Pride and spectacle (part 1)

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It was a very hectic weekend. My old friend G from Arizona visited in time for the pride weekend. San Francisco is your mecca, she’s told me more than once. And there’s no better time to be gay in San Francisco than on pride weekend.

On Saturday, we spent a good long hour trying to locate one freaking parking spot around Castro. When we’re about to give up and go home, we found one. We walked about 4 blocks and found a nice, local coffee shop called Four Barrel. Interiors are that of a rice or coffee bean mill warehouse. They serve from two counters – one where people just want their coffee simple and ready to go, the other counter was for real coffee connoisseur where, at least to me, a caffeine fix is complicated. I had iced coffee, which tasted like nothing I’ve tried before: it’s rustic and deep (there I risked sounding pretentious; I don’t really know what I mean by that!)

G and I watched the people milling around outside the huge glass windows. We were seated at a bar that looks out at the sidewalk where there is an extended al fresco bar that spills over the sidewalk onto the street. In one of the al fresco bar was this romantic gay couple who couldn’t keep their hands to oneself. We could not decide if they just met each other and was excited about their new explorations or was breaking up  and was doing some, you know, breakup cuddle? G thought they may have been far apart for a long time and just got together again. The other guy eyes tell me he loves the other more. Those were some dewy, sweet, kind pair of eyes.

That night Castro was practically closed to traffic. There was block party. I knew it as street party. But there was really no centralized musical or party event. People just put out some blasting speakers and played party music. The gays just went on finding a favorite spot and partied on, with or without clothes. Apartments looking over the streets have their window blinds opened to topless men or women gyrating to the crowd, even in playful competition with the boobs from the other window across the street. I saw a man perhaps in his 70s strutting his shrunk stuff (it was a cold night). My night need not have that memory when I want to look back a few prides later, I thought to myself.

We met with G’s lesbian Vietnamese friend who was with her other Asian fusion lesbian friends in a – you guessed it – Vietnamese restaurant to have dinner. I wasn’t hungry though I should be. Too much new things make my digestive system act weird. I had Saigon beer and some egg rolls (both were amazing). We went back to the street party, found a bunch of people dancing, no, wasted-dancing in front of a Victorian house. I let the lesbians hump and thrust their crotches into each other. I watched them hunt their preys. Not two seconds passed and their already feeling up stoned chick. Stoned chick would later ask to the entire town if anybody has water. Apparently she was feeling hot because when she came back, hello titties!

Lesbians continued on their rampage and moved on from the stoned chick to a couple of goths. One was Asian, which my Asian companions apparently don’t dig as much. They aimed their crossbows to the white, goth girl. I swear I just blinked. I blinked and G’s Vietnamese friend was deep in the goth’s mouth already. And they frenched and frenched forever the French may have recovered from recession after.

Don’t you dare let me derail your adventures girl, I told G when we were waiting for the tongue-tied to breathe for air. You go on and kiss a girl, too.


Written by markus

June 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Posted in Travel

Tagged with , ,

Sunrise, roads, blood

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Today I had the whole day all to myself. I woke up before 6AM to take my roommate to the airport. I will not sleep anymore later when I go home, I told him on the way. I went back home, reveled at the sight of the rising orange sun. I was on my way to the bathroom to shower but my foot took me to the bed and off I dreamt of lovely things happening.

I awoke an hour or so later. I showered, donned a new pair of board shorts and walked to a restaurant for a sumptuous (oily) breakfast. I don’t know why I keep ordering pancakes. I never finish them. I walked back home. Sun was bursting. It must be approaching 90 degrees, I said to myself. I noticed in the horizon streams of jet smoke with indistinct patterns. Someone decided it’s a good day to drive an aircraft and play. It was.

Then I took the car, loaded a bit up on gas and aimed at the Pacific Ocean. I drove for miles and miles of lovely seascapes and landscapes along the coast. I stopped to ogle at the majesty numerous times.

I thought of the Philippines, how equally beautiful its coasts and mountains are. I thought of solo travel, how that’s the only real way to travel and explore. I thought about the speed limit, how no one follows it. I thought about the seagulls, how they’re so many and noisy when they hover past above you. I thought about the seal resting on the rocks on the shore, how they stare adorably at us humans.

I thought about writing, how I’ve missed drawing blood.

Written by markus

June 16, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Posted in Travel

A little Kindle review from the Kindle itself

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So this is me raving about my new Kindle, a Kindle Touch.

In four words: I am a fan.

  1. It is so lightweight. Suddenly my old Kindle felt like a 2000-page book.
  2. It fits in my backpocket! That just means I need to be extra cautious before sitting down.
  3. It is very easy now to look up a word. Long press on the word and voila! Aside from definition showing up as a dialog box, you can also add a note, just highlight or share.
  4. The touchscreen. I am quite late to jump into the touch bandwagon. This is my first touchscreenn device and I am so hooked! It just feels so natural and intuitive to tap, flip, pinch when you want it to do something. I love the onscreen keyboard I keep on adding notes to my highlights.
  5. I thought the experimental browser performs much better than the previous version.
  6. Needless to say it looks pretty.

That is all for now. More raving to come soon. Yes I am posting this from the always-experimental browser.

Written by markus

April 16, 2012 at 2:23 am

Posted in Books

The year of reading dangerously

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Weather’s turned a complete 360 today. Yesterday was warm and nice and a bit windy but today I awoke to the unimpressive sunlight filling my room. It is going to be a rainy day, I thought to myself, eyes half closed. Alarm clock buzzes. Snoozed.

The new Kindle Touch arrived yesterday. It’s pretty and sexy and it fits the backpocket of my trousers. I hope this gets my reading mojo really going. I have read little in the past years. When 2012 started, I set myself a goal of reading at least one book a month. January – check. February – fail. March – fail. It’s now April. We’ll see.

Obviously I already failed for the year. But I’ll catch up. I’ll revise my goal to at least 12 books this year. 12 books in ’12. New Year’s resolution revision. Thanks Easter Sunday.

I am rediscovering Kindle. I like it a lot. My first Kindle (Keyboard) I only read a couple of books total. Seriously. That was such a waste. And when the Touch came out, first thing I thought, “Who can I sell this one to?” Shame.

I hope Amazon doesn’t come out with something awesomer than Kindle Touch.

Written by markus

April 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Posted in Books, Introspections


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I don’t think there’s one aspect in one’s life where minimalism is not the better option. I myself am trying to practice it in a few: choice of products (design and their packaging), fashion and home design.

I don’t have a house of my own yet. (That I hope to start working on after I get me a car.) But I try my best to be minimalist in my own little apartment in Manila.

I think anyone who’s starting on the minimalist lifestyle should begin with his home. You see it every day. It’s a consistent , fabulous reminder that less is more.

I’m currently in Foster City, CA for work. I live in an apartment with a huge window. (Sunlight is a huge factor in making a place look its best. And it makes photos look great!) Although I know this is not my own place and I’m not going to stay here that long, I still decided to doll it up a little bit.

Here’s my home corner office project:

I was using the dining table for a couple months that I’m here but I got tired moving my stuff around when we’re using the dining table for what it’s really used for, dining. So I grabbed this nice white table from the unused master bedroom.

The cast: Macbook, a book, which I have not opened for weeks, a Lonely Planet journal, a pine cone, reed scent diffuser, makeshift flower vase (that’s actually a drinking glass!), and what seemed like the star: my longboard.

One thing I really like about minimalist design is you can completely abuse two to three color tones in a set of whatever you want and then put one thing in extreme contrast and it’s guaranteed to work. There’s little thought and planning involved. Like in this case, it’s kind of saturated with white, black, browns. Then the skateboard. It stands out with it’s gorgeous green tones from any angle. And it complements everything else.

I got this pine cone when I was longboarding one night in the park. It almost looked this nice and “bloomed” already when I picked it up from the ground. When I reached home, I ran water on it thinking I should clean it a little bit in case there are insects or dirt stuck inside. A few minutes later, it was closing up. I googled. Apparently, when wet these pine cones really contract and when dried up will bloom again. And it did.

I need to finish this book already.

Written by markus

April 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm