August 30, 2006
I’m afraid I’ve offended a few parties with one of my previous posts.
Now, mind you, my title was about me wanting a purity ring, not me lambasting everyone who doesn’t share my lifestyle. If it seemed as though my post was condemning people, please read it again. I was telling a story from my childhood, not using it to point a self-righteous finger at others.
Let’s get a few things straight: I choose the sexual-abstinence-until-the-night-before-marriage path simply because I want to. Someone even said something about “unnecessary self-denial and suffering.” Sure, it’s self-denial. Sexual passions are natural to everyone, but not everyone has to follow them. The “not everyone” part includes me.
Oh, and I don’t feel like I’m suffering. In life, you have to practice self-denial sometimes. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
I’ve even been accused of being “cold, that you could be boring.” First, whoever said that you can’t be exciting if you don’t have sex before marriage? Is life all about sex that everyone bases relationships, personalities, and qualifications on it? Second, I COULD be boring — but guess what, I’M NOT.
Someone asked me if I actually get urges. Oh, for the love of God, of course I do! Why the HECK do you think I write so much? Why do you think I’m so hyper? So I can let go of all that pent-up energy and make sure it gets channeled to doing something else!
I’m not being combative. I just want to assert my stance, and reiterate a few things. I respect you guys for your choices. Now please, respect me for mine.
And I still want that purity ring, so there.
I VANT DEES REEENG
August 28, 2006
I discovered purity rings only recently, thanks to the Silver Ring Thing that’s making its way through the U.S. As we don’t have an SRT over here, I’m going to do my own Thing.
The Silver Ring Thing advocates a vow of sexual abstinence until the night of one’s marriage. It involves making a vow of purity, then wearing a silver ring on one’s left ring finger to mark the vow. I made the vow a long time ago, but I didn’t know that you could wear a ring to mark and strengthen it, so now, I’m on the lookout for a lovely, pretty purity ring.
Now don’t get this wrong: this isn’t something that was cooked up overnight. According to research, purity rings are actually pagan in origin (uh-oh) but wearing them to symbolize a vow of sexual abstinence has been adopted only in the last thousand (I think) years. The idea is to wear the ring on the ring finger, then remove it on one’s wedding day, replacing it with the wedding band. In the meantime, the purity ring is kept in a safe place, and given as an “heirloom” to the woman’s first daughter, to continue the “tradition.” Subsequent daughters will get their own rings, and will not be exempt from the rule just because they weren’t first in the conception line.
And don’t get me wrong, either. This isn’t a vow a made on some crazy whim. It isn’t even crazy, come to think of it — especially when you have a father-confessor like Father Adolf Faroni, SDB, the best father-confessor ever! (Pull out your pompoms, girls!) I spent most of my childhood and teenage confession sessions listening to Father Faroni going, “Do you know what they do to people in Hell who committed pre-marital sex when they were on earth?”
So there. I want a purity ring!
7 HOURS TO CELEBRATION!
August 28, 2006
As I work under contract for my present company, I’m not entitled to vacation leave. I’m allowed to go on vacations, however, as long as I make up all the lost hours by staying overtime at the office when I get back.
I once racked up as many as 111 hours of overtime — gads how I loved those nights! Work till 9:15 PM, revelling in the silence, achieving my fullest concentration while no one was bugging me.
Now, I’m down to my last 7 hours. I’ll be free! Very soon! Free to leave at 5 pm, head over to Mocha Blends or Joe’s! Free to go out and share stories with friends! Free to leave early and write The Guild!
IN THE LAND OF THE HOPELESS
August 26, 2006
This is the thing I hate the most about the future.
Sometimes, you have to choose between pretending, just so you can play the game; and being yourself, because you don’t want to lie. If you choose the first option, you can end up disappointing others when the tide finally turns your way and you get what you want. If you choose the second option, you’ll never get the tide to turn your way, and you can end up disappointing yourself.
After all, if you play the game well enough, you can win the bewitchment card. Anything you do will bounce off the Smitten One (or Ones), and you can finally make your own choices and let loose your lions.
Or you can finally land the big winner — the Jackpot who will take you for all that you are, no questions asked.
So that’s why they call them The Crossroads.
You’re all set to get somewhere, all set to leave everything behind, when God throws you a Wild Card (underlined, bold, size 1000 for “Wild”). You have no choice but to play the card, until you realize that, oh no, this might not be a wild card at all.
It could be real.
That’s what makes it frightening, The Crossroads. You can end up playing the card right.
Or you can end up hurt.
Maybe the Wild Card isn’t supposed to be played. Maybe it’s supposed to be the Lesson Learned, the Greater Reason to Leave, the Best Sign that I Should Stay Away. The Command that I Should Never Hope for Better Things.
Maybe it’s something I’m supposed to leave alone, and play without pretensions. All things taken lightly, all words wagered with a grain of salt as big as the moon.
Maybe it’s something I shouldn’t even be considering. Maybe it’s the Test, the Distraction Cast In the Pot, the Knife of Fate Designed to Poke a Hole in Inez’s mettle.
Or maybe it’s yet another fountain from which to draw tears.
This is what I hate the most about the future. It’s uncertain, I can’t see it, and I can only dream.
And when all dreams die, I can only weep, then try to move on.
August 24, 2006
One grand event that neutralized this week’s bewildering roller coaster of emotions actually came in yesterday.
I was on Friendster (shame on me, I know) when I was struck by a brilliant…silly…oh, alright, brilliantly silly idea. Was I anyone’s favorite author?
I then set about searching. Search string: Ponce de Leon, set to “Favorite Books.” I was laughing, expecting to find nothing, when…
When someone put in “coelho.sheldon.ponce-de leon” in their entry.
The hyphen notwithstanding, I immediately visited the person’s profile, then wrote to her. Her name: JC.
“Dear JC,” I wrote, fingers trembling, “Which ‘Ponce de Leon’ are you referring to?”
Oh-so-innocent me decided that I had a relative somewhere who was a bigger, better novelist.
Turns out I was wrong. JC wrote back, and said that yes, it was Inez Ponce de Leon, and she loved Sanctuary! She even called me “Idol!” Once, only once, but that was enough for me to…
I don’t have a picture of me jumping in the WC cubicle and laughing silently and happily to myself, but you get the picture.
Drat, I had never, ever, EVER been so happy! Ever!
Or, wait, there’s more. I checked the Friendster bulletins today, and I found this:
Poster: JC JC
Message: my favorite filipina writer, demi-god INEZ PONCE DE LEON author to SANCTUARY, THE ROMANTIC and upcoming THE SENATOR wrote me a short and very personal message here at friendster. the subject says FAVORITE AUTHOR 🙂
and it goes:
Hi po. sorry sa pag-istorbo, but i found your profile through a friendster search. which author po ang ponce-de leon na fan kayo?
just asking po:) thanks
hihi.. see, it made me jump out of my seat! really felt amazed that at least i got the chance to talk (though through friendster) one of my favorite authors. i suggest try reading one of her books, if you’re a sheldon fanatic please do read ponce de leon’s. yun lang naman.
I’m not a demi-god. I am a demi-GODDESS ano ba?
Just kidding, Julie! (that’s JC) And thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for making my WEEK!
THE DESIGNATED STALKER SATURDAY
August 19, 2006
Or not really. *grin*
There were three things I was supposed to do today. First, I had to have myself PT-ed for my “W” spine. Second, I had to meet up with my high school friends for a mini-reunion and send-off for our classmate Mi-an. Third, I had to treat Ampie, HS best friend, to Amici.
Well, it really wasn’t a matter of obligation. Amici, after all, is my favorite restaurant, so I have every right to treat people there, right? (I mean, as long as I have money) What I did AFTER, however, was rather stupid.
Brace yourself, oh Sensible World, for Inez’s Ode to Stupidity, Part Infinite.
The PT session was ok. A few tingling zaps of electricity like little maggots running along the skin of my back. A warm compress. An ultrasound massage. No surprises.
Lunch was fine. I was reportedly a “revelation” as my former classmates attested that I had never been hyper in high school. Really now? Maybe they weren’t as tolerant back then? Hahahaha! Ehem ehem.
Snacks wasn’t so bad either. We had ice cream and pizza at Amici, while I glanced about cautiously. With six o’ clock approaching, Ampie and I finally left Amici and walked to Don Bosco church. Ampie is 2 months pregnant, see, and she needed a lot of blessings, so to the prayers we went.
Actually, to eternal perdition of the senses I went, as you shall soon see.
So there I was, on the way to said perdition, but quite excited to see PS and show him to Ampie (and consequently embarrass myself). So there I was, waiting.
And — oh crap, went Inez’s Poor Mind: Where is PS?
So that, ladies, gents, and everyone else out there with sense — that was Saturday. The only highlight of the tour was Ampie urging me to ask someone if they knew PS. So I approached a few people, and got back NOTHING.
That’s funny, see, as it seems as though only I can see him. Oh yes, the patens and ciboria float in our church. Thanks, Ampie! (hehe) Seriously, no one knew his name, which is strange, as — as he’s there every Sunday, right in front of EVERYBODY! And I’m not talking about the priest!
So I’ve reduced myself to a pile of waiting idiocy. Gads, how pathetic should I be before I give up?
On a happier note, PS was there on Sunday. I was afraid he wouldn’t be, as no-show on Saturday usually means that Sunday is no-show as well. Well, well, well, happy me, I got my lovely Sunday Mass again. And no, PS exists.
I have the pictures to prove it.
I DREAMED ABOUT HIM LAST NIGHT
August 16, 2006
It felt all too real, but comfortable. There were no pretenses, there was no unease — there was only a pair of friends meeting after years of separation. There was only closure. As I said, it was all a dream, but it came when it should have.
We met in Makati, he and I. The minute we met, we laughed; the minute we laughed, we started talking. It was as though we had never quarreled or argued, as though I had never bared my soul, nor he his.
“Hey!” was all I could say.
“Hey!” my Dream Specter said, unaware that even in my dream, I was afraid of him, “It’s been a long time! What’s up?”
That was when the floodgates opened, and the conversation began. I don’t remember what we talked about. All I know is that we discussed movies, our lives, writing, books, and food. By the time we got to chatting about Italy (Me: “How dare they win the World Cup!” He: “What do you mean?” “Germany!” “Italy!” “Germany!” “Italy!” and so on) and Italian cooking, I mentioned Amici di Don Bosco.
“The best pasta, and the best pizza!” I said immediately. Amici Di Don Bosco, of course, is one my favorites, so this was one experience I had to share, “And the best gelato, too!”
“Really?” he said, apparently genuinely interested, “Let’s have a bite to eat, then, for old times’ sake.”
“Good!” I gushed (I would have been embarrassed to do this had this been a real-life situation), “I want to show you someone.”
Even in my dream, I was excited to see PS. I figured this was a Saturday, nearing 6 pm, about half-an-hour before the anticipated Mass.
So we decided to leave, Dream Specter and I. We met a few of his friends along the way, and I got to shake a few hands and make a few acquaintances myself. Nothing big — we were just two friends on the way to get some dinner, two friends renewing ties, two friends talking again after years apart.
We were still talking when we reached Don Bosco Makati. Someone stepped out of Amici, and I began pulling Dream Specter’s sleeve.
“That’s him!” I whispered excitedly, “That’s PS!”
Actually, it wasn’t. It was some other guy who had the same “hair style.” I shook my head immediately. Dream Specter laughed.
When PS finally appeared, I had to lean over and whisper again, “Now that’s him! The one I like! My crush!”
Pardon me, dear reader, for all this teenage gushing. I might have been deprived of the privileges of doing so when I was most disposed and licensed; I therefore take the liberty in my dreams.
PS passed by us, and Dream Specter and I laughed. We fell to talking once again, never once entering Amici Di Don Bosco, and lingering outside, at a newly-erected fountain that resembled the one in front of Ayala Museum.
He was married, he said, to a girl who had taken his fancy the minute he had slept with her. Virginity, he claimed, was not important to him; thus, because he felt sexually compatible with her, he thought it was best that they claim the marital bed for life. Never once did he say that he was unhappy, or unfulfilled. He simply told his tale, and I listened.
I drifted off to the waking world soon enough, calm, and happy. I had been hurt the evening before, despondent, feeling as though all the world hated me, and no matter how many tears I cried, I would never feel right.
After a strange, vivid, almost real dream, I felt wonderful. I felt that I had closed one chapter in my life, and that I was ready to move on to a new one.
Plus, I saw PS in my dream, which is, like, the greatest bonus.
THE BIG WHAT IF’S
August 15, 2006
Sometimes men can be so blissfully unaware that they are breaking a woman’s heart.
You see, no matter how stiff the owner, how stalwart the bearer, how scoffing and skeptical and cynical of love the heart’s holder is, the heart is and shall always be a fragile thing. It is like glass, the poets say, in that it can break when handled carelessly. It is like silk, the novelists write, in that it is rich and beautiful in its intricacies, but difficult to mend once destroyed.
I think the heart is a brain trying to be another organ. It can think for itself, see, and try to make out what the merest blink, turn of head, bow can mean. It can think, ponder; then, when all falls short of expectations, retire into sadness.
The heart is a pair of eyes trying to be another organ. It can see, watch, observe; then, when all things fall into the wrong places, weep.
The heart is an unfair judge. It sees things, guesses that they bode far worse, then resigns to the end even before the truth arrives.
It is all the heart can do to protect itself from pain. It is all its owner can do to protect herself from another Fall.
Fallen, she has, and for one more who gazes in yet another direction, on a path removed from hers. She knows none of the truth yet, but she is sure that her guesses will prove themselves right soon enough.
In the meantime, she will hope, but not for much.
NANOWRIMO 06, HERE WE COME!!!
August 14, 2006
I just got a bright idea: I have way too much energy and obsessiveness — so why don’t I channel it all to squeezing ideas out of my Inner Writer and Hyperactive Novelist?
I therefore present: Inez’s Desperate Attempt to Work and Distract Herself at the Same Time, All in Preparation for National Novel Writing Month 2006!
This is weird, but I don’t care. NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, and I don’t want to be unprepared. It’s also in November, my designated test-taking season, so it’s bound to be a troublesome year (at least for me).
So, it’s time to PLAN!
* Weaving Strawberries, brought to life at last?
* The Supernatural Fanfic turned inside out, then made to model a supernatural, suspense version of Thomas Hardy’s Two On a Tower, minus sad ending?
* Phantasmagoria? (wait, no thank you.)
* Sorry, back to thinking. What about a song fic of Home to Stay by Josh Groban (oh my gosh, that is such a loser suggestion!)?
* The Story of Nothing and Nothingness? Stretch that past 50k, why don’t you.
* PS – expanded. Hahahahahaha!
* My goodness, I’m going insane! Right, then. Where were we?
Drat, I can’t think. Must think. MUST THINK!!!
BECAUSE HOPE IS ALWAYS MEANT TO SPRING ANEW
August 13, 2006
There’s nothing unlucky about number 13 at all. In fact, today, Sunday the 13th, was lucky the minute I stepped onto the church grounds.
There he was. In full…pose.
It was surprising, really, to walk while waiting, to take each step with bated breath. Would I see him this Sunday? I thought, as I entered the gates. Would I see him, and watch him, and —
Wait a minute. Is that him?
It was! He was in jeans, in enormous sunglasses, and standing in front of the Parish Office. His hands were on his hips, his gaze was toward us, and he was — I hate to admit this — posing.
Posing, eh? This was so strange!
Stranger still was that he was casting glances at where we were seated. Maybe he likes Paz? Not a unique case. Everyone does.
Anyway, he was on duty again today, so for that, dear God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Mama Mary, everyone in Heaven, thank you:)
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I got lovely pictures, too. BWAHAHAHAHA!!!
I am starting to sound really creepy, not to mention annoying.
Ah, and the final prayer:
As I knelt where the Son, and King of Kings
Gazed upon me
With eyes wide open as arms
To envelope my tears in
There he was
But a breeze that walked in
Held his hand to the Holy Feet
And passed but hair’s breadth by my side
That I smiled in my heart of hearts
And thanked the firmament for my sunrise.
Should I just take up a career in stalking?
Till next Sunday!
Now why is this post about hope springing anew? Let’s just say that the costumes just got back to normal, and no one’s on the road to any Orders. I think. Too bad I have to revise my fanfic again.
One more time: BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!
I had to employ whatever psychic power I had as I chose one little Baci piece. Baci is Perugia, Italy’s answer to Hershey’s Kisses, with a twist. Every piece has its own “fortune” in five languages, which is cute, as most of the fortunes are about love. So, while I thought my best about PS, I picked out one piece and got this:
One little kiss can contain the grandest passion.
Eh? Now this can mean many things:
1) One little situation I have (PS) is now ballooning out of proportion, and I’m paying it too much attention.
2) This little situation I have (PS) can actually be a source of the grandest passion
3) This little piece of chocolate has enough calories to grind my diet to dust.
I like #2. Hahahaha. Darn, where are my psychic powers anyhow?
CURVES IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES
August 12, 2006
And I don’t mean that on the outside.
Looks like my scoliosis has taken a turn for the slightly worse. What once was thoracic levoscoliosis + lumbar dextroscoliosis is now upper thoracic levoscoliosis + lower thoracic dextroscoliosis + lumbar levoscoliosis.
In other words, my once “S” spine is now a slightly crooked “W.” That means more physical therapy, less strenuous exercise, and a final goodbye to all the sports I once wanted to engage in. No more football, no volleyball, no baseball — no balls, in short. Dancing is fine, as long as I don’t twist myself too much. Stretching is good, too, as long as I don’t stretch in certain directions. Only swimming — dear Tony Fingleton/Jesse Spencer-associated swimming — only swimming remains.
So now, I know for sure that I can’t run the wild plains or kick that goal in or score a home run or score, for that matter. I know for sure that might not even be able to bear babies because my spine won’t be able to take the weight.
So I guess this is it. The end of the road, the start of the arduous journey.
AND SO THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS…
August 8, 2006
I will no longer be working with my present employer come this September.
Well, it’s been a great two years, and all of them will come to an end on 9/15. After two years of writing articles every week, scanning the news every day, and worrying about the future every night, the future has come at last.
The dilemmas remain. I, for one, would like to stay in the development arena, and do more work on communication in conjunction with biotechnology. But how will my literary career fit into the scheme? Will I have enough time for something like, say, NaNoWriMo this November?
On the other hand, I could always go back to school — a place I definitely don’t want to see more of, at least not now.
On the other hand, what am I even afraid of? I have a master’s degree in molecular biology and biotechnology. There are millions of people who do not have the same privilege of studying a field they love. There are millions more who worry about their next meal, and thus have no time to ponder on what graduate program they should take, or what career they should choose.
Are they worse off, or are they luckier than me?
On the other hand, why should I sit and ponder and think? I have work to do!
POEMS FOR PS
August 7, 2006
From summer to rain to sun to gray
I waited to see
What imagination had tricked me into believing
What I thought would remain mere thought
And jest when my heart would remember
And how the heart did remember!
As it sought you in the midst of song and words
As it beat like
footsteps on the road
as I watched
And away it went, my heart
I walked away
Oh, the wait! The wait that stabbed into my senses and laughed and mocked me in my misery and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed!
Oh, how I waited! Watched, waited, looked, saw
But never was satisfied
Despite fervent prayers to a jealous God
Oh, how I love Him,
My father, who wraps me in His arms as I beg for mercy,
Who holds me to His breast as I weep for the wounds of my heart
Who blesses and loves though I deny Him His due.
How I love that He can hold me
So near and so close
That He can break my heart with His force
And press me to Himself
That I may be made whole again.
How I love that moment
When I rush headlong into impulse
That I tremble within like a child unclothed in the nakedness of its raw, untried emotion
How I love that broken heart
How I love the wait imposed on this loving prisoner of her faith.
At last, the day
Blessed by breathlessness, you came
In the selfsame cloth
Save for a cut that sliced as blade into my heart.
How you love Him, it seems
He who holds us to His breast
Presses His lips to our souls to soothe our cares
Takes our hands and leads us to Truth.
How we love Him!
How we love Him, and yet in ways
That must tear us apart.
And how my heart breaks
At mere questions
When I know too little of you yet.
Oh, let me revel in the guesses
That my heart may still be whole!
August 6, 2006
Church today was wonderful, as usual. Church, to me, is one hour of fun — and no, not because we jump up to sing and dance. I detest such activities in the holiest place, in the holiest hour of my week. Church is fun because I love solemnity — in a solemn, quiet place, I feel as though I really am talking to God, and receiving true, real answers.
I might have gotten more than I asked for, because at last, today, I saw PS —
Wearing something else. Wearing the same cloth, but of a different cut. No longer a closed collar sweeping down to the chest. It was now a tunic, with an inner white garment — something…
That a would-be deacon would wear.
He was wearing something else — something that made me think and worry. Something that said that all my smiling and inner giddiness had to come to an end, because PS was on the way to priesthood.
Well, if that’s the case, I give up. I don’t want to do a tug-of-war with God! Who am I to take someone away from him?
On the other hand, the parish could also have run out of sotanas in PS’ size…in which case…
I can’t wait to go to church again next Sunday.
THE PLACE I WANT
(The Two Halves Of Me)
August 1, 2006
I would like to be in a place where I am happy.
I would like to be in a place where I am not scorned for being both a scientist and a novelist, where I am appreciated for my expertise on both fronts, and not scorned as some freak of nature that cannot exist, and thus must be belittled.
I would like to be in a place where I am embraced for being myself; where I am not told that I am too prudish, too young, too silly, too happy for not living a lie.
I would like to be in a place where I am who I am — where I can pray when I wish and not be scorned, believe what I wish and not be laughed at, live how I wish and not be corrected.
I would like to live my principles without being chided for not having enough excitement in my life.
I would like to live my life without worrying if I have to strike some imaginary balance between pleasing people and obeying God.
I would like to live my life without worry: to awaken and look forward to my day, to eat breakfast without thinking about how much I have to spend, to work without answering to anyone, to earn money and help people, to curl up at the end of the day with a book, or a husband, and simply rest. I would like to live an easy life, but I would like to have a life.
I would like to be good — and I would like to be happy.