I am curious by nature; about the world, about people. When I started reading blogs, I always ask myself: who are these people? Why do they write what they write? And, what are the things they don't write?
I decided to start a series of interviews with writers, bloggers, artists, and friends that I will publish here in my blog. The project will be called Spit Roast: spit it out while you roast. It is my hope that by having a dialogue with them, I will learn more about who they are, and who they are not.
And ultimately, every discovery about the other leads us back to the discovery of the self.
Many many months ago, I came across a blog entry about smoking. The writer talked about his memories of cigarettes and how it figured in different episodes of his life.
I liked the way he wrote it so I decided to post this comment.
I love this story. Your style reminds me of Raymond Carver, sparse, quiet, elegant, tender.
"And so I huff. And I puff. Until I blow my house down."
The writer wrote back.
You're very sweet, Kane. Thank you. I don't know about "sparse" but even Raymond Carver once objected to being edited. His story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love." is something I think we've all done at one point in our lives. Sitting around getting wasted as more truths come out the drunker we get.
But since I am an unwilling teetotaler these days, there is no in vino veritas for me. Only in fumo fantasia.
I was floored. Wow, he actually knows who Raymond Carver is. And the story, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love". And who uses the word teetotaler, anyway?
My curiosity was piqued. Who is this guy? I became a regular reader of his stories. His style was distinctive,
And there are times when we would exchange banters.
One time, he wrote about Pink and her song Just Like a Pill. I made a comment about his entry.
Around six weeks ago, you said
"Actually, what made me wince and want to burn the damn diary was seeing how angst-ridden I was, and how stupid, and how roundly ignorant of so many things."
So, still angst-ridden after all these years, are we? =) This is my favorite Pink song. I hope things will get better soon. =)
In his reply, he said this:
Ah, you've caught me at a rather vulnerable time ;) No matter how hard we try, there will always be chinks in the armor.
At the risk of pre-empting the follow-up to this post, I will say that while we do change, we do not change completely. I will always have angst: what has changed is what I am angsty about, and how much, and what I do - or do not do - about it.
The same goes for my stupidity and my ignorance. I am wiser in some things, stupider in others, and yet ever-ignorant about many more.
It is a process that goes on until we die. We adapt. We learn. We change, or we perish. Which says volumes about my decade of slow, almost imperceptible, but sure decay.
I answered back.
Hahaha nagulat ako ang haba ng reply mo. And at the risk of sounding like your philosophy teacher, I will say that while we do not change completely, we do change. Some more than others.
Some changes are imperceptible, you barely notice them. What we are angsty about, and no longer angsty about. Wisdom tells us which things really matter most, after all.
And we can only hope as our bodies decay, our minds will glow ever brighter. =)
The first time I left a comment on his blog, he promised me one thing... that he will try not to be boring. And he wasn't.
His writings stretch from a tribute to Alexander McQueen, an analysis of the architectural design of Manila to the occasional critique of religion. He adored the play of words, I told him once, he is a wordsmith.
Whenever I would attend a party hosted by a blogger, I would always ask: is he here? Alas, as I discovered, nobody knows who he is.
I found out he is reclusive and reticent, much like a hermit living in the mountains. So I decided to climb the mountain and look for him. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you... Rudeboy.
Why do you blog?
I started blogging almost a year ago because I thought I was going to die and wanted to get my thoughts down.
I might publish the actual entries that I wrote as I counted down to what I believed then was my impending doom. I had read up enough on the thing to know that I had a three-month window between a hideous death and the possibility of a reprieve.
So why are you still blogging until now?
Coz I ain't dead yet?
But now that you're no longer going to die… or at least, I hope death is not imminent
HAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, you're dashing the hopes of so many of my foes. bad, BAD boy.
(Grins.) What's the story behind your blog name?
Both components of my blog name were truer at one point than they are now. I was rude, and once upon a time, I was but a boy.
Maturity, unfortunately, may sharpen the wit, but it takes the edge off the cruelty.
Perhaps I should change it to Grumpy Daddy.
What is the most significant/memorable blog post you've ever read?
Easily the one Eternal Wanderer wrote about a friend of his whose mother had just recently died - Memento Mori was the blog post. The friend's poignant words "Wala na si Nanay. Wala na akong masungit na ina." unexpectedly struck me, and I suddenly wanted to cry.
Maybe it was the matter-of-fact delivery of the bereaved friend, which belied the depths of his loss. Or the practical/existential question of who would now tend the lost mother's orchid garden. Or maybe because mothers are the first important people in a child's life and no one ever wants to lose theirs - no matter how nagging, overbearing, controlling, or imperfectly human they might be.
What is the most significant/memorable blog post you've ever written?
To You, By Way Of Pink, because it's the most personal.
That song pretty much said everything about how I feel about ...well, you're a sharp cookie. And in my moments of despair, that's exactly what I want to do.
Run just as fast I can ... to the middle of nowhere...
You know, that is my favorite entry of yours too. Very raw... and honest. We all wanted to run away, at some point in our lives.
Ah... I think it's a shared human experience, isn't it?
Who are your favorite bloggers and why?
This is gonna burn, innit?
Okay, right off the top of my head, then. And in no particular order - just like a beaucon.
1. citybuoy - I was impressed by the unpretentiousness of his posts, coupled with excellent writing skills. A rare combination, indeed. Also, smart boys have a special appeal for me, and Nyl already knows - or if he doesn't yet, he sure hell knows now - that I would like to fuck his brains out.
2. Eternal Wanderer - Because he is my chat friend and because he is silly. That is all.
3. Mandaya Moore - Insert Current BF's Surname Here - Again, refreshingly candid and devoid of pretense. It was a delight to backread all his entries and the unfolding of the many twists and turns of his personal life was a joyful treat.
4. Joel McVie - Sage and smart and straightforward, but never boring. Occasionally sassy and also has a shallow side, which is also refreshing. Unrelentingly emo blogs get duller faster than a date with a mow-del.
And Joel was also the first blogger to link to mine, so there's that. I'm not totally all sour cream and chives - I can get sentimental, too.
5. Engel - His coming out and coming to terms with all that entails is a work in progress that I follow with great interest.
6. Kane - Siempre kasama ka, and not just because you wrote this Proust Questionnaire. I always read your posts - though I don't always comment - because as I told you once, you are a writer among bloggers.
If it isn't evident by now, I am fascinated by the juxtaposition of elements that at first glance seem at odds with each other. You, for instance, can easily come across as a flighty pretty boy whose interests do not seem to go beyond his chichi friends, the drama of his lovelife, or the importance of eyeshadow.
But it is the depth beneath that glossy surface that continually interests me.
Errr. What eyeshadow? (I hate you Rudeboy. Was that really necessary?)
But seriously, you're making me blush Rudie. Thank you.
More often than not, we do find people who understand us, our stories. But once in a while, you meet someone who understands you in exactly the same way you wanted to be understood. You have said as much, I think, but it is eerie how we are in the same page sometimes.
The people you mentioned will bear closer examination from here on. =) Most, if not all of them, are wildly popular and are well-known for their writing skills.
Your profile doesn't include a contact information. Was this a deliberate choice so people cannot contact you directly except through your blog?
What a sharp cookie you are, indeed.
Yes, I didn't include contact info in my profile because I figured if people had something to say, they could say it in the Comments Section.
Also, I didn't think it was relevant. It's a blog, not a goddamned g4m profile.
And also, as you know by now, I very seldom check my "personal" (read: booty call) email account, and as you also know, I loathe texting even more than I loathe Arroyo.
Errr. Rudie, I think it's now called PlanetRomeo. Just an FYI =)
Why are you reclusive and reticent? Are you open to the idea that people you meet through your blog can become ... well... friends?
Ah there's a question. Which deserves an honest answer.
I have no doubt we'll meet in person, you and I. But in the same manner that, as you observed, I have no contact info in my blog. I'd like to choose who I'd like to meet. It's not that I'm snooty.
You're aware how vicious this community can be. We all love rumors, of course, but it's never fun when one is the subject of chatter, let's admit it. A decade ago I wouldn't have minded in the least. But nowadays, well, life saddles me with other concerns.
Such as seven dogs and one cat =).
Seven dogs now. My cat has gone missing =(
Yes. But cats are what they are.
Do you smoke less now? That was one of your promises for 2010.
Wow, and I was just thinking of blogging about that in a Mid-Year Report.
Alas, not one of those promises to myself has been kept. Miles have gone and I have slept.
You mentioned before you cannot drink alcohol until this year according to your doctor's advice. Why was that? Are you allowed to drink alcohol now?
Did you backread everyone else's posts? I'm impressed at the journalistic background-checking here, impressed, I say!
I couldn't drink because it was directly related to that potentially life-threatening thing I mentioned above. It just sounds more dramatic than it actually is. It's not like my liver has bailed on me or anything - it was actually something a little more boring and stupid than that, but no less potentially fatal.
As a child, I was brought up never to disobey doctor's orders. Hence, I wish he'd forbidden me to stop smoking as well, but since that had no bearing on the previous threat to my earthly existence, well...
I've since been happily reunited with San Mig Light (or Cerveza Negra), but like an old flame, the reunion was bittersweet. I just can't hold my liquor like I used to. Or maybe it's but part of a larger whole.
I am a partyboy no more.
Why did you choose an Italian car?
Because she's an Alfa and that's reason enough.
And now that I've had my tempestuous and expensive Italian fling, I'm ready for some German lovin'.
I noticed you rarely talk about your relationships in your blog. Do you have a boyfriend?
Question is: do I want one? Better yet, do I need one? Or one more, as it so happens.
Oooh. That is probably another story.
Based on your tags, you are equally fascinated with shallowness and reflections. =) Why is that?
Again, the juxtaposition of odd elements, which aren't usually commonly perceived to go together. Like brawn and brains. Bloggers and sense. Lady Gaga and taste. And so on.
What do you think is your public image as a blogger? How do you think people see you? And, is that accurate?
I can't honestly say I spend much time thinking about it, although I will admit to a little curiosity as to how readers perceive me via the things I write.
If they think about me at all, I think most readers must think I'm a brooding, opinionated dick. An occasionally reflective dick, but a dick nonetheless. I daresay I've lost a follower or two because of my snide remarks about the Holy Roman Emperor Palpatine or Catholicism in general, or my unsolicited opinions on how doomed to fail some people's quests for "love" are because they can't yet distinguish "love" from "lust", but hey, dem there's the breaks.
Surely you've scanned my comments sections, investigative journo that you are hehe, and I don't get scads of swooning adulation or fawning compliments.
Which is just how I like it. I appreciate being read at all. That people actually take precious time to read my ramblings is a gift and an honor in itself. But getting comments is a special bonus which I do not take lightly. That readers, by and large, respond to whatever blog topics I've written about, and share their own takes on the matter, is rewarding. I enjoy the back-and-forth in the Comments Section, and I do try to reply to each one - except maybe the Chinese spammers, to whom I can only extend a heartfelt piao xi, xie xie.
Based on your stories, you seem like a man weary of life. There's a little bit of tiredness in some of them. Why is that? Are you ... happy?
As for weariness... Well, you know.
As for happiness, I'll be happy when I buy that Porsche.
Every guest gets a chance to ask one question.
Rudeboy: Does your biggest fault match your biggest virtue?
Your question assumes too many things; that 1) I actually have faults (grins), and better yet, 2) I actually have virtues (grins wider).
Alas Rudie, as you may have learned, the taming of the shrew can require a lifetime of work. You may have cut the hydra's head only to discover seven more sprouted in its place.
But I'd like to believe that our demons, no matter how complex, can be tamed by the desire to be good. And since I'd like to be good, then perhaps that desire is my greatest virtue. Which can be greater than all my flaws combined.
Still, there are some monsters that we may have to live with the rest of our lives. Or not.
Who knows, eh?
1 hour ago