Sunday, November 19, 2017

Call Me By Your Name

I am not going to lie: going into the film, I had pretty high expectations. The buzz for the film has been crazy, and that is what ultimately made me decide to pick up the book and try to understand what the frenzy is all about. Also, I love gay romance in movies and literature, so I made sure to find the time to read this.

And Call Me By Your Name (the book) did live up to the hype. It was, for me, well-written, nuanced, and characteristic of the flood of emotions and confusion encountered by young guys trying to reconcile their gender preferences. I should know, I went through that phase--and the book captured the emotions just so well. I am a sucker for good endings, and I'd like to believe the ambiguous ending in the book meant that Oliver and Elio somehow found their happy ending. Okay, I suppose this is not that much of a spoiler. I struggle to think of at least three gay movies/stories that had a "happy" ending.

As I mentioned, I was looking forward to watching the film, considering all the hype. It had all but two screenings here in the Philippines, as far as I know, and I managed to reserve two tickets for me and my boyfriend in the far mall of the north, Trinoma.

Photo taken from https://www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/

Before anything else, I have to say: the crowd was crazy! Haha. If I didn't know any better, I'd think the crowd (who lined up for the film, stretching out for meters on end).  There were familiar faces in the crowd, mostly gay guys I'd seen partying in either O Bar and Unit 27.

Okay. At this point I'm exhausted to even write about the film. But just to lay out the points there:

  • I think the film did a disservice to the book by not including what for me is a major plot point.
  •  Timothée Chalamet did justice to the role of Elio. Armie Hammer, who played Oliver, was missing something... Which is a shame 'cos I found Oliver attractive in the book.
  • Overall, a good film. Although I'll be one of those pricks who think the book is much better than movie.

Friday, November 17, 2017

On Neutralizing Negative Self-Task

Sometimes I get swarmed by so many negative thoughts. I blame the weight of my ambition for discontentment. I see, on social media, so many of my batch mates who did not do as well as I arguably did (lol) getting into good graduate schools, like Harvard Law School or Columbia Law School for masters of law. And I admit: whenever I read something about it from them, I feel a bit of a pinch.

And it's the unhealthiest pastime, I know. Because there will always be someone better. I know it. Someone who's smarter, someone who's paid better, someone who seems like he's gotten life figured out. At 27, I guess I am still not that good at learning how to fight my own battles. I have so many aspirations, but I should not begrudge anyone who look like they've reached theirs. That is not my business.

Also, at the same time, I feel like I am not prepared just yet. I am not as well read as I think I should be. My analytical skills are not sophisticated enough. I am just not that good. But I know, I will never be really ready ready. And what I really have to do is to just go for it, and soak in all the knowledge I can while I am not there yet. I know that it's in the everyday that I get to prepare.

I read somewhere that one of the signs of a high EQ is the ability to stop negative self-talk in its tracks.

Well, that's definitely one area of self-improvement I have to work on.

--

I mean, when I really think about it, I am in a better position than I thought I would be. I have an above-average paying job. I am able to impart knowledge to my students. Regardless of my relatively murky past, and my frequent inattention to detail, I am doing relatively well. I should be grateful. And I am. Being grateful is one way of being happy, I also heard. I guess that's how I've tried to offset my negativity: reminding myself that there is so much to be happy and grateful for.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Theft By Finding

One of my favorite writers, David Sedaris, recently published his diaries dating back from the 1970s. He published his journals from when he was in his early 20s.  I'm now reading his journals from when he was 26, I think.

I've little time to read books or articles outside work these days, and even less time to write senseless stuff. My time is occupied by my two jobs, teaching and lawyering, which I'd always planned on doing, as I mentioned in the blog.

Whenever I read back to my earlier blogs, I almost cannot recognize myself, and even the writing style. I guess that's both a good thing and a bad thing.

Anyway, reading David's book made me realize I should probably write more. The only reason why I don't is that I feel I don't have enough dramatic or funny material to pull me out of my blogging hiatus.

But I'll try to change that? 

Like today: today is a holiday but I did not date with my partner, work out, or do anything remarkable outside of eating by myself, in this restaurant, which gives me free rein to do what I want. Including taking this photo:




So for now, I eat.



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Recycling

When my newfound friends found out I am dating someone I used to be with for about eight-nine months roughly eight years ago (yes, even before this blog started), they were rightfully confused. Even I was confused.

I mean, whenever i would recall my past breakups, the breakup with this guy was the one I regretted the least. I mean, he was not the kindest person back then. That's what I'd thought to myself, at least. But I remember loving him dearly, with all the heart my eighteen-year-old self could possibly give.

And then the pieces of the puzzle started coming together. He moved to the South for me when we were together. I couldn't catch a ride back home, and was in the middle of Pasay, and I remember him being so worried about me. And all those little things. I was crazy about him.

Until I was not. Stuff happened, and I fell out of love in a snap. Ours was the stuff of love stories in college. I loved him, then I hated him for hating on my best friend. But that love felt real.

Fast forward to today, where I spend my weekends overnight with him, huddled in bed, and where I meet his friends occasionally, and where I go to church with him. And all of it, all of this, brings me back to that time when I truly felt genuine care for someone.

I have to admit, it feels good. After more than a year of being single and dating around, and failing to develop feelings that ripen into love, it does feel strange to worry about and want the best for someone again.

It feels good, and it feels dangerous.

What if this does not work out? What if I end up hurting? What if I am into him more than he is into me? All these questions stir up weird insecurities I thought I had gotten over with. And i often have to slap myself back to reality.

And tell myself: you're alright. And if it this does not work out, then at least you felt felt love--or something that approximates it--again.

Maybe it will work out, maybe it won't. I guess I'll have to see.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016

I'm grateful for 2016. I wouldn't call it a bad year--neither is it a fantastic year. But I've definitely gone way out of my comfort zone than I initially set out at the start of the year.

In retrospect, I'm quite glad I've managed to keep most of my resolutions. I started working out in the gym regularly. I meditate more or less regularly. And I did go out more often. A little too often, if you ask me. Haha.

Also in 2016: I broke up with the person I had been in a longest relationship with. A little less than two and a half years. Who would've thought? I am capable of true love by choice after all--a helpful reminder after all the failed dates I had this year.

Failed dates. I don't know why or how exactly these dates lose steam. But I'm glad they did. I would not in my wildest imagination jump in a relationship head first as I used to a couple of years back. I am certainly more measured, more level-headed, and, through it all, still hopeful. Hopeful, but not expecting. I can't help but think that I've wasted all that precious time dating one guy after the other. So this year I've decided to do better by:

1. Dating less, unless I genuinely feel there is potential;
2. Meditating and working out more consistently;
3. Being more time-efficient (and use Facebook less!);
4. Loving myself a little more.

The last part is tricky--I've always thought I like myself just fine. But there are too many things I don't forgive myself for.

I've also started teaching business law subjects to undergraduate students, which I guess partially fulfills what I remember saying here years ago.

So yeah. 2016 was pretty cool. 2017 will be a tough one, and I see little time for rest. But I'm ready, I'm happy, and I'm rather pleased with myself.

Happy New Year!