Friday. Dinner and coffee with Ace, who was overflowing with chika. I was bombarded with stories even before we could properly sit. I loved this of course. I particularly enjoyed the “promdi moment in New York” anecdote: standing in awe of Times Square, immobilized by the sight—and being pushed and prodded by New Yorkers, who were nice enough to call her “bitch”. I mean, they could have used harsher words. She was in the way.
Also, I didn’t know it was possible for alienation and homesickness to force you to watch Daisy Siete. I had never thought of turning to the Sex Bomb dancers for comfort. Interesting. Haha.
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Saturday. Gig Book photo shoot with Mandy Navasero. I went with Andrea, who had French classes and knew the place, and also because Makati is still for me a senseless collection of streets. Hay, kailan kaya kita makakabisado.
Ms Mandy’s studio is housed in a building filled with art galleries and all sorts of pretty things. Even the restaurant inside looked like an art show! (Thank you to Andrea and the menu displayed outside the glass doors – if I were alone I would have gone inside the restaurant and looked at the display, nodding every now and then in appreciation, instead of, you know, sitting down and ordering. Wonder what the staff would have thought of me appraising their furniture like that.)
We took photos! I’ll wait for Andrea to upload.
Oh wait, here they are:
These stuff are actually inside the restaurant:
Andrea also smuggled me into Alliance. Now I want to take French classes. (French or Japanese? I’ll toss a coin, maybe, or consult my savings. I think Alliance offers cheaper rates than the Nihongo Center.)
(I am waaaay too lazy to apply for a master’s degree – I know this now. Le sigh.)
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Thanks to Charles, I have finally gotten my hands on the Sept. 12 issue of the Free Press, which contains my story, “Reunion”. (End subtle plug.) This issue also has an article about the Free Press Lit Awards and holy shit, Tim Yap was there? I thought Sasha was only joking.
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Charles also lent me two books: Year’s Bet SF 14 and The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction Vol. 3. I now tenderly put them atop my overwhelming pile of unread books (I now have 10 in my list; I’m halfway through Eden Express and Blind Assassin, almost done with The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty.). And yet, and yet – I dream of going to the Manila Book Fair to purchase more. Am I insane? (Yes.)
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Sleepaway, an anthology of writings on summer camp edited by Eric Simonoff – I recommend this. Contains some of the most interesting essays and short stories I’ve read so far. What happens inside Jewish summer camps, leftist summer camps, music summer camps? Lev Grossman talks of a music summer camp he once attended, where the campers during an unsuccessful softball game avoided the ball “for fear of spraining their long, limber fingers”. James Atlas, in one of my favorite essays in this anthology, talks of a summer camp for intellectuals and writers, where instead of flashlights they were asked to bring Bic pens, and where nobody played baseball and the “tennis court was deserted”. In a letter to his parents he rattled off his activities (panel discussion on modern poets, Shakespeare Festival, jazz music and Chekhov) and ended with “Culture! I can’t take it anymore; send comic books – anything.”