On hold

The last time I declared a blogging hiatus was a good six years ago. Despite the fact that I can't find that particular blog entry, I'm pretty certain that it happened. It was midterms, and I was blogging about it at the Cybernook, back when it wasn't a coffee shop yet. I told myself I needed the time to study. Looking back, it's a ridiculous idea, since I blogged a day later.

It's been more than two weeks since I last blogged. At this point it shouldn't be something to worry about. Does anybody still blog, even? We're busy. We'd rather tweet. Nobody reads this thing anymore. And yet I remember what Sars pointed out two years ago: I write both for a living and for recreation. This thing's continued existence is because it has to be here. But this blog has been idle for extended periods lately. Five entries per month, maximum, separated by weeks, and in rare spurts of inspiration, days.

That's the downside of being stuck at home. You get insecure. You read about your friends going out with their friends. You want to talk to your friends but you run out of topics, or the reasons to even call each other friends. You find yourself with nothing to do during the weekends. Your life revolves around the same four walls. Nothing strikes you as unusual anymore. There are no stories left to tell. Thus, this.

The problem is, I promised myself two things: that I won' abandon this blog, and that I'd write at least three entries a month. I know, right? Impossibly shallow.

I don't like having to strain hard to look to inspiration. It never feels comfortable, never natural. But I'm no longer in a position when things come to me. No more bitches in the back row. No more friends in air quotes. No more reason to complain about things, inevitably leading to some pilosophical longing. And the. I'd remember what Issa told me: "Kaya hindi na ako nag-a-iPod, eh."

I was at the grocery yesterday. I recently realize that pushing a cart yourself, looking for things yourself - it's liberating. I also realized that I love the freezer sections, not because of the temperatures, but because of what you'll find there. Slightly posh cheeses. Redundant chicken breast fillets. Puréed shrimp heads. Now that's a novel idea. What would you need it for? Maybe I could devote a whole blog entry to it? It's fascinating, but it's forced. Minutiae is never my thing, at least right now.

I head to a Chinese restaurant to buy what the Brits call "takeaway".

"Dalawang pansit guisado."

"Okay, sir. Upo ka muna."

Seated on a table beside me was an elderly Chinese man, I think, and his half-Spanish wife, I think. There's a toddler. There's a maid. And, across them, the elderly couple's daughter, or so I think. She looks Chinese. Her husband looks raggedy. I describe in uncertain detail because I didn't have an iPod: it died along the way.

"I've never really had food here," the daughter said. "I just had, you know those rice toppings? What they have here, you know, those noodles? And they have those spare ribs..."

"I like that," her mother interrupted.

"And they have this kind of fried rice. I don't know what it is, but it has some kind of gravy on top."

I can't tell if she's being dismissive or if she's actually complimenting the place. She sounds like she's sneering, what with her incessant English (and everybody else speaking Filipino) and that air that says I know this place more than you - you know, some kind of snobbish socialite who looks down on everybody. Speaking of, seated in another table is a lower class family, or so I think, judging from the many photographs of inane moments they took. Photographs of softdrink cans! Actual photographs! Digital camera! And then my order came. I can't make anything out of that.

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