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Fast Moving 2018

The New Year has begun earnest and in a couple of days it will be February. What has happened so far:

This New Year post-countdown I met up w/ Ponchit and we hung out in 20-20. This was probably the quietest New Year yet. The President's order for no fireworks really seemed to work. I spent the first day of the New Year packing as I was off to Niseko for the 3rd time, to spend what would be my longest trip there so far, with Jojo L and his whole family -- his parents, and his wife and kids. Even Yaya Edna would be there.

I was in Japan for just under two weeks. I spent the first week or so in Niseko, where I managed to ski for 3 straight days, with some level of improvement -- a lot more parallel skiing now, and then also swam (!) indoors at Hotel Niseko Alpen for another 3 days. During the in between times, it was eating, drinking, and reading in the snowy atmosphere. I was able to get to know and bond a lot w/ Jojo's family. in particular, I spent some time w/ Tito Joey and chatted with him about different things.

On the 10th, I traveled to Tokyo to stay in a gay couple's AirBNB in Shinjuku area. They were really nice though did not spend too much time hanging out with them as I was out practically every night. I met up w/ my usual Tokyo friends: cousin Joma (at least 2x, once exploring Nicho in the evening, and the other around the Aoyama shopping districts, where we had a surreal encounter with Pharrell Williams in one of Joma's favorite bars); old air-BNB host turned friend Yosuku, who took me out one night to some pretty wild and fun spots around Shibuya. There was Japanese Karaoke and clapping, drinking, and even some pole type shows. It was excellent. My last night in Tokyo Joma and I hung out for a short while in Harricho -- what I'm calling my home bar in Tokyo (well, it'll only seem that if Yosuke is actually serving the whiskey). One other night, it was back in Nicho with cousin Mia's airline friend Art -- and it was a wonderful meeting 'coz he was complaining that he was so BORED in Tokyo, but he meets up w/ me and voila, we have a nice dinner, and we get into some mild mischief in the Nicho area. So I'm guessing he wasn't bored at all.

While not meeting up with people I had toured around some of the other neighborhoods of Tokyo whic showed some subcultures -- I took an AirBNB experience tour w/ Reggie (of YouTube The Casual) and we saw a lot of Harujuku and different shopping areas, and I also went to the Koenji area (the hipster area competing w/ Shimokitazawa), and also went to the Nakano Broadway in Nakano area.

Back in Manila -- I've been trying to re-establish my rhythms here with a particular emphasis on the following: getting enough sleep (I try for 8 hours a day), focused and regular triathlon workouts (in preparation for Cebu 70.3 in August; I even bought a smart trainer during a quick sojourn to Hong Kong just this past weekend), and also better eating -- which I am able to do buy really I get hungry and sometimes I just want a little cookie :)

I'm trying to keep up w/ my holiday habit of reading a lot -- I think I read something like 8 books during the December-early January stretch -- but this is being affected by the other focus of sleeping and training. Unfortunately I still have work :) -- which I still attack w/ some level of gusto still. I've just completed my Performance Review from my boss, and it actually was better than I had expected. I will take the advice written in my feedback seriously.

So that's just the start of the year, 1 month, and yet it was rather jam packed already. I hope to build on momentum and progress this coming February. For sure momentum will be halted a little w/ the Holy Week season coming up in March, but that is something to plan for and consider where to go. Jojo is going back to Niseko and I don't really want to go there again (haha, that would be too much). I am considering travel to Taipei, but also some travel to Singapore in early March for Len's birthday and also possibly to meet up w/ Larry Y.

People are generally healthy so far -- a great thing, but I cross my fingers. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that our dog of almost twelve year, Nash, passed away last week just after my dad's 74th birthday :(

Things which I may let go a bit this year : big nights out w/ the crew, whether Arvin's buddies or even the Singco people; drinks night out, though I still am able to meet w/ Jojo and Georgina (who will be likely doing her MBA this year -- Stanford or Columbia, honestly hoping for an excuse to go to New York); and maybe less of the trail running -- not 'coz I'm tired of it, but I just don't want to injure myself and I just want to focus on training, training, training for triathlon.

2018.

Engagements

The House of Representatives voted to submit a Php 1,000 budget for the Commission of Human Rights, around $20 US. Those fuckers. They remind me of a certain political party in the US who would vote for something in the hopes (perhaps) that it eventually won't pass anyway.

But as I said on FB: amidst darkness, light : Two dear friends have given me news of their engagement today. Vinny who is now engaged with Franny. And Georgina who is now engaged with Adrian.

<3 still exists.

ELC

The room smelled of wood, calling from a time when wood was plentiful to buy, and would be reasonable to use to build an entire room. 

Kozue

Spending a few days at my friend's Monocle-like apartment in Niseko. The name of the property is Kozue, the interiors are pretty much designer (warm woods, modern lighting and fixtures, floor to ceiling windows), and Cliff is the concierge out front who will bring us to where we need to go, and light the fire at night if it gets too cold.
I begin to appreciate how a beautiful and well-appointed apartment can actually make you want to work. One feels more balanced and together that you moved more readily into a position of action. Very similar to how when you square yourself for a tennis ball or a ski down the hill, you can make your body do what you want it to do.
* * *
I've been waking up early in the mornings (5-6 AM) to send e-mails requesting for information, meetings, and for people to arrange for research. Breakfast is such a stellar affair in Hokkaido --> yogurt-milk, jam, bread, tea. They're not remarkable but quality levels of dairy are high.
* * *
I've been going up and down the Boyo Run, near the Gondola. It's a wide and rather basic green run, but it's more or less the extent of my ability now. We'll see where the instructor will take us this AM, in terms of skills to do and what else to explore.
LEAN FORWARD. In all ways. Ski, and elsewhere.

Father

If you want to understand more about how you learned the concept of masculinity, you can look no further than your relationship with your father. Such a relationship always seems fraught, especially for the gay man. Has there ever been a very amicable Father-Son relationship in the first place? What more the Father-Gay Son relationship?

A father intuitively knows before his son, that he may be a homosexual. One says that it is the mother who has the instinct and gaydar, but I believe the father is just as astute. After all, it is the father perhaps, who is closer to the reality and necessity of policing acceptable masculine behavior. The father knows what actions will invite derision and jeering, and the father knows of what actions he himself, at one point, may have joined at the finger pointing and mockery.

* * *

How do you discover this relationship with your father? Isn't it something that you stuffed away? In so many conversations with older gay men, their relationship w/ their parents and father, have already hit some kind of equilibrium. And thus, they are not particularly motivated to have it change. The father may not recognize the son; or there may be an implicit commandment that some things are simply not to be discussed.

* * *

My father. Well, he turns 73 in a couple of weeks. He has seemed more frail as of recent. The cold here in California is not helping w/ his fractured arm. He needs more help than he used to; and we are more willing these days to offer and give it. Though some days we wonder at whether independence is really something we want our parents to achieve, given we ourselves may not have even achieved our own independence from them anyway. . .

Masculinities

is the title of zine I picked up at City Lights Bookstore. It is a selection of interviews by Cindy Crabb -- of men and what concept of masculinity and role models they struggled with during their young years, and what they continue to grapple with. The men are bi-sexual, transgender, from poor backgrounds, black, rural, punk, and other not so straightforward categories.

The set of interviews reveals how different men were raised, and the gender roles they may or may not have faced.

Words and Sentences

Can you create something that you like? Can you create something that communicates sense? Are you competent to create objects that have value? The first step in creation is to form a character. The first form is a character you will build. To break from a mold is a painful enterprise. You are stopping yourself from acting as you are. The words fall over each other, and you give yourself the start of a headache. It is difficult. And the constructed sentences do not look like anything of yourself. You may begin soon. Each construction has to start from the first words.

At home gimmicks

It's the kind of gimmick you can't really plan, but it tends to happen on holidays. People may be out and about, but some of your friends may be at home, and all willing to have a substantial chat online.

It lasts a few hours, and I laugh out hard during such, where I receive music videos with feels, and then feel strongly about it. Where you talk about plans and dreams, and why people love and are loved. Talks about a hopeful future, and why life will move on, and there is still more to look forward to. After all this time.

* * *

Life begins anew.

November today.

* * *

We're cooking lasagna today

Go West

I have to remind myself about how far I've come; and to remind myself that I'm not necessarily in a loop.

Some thoughts as I watch the TV series -- Westworld. Our bodies, our limitations (as a side thought); though the main focus of the series is consciousness, memory and mind.

* * *

the wolverine last minute costume was a hit.

we had a great time at Green Sun.

pre-game was pretty good.

I spoke to Pluto. I spoke to Brent.

Gut

I monitor my gut everyday.

And sometimes, the answer seems to be, please don't stress about it so much. Go back to normal. Make a few mis-steps.

Today, however, I was able to do a bike for 30 mins. I will try to life some later -- light weights. And then see if I can do an early AM swim tomorrow. Let's see if that's in the cards for me.