read Swedish, then I would never know the difference or even know Larsson’s writing style.
Mikael Blomkvist is the product if James bond had a baby with Sherlock Holmes (I know, Nancy Drew is also a detective but I’m a Lesbian and I want it that way)
The frustration perhaps of every geeky writer, computer programmer etc embodied the protagonist of the book. A writer with investigative journalism as major and someone who seemed to be the boy toy of the women in the book. In his book, there are no women who were conservative but women who indulge themselves in casual sex whenever they feel like it and women who crawl into Blomkvist’s bed, deliberately. The protagonist had it very easy that he doesn’t even have to wink at all.

Gripping true, at least when I was at the middle of the book, putting it down was the last thing I want to do. But reading the last few pages? Not as satisfying…

My rating: One-night-stand. However since it’s a trilogy, Occasional-lover then, given I’ll be able to purchase the next book. Hopefully someone would be kind enough to give it as a gift just as the same with this one. Yes, it’s those nights where after waking up and finding yourself to the door, you ask her number despite the fact you won’t ever call her for dinner and a movie. You didn’t ask for her name but she will be remembered by the evident image of a dragon on her back.

Final rating: One-night-stand that has the potential to be an occasional lover, if I buy the next book then the rating would change to Whore for Kronor, which is very unlikely.

Since the book is making its way to film, who should play the characters?
Mikael Blomkvist in my imagination could be Clive Owens.

I have no idea who they're casting but if it were up to me... I thought Clive Owens, he seems like that writer guy who can pull it off.

I was also thinking about Daniel Craig

Mikael Blomkvist must be a sort of rugged writer with a bit of sex appeal since he was one of the women's walking vibrator in the book.

For my Lisbeth I would like to see

Because I like her, despite the fact she's getting married now and is pregnant. You betrayed me Natalie!!
On the other hand, she's a great actress and I think she can give life to Lisbeth Salander.

 I'm also thinking about Neve Campbell or Selma Blair... Either one of them if not Natalie.

I think I would go with Selma on this one, she seemed almost perfect for the role of Lisbeth, at least in my imagination. Neve seemed a sweet compromise for the role.
Then again I'll wait for the film to surprise me. Right now I haven't checked who will be the cast and I don't want to...

 I don't want to describe Lisbeth much since it will spoil the book but I imagined Selma as Lisbeth.

*Spoiler* If you haven’t read the book and would like to, then please skip this portion.

Rumor has it that the writer was a feminist. The title of the book is not exactly as it were translated from its original language. Larsson has named the girl with the dragon tattoo Lisbeth, the same name of the girl he had witnessed to be gang raped but failed to help out. I don’t understand why would a writer name one of his main characters (that was also raped and molested in the book) after a girl who was gang raped. The girl was already violated in the most violent way and he wanted to immortalize that as well in a novel? It’s so Carlo J. Caparas if you ask me.
I believe frustration has something to do with it, in the book, Lisbeth fought her tormentor back in an interesting manner. I suppose it’s a way of saying that the writer had wished the girl fought back, taking justice into her own hands or it’s also a way of saying that women can fight back and should fight back.
Revenge maybe sweet but the satisfaction of prevention is beyond taste buds.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Veronica Answers a Roommate AD online…

There was this roommate ad I saw online, it was rather short but seemed sincere. Since I’m quite the adventurous type I tried answering the roommate ad and well, the one who posted the ad responded immediately and we set up a date to meet after work, so I could check out the place.

Yes, I know I should be afraid with these ads online and I should be careful. The thing is, fear is not exactly in my vocabulary and if things get weird and out of hand, I suppose it’s something good to write about. For some sort of reason I actually felt fine meeting this woman and didn’t feel anything suspicious. Although the ad seemed a bit too good to be true, I didn’t expect much but still was willing to look at the place. Of course, my sanity also has something to do with it.

Moving on, I went to the place. It was easy looking for the place but the woman said I should look for a white gate and there I was, standing in front of a house where the address pointed me with a maroon gate… I walked away from the house and tried to hang out for a bit.
I saw a girl who welcomed 2 other girls in the house and when I saw that girl, immediately my gaydar detected a lesbian to where the girl was located, the XY coordinates do not lie.
They went inside and I was left outside looking exactly like a creep. Then I saw a girl in an office work attire approaching.
She said “…Veronica?”
I looked at her and smiled “Hi” I said as I extended my hand for a greeting.
“Is this the place?” I asked as she led me to the maroon gated house.
“Yes, this is it” she replied. She sounds decent I thought.
Coming in there has a huge dog on the porch and a 4x4 vehicle parked in the garage.
We had a bit of a small talk and I felt her ease up on me. She seemed a bit superficial and reminded me with women who baby talk with good English to back them up.

We went inside the house, it looked old but seemed nice. I saw the girl whom my gaydar certified as a lesbian sitting on the sofa in the living room chatting with her friends. Then from the stairwell came down a young lady, not tall, fair skin, short nut brown hair and my gaydar again detected the presence of a lesbian, though this one the sniff-o-meter seemed weak. She was really cute and nice, I thought.
We were introduced by the woman and we shook hands.
“So, what do you do?” she asked.
“She’s a writer” the woman said as I was about to open my mouth. I simply smiled at the cute girl.
“Woah! Wow!” she said and she almost jumped, I don’t know why but the only thing I did was smile and look at her. She said wow for about 5 times, what’s with writers??
We talked for a bit and she asked me questions all the more, it seemed that she’s a student in UP Diliman, though I didn’t ask what she was taking and she’s 20 years old.
Later on the other girl, the one sitting on the sofa who was also approved by my gaydar as a lesbian came and we were introduced, I forgot her name but she has long hair and was wearing a tank-top that was so gay. Again the question of my profession and surprisingly, she too was rather astounded. She said she wanted to be a writer too but more on Travel writing, I told her that’s not exactly my field.
The woman who posted the Ad asked me to come with her to the room. So we went upstairs, she had forgotten to clean up so I stood outside the room for 5 minutes and was let in finally.
The room was decent, it wasn’t that big but good enough I suppose. She showed me the cabinet and everything else. I sat on the empty bed across from her as she asked me questions. She asked if I have a boyfriend, some details about my job and other stuff I don’t think she should be concerned about. I was nice enough to answer most of them.
She said she’s single, not so happy with work and other things I have forgotten about since I was on the verge of falling asleep.
I told her about my parking concern since I have a car and going home in the dead of night, she said it was fine.
She was showing me the other parts of the house. It was as though she’s trying to sell me a vacuum cleaner and since I don’t want to hear anymore of her explanations, I said “When can I move in?” of course I gave her a knowing smile.
Suddenly she stopped and looked at me, her eyes gleamed with delight and she jumped with her hands together as though in prayer. “Really?!” she said and she held both my hands, “I’m so happy!”
For a second I thought we’re getting married, since her reaction seemed like she just won the lottery. “That’s great!” she said, thinking about it she was really happy at that moment. We discussed when I could move in, which was the coming Saturday.

Finally we went back down, since I removed my shoes at the bottom of the stairs, I sat on the last step and put back my shoes. The cute girl was at the top of the stair case and called up to me “Do you like it?” she asked in a jolly manner. I said yes it and that it was decent.
“Are you taking it?” she asked and then I smiled and looked at her “Yes, I am” I answered.
Her smile widened “YES!” she excitedly said and jumped a bit. “Oh wait I have to dress up,” and she hurried back to her room.

I saw the cute girl exit the house, she was dressed differently and seemed as though she’s going somewhere. She was wearing a gilded blazer and top I usually see hipster lesbians wear, a pair of skinny jeans matched with boots.
The woman was talking to the caretaker and seemed to be arguing, there seemed to be a misunderstanding.

It seems that she had mislead me with the information of the rate and she was now confused on what to do.
We went outside and luckily the cute girl was still standing outside the gate. I saw her and she smiled. “Still here?” I said as I stood next to her on the side of the main road.
“I’m waiting for my dad’s car, are you going?”, we had a bit of a conversation and told her I was moving this Saturday.

“Where are you going by the way?” I asked
 “Just dinner with my dad…”
The next thing we know, her dad’s car was before us and she carried her luggage and walked towards the car.
When she was about in the middle of her walk I said “See you later! … Oh wait no, I mean see you-“ she stopped and looked back “See you ummm” she said
“See you tonight?” I replied.
“See you Saturday!” she said and she went in the car. It sped off and got tinier in the horizon.

It was sort of obvious I was happy and I turned to the woman, she seemed troubled.
“Listen… we need to talk” she said
And that was the end of our beautiful relationship… just kidding.

Apparently she had given the wrong information about the rate and changed her mind about getting a roommate. I was astounded and didn’t say a word. I left the place and thought about it for a bit. I didn’t ask for the cute girl’s number since I was seeing someone at that time and I have taken monogamy to the next level.
Too bad, even the other girl who was wearing a tank top called me “Future Housemate” when I left. A week later I took the place at CGS…

I’ve never heard from that woman ever since and I never went to the area again.
The area is in Maginhawa and the house is along Grill Queen, I’m not sure if they still have the Maroon gate since it has been months after all.
I invited the woman to the Pride Parade and told her to ask the other girls to come along too. Alas there were no respond whatsoever from her.

Perhaps I should hang out around the place, there is a cool coffee place nearby anyway.Who wants to have coffee? Hit me a message. :]

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The landlady from the colder regions of the earth.

I know I shouldn’t be writing about this, but I’m a writer. I can write whatever I want to, let’s assume this is an exercise shall we?

Much to my disdain to spill information about myself, I just have to let perhaps a leak and hopefully some of you would find this entertaining. I do not wish to evoke negative feelings, at least not on this one.

I must say that as a starving writer, I have limited myself from activities that would drain my bank account (which recently refused to cough up money for some unknown reasons). Therefore I cook for myself, go to the market and choose ingredients that wouldn’t hurt my pockets as much. I’m vegetarian so food is rather more expensive and harder to get by than the average omnivore.

Let us move forward to the subject at hand. My land-lady, or the one who owns the unit I’m renting in Mandaluyong is quite young, she’s only 24 after all but I’m not exactly sure when she will turn 25 and I don’t want to know. I stay in one of the condominium communities in Mandaluyong where the mental asylum is in our neighborhood.

I have been staying there for a couple of months and I have no complaints. Though interestingly enough there were events I find as an anomaly to my well-being.
In the unit there are three rooms, I stay in one and share it with a roommate I barely see since she works at night. Me? Work by day? No, I don’t work… I hang out at the office and surf the net.

Before, it was just me, my non-existent roomie, the landlady and her sisters (who barely stay there) perhaps destiny had a hand in this. I can tell from the beginning that my landlady seems pretty lonely and depressed. I was never the one to really care what she’s doing but a few months ago she has no work and simply watches TV the whole day and night drinking cola until she passes out. She’s talkative and complaints a lot, we used to have a maid and she complaints about her a lot.
One thing I noticed was that she’s incurably dishonest, such as telling potential tenants in the other room that there is no more space left but one, when in fact the room was empty.

One time for some unknown reason, she used our bathroom, she has her own so I don’t understand what she’s doing in our bathroom. She didn’t lock the door and it was one beautiful morning. I got up and went straight to the bathroom to wash my face. I knocked in case someone was there. No one answered so I figured it should be clear, but then when I opened the door I was surprised to see my landlady on the throne smoking. She closed the door immediately and I went back to my bed thinking it was just a dream.

The next thing I know was, our maid telling me I could use the bathroom upstairs. I suppose it wasn’t a dream after all.

I forgot to mention we also had a dog back then, eventually she was neglected and my roomie couldn’t take care of her so she has to go somewhere else.
The dog was unleashed and is pretty much free to roam around the place. My landlady has a love and hate relationship with the dog. There was a time where she really liked petting the dog, she kneeled on the floor and scratched the little puppy's fur. I was standing and the moment she knelt, since her neckline was quite huge her puny breasts (as I would like to call them) were exposed, just perfect for my angle. Quickly I turned away. She should really wear a bra… Eventually I realized she doesn’t care whether her tiny jugs were seen.

I thought that was the end of it, there was another time that she even bothered to put on a see-through shirt and her teeny weeny tits were just as seen as if she weren’t wearing anything.
I don’t really mind if she wants to walk around our place naked, IF… IF and only if she has the body and a face to match, she’s very skinny with a rather fair complexion, bulging round eyes and lips as though taken from a trout.
I noticed her arms were somehow covered with thick curly hair, explains her half-Egyptian blood.
So the sasquatch, I mean my landlady, despite the Egyptian lineage has a very Filipino, mediocre appeal and personality. She doesn’t like to read, she mentions “nose-bleed” each and every time, claims she’s spiritual (Even if she doesn’t even know what it really means, I must say she’s giving spirituality a bad name), talks and gossips a lot, has no taste for art, blames her parents for what happened to her life, she's a bit homophobic too etc.

I can live with that, I don’t really see her a lot and I don’t have to bother her. However there was a time that she came down to my little space. Comfortably sat on my bed, I don’t really mind, and then lied on it while talking about something that’s enough to put me in a state of comatose.
I was sitting on the foot of my bed as a Native-American would and was holding the book I was reading, while this snoopy landlady of mine who’s seriously needing a friend invaded my bed.
My room then was slightly lit, just enough so I could read a book. So there she was trying to tell me things of no importance, she was so comfortable that an Eagle would have nothing to say on how she had spread her legs before me.
She was wearing a pair of boxer briefs for women where the leg hole was a bit bigger than normal.
I looked out to my window and looked back at her place. I sort of noticed some weird image between her legs. I was wondering if it was just some weird underwear design but much to my surprise and confirmation. My landlady must have never heard of panties and bras…
There before me, was the mouth of the volcano covered in sasquatch fur. It stared back at me for the next thirty minutes. I dared not say anything about it so I pretended I didn’t see it. She kept on talking and complaining...

I suppose it’s good that they don’t really know much about me. Since I keep to myself but it was rather unnecessary that my landlady would go that far to let her anatomy known…

First part ends here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Pride March was just wonderful, it was really a memorable day since it was also the day of my birth and I witnessed all my friends’ support. All the gays and lesbians and even those who don’t label themselves (but were there) enjoyed the event.
I also spent the next 24 hours of my 23rd year of existence in a room filled with lesbians. I wonder what that has to say to my year.

Details of the Pride march are here.
Weekends from then were filled with activities. I went home Sunday morning from the Pride event and exclusive party,  so I slept most of the time during Sunday then woke up to hand-wash some clothes. Even my weekdays were occupied.
I went to UST to get some notebooks wire-bounded.
Surprisingly the Chinese lady who owns the art shop in P.Noval Street still remembers me, she also mentioned how my hair have grown longer.

Last weekend I spent the day hanging out with a friend and on Sunday with my dad.

After the consecutive weekends I’ve been going out and stuff (even on weekdays) I’m starting to feel like I need time for myself… I felt this sudden pang of wanting to be alone and have all the time for myself. I should grab coffee for myself this week.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One Love March with Pride!

The Task Force Pride Philippines had a meeting last November 6, about the most awaited event this year, the Pride March for LGBTs. Which I might add must be the biggest event for the LGBTs in the country.
Met them in Cubao, in a coffee shop where my friend Jacob said that the coffee sucks, in which in my account have taken his advice and didn’t order. I wouldn’t spend so much money on designer coffee where it fails in comparison to instant coffee. Not all popular coffee shops in the country have great coffee. I trusted his advice since I’ve tried a lot of coffee from different shops and was gravely disappointed.
The previous plan was to hold the event in Malate, Manila. Same as last year but for some sort of reason, which unfortunately I’m not sure of, the event location, will be held in Quezon City, they have said that the Quezon City Government had taken an interest with the event which I am yet to confirm. Tomas Morato will be blocked to make way for the fabulous event, the stage will be there where several talented LGBTs will unleash their gifts of entertainment and other announcements.
The theme this year is “One Love: Stop AIDS, Promote LGBT Human Rights, Keep the Promise”. It’s also the HIV-AIDS awareness day, so it’s Pride and HIV-AIDS day all wrapped up into one with my birthday on top! Yeah, my birthday is so gay…
Nothing is more exhilarating than having all the lesbians and gays in the country celebrate on my birthday as they parade on the streets in fabulous clothing, donning myriad of colors that are so alive they make you want to jump up and down. Perhaps it’s just me.
On November 27th the pre-assembly meeting was held in Quezon City Hall, I arrived about an hour late but luckily they haven’t started yet. Delegates were given a can of cola and cheese burger. Much to my disdain I had to give the burger away to a friend. I no longer indulge in eating meat so I drank the cola.

According to the meeting, Dingdong Dantes among with other stars will have a speech of some sort to promote LGBT rights and increase AIDS awareness.
During the event, one can get tested for HIV-AIDS for free. So better take advantage of that.
Closet will be parading in the LGBT Pride March under a new look. Individuals who want to join closet will get freebies to take home. A tent will also be available for Closet’s LGBT merchandise to be displayed and sold at special prices.
The Closet booth will be located near the information booth, surely no one would ever miss that.

There are more than 50 groups who will parade on December 4, this Saturday. The event is expected to be really huge therefore the Quezon City state will deploy an army of 150-200 Police Men. I’m actually more afraid of the Police men to be deployed since it’s the Holidays, they might extort money from the gay people instead of protecting them which is often the case anyway.

The anti-gay protesters are of course expected again, some foreigner would probably pay people from the slums again to follow the parade carrying sign boards with statements such as “Gay people are demons”, “You will go to hell” etc. If that wasn’t enough, they were also paid to shout homophobic slurs to passing gays or lesbians.  I believe the foreigner, who’s the mastermind for this, is a self-proclaimed Christian.

What ever happened to the Christian value of unconditional love, acceptance, we are all children of God shebang Christians are always yapping about??
They are only giving Christianity a bad name.

Danton Remoto, writer of Ang Ladlad and other Gay books, during the meeting said it wouldn't be exciting without them so they are also welcome to attend the parade. See? That's genuine acceptance.

We are inviting everyone, whether you are Homo, Bi, Trans, Pan, or whatever, as long as you support equality and diversity with HIV-AIDS awareness then please do March with us. This is open for everyone!

Post Script: The first LGBT PRIDE March in Asia was held in the Philippines on the year of 1994 having approximately 60 people marching as one and celebrating diversity and equality. 
On December 4th 2010, the biggest LGBT Pride in Philippine history will be held in Quezon City.