Wednesday, May 26, 2004

A couple of days ago we had a workout/tryout for our softball team. A few girls showed up for the 3 spots we have open for our team. A couple were impressive, and the rest were just kinda window dressing. One of the girls trying out for the team played shortstop (my position), and she looked impressive. She fielded each ground ball smoothly, and she had a wicked arm. I could see some of my teammates whisper to each other, and I felt a sense that I could lose my position. So I took infield practice with her, and we both suddenly fighting for the position. The guys were hitting challenging groundballs to the hole, and we were getting to them like we were the second coming of Ozzie Smith. Then after a few more groundballs, they wanted to check her mobility so they hit some pop flies, fortunately I'm just a tad quicker to react. On one fly ball I was going back for, I tripped on the grass and landed on my shoulders. I knew I tweaked it a little bit, but I didn't want to say anything. Then yesterday, my shoulders were killing me. So we have another workout tomorrow, which I won't be able to participate in, and she might just steal my position. Oh well, there's nothing wrong playing the outfield, but shortstop is my home.

Well according to my birth certificate, I was born 28 years ago today. And yet I still feel like life is just beginning for me. I really feel young. I felt old when I turned 21, but the last few years its as if I reversed my aging process. When I was in my early 20's people thought I was much older, and now that I am in my late 20's people think I am much younger. I think the secret is running. Since I discovered running, I've had more energy and motivation. And I feel genuinely good mentally and physically.

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Mary's In India (Dido), Mandinka (Sinead O'Conner), Same (Snow Patrol), Troubled Mind (Everything But The Girl), Closing Time (Semisonic), Life On A Chain (Pete Yorn), Truly (Delerium), and Glory Box (Portishead).

Monday, May 24, 2004

Early Sunday morning, everyone slowly waking up after a night of partying...
CHAR: Do you have a cat?
CHAR: So how come my mouth smells like a cat shit in there?

... that Moment of Clarity was brought to you by the number 37.

As you get older, Birthday parties tend to lose a little bit of their luster. It's especially hard to celebrate a birthday when you practically treat every weekend as if its my birthday. But this weekend was a great birthday party celebration.

Brook drove up from San Diego with Cheryl and Char. It was great to see Brook after all these months. We're both consciously connected after our experiences in New Orleans. Cheryl and Char were great, they had this contagious electricity that fueled our night.

Our first stop was karaoke at the historic, Dimples nightclub in Burbank. We were unfortunate enough to have a really crappy waitress, and our group was able to do only one song because there were so many people there. But Vanessa and Erica joined me for a rendition of George Michael's "Faith". After a few more liquid martinis, we hopped over to the Three of Clubs, and danced the night away. The DJ was pretty intriguing, he found a way to mix 80's music with hip hop. So we had all these odd song combinations of Billie Jean and Milkshake, and In Da Club and Closer. Our night slowly set back at the pad, where we watch SNL episodes, and made fun of the dogs. I'm sure there are other details I missed out here, but give a man a bone if he can't remember his birthday party.

Three things that made the night special:

1. I reunited with old friends.
2. I reconnected with present friends.
3. and I met new friends.

It's as if the past, present, and future collided into one smorgasbord of fun, debauchery, and lushfulness. I hadn't seen Darrin for over a decade, and thanks to the wonderful invention of Friendster, we were able to reunite after all these years. I was smiling all night, and really felt a little bit closer to each person that joined us in this celebration.

I've never liked to celebrate my birthday, because I hated becoming the center of attention. I've always preferred to deflect any honor or recognition away from me, even if its my birthday. So there were no cakes, there were no "special surprises". I just enjoyed the presence of all my friends being in the same room, and seeing how they all interact with each other. That means a lot to me. I think as I grew older, I am slowly able to understand the impact and importance of friendship in my life.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Apparently Andy Kaufman has been hiding out for the past twenty years, and finally came out of hiding on his 20th Death Anniversary. This has turned out to be what will inevitably be known as the greatest comic prank ever conceived. Andy Kaufman, by all accounts, is alive and well at age 55 and is now living in New York City on the upper west side.

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Same (Snow Patrol), La Cienega Just Smiled (Ryan Adams), Destiny (Zero 7), All The Lazy Dykes (Morrissey), Logical Song (Supertramp), Plush (Stone Temple Pilots), Traveller (Talvin Singh), No Need To Ask Baby (Taucher), and Just A Ride (Jem).

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

When you chose to take that dirty blue pill,
you told me forever and always,
without knowing that always is forever.
When the music and the rhythm took your soul away,
you left me stranded to fend off the natives.

Maybe someone else is looking for me across
this kaleidoscope room. But, instead we chose
forever and always...
Before the truth comes out to eclipse the moon,
can we sit one last time before the solitaire roof
falls on top of us.

I am diving head-first into your shallow pool.
liquid oxygen
and just then Los Feliz grinned at me.

Before the sun woke up to close your eyelids,
we slid back and forth into the abyss,
that has been charming us
like a mad car salesman.

Then we laid down our tired bodies on the lawn
for mother earth to warm and comfort.
I saw the worms crawl up from the dirt,
and wriggle their way
to breath the blue morning air.

He paused, and seemed to look at me.
We stared at each other, before he began to dig
back underground.

I felt at peace knowing that he will dine
on my flesh
when all of this is said and done.
Hey Ryan

I’m really excited to hear from you. I actually purchased In the Blink of an I, along with Babaylan An Anthology of Filipina and Filipina American Writers, through B& in search of some cultural literary a couple years ago. I loved the poetry so much that I took it along during my various road trips to Vegas & Frisco. Then I lost it. I can’t believe I’m actually admitting this to you. You’re probably thinking wtf?!? But just think, some rental car representative is probably enjoying some really good poetry at this moment due to my forgetfulness.

I can’t think of the exact poems that I enjoyed. But I do faintly remember images of grass grazing the legs of a girl as she ran through the field. That was my favorite poem. And of course the poem about Manila. I’ll know the titles when I hear it.

I wish I could be of more help. I love poetry & music. I’m a very simple person without any extraordinary talent to express my feelings. All I know is that I connected to your poetry and it captured my imagination. And you have become one of my favorite artists.

Well much love and respect goes out to you, especially from the Filipino community. You represent a refreshing dimension of us. And as much as I love the arts, I love my community. And I look forward to its growth and success.


Tuesday, May 18, 2004

My book In The Blink Of An I was published two years ago, and I was a little reluctant to accept my role and responsibility to my craft and community. I am proud of what I have written, but it was often misunderstood by the critical mass, which I really couldn't care less about. But every once in a while, I find a little niche in this world that actually understands the purpose of my writings. After doing a google search of my name, I found out that there are some people out there who have actually listed my name as their favorite author, along the likes of Jessica Hagedorn, Carlos Bulosan, Arlene Chai, and Maya Angelou. I had to pinch myself twice and read it carefully. My name amongst those giants of literature and poetry?

To have touched and inspired one person from my book would have been enough, but to see the genesis of my book, start from its humble beginnings as a few scribbles on a notebook, to the printed press, and now being listed as a favorite author. I've been always surprised by the random fan mails I get as a result from my book, and I always feel awkward about responding to it. It is definitely inspiring to know that something I've written has struck a chord with people. It gives me the inspiration to finish up my second book and really try to reach more people with it.

So I decided to send her a message:

Hi Jennifer::

I know this is pretty random. My name is Ryan Jesena, and I was doing a google search on my name and your profile appeared. I was surprised to discover that you had included me as one of your favorite writers, alongside the literary giants such as Hagedorn, Bulosan, and Chai. I am honored to be mentioned alongside their names. I would like to briefly hear a little bit about what you thought of my book or any specific poems that impacted you. I am currently writing my second book, and I think it might be beneficial for me to understand how to better connect with my readership. Thank you for supporting the arts...


I had just read one of the funniest scams I have ever heard in a long time. Basically it started out as a basic ebay scam, and with the victim turning the tables on the scammer. It's amazing how technology and the internet has united a community to get back against the frauds and cons of this world.

Monday, May 17, 2004

I played hookie last week, I went camping with Steffi to Catalina Island. Things have been getting weird between us since she came up to hang out with me. I just began losing respect and her integrity was being flushed down the toilet, and that's really unfortunate. We had become close friends after our trip to Mardi Gras, but her incapability to communicate with me was slowly grinding at me. I was also not comfortable with the lies that she was dishing out to her boyfriend. I get really suspicious of her motives to be with a person that she claims she is in love with, but constantly cheats behind his back.

It all blew up at the island. When she began to pout like a 12 year old child when she didn't get her way. And I wasn't about to take it anymore, so we parted ways. I partied down in Avalon, while she locked herself in her tent. I don't want to diss her, because I think deep inside she is a great girl that's a little bit more lost than she would like to admit. She's too apprehensive about letting other people really get to know her.

Despite it all I had a blast in Catalina Island. I began my night hanging out at Luau Larry's, when I met these two guys who came over with their own boat. At first we were inundated by the locals, all in their 40's, just having a good time. Then came the high school teachers from Conejo Valley. Boy where they ready to let loose. Years of pent up sexual repression was released in a flurry of wild behavior. It's as if they wanted to relive their Girls Gone Wild moments during that weekend. I probably shouldn't reveal anymore of the sordid details, after all I have to have my secrets, but feel free to presume what happened.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

A co-worker of mine showed me the video of the beheading of the U.S. Hostage, and it really made me sick. I couldn't even see the whole video. It was very painful to watch. He also had some of the prisoner abuse photographs, and those were just as despicable to watch. This whole war is slowly unraveling into a disaster. And it's frustrating to see it unfold in front of your eyes. I think this is quickly becoming another Vietnam, and that is just unfortunate. I still feel sick in my stomach, I want to throw up...

Monday, May 10, 2004


Clare, Steffi, and I went to see Snow Patrol perform at the Amoeba Records in Hollywood, and I think we all came away as big fans of the band. There is a certain degree of charm and charisma that a lead singer of a band needs to connect with the audience, and this band definitely has it. Pick up their latest album, Final Straw, and take a listen to Chocolate, Run, and Spitting Games, you won't be disappointed.


This weekend was pretty crazy. Said goodbye to Hal. I'm still fending off the little demons that have suddenly appeared into my consciousness. I am running on 16 hours of sleep since Friday. Drowning in Red Bull to stay alive, like liquid drano, my pugilist eyes are straining to keep its focus.

On Saturday, Steffi and I went to Spundae. And Spundae was just as predictable and intellectually banal as I had predicted. Gone are days of creative discourse and spiritual enlightenment; flooded by laziness, absurdity, and Hollywood. It was so sad to see this place disintegrate over the past few years. This institution is turning 3 years old, and within that time span since I had discovered this place, it had regressed within its own popularity and success. It definitely was a symbolic change of an era for me. On to greener pastures.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

As I am writing this Steffi is on her way up here. All I can hope for is that I don't end up in jail this weekend (maybe I shouldn't be writing that). Does anyone know a good bail bondsman? I'd feel more comfortable going out with that information. I think a lot changed within me during my trip to Mardi Gras, I am still reeling from its effects. There is something to be said when you're trapped inside a tiny car driving through the ass crack of Texas. But at this point in my life, I feel at peace with where I am and where I am going. If you told me two years ago that this is where I would be at this point in my life, I would've probably thought you were on drugs. But seeing how things tend to work itself out, I haven't felt more comfortable and at ease about my mortality and purpose.

Clare, Sandy, Mike, Steffi, and I will be going to see an outstanding up and coming band, Snow Patrol. This is the first time I will be seeing Clare since the incident. And the incident is definitely not resolved yet. I expect a million questions about it tomorrow. Then on Saturday, I will be introducing Steffi to Spundae. I know this can go one way or the other. She can either really enjoy the experience, or she can totally hate it. We'll see what happens here...

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Irish Blood, English Heart (Morrissey), 99 Problems (Jay-Z), Don't Leave (Faithless), Paper Bag (Fiona Apple), Don't Look Back In Anger (Oasis), Fidelity (Starsailor) and My Number (Tegan And Sara).

Monday, May 03, 2004

My weekends tend to be a hodgepodge of random things and events, all resulting in debauchery and drunkeness. On Saturday, I went reluctantly with the boys to Avalon (formerly The Palace). Hal and I kinda drank my homemade Moonshine (Vodka, Filipino rum [Tanduay], Red Bull, a splash of 99 Apples, and a dash of Carribean rum). We were pretty happy before we even reached the entrance of the club.

As soon as we got in, I began to realize that I totally have a different dynamic and intent when I go out with a group guys than with girls. With guys, it seems our testosterone overcomes all our senses and we enter this pack mentality. We enter this hunting mode, searching for prey. Our instincts completely take over, and when you're under the influence you're not too aware of some of the things that you do.

When I go out with a group of girls, there are times that I feel like I am the prey, or traitor. I have experienced other guys try their best to get rid of me, by simply: a) trying to get me drunk, b) pick a fight with me, c) hook me up with some other girl so they can infiltrate my pride. It's very different dynamics. With women I'm a little bit more relaxed, I don't feel the intrinsic desire to hunt; but with men I have this unnerving and intrinsic desire to hunt.

Well I hunted all night Saturday, and I'm not quiet sure if I'm happy with my catch. Can I throw it back in the ocean??

Steffi will be coming up this Thursday to spend her last few weeks in the states with me here in L.A. I have a big night planned for us on Saturday, I just hope it all works out. Things never quiet work out anyway, but I am very much interested to see how this all develops...