Looks like I've got a bit of time for some long overdue updates now, so here I am tackling this thing while my mind is able to act on some semblance of momentum. (This feeling could just be the side effect of having eaten a lot of unhealthy food mixing with strange hormones and chemicals using my brain as a playground; but it's put me in a writing mood all the same.)
Here goes the first of the updates I've got lined up! This entry contains an abundance of parentheses.
October: celebrating the day I met the world
Oh wow, this was from two months ago. Goes to show how much I had been missing in action with the whole blogging bit. Nonetheless, I still do want to write about it in case my memory decides to fail me about this year's birthday experience. I don't think I've had a happier birthday.
To start things off... This year's resolution? To live by this:(found on Tumblr)
For my birthday, I'd normally throw a house party to celebrate. But then I had come to realize that they end way too soon and I find myself battling a terrible case of post-party blues. So this year I opted for a longer-lasting celebration; me and 11 of my closest friends - Miguel ~merkymerx
, China !snowpeachdrop
, Kat ~moonlightflight
, Rayson ~sinag-araw
, Sandee ~littlesailboat
, Isa !cerrure
, Charmie ~yaoiangel14
, EJ ~Dinkyass
, Dom ~Weakman
, Kitty !liberti
and Nico ~Artus13
- under one roof for three days. (Essa, Ysabel and Erving, we missed you!) I got a simple cottage thing away from the city we're all so used to; a little getaway where we could just relax and enjoy each other's company and have something like a... a... hangout marathon. We'd usually only have a few hours to spend with each other, so I thought it would be great if we could have much more time to do as much of whatever activities we wanted.
Apart from all the fun stuff, it also turned out to be an exercise on whether we'd be able to survive by ourselves (with each other's help, of course) with limited resources and without having to rely heavily on the grown-ups who normally make our lives rather comfortable. Kat and Kitty wanted a chance to cook for all twelve of us, so we all went grocery shopping for their recipe ingredients and whatever else we'd need to survive for three days. There was much fun to be had (and phallic jokes to be made) even in those quick supermarket runs.
A few snapshots of our home life during that short period of time...
I was taking a picture of Kat and Kitty being the grown-ups and planning out our meals, when China and Sandee decided they wanted in on the action, too.
Dom, Miguel and EJ cleaning the dishes. A chore I was not able to help with because my skin is sensitive to dishwashing soap. Tried to make up for it by doing menial tasks for Kat the cook, like grating cheese and chopping up veggies.
This picture cannot be explained.
During the first night, after getting settled in and having an amazing dinner care of Kitty and Kat, it was cake time!
THE SUPA SUPA KAWAII CAKE
Prior to the trip, Charmie asked me which of her confectionary creations I most enjoy. I honestly couldn't pick just one because she is the goddess of desserts. I just said that if she really insists on going through the trouble of baking me a cake, she could do whichever she wants and I'd be more than happy, because I love them all. She surprised me with this mini-cupcake mountain birthday cake! I asked her what she called it, and she said it was the SUPA SUPA KAWAII CAKE.
She then handed me packets of chocolate and heart-shaped sprinkles so I could decorate it made make it like, MOAR KAWAII. The photo above shows what happened after I got overenthusiastic about the sprinkles, minus the mess on the table that Kat cleaned up before I could protest. (My protest was not, "Allow me to do it", it was, "Hey, that's part of the artwork!" In my defense, I intended to clean it up afterwards.)
In the process of lighting the candles, we learned that it's probably a good idea to light the middle candles first as it gets tricky when the outer edges are aflame and you do not intend for your fingers to get roasted.
Awww. What a charming sight, eh? That's what I thought at first. But after a while, the candles started... sparkling. (That is to say, shooting little sparks like, well, sparklers.) Fiends! They had gotten me TRICK CANDLES! This is the sort that will keep coming back to life after being blown out. It keeps at it for an indefinite amount of time, sufficient enough to get the celebrant all tired out and the cake covered in spit (just kidding).
When the zombie candles finally died, the surface of the cake had a sparse layer of ash-like residue. The packaging says it's safe to eat. In any case, it'd take a lot more to keep us from eating Charmie's creations.
Remember the wolf mask (which we somehow ended up naming Jacob) from Cosmania '09
? Dom brought it along for the trip, so we put it to good use.
Kitty the wolf girl, with her special custom glass.
Nico comparing his beard and the wolf head fur. He concluded that the texture was quite similar.
Magical half-floating Isa.
We turned her into magical half-floating Isa-Jacob.
China-Jacob camwhoring on the couch.
This is what the shot from her camera looked like.
Sandra, keepin' it classy.
Rayson feeling the music in his cool shirt (and cooler hairstyle) while doing some washing.
This is what we think of this "art".
Kitty fell asleep. She worked so hard to cook dinner for all of us so we didn't want to wake her. We left Jacob to watch her.
Best group picture ever.
Are we not simply mind-blowingly photogenic?
It was a fantastic trip! But three days were apparently still not enough. We'll know better for next time!
A little something I've been meaning to write about
I don't have a lot of other photos to post, and some of the best moments of the trip were actually left undocumented. (We were too caught up in whatever activity it is were were doing, or were too, um, inebriated to properly handle our cameras.) One such occasion was our trip to the pool area. Apart from a fancy shower area with a sauna, we had an Olympic-sized pool all to ourselves (save for three or four other guests who were there a short while and stayed on the opposite side). Played some strange pool games that we just made up there, including the underwater foot race.
Later on we moved to the hot tubs. I had never really been in one before, as I did not see the point of it back then. It wasn't very pleasant at first because I had mistakenly just stuck half my leg in, and it almost felt like my skin would melt off. But Miguel, Nico and Sandee swore it was different if you submerge your whole body, so I told myself to suck it up and just get in there. And then I was like... wow. And then I proceeded to listen to the array of potentially suggestive noises everyone made as they got in.
And as all twelve of us comfortably occupied the entire perimeter of the hot tub, EJ looks around and says. "Ganito pala feeling ng shabu-shabu. (So this is how feels to be a hotpot meal.)"
We spent a lot of time there just filling the air with our strange conversations and explosions of laughter (and at one point, singing our rendition of My Enormous _____ at full volume, with an audience of random old American men and their "escorts"). It was a pretty simple night but somehow it just made me really, incredibly happy. It felt like all was right in the world - sky full of stars above, and myself in a comfortably hot tub with eleven people I'm extremely thankful to have in my life.
And I guess I'll take this opportunity to share some thoughts about friendship. People often comment how much our friendship shines through our pictures and these stories of our adventures and funny exploits. It makes us happy to share the happiness and fun, but I hope that people who say they hope to make bonds like ours are aware that that's not all there is to friendship.
We're not friends merely because we manage to have all that fun together. Apart from all the silly stuff, we talk about our dearest hopes, greatest dreams and darkest fears. We're not just playmates. Real friendship is sometimes difficult. We help each other through the low points of our lives.
There are also times that we might hurt each other. It's only natural for friends to fight sometimes, I think. It seems inevitable that people who allow themselves to be raw and open and vulnerable in front of each other might sometimes lead to conflict out of disagreement or misunderstanding. While it sucks when we find ourselves in those situations, but once it's all sorted out I realize that it's those rough patches that make our bonds stronger. I guess somehow fighting is one of the ways in which I really get to know a person, and it also gives me an opportunity to learn about myself. It shows us how we manage our anger. It forces us to face those emotions and thoughts that usually lie below the surface. It makes us face the terrible realization of how much we might be capable of hurting the people we care for. Most importantly though, is how it brings to light how much the other person really means to us. If after hurting each other and being aware of how difficult we both can be, we can still agree that life would not be complete without one another, then that's truly a friendship worth keeping and fighting for.
Things don't always work out for the best, though. There are times when we try to set things right, and the other person simply runs away and pretends that nothing's wrong, only suddenly they shut you out. If losing you didn't make them feel any remorse, then perhaps they never truly cared about you from the start. Sad as it is, experience has forced us to accept that there really are people who are only there for the ride when it's time for fun, but will not hesitate to turn on us when times get tough. They're not willing to invest patience and understanding, and they refuse to grasp what it truly means to say sorry.
This image from Tumblr sums it up better than I can.
Don't get me wrong, though - this does not justify being a doormat if the other person is truly abusive. You ought to know when you're being treated fairly. But this is about those fights caused by misunderstandings between friends. They shouldn't be confused with forms of fighting as a competitive sport where there is one clear winner and titles and trophies are at stake. There is nothing to gain from trying to "win" a fight with a friend. (Or we could say that you can win the title of Ultimate Asshat and a gift certificate from the Universe that entitles you to a lifetime of being friendless and lonely.)
Instead of trying to decide who was right, shift your focus on how to make things better. We all make mistakes. We have our stupid moments. I myself have times when I require a solid punch to the face. Real friends won't hold your mistakes against you if you show willingness to change and grow. Those can be forgiven and taken as opportunities to learn if you allow yourself to be humble enough to consider what others have to say, and be open to finding ways to work things out and to be a better person - even if it means having to listen to and accept difficult truths. Sure, it can hurt. But in the long run, it makes for better relationships compared to ones where people just sweep the bad stuff under a metaphorical rug and pretend that the world is made of sunshine and rainbows. It's really not. But that's why it's beautiful (sunshine and rainbows are so overrated), and knowing true friendship makes the rough paths a little easier to walk in.
And that is the secret of our friendship. Which is not really a secret, really. But sometimes it seems that there is little appreciation in this world for common sense. I apologize for the walls of text, but I do hope some of you were able to pick up some bits of sense in all that.
- Note Me
- Watch me... not