This Should Be Fun is the artist otherwise known as Eliza Victoria.
Eliza Victoria is the author of several books including the Philippine National Book Award-winning Dwellers (2014) and the novel Wounded Little Gods (2016). Her fiction and poetry have appeared in several online and print publications, including Daily Science Fiction, Stone Telling, Room Magazine, Story Quarterly, The Pedestal Magazine, High Chair, and the Philippine Speculative Fiction anthologies. Her work has won prizes in the Philippines’ top literary awards, including the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.
Remember this post? Well, I’m more than glad to report that I finally found a space that’s more or less permanent. J found us a cozy one-bedroom we could rent, and my heart is happy, even if my bank account is not. Haha. (If you’re planning to furnish a new apartment, oh my god, save up, boys and girls. You wouldn’t want to get a cheap-ass fridge that might explode on you. This move depleted my Christmas bonus, and then some.)
It’s a learning process. We burnt the eggs the first time we cooked on the induction cooker, and we set the fridge’s temp so low we couldn’t make ice. But baby steps, baby steps. We accept curtain rods and tables as donations.
Here be some pictures:
Full disclosure: I used to live in Unit 8H-B in Kingswood Condominium here in Makati. The unit’s caretakers were Julius Villareal and a woman named Icy, possibly his girlfriend. Right now, I’m hoping they’ll suffer from diarrhea for the rest of their lives. And I’m being very nice here.
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Here’s what happened:
I came home from work on Feb. 24 and found two of my flatmates/unitmates in the living room. One said, “There’s a new development!” There’s always a new development, with Julius and Icy as caretakers – the ref breaks down, the kitchen sink floods the floor, cable TV gets disconnected, and they don’t answer your calls. Such an efficient couple, Julius and Icy.
But this new development, as it turned out, was crazy. Like, you-can’t-make-this-shit-up crazy. Julius and Icy, according to one of the guards of the condo (bless him for warning us), have not been paying the unit’s utility bills and condo dues for three months now, and so Admin, possibly as ordered by the unit owners, had began padlocking the units they were handling. One group renting one of the units came home from work one night and just found their unit padlocked. Their stuff were inside. Luckily the unit owner lives in the building, so they were able to talk to the guy, have the door opened, and collect their things. But if the owner was not in the building, and you didn’t know the owner’s contact details, where will you go?
We decided to confront Icy. We knew she and Julius lived in the building, 12D-A, and I was just looking forward to screaming at her. We asked the guard, and oh yes, their unit had been padlocked. They don’t live in the building anymore. We couldn’t contact their phones.
The plan: Talk to the unit owner. We didn’t know his number so I had to go to Marketing the next day and try to contact him from there.
Of course we panicked. I couldn’t sleep that night. The next morning, one of my flatmates was able to contact the caretaker of a unit which had a room good for four, had an AC, and had its own bathroom. We viewed it that morning. Turned out the caretaker knew all the shenanigans Julius and Icy had been doing. Those fuckers. The guards downstairs were already cautioning us to at least have our stuff moved to another unit, if we had a friend in the building. We wouldn’t be issued gate passes, so we couldn’t move appliances out of the building, even if we owned them. Including laptops.
It is safe to say that the stress level by then was extremely high.
We decided to rent the room and move in that day.
So I hauled ass, you know. I was able to move everything except my collages on my wall. My collages! I used crazy-sticky tape because I thought – well, I thought I’d be staying in that room for a long time.
Of course I had to do the security deposit + advance thing all over again, but it’s okay. Julius and Icy I think owes me a month’s worth of deposit, unless they’ve deducted all the excess bills, which I’m sure they have. I feel bad for my flatmates who paid them for the month of February. Seriously, do Julius and Icy gamble? Are they addicted to meth or something? Where do they take our money?
But at least we were able to find a place we could stay in for the next six months. (This time we have direct contact to the unit owner; we also know his bank accounts and his address.) I used to rent a room of my own, but right now I can’t be choosy. The room’s nice anyway. And clean. Right now it looks like a college dorm room. Peeling wall paint, towels and bras on the racks, small cabinets and compartments, instant noodles and other food packets in see-through containers, my books on the bottom of my mattress.
The first morning I was there I moved so slowly, as if I were lethargic, not knowing where everything was. Now where did I put my bags? Where did I put a copy of my contract? Where are my DVDs? Where’s my coffee?
But I’m good, I’ll get by.
I still want Julius and Icy to pay us back, though.
And I want my collages back. Hmp.
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Anywho my final February weekend was great. Spent most of the time eating chicken teriyaki with the boyfriend, who, bless him, knows how to cook.
Also watched my first Dungeons & Dragons game. :) Being the eternal backseat player and annoying game-watcher (ask my brothers), I can never play this game, or any game really, but I had fun. :D Mike’s Addie brought excellent cookies!
Last photo was taken by Jme. Thanks!
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The Demons of the New Year cover (it’s a horror e-anthology, and I’m gonna be in it yay) has also been unveiled. I love it!
finally moved to my real room, you know, a room for one (just quoting the landlady here, don’t get any blahblahblah), with disastrous purple walls and a bubblegum pink ceiling. When you turn on the light it glows yellow. Yeah. Barbie by way of Andy Warhol.
Well, it isn’t that bad. Better than lime-green or white – hospital colors. Show me a hospital with a pink ceiling that is not run by Bayani Fernando.
What I hate are the glittery flower cutouts – I’m directly facing three of them while typing this. Purple and pink sunflowers. Either the former tenant had no room left in her luggage or she felt too lazy to take them down. Well I hate her guts. The purple-and-pink thing going on in this crazy room is fine (yes, despite the fact that the colors clash horrendously with the beautiful wooden floor) (no, really, i love the floor)—until the flowers made everything just too tacky.
Anyway, I got in after eating dinner and there was a woman sitting in front of the TV. She eyed me as if I were peanut butter and she were a dangerous strain of Salmonella. Scared me a little bit. Minutes later she was telling me she’s getting married next year and hey do you have a boyfriend? and how come? Still minutes later I was doing small laundry and she’s practically crying during a scene of Castaway. That scared me more than her initial stare.
And ay, my laptop has this disgusting gunk on the screen that I just can’t wipe away. Sometimes the screen falls way back, my laptop looking like an open book. The secret is not to make any sudden movements.
I really should save money to buy a new laptop.
woke up way too early in a room that they tell me was meant for two people (just quoting the landlady here, don’t get any ideas), and continued reading Yates’ Revolutionary Road (I saw the film first and is now stuck with one of those movie tie-in copies, movie poster as book cover). The thing about moving to a place closer to where you work is the fact that all of a sudden you have so much time. It’s amazing. So far I’ve spent the extra time staring at a blank wall. Well, last night I got so bored I ironed all of my handkerchiefs. I’m productive.
So this morning I opened the door and realized that the living room was silent. I moved in Friday and there was a guy there watching TV. Yesterday (Monday), he was also there, watching Oprah or whatever. I was preparing my baon on a glass-top table nearby, and the silence was so heavy that I asked, “Wala kang pasok?” He just shook his head. I think I also asked the same question to this other guy on Friday, who was cooking dinner and looked so pissed I didn’t even insist on getting his name. What the hell’s wrong with these men? Biktima ba sila ng di makatarungang retrenchment sa mga kumpanya nila? Or are they suffering from vagina envy at kating-kati nang itapon ako sa kahabaan ng Chino Roces?
Guys in the unit, yes. The thing is I was supposed to get this tiny room (big enough for brooms and mops – everything’s a matter of perspective) in a unit filled with girls in the other tower, but the occupant asked for an extension, and the landlady, who may or may not have left her cerebrum somewhere, allowed her to stay. I’m still mad about it. I actually put up a fight. One war was waged via text messages; it lasted till 2 AM last week. Ohyeah. But anyway, I realized that I was losing load and was close to really losing my patience – thank goodness I don’t earn enough to hire an attorney on retainer, or some big guy who can break arms – come to think of it, thank goodness I can’t break arms – so I just said FINE. They gave me this bigger room in another unit. I’ll be staying here until the other girl moves out, bless her selfish heart. (She was told I was moving in on this date, and still – ah, whatever.)
The living room was silent, which in my two-day-so-far stay there was a first, so I sat on the couch, saw that there’s a DVD player, and watched my Season 2 copy of The Office. I’m obsessed with the damn series at the moment. I wasn’t sure if the DVD player came with the unit or if it was owned by one of the tenants. But it was plugged in, so.
I wasn’t even supposed to move from my room in QC. I love my room there (two closets, bookshelves, a big mirror, bookshelves!), but early this month my QC landlady called and said that she needed the unit for herself and please get the hell out in time for the Pest Control guys’ arrival. Fuck you. No, I didn’t say that, she was nice, but it still made me angry. Talk about short notice. So I saw this other room in Makati, paid my down payment. The day after I made the transaction, QC landlady called, said April Fools! even though it was March. Apparently she’d just be dorming, or something. Of course since I’d already paid and told my father that I’d be moving I just told her to suck it. (No, I didn’t say that, she was nice.)
Then on to Makati, who welcomed me with open arms and the mess of occupancy extension and the temporary room.
Hay. I’m looking forward to the day when I can finally unpack all my stuff. I’m loving the room at the moment, though. There’s a big window out of which I can throw an annoying person (probably the landlady with the missing cerebrum, if she pisses me off again), and at night, the lights of the city look lovely.
Last night, one of the guy tenants spoke to me while I was in the kitchen getting water. I exist, apparently. Woohoo. This morning, another tenant asked about the couple staying in my room. They’ve moved out, I said.
“Hindi ko alam kung mag-asawa o mag-dyowa e,” he said.
“Ang sabi sa akin mag-asawa.”
“Sabay nga minsan maligo.” Nervous laughter. “Minsan nga…pero sabi ko, Hayaan niyo na.”
I finished three episodes and walked back to my room. I sat on the bed and noticed for the first time how bouncy the mattress was.
But of course. *wink*