10 Minutes of Funny

09 December 2010

Go to YouTube, search for "America's Funniest Home Videos". You'll have like, 10 minutes of funny.
That's what my coworker said to his brother, in the middle of some conversation about some topic I already forgot. Apparently, YouTube has obviously gone to the point where you can get "10 minutes of funny" anytime. It has become the Big Brother of the Internet.

I went to the site just to get some 10 Minutes of Anti-Boredom and I ended up clicking Recommended Video after Recommended Video and what was 10 Minutes of Procrastination became 10 Minutes of Cyber-Eavesdropping. I was basically taking a glimpse out of random people's lives, knowing what they know, feeling what they feel. It was 10 Minutes of Empathy and 10 Minutes of Learning.

YouTube has changed the way people's lives are nowadays. It is in these videos that we take a look at an alternate side of life, something other than ours, something other than the people, places, and events we know. In our 10 Minutes of Discovery, we become shocked at girls throwing a bucket of puppies down rivers, we laugh at obese guys in glasses lip-synching to pop songs by O-Zone, we are amazed by kinda-old people hitting the perfect notes of a Les Miserables song.

It is in these 10 Minutes of Connectedness that we become aware of the world, we learn something, cry at something, or find something so cute we squeeze our computer screen while squealing. YouTube has become a proof that the Internet is more than a network of cables exchanging data; it has become a storage of memories, those that display emotions, passion, and reason. It is a link not between two computers but between the people sitting in front of them. 10 Minutes of Freedom is what we see, a collaborative collection of life's milestones or stumbling blocks, a constantly-changing mosaic of voices from all over the world showing how good or bad it is to live. It is 10 Minutes of Experiences on the Internet.

YouTube has become a real success, getting my attention and actually delving in quite deep thought about it. And after all, after being drenched in all of the day's work, all we need is 10 Minutes of Funny.


08 October 2010

Now here's a challenge I impose myself
To write in the pentameter's the test
I actually don't know how to write such
A poem that restricts me for all too much.

An iambic pentameter I'll write,
Should have 10 syllables on every line.
And that of alternating accent too,
Through high and low, I'll switch between the two.

Now there, you have two stanza's worth of poem.
Like unicorns that feed on rainbow bowls.
I know the line above is plain nonsense,
I just wrote that to keep the measure checked.

Now here's a poem. I dare say that it is.
If you're not convinced, look back what you missed:
I mentioned measures, unicorns, 'n shit
And managed to get 10 syllables each.

Waha-haha. I did it with success.
With flying colors, I passed my own test.
Writing iambic pentameter's cool
Try it sometime, you'll really shine at school.

Haiku #2: "Autumn"

27 September 2010

So guys, here's the plaintext.

This is the second haiku in this blog. I made it while watching the leaves fall outside during our oh-so-boring Archaeology class. Nothing much interesting today, just some leaves. And more leaves.

leaves are falling
the wind blows them to my face
holy shit.

Reverse stalking

24 September 2010

So guys, here's the plaintext.

I just finished scouring the web for any information about some person I want to know more. Didn't work. Frustrated by this failure, I ended up Googling myself, which is the technological equivalent of looking at a mirror for hours on end.

I am satisfied by the results. I deliberately morphed my online identity so as not to be searchable in Google. I hide behind famous names or make up unique, uncommon ones. However, this blog is an exception. A quick search for Leonard Lagasca got this blog as the first hit. Well duh. This is Blogger, a Google product. But still.

I'm actually wondering whether I should give out this blog's URL to people I know around here in Saskatoon. It's personal, but not as personal as my Facebook page, to which I only have a few friends.

I am undecided. But oh well. Time will tell. Oh and by the way, I'm about to spit out a slew of those cryptic blogposts I have been notorious for during my high school days tomorrow. Here's a crappy haiku to end my night:

I held the blade
just before the phone rang
you saved me.

Writer's Block

19 September 2010

So guys, here's the plaintext.

Me in front of the PC
It's my school. I have to submit a "university-level" essay about the analysis of some short story. And guess what. I have fucking nothing to write about. Absolutely nothing.

Don't you just hate it when writer's block hits you at just the right time; that is, when you definitely need some written output? I don't hate it, I loathe it. Every bit of it. I don't know what caused this block, maybe it's because I actually only made a "university-level" paper during my high school days (with all those MLA citations and shit) to make what my high school teachers call a mock thesis, with the presupposed objective of preparing us for college.

It did not help because what we just did was to insert parenthetical remarks here and there with a random author's name inside it. Also, we were not graded with justice; they just marked it and didn't even provide specific pointers if we did it right or wrong. I don't even know if they checked our Works Cited list; we got away with random book names by random authors. We even cited Wikipedia as a source.

The mock thesis we had in high school was horrible. Citing Wikipedia, inserting parentheses here and there (Lagasca 2010), and messing around with complex words for simple ideas are not good things to do in a university-level essay. No. That shit's not going down.

So here I am with the oh-so-common scene of staring at a blinking cursor on a blank screen. Maybe tomorrow, when I get to the library's carrels, some research writing spirit will come to me and make me finish my essay in one go. Oh and before I close, pardon my vulgarities in this blogpost: I'm practicing my colloquial English. Shit.

Break the barrier

14 September 2010

So guys, here's the plaintext.

It's not me. It's my awkward way with words, the way I handle the spoken language, that sets me apart from these people.

I just arrived from my job, and today's bunch was extremely different. What was a group of people in their mid-20s to 30s on the weekends I worked was replaced by a group of guys (and girls) in the 10th or 11th grade. I was like, "WHOAH, BUDDY!"

So, there I was, sitting next to these high schoolers who were 3, maybe 5 months more tenured than me. There were 7 people from somewhere in the Middle East I guess and brothers from I have no idea where (surname's Nguyen, and their names are Western, so I'm not that sure), who I reckon grew up here, the way they spoke English without inflections or accents. Maybe my inference that they grew up here could be extended to the prediction that they were actually born here, given their Western first names.

It struck me hard. I'm surrounded by people who speak English naturally, and yet it's not their lingua franca. I tried speaking to them but most of the time I end up repeating myself, which I hate. So I'll try to act like the college guy who speaks on occasion.

But no. That's not me. I've got a lot of stories to tell and hell would I tell them if I could. Right now I'm just disappointed that unlike how I shine in English class a while ago (I was the constant arm-raiser, but maybe it's just my classmates are still too shy), I suck at speaking the language. So bad. Makes me wonder though how my British friend manages to understand every word I'm saying. Maybe it's a perception thing. Maybe my speech patterns lean more towards the British accent (Funny story: On the voice chat feature of an online game, I was actually asked if I was a "12-year-old Australian kid or something" when they heard me speak. I don't know if I should be flattered or annoyed by that.)? I don't know.

I decide I need more practice. I could not just get perfect spoken English overnight; I need to suffer a few days (years?) of being misunderstood. Just like in DDR where I had to suck before I could rock.

I sip my apple cider one last time and go to sleep.

A new blogface

13 September 2010

So guys, here's the plaintext.

I kind of like the new template that I have. I might actually do some tweaking to add some flair to the background or something, but I'm kind of torn between keeping it clean or adding a few accents.

After 71 pages of browsing through free blogger templates here, I finally found one that is simple enough yet is visually striking in a neat manner. I hate pimped out blogs. I like neat visual lines or curves and good content. Which is why I came to this design.

Here's to hoping I'll have more blogposts in the future, no matter how cryptic they might be.

Pizza slices and Coke slushies

So guys, here's the plaintext.

I hate Mondays. And Wednesdays, to that matter. It's because I only have one class, and it's from 12:30 to 1:50. How refreshing. Add to the fact that I take a 30-minute bus ride just to get to school, and it would justify every urge I have to just stay at home. But no. I'll go to school. For academic integrity! For the progress of the human race!

I sat through a gruelling hour-and-a-half's worth of Archaeology lecture (which was entirely in the book save for some specialized notes on archaeological developments in North America and some random historical figures here and there) and I was not participative. Maybe because it's the true first week of classes, but mostly because I'm too shy to express my thoughts in a classroom full of people who regard me as the tourist.

1:50 came and bundled with the joy of finally seeing the lecture come to an end is the disappointment of not meeting a classmate. I suck at introductions. I fear that I may not be understood. Not that I don't want to speak, I just hate it when people ask me to repeat myself. Makes me think that I'm so stupid to not actually make myself clear (I'm a grammar Nazi myself, so I despise linguistic failure of all forms).

So there. I was on the bus stop when I saw a person who happened to be in my class a while ago. I imagined a conversation striking up between us, which is the thing I always end up doing, rehearsing a conversation before I actually make it happen.

"Hey, aren't you my classmate in ARCH112?"
"Oh yea."
"I'm Leonard."
"Hi! Nice to meet you."
But problem is, I suck. I just ended up sitting on the other side of the bus row, looking at this classmate of mine, watching where she would get off.

Apparently we both get off at the same stop. If I get to know this bitch, that would be 45 minutes' worth of conversation. So here I was on the main university campus (the building where I take my classes is far away from here) and resisting the temptation to spend money. I don't have a decent job yet (my job as a waiter pays less than my first job at a coffee shop), and I fear that I may not have enough to buy what I want for my upcoming birthday (A Nikon D3000 DSLR, and hopefully, plane tickets back to the Philippines). I ended up taking "lunch" at 3:00 with two slices of pizza and a large Coke slushie. Enraged at the gluttony and impulsiveness I just did, I went home.

My face when I saw the pizza slices.

The bus was jam-packed with university students. I had the luxury of sitting in one of the... well, seats, and as I watched the standing passengers respond simultaneously to each turn of the bus, I sipped my slushie in reverence.
More than 8,000 students at the College of Arts and Science alone (compared to UPM-CAS's 1,700). 8,000 stories to listen to. And all I need is a simple handshake and the words, "Hi, I'm Leonard."
I eventually end up hating myself. Hate myself for having impeccable written English skills but fail to mingle with an English-speaking folk. Hate myself for doing a direct translation from Filipino of what I want to speak. I want to speak in English not as a translation but as a direct outlet of what I think, the kind of speaking I do in Filipino.

I hate myself for not daring to fail, of being afraid to be criticized for what I do, or am about to do. Hate myself for being a perfectionist, clamming up because I want every word I say to be clearly understood. I end up being a real tourist in this giant subzero freezer they call North America. When language is a barrier, it's hard to blend in, most especially to stand out.

Do not try to blend in. Try to stand out.
That's Jeric's message to me (a college friend) before I left the Philippines for Canada. And I find it difficult to even do any of the two when I don't speak well. This is about the time when I hope the Holy Spirit will manifest as a tongue of fire and, besides potentially burning my scalp, give me the ability to speak their language. This is about the time when I hope every person I meet has Douglas Adam's Babel fish in their ears so I can be understood perfectly.

But on the other hand, I still think, that it's just me.

The Ghastly Crumb Tines

Not mine, but I think it's worth sharing.

A poem by Edward Gorey

A is for Amy who fell down the stairs.
B is for Basil assaulted by bears.
C is for Clair who wasted away.
D is for Desmond thrown out of the sleigh.
E is for Ernest who choked on a peach.
F is for Fanny, sucked dry by a leech.
G is for George, smothered under a rug.
H is for Hector, done in by a thug.
I is for Ida who drowned in the lake.
J is for James who took lye, by mistake.
K is for Kate who was struck with an axe.
L is for Leo who swallowed some tacks.
M is for Maud who was swept out to sea.
N is for Nevil who died of ennui.
O is for Olive, run through with an awl.
P is for Prue, trampled flat in a brawl.
Q is for Quinton who sank in a mire.
R is for Rhoda, consumed by a fire.
S is for Susan who perished of fits.
T is for Titas who blew into bits.
U is for Una who slipped down a drain.
V is for Victor, squashed under a train.
W is for Winie, embedded in ice.
X is for Xerxes, devoured by mice.
Y is for Yoric whose head was bashed in.
Z is for Zilla who drank too much gin.


12 September 2010

The bottomline is, I don't know how to write.

Since that time in my life, I have learned not to write too much. I have learned that words are too powerful to be thrown out, randomly, to people you do not know. Especially words that define you, words that come from the soul.

Trust is now a bleak word in my ever-growing vocabulary of mixed-up words from Spanish, French, Filipino, and English. I lost the ability to write in plain sight. I decided to obscure the meaning, the true point of what I'm trying to say. The plaintext is hidden in the deep dark alleys of my mind.

Of course. It's because by now, I realized that it only through my thoughts that I can be sure that everything will be safe, that what was supposed to be a secret remains a secret. It is only in the mind that I can be sure. It is only in my mind that I can be safe. Sure and safe. Two words, a lot of consequences. It is the prerequisite to friendship, to love, to peace. It is everything positive.

I don't know how to write. Since that time in my life, I am now the cryptic connoisseur, the master of metaphors. I write what I feel in cipher, and hide the plaintext deep within. But somehow, somewhere, somebody will find the key. Someone will finally decipher the message and know who I really am.

Someone, somewhere.