13 August 2012

Moderate and Discreet

Mariah Carey was late. Her outdoor concert was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. but it didn't. I had expected a late start but at 8:59 p.m., I thought, surely, surely, it will begin anytime soon. What followed was another thirty plus plus plus minutes of me watching people watch other people; waving away bugs that formed a halo over my head; masturbshaking my legs; hearing round-the-clock announcements of the concert sponsors; and speculating what Mariah was doing at the moment. Perhaps she’s warming up her vocal chords? Having a “Sex and the City” DVD marathon? Talking to butterflies? 

Continue reading....

06 July 2012

Miss Intercontinental

Back in high school, my best friend Dickie and I competed in beauty pageants. It’s not what you think though. We didn’t put on satin sashes and sashay-shantayed on stage. That would’ve required guts, a fabulous evening gown, and a vagina which we didn’t have. Our pageants were more like drawing contests. We drew our candidates on 4” x 7” sheets of bond paper and made them compete like real, mechanical-hand-waving, “World Peace”-spouting beauty queens for a made-up title we called Miss Intercontinental.

Continue reading....

22 June 2012

Toothpaste Out Of The Tube

A new series of blog posts in Exhibit I.

Continue reading....

22 June 2011

Exhibit I

Continue reading....

06 April 2011

Motivational Speaker Mystica Answers The Question On Everyone's Mind...

Pearls of wisdom from my eternal muse.

Continue reading....

25 December 2009

A Heart-Warming Christmas Carol From Mystica (Discretion is Advised)

♬♫ Oh... you...

Better watch out!

You better not cry.

You better not pout. I'm telling you why...

Santa Claus Mystica is coming to town!

♬ She's making a list.

And checking it twice.

She's gonna find out who's...

naughty and...


Mystica is coming to town!

♬ She sees you when you're sleeping.

She knows when you're awake.

She knows if you've been...

... bad or...

... good ...

... so be good for goodness' sake!

So you better watch out!

You better not cry.

You better not pout. I'm telling you why...

Mystica is coming to town...

Mystica is coming to town...

Mystica is coming to town! ♫♪

Merry Christmas po! Hihi.

Continue reading....

25 November 2009

Second Most-Played Song In My iPod

Unofficial mash-up of Jon McLaughlin's Smack Into You & Beyonce's Smash Into You. (This one's for you.)

Continue reading....

21 October 2009

Oh Note Divine!

We were two gladiators locked in a fierce battle. “OK, your turn,” Dickie said after inflicting minor injury to my ear. Finding inspiration from Braveheart (“… they may take our lives but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!”) I closed my eyes, inhaled deeply and, in a high-pitched falsetto commonly associated with Chinese opera, warbled:


Despite all the effort I put into it, the sound I made mimicked the dying yaps of a Chihuahua with a marble lodged in its trachea. That wasn’t my intention, of course. I was aiming for the long, gravity-defying whistle note Mariah Carey unleashed in her rendition of “Oh Holy Night”, that part in the final chorus where she trilled like an angel in the throes of multiple orgasms. For almost an hour, Dickie and I have been on the phone, competing to see who could come closest to that note, the sonic equivalent of Mt. Everest’s summit.

Why, you might ask, would two seemingly sane individuals engage in such a contest and risk laryngeal bleeding? For one, Dickie and I love to pit ourselves against each other. Competition is one of the four marble pillars of our enduring friendship, the other three being our passion for music, our contempt for certain talentless celebrities and our propensity to follow stalk attractive guys at malls. Over our four-year stay in high school, we competed to see who could design the best Olympic logo (me), who could run faster (him), who could fake a cheerful demeanor towards unpleasant people more unconvincingly (him by a mile), and so on.

For another, Alvin was able to hit that note. Alvin was a gangly sophomore and a member of the school’s much maligned chorale group. One time, during an a capella performance of “If I Ever Fall in Love” at the auditorium, Alvin woke the audience up by hitting the perfect Bb6 whistle note. Dickie and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows, our thought bubbles reading: “If this dweeb can do it, so can we.” Hence, our sing-off.

After seventeen attempts to hit The Note, Dickie was, so far, the over-all leader with his uncanny vocal imitation of a heart monitor flat line beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep, which trumped my simulation of squeaking windshield wipers. Nonetheless, I was confident in my ability to come from behind and snatch victory in my next attempt. I could almost feel the whistle note surging up my respiratory system, eager to escape and shatter glassware. I cleared my throat. I opened my mouth. I sang.

Meanwhile, three houses away, Mrs. Francia, a retired piano teacher and stray cat collector, decided to make a phone call. So she picked up the receiver, placed it on her ear and, due to her random misfortune of sharing a party line with us, heard:


It was the sort of soul-piercing noise one would hear in a serial killer’s dungeon: the muffled shrieking of a gagged victim who had been subjected to helium gas and was now about to be skinned alive. Not exactly the dial tone Mrs. Francia had expected. The death-scream caused Mrs. Francia to utter an obscenity (“Ay puta!”) and slam the phone, which, in turn, caused Dickie and I to explode in a gas of laughter as only two best friends could.

Continue reading....

07 October 2009

The Moment

The sadistic retreat master knew precisely which button to push to make Class 6-A bawl like newborns. Edwin, the class jock, was the first to cry in the hot seat, prompting Julie to whisper “he’s so cute” to Mary. After him was Alex, the resident bully. He too ended up as a sobbing, hiccuping mess, much to the schadenfreude of Erwin, whose WWF magazines Alex had snitched. Even Ray, our “special” classmate, whose palette of expressions normally ranged from giddy to catatonic, was made to blink a few tears.

Then there was Ruth.

Usually self-conscious and reserved, Ruth cried in the hot seat like a grieving Palestinian widow. It was an oddly compelling sight. Fat tears, raw emotions, and nasal mucus mixed to transform Ruth’s pretty face to a puddle of inconsolable sadness. At one point, she even licked the goo that dripped from her nose, eliciting a “Yuck” from Alex, an “Oh” from Mary, and an unspoken “Damn, how can I possibly top that?” from me.

Ah, me. When my turn came, I thought of the most depressing things in a calculated bid to outdo Ruth. Things like my unrequited desire for PJ, who, according to Julie, just got a gold-plated key-chain for Wendy. Moving to a new and bigger high school after graduation and feeling out-of-place among strangers. Not getting enough parental attention. Being gay.

Sure enough, I turned on the waterworks in a manner that evoked a leaking fire hydrant. Tissues couldn't keep up with me. But even so, I’d be the first to concede that my weepy act was only first runner-up to Ruth’s epic meltdown. She clearly had A Moment and the melodramatist in me wondered when I would ever have one myself.


January 4, 2009.

It was supposed to be a routine shower. Shampoo, soap, rinse, dry. But somewhere between shampoo and soap, things got a little, shall we say, intense. The stereo, which was hooked to my iPod, started playing Pink’s I Don’t Believe You, a ballad you’d likely hear in a TV drama after the doctor tells someone that their loved one “didn’t make it.” Not the feel-good ditty of the year. Also not the kind of song I should be listening barely a day after my three-year relationship had abruptly ended with me still confused with the reasons why.

Much as I wanted to stop the music, I couldn't. I was held hostage by the seemingly autobiographical lyrics, the lachrymose violins, and Pink's raspy pleas.

No I don’t believe you
When you say, ‘don’t come around here no more.’
I won’t remind you
You said we wouldn’t be apart.

No I don’t believe you
When you say you don’t need me anymore.
So don’t pretend to
Not love me at all.

Just don’t stand there and watch me fall.

That's when the Pacific Ocean busted out of my eyes. The pain of losing something special, the reality of being alone, and the uncertainty of future happiness kicked me hard in the ballsac, leaving me huddled in a corner, wallowing in self-pity and self-loathing while Pink continued to torment me with her denials. It was the lowest point of my existence, surpassing even the time I played Cinderella’s evil step-mom for a class play with my parents in the audience. (No lack of parental attention there.) I was in The Moment.

By sheer chance (the iPod was on shuffle mode), a succession of power ballads followed. Celine Dion’s All By Myself, Mariah Carey’s Without You, and Whitney Houston’s “Will Always Love You. The Holy Trinity of Heartbreak Songs. Just when I thought I had sunk to the bottom, I found myself free-falling to a deeper abyss, awashed with saline and MAYNILAD water.

When Whitney glory-noted the final chorus, self-awareness and dementia seeped in and I began to wonder how I would appear on the big screen if my life was a tearjerker directed by Carlos Siguion-Reyna. Would the audience prefer a subtle but nuanced lamentation or wet hysterics of Vilmanian proportions? I decided to go for something in between. Thus, with tears oiling down my cheeks, I clutched my hair with one hand and raised my other hand towards the shower head, as if it was a beam of light shining down the heavens, signifying deliverance to the unwanted and unloved. (Top that, Ruth.)

Whitney’s voice gradually faded into silence and a brief lull preceded the next song. Charged with dramatic inertia, I considered biting my trembling knuckles for added effect. And then…

Oh. My. God.
Becky, look at her butt.
It is sooo big...

I like big butts and I cannot lie.
You other brothers can’t deny
That when a girl walks in...

Aghast, I jumped, slid towards the stereo, and stopped this rather exuberant ode to the female derriere before it got to the more raunchier parts. I scrolled the iPod for tunes that would revive The Moment --- One Last Cry? Unbreak My Heart? Bohemian Rhapsody?--- but eventually gave up, realizing that The Moment had passed.

And with Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back as my LSS, I allowed myself to smile a little.


Pink. "I Don't Believe You"


Sir Mix-A-Lot. "Baby Got Back"

Continue reading....