Thursday, January 18, 2007

Greenness Next to Godliness

I’m bored to death today. I was unable to update this blog because I’ve been feeling under the weather these past few weeks. I had this chesty cough that just wouldn’t go away and coming home from work yesterday evening; I just fell on the bed and sacked out like a heavy Edwardian oak door with all the bones in my body feeling like a stiff hinge. I also woke up in the middle of the night parched and shivering from the cold. I could have sworn the old mercury thermometer melted between my gums.

I need to chop my head off before it explodes and create a huge mess on the floor. Pardon me my dear friends; I’m having one of my emo moments here. I am having a blinding headache and every muscle in my body felt so weak I couldn’t even help myself to a bowl of cereal. If mighty Zeus will ask me to bear the World on my shoulder instead of Atlas, I would definitely drop it on our kitchen faux-granite work top: “Oops! I think I just smashed the planet to smithereens.” It reminds me of my pop’s step dad we should have called gramps but we called dad instead. Don’t ask me why. We have a conspicuously or grossly unconventional family. For somebody who people think is a very religious man he is so wittily full of irony. He is a genuine Michelangelo and sculpted all the saints/angels/whatever that adorned the village church. One day, an old friend asked why he walked out in the middle of a church mass just to have a cigarette and he replied: “God bestowed me these privileges because I made all His images. If He would allow me to control the weather centre up in the heavens even just for a day, I would scorch the earth and everything that’s in it.”

He predicted in 1986 that the Philippines will become a communist state. It nearly did: until stupid lizards suddenly decided to change their colours at the crucial moment. Or could it be the dissent in the politburos ranks over strategy that until this day is still causing a bitter feud within the armed people's movement? I don't really know, to be quite honest. This is just a stupid theory. On the other hand, the religious broadcaster Pat Robertson has spoken to God this year and was apparently told that a terrorist attack on the United States would result in “mass killing” late in 2007. Jesus. That’s a lot of dead bodies. I am utterly fascinated by people who are propitious, although I’d prefer my gramps over this saddo.

I learnt from Erlend Loe that a human being weighing 70 kilograms contains among other things:

45 litres of water
Enough chalk to whiten a chicken pen
Enough phosphorous for 2,200 matches
Enough fat to make approximately 70 bars of soap
Enough iron to make a 2 inch nail
Enough carbon for 9,000 pencil points
A spoonful of magnesium

If green friends are going to push recycling because of this, I am never ever going to use a bar of soap again. Or pencils. Never mind that cremation is apparently the third largest source of mercury emissions. I can’t understand all this fuss about CO2 emissions from burning corpses anyway. Years ago, The Church of England asked the clergy to discourage cremation because of the greenhouse gases generated. News here.

I am feeling so cold. Where is global warming when you need one?

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

One Flew Off The List

Another year is over. In theory, I should be looking forward to one whole year of bingeing on 12 plump looking fruits, constant travelling, and ticking people off the list of friends. Once I decide to be superstitious and think Chinese just like my woman that is. She makes sure that we have an assortment of fruits on New Year's Day. The fruit thing actually meant a year of prosperity or abundance. Pardon my fundamentalist stance on the matter, but if some people can annoy you with their own literal interpretation of “The Good News” when they knock your door whilst you’re basking in your mid afternoon tea, I suppose you can apply the same principle to your own brand of opined notion.

Shivering from the cold weather and frantically flying off stairs and platforms to catch the train to London on New Year’s Eve would mean a year off exotic holiday locations which isn’t bad really, if you think about it. Stevie Wonder must be having a laugh when he wrote the lyrics to ‘Superstition’. It helps if all you wanted to do for the evening is sit in your comfy sofa dipping huge chunks of Brie and Camembert cheese to dollops of cranberry sauce whilst watching a raucous showdown of indie bands in Jools Holland’s Hogmanay New Year music show.

Ticking off friends from the list is when the events of that evening turned a bit uglier and darker. We were knocking down glasses of chilled Bucks Fizz – a sparkling blend of wine and orange juice: according to the hostess and watching Jools Holland. Good grief! Not too exciting compared to what we would have had anyway, minus the skyline view of the Big Ben and House of Parliament of course, but still I wouldn’t trade in the comfort of our own house in the ‘chavvy’ village to that posh apartment where you are all cramped in one corner of that post-modern-type-box building sat uncompromisingly and craning your necks to the direction of the flat TV screen on the wall whilst a spring was poking your ass from that geometric designer chaise longue.

I thought my girlfriend looked a bit red when I threw a glance at her. It can’t be that cheap booze she took a fancy with. I know you can turn into funny shades of colour when you’re drunk. My humble clinical training taught me that the liver is in overdrive when you've consumed obscene amounts of alchol. That means a drop in your blood sugar - making it hard for you to concentrate, then the heart pumps harder, that shoots up the blood pressure and the really rosy cheeks: I thought she looked really pissed. Peeved, if you take alcohol out of the equation. My hindsight still 20/20 at that time, was telling me it can’t be the booze. The drink she was holding on was only 4% vol. alcohol. I know her liver is capable of metabolising that smidgen of intoxicant even if she took 4 gallons of it in an hour. This was very unlikely considering the slow traffic lane the drinks trolley was traversing our way.

Amidst the noise of fireworks and rock n’ roll from the telly she mimed: “I am so pissed off with Clara!”, whilst she is pointing to her mobile phone. “She will definitely be deleted from my address book”, at least that was how I gathered it: trying to lip read what was coming out from her potty mouth. Nope, I was wrong. “She is sooo permanently deleted! You won’t even find a trace of her in the recycle bin!” This was whilst the ‘Arctic Monkeys’ are trashing their guitars in the middle of ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’. It was surreal. And very funny. And very serious. Her expressions spelt trouble. I wouldn’t have expected it coming from a technophobe like her: venting her anger in the latest version of Windows media. I wouldn’t be surprised if she will suddenly speak in Hyper Text Markup Language and be the Time’s Person of the Year by 2008.

She showed me a text message from Clara: “Sorry, but Twitty Bird is not ready to face you lot yet”, or something like that. It became apparent that we should skip her place as we go on with the New Year house-hopping tradition because a twit is in her building. Twitty is one of the Talentless, Witless, Irritating Toad ( TWIT ) friend we dumped last year whilst on holiday in New York. He is just one of the other two TWITs ( Ant and Dikey ) who constantly whined about the absence of lifts in the subway, how dirty New York is and think they’re too posh to climb the Empire State building. You could put them all in a box along with what she calls overseas-workers-trying-to-be-bourgeois with typical nouveau-riche mentality who believes that it’s posh to wear shirts with heavy designer labels, whose idea of culture is trawling the shopping malls down Fifth Avenue and think that museums are dreadful places to be seen with. A Pinoy version of Chavness, if you ask me.

Clara is her almost posh friend who spices up her English with Spanish and would never look chavvy in top to bottom Chanel outfit, but quite daft in relationships and choosing her own friends. No matter how hard I tried to convince my girlfriend that beneath the finest lamb’s wool of Clara’s skin is a pig’s entrails, she would never listen to me.

I really felt sorry for her. She was utterly devastated to lose a best friend who she now realized is also phoney: a few hours before the New Year.

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