stepping on dog crap, that sucks. stepping on human feces, that's fallacious. welcome to my world. wipe your feet.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

kitty litter: just desserts for wanting to write

(inspired, no less, by the title of my thesis adviser's blog. i had two choices, really: the other one was pussy poo. i'm not sure.)

commercial: just two seconds ago, i was subjected to the vilest form of torture known to younger brothers who have older sisters - a used (operative word) bra was placed on top of my head. this needs no further explanation.

there have been countless of times when i've been faced with moments of uncertainty, especially when it comes to writing. i can't exactly recall who said it, must be Gay Talese or John McPhee, that writing, for him, is a painful process. it should hurt. imagine mutilating yourself, taking a big chunk out of your cerebrum, running it through a food processor, picking up the clumps of chunky-guisado brain tissue, and garnishing them on a blank sheet of bond paper.

am i exaggerating? yes. but, the transubstantiation of ideas to words on a page, though less graphic, is an experience that exemplifies that very violence i described in the previous paragraph. there's something masochistic about writing (especially memoirs), reliving experiences best kept in the cobwebbed corners of the forgotten. writing is an arduous task. even thinking up words like "arduous", and wondering if you spelled and used it right, is, in itself, arduous. This explains why most people, myself included, find writing difficult. nay. absolutely excruciating.

is it the anxiety we are subjected to when confronted with the whiteness of MS Word's blank document that prevents us from transcribing our thoughts? or is it the pressure we succumb to when threatened with the inevitability of our deadlines looming just beyond the horizon (read too many Choose Your Own Adventure books). in my case, i think it's much simpler - i've got nothing to write about.

you can say, "hey, beefcake, sure you do. everyone does." and this is proven by the proliferation of the ubiquitous carlo-sat-beside-me-today blogs, ceaseless musings on trivialities otherwise known as "my life." they usually begin with "you won't believe what happened to me today."

what? you got abducted by aliens in Von Dutch t-shirts? or did you meet your longtime idol, pinoy action star legend, Roi Vinzon?

"i sneezed..."

and your medulla oblongata came out your nose?

"...and i forgot to say 'excuse.'"

you mean, "excuse me."

"no, 'excuse' lang. i am pinoy after all."

let me quote anonymous - "what's the fuck?" unlike the blogs i read diligently (grossy's, orange's, matabangpusa's, faustus's - naks, faustus level), the ones that thrive in the internet's "midwest" often assume that the detailing of one's colorful burgis life deserves a Pulitzer. well, it's not the alleged colorful burgis life that annoys me, but the manner of telling. before i totally regress and sound like an anglo-am new critic, it's best that i move on to my point - although everyone is gifted with enough material (one's life) to draw from, i don't believe i am a skilled enough writer to make my dull and uneventful life appear mildly entertaining in print.

so, that brings me back to my initial problem - i have nothing to write about. but, as always, there is that silver lining that one eventually sees. the solution to my problem lies in Thoreau and every boy scout who found living in the great outdoors and being a human beef jerky to an angry grizzly a fascinating experience. i can write about the natural world. about butterflies and shit.

and that's what i did, i sought for inspiration in mother nature's bosom (not the only thing i sought, believe that). i went out our front door and allowed myself to experience nature, at its finest - even though we're only talking about my front yard. well, it's not as breathtaking as Thailand's jungle tour, but i did see (or suffer) a couple of interesting things in that tiny patch of Kakarong1 paradise. there were the two malunggay tree stumps and the little green branches sprouting from where i hacked off the tree's upper torso. it kind of reminded me of Trolls, those mad-looking dolls suffering from the ephemeral bad-hair day, we all had in the early 90's - the little green branches, with the tiny yellow-green malunggay leaves, looked like the stump's gravity defying hair. there were also the scattered leguminous herbs made famous by leprechauns and all things Irish, that disturbed the homogeneity of the carabao grass. i also noticed the beauty of our decaying house, hairline cracks that climb the length of our white stone walls. and lastly, the roof that covers the car port and its wooden beams hollowed by the insatiable appetite of termites.

nice, i thought. contrasting the serenity of our lawn and the dilapidated state of our fifty year-old house is enough for one good blog entry. but as i turned towards the front door, a familiar smell caught my attention.

the thing with cat turd is that it seldom manifests itself in our presence. it lurks in some ingenious hiding place - cats are known to be discreet and subtle, even in their fecal activities (those who don't cover their "mess" with litter box dirt is shunned in the cat community, like the way we hang those who fail to flush). unlike the smell of dog shit, which is often anticipated because we see the freshly digested sculpture sun-baked in the middle of the street, pussy poo (there, i used it. this is an NC-17 website.), mimicking the predatory instinct of the wildcat, sneaks up on its prey, and without warning, pounces on the unassuming victim. nothing prepares one for the reek of kitty litter.

at this point, the parallel can't be more obvious. writing can be quite the olfactory experience. sometimes, it really stinks.

1 - the name of our street. had a tough time telling my classmates back in third grade where i lived. they were all like, "Chicharong?"


Blogger mush said...

hehe...this comment has nothing to do with kitty litter. i just remembered watching an anime movie about cats...I think the title is 'The Cat Returns.' That was a cute movie.:) Wala lang, share ko lang.

12:32 AM

Blogger Les said...

Since big fan ako ng Blog ni Mia eh naging fan na rin ako ng Blog mo since ikaw ang madalas magcomment sa kanya. Hehehe. Wala lang. astig yung mga entries mo kasi halatang pinagisipan. It's kinda relieving to find good literature on the net after laughing my head off while reading Friendster profiles of random people. (HMMM...maybe i should collate the really hilarious ones..."Excuse Me, Mali Grammar Mo: A Compilation of Friendster Profiles")

5:38 PM

Blogger Les said...

Ay. Si Les nga pala to. :)

5:40 PM

Blogger grossy said...

Parang nagiging Friendster 'tong blog mo. FACADIST! Kunwari ayaw mag Friendster, ang dami namang "testimonial" ng blog! Kulang nalang ilagay mo yung pic na...(*duct tape over mouth*)

I love you for being a writer. Your thoughts about the MS Word screen? I couldn't have put it better. Actually, I don't know what is worse. A BLANK MS Word window, or an MS Word window with your name, student number and course. I know you get me.

Let's drink to that!

12:46 PM

Blogger orange said...

there is ALWAYS something to write about. or, more specifically, there is always something FUNNY to write about.

or, briefly, everything has a funny side.

or, given a random set of events, you will always find an angle you can laugh at.

or maybe, just maybe, this comment started out profound and ended up pretentious and contrived. demmit.

9:36 PM

Blogger orange said...

i miss faustus. i don't read him as regularly as i used to. arencha glad i introduced this gay grammar genius to you?

so, do you want me to introduce you to real, live gay grammar geniuses?

9:46 PM

Blogger Kitty Litter said...

Wow, nainspire sa akin! Good to see you writing again. I'd like to pick your brains (and that comment was unbelievably gross) on the blog as literature. I think it's so apt, what you wrote re blogs that make issues out of "Umatsing me!" versus the really well-written ones. My friend Joey, on, edits Inquirer Infotech and he also champions the cause of the literary blog. Gay Talese was so right; CNF is the literature of reality, and as such, there is the literary and the non-literary. Too bad too many blogs are junk. I like clicking on the "Next Blog" list and I've found lots of trash on Blogspot. Conversely, I've also stumbled on some well-written things; there's a lovely essay on gift wrapping with cats, for one, on

So will you help me with the paper? WIll acknowledge you publicly in a professorial lecture!

Ano nga pala uli yung blog na pinatignan mo sa akin?Lost my bookmarks when I tried to organize them (story of my lie) so pasend naman uli.

By the way, will change my Sun cell nunber. Got a free Sure Load sim with a cool number, so will switch there soon ;p

10:58 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s 11:00 in the morning and your energy is waning. Minutes seem to tick by like hours and your mind feels foggy. You’ve still got six more hours to look alert and act productive and get over cause of anxiety, so how do you cope with the afternoon blahs? Follow these six tips!

1. If you have a job that involves sitting at a desk all day or staring at a computer screen, take five minutes to stand up or lean back, close your eyes and stretch, especially in your shoulder and leg areas. Being seated all the time can make your whole body feel stiff and sleepy. A good stretch session helps limber up your body and gets the blood flowing again.

2. Avoid the tempting lure of caffeine or sugar-laden foods such as coffee, tea or chocolate. Caffeine may perk up your energy levels temporarily, but it also has a bad habit of leaving you sluggish after the effect has worn off. Instead, choose whole grain foods, fruits and vegetables to give your body the fuel it really wants! Eating healthier will boost your mood, elevate your alertness, change cause of anxiety and make you feel better all day long.

3. Along with healthier foods, take a quick 10-15 minute walk during your lunch break. Just a few minutes will give you a burst of energy that refreshes you and makes you feel more alert – while burning off your lunch calories in the process!

4. Sometimes, afternoon slumps can be your body’s way of telling you that it needs something. You may be feeling tired if your blood sugar is low (which happens especially after the effect of those caffeine and high sugar foods has worn off!). Packing a low calorie snack like graham crackers, granola, fruit or vegetable slices can give your body a boost and keep you from feeling hungry in the late afternoon and caving in to the urge to devour the entire contents of the vending machine after work!

5. Drowsiness is often a sign that you’re not getting enough water. Drinking more water throughout the day not only helps keep you awake, but also keeps you from feeling those hunger pangs that inevitably creep up in mid-morning. Taking a large sports bottle that you can drink from throughout the day is a great way to get your recommended eight glasses a day as well!

6. If afternoon fatigue is a recurring problem, it may be a side effect of medications you are taking. Allergy pills are well known culprits, as are some blood pressure and anxiety/depression medicines. Don’t try to circumvent these effects with caffeine, otherwise you’ll overload your body with stimulants while it’s already trying to deal with drowsiness, and you’ll feel mentally and physically exhausted. Instead, try a short 15-20 minute catnap. You’ll be surprised how refresh you’ll feel when you wake up! (Don’t try this at work though – I know it’s tempting!)

If you follow these tips on a regular basis, you’ll not only make it through the afternoon blahs, but you’ll also feel better physically and mentally, sleep better at night, and wake up rejuvenated and re-energized the next morning. Make it a GREAT day! cause of anxiety

1:28 PM

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