You guys have about six hours until I close the comments on this post, so hurry if you still want to enter! I will send you the book, even if you live outside of the country, if I like your entry the most.
For those who’ve been asking, the runner-up prize is a care package made by me, because books are expensive and I don’t really make that much money. They’ll be pretty swell, if you can believe it. I just have to find the time to put them together and make a picture post.
So, there. You have six hours. I’m closing the comments at 12 midnight, +8:00 GMT. It’s 5:30 P.M. right now, so get on it!
I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but recently I’ve been finding it way hard to find things to write about, and to write about them well. Not even Charles Bukowski’s “so you want to be a writer?” is enough to rouse me this time. Or so I’ve been telling myself.
Here’s something taken from an entry written by John Green (author of “Looking for Alaska,” etc) way back in 2003:
Q: [...] So would you say that it’s writers’ block?
A. I don’t believe in writers’ block. Writers’ block is just a kind of not trying. Do you ever hear roofers complain about roofers’ block? Writers invented writers’ block because it allows us to sound tortured and important without actually having to write anything that might reflect our torture and/or importance. I’m just not trying hard enough. Also, I’ve been sort of sad in a way that isn’t really conducive to work.
That’s it, I guess. The brunt of it. What it all comes down to. The real reason why my writer-ly career is akin to a fish floundering on the side of the road. I’m just not trying hard enough.
I’m taking slow and puny steps to be The Writer That I Want To Be. The kind of writer that I’ve always wanted to be ever since I was little. (When I was five, though, I wanted to be a teacher. I still kind of do. But for things like Doctor Who or art history or poor man’s — aka, my own flawed understanding of — philosophy.) For starters, I’ve “fixed” some parts of my writing portfolio. And, tomorrow, I’m going to be working for a publication.
I think those might be pretty good steps for now.
I wrote parts of this on a moving train. I was trying to fix my life (with lists and crap like that), but then I couldn’t because my favorite band had just broken up & it felt like part of the whole world died.
The first Voxtrot song I remember hearing was “Trouble.” It was part of their self-titled album, released in 2007, way after their EPs and demos were celebrated all over the internet. I was never part of the internet hype around these guys, and although I would love to start this story with how I’d discovered Voxtrot among the internet clutter, like a 21st Century Columbus, stumbling on America by accident, my brother just gave me a few songs, and I gave them a few listens and that was that.
The first Voxtrot song I ever heard turned out to be “The Start of Something,” and I can prove it with archival evidence from Last.fm. It was April 2, 2007, and my life didn’t change. The world did not stop, like it did when I first listened — really listened — to The National’s Boxer. There was no out-of-body epiphanic awakening, as though I’d been waiting for this particular moment, this particular connection with Voxtrot, all my life. I don’t remember how I arrived at the knowledge that Voxtrot is my favorite band, or how I’d made the declaration. There just came a point in my life that I knew this was a different kind of love, of familiarity, of affinity, and I am so glad that I recognized it. (“The Start of Something” is now, and has been for a while, my favorite song.)
I’ve never really had a “favorite” band, just a couple of artists whose songs I liked. People had The Beatles, Deftones, Brand New, Death Cab for Cutie, The Lucksmiths, Eraserheads. My brother had My Morning Jacket and my sister had Frank Sinatra. I had a handful of emo bands whose middle-class angst just felt good to scream along to. I had that, until I found Voxtrot. It sounds way too dramatic, but I really can’t explain how it feels when I listen to them. I like seeing the world from the music that they write. My chest feels like exploding in agreement more often than it feels comfortable, when I listen to them, because yes yes yes yes yes, you guys frakking nailed it again.
There is an elegance, an eloquence, a certain maturity and at the same time, a certain innocence present in Raised By Wolves, which is the first EP they released in 2005. They sounded fresh, earnest and everything just seemed to flow out so perfectly and so effortlessly. I don’t know what happened along the way, but towards the end, this end, it seemed like they grew disenchanted and resentful and tired. I have no way of knowing, but that’s just what it feels like to me.
I still love them and it makes me sad and heartbroken, that it’s going to come down to this. In many ways, it still doesn’t make sense to me, but even though it’s hard to admit, I know that they’re doing what they feel is best. Living in the Philippines has conditioned me towards not hoping to see any of my favorite artists play my favorite songs live. The unfairness of it all is stark and clear in my head. No one important to me ever goes here, and it’s unfair and unideal that I probably can’t ever see them or partake in that fellowship that is so special to fans who convene to celebrate something that is dear to their heart. Just because I live thousand of miles away.
Voxtrot’s last and final tour is called Goodbye, Cruel World, and I’m likely not going to be able to see it, because I live exactly twelve hours away, time-zone-wise. But I truly, truly hope that whoever gets to watch can show them that the world isn’t really cruel, and this isn’t really goodbye.
For me, the most important thing in life is leaving behind something beautiful, something that finds its way into the lives of strangers, and forever alters them in a positive manner. Sometimes, being able to do this means that you have to work the shitty job and serve bread to rich idiots, but whatever, it’s better than just cashing in your chips and spending the rest of your life wondering, “what if…?”
In the end, I’ve come to realize that there really isn’t any cause for disappointment. The fact is, the songs still exist, and the music of Voxtrot lives on as a sovereign entity which, outside of all criticism, positive or negative, belongs to the guys and me, and to everybody who ever loved it or believed. Taking into account every person I’ve met, every place I have visited, every emotional exchange I have ever had with a listener, there is absolutely no room for regret.
I don’t think I can hold these reasons against somebody, so I’m not going to. There isn’t enough room, and aren’t enough words to fully convey how big a part of me Voxtrot is, and how sad I am to see them go their separate ways, so I suppose this is the end for now. I hope you guys find something new and beautiful, and that you share them with the world, no matter how cruel or terrifying it seems to be.
There is absolutely no room for regret.
My dad had an exhibit yesterday. He said he was a little nervous about it since it’d been his first time showcasing photographs (he is primarily a painter, sometimes-dabbler in mixed media), even though photography has been his hobby since even before I was born. He even used to develop his own photos. A great write-up by Ronald Achacoso is available on mo-space.net.
The exhibit will be up until May 30, 2010. Gallery hours are 11am-8pm daily. If you get lost, look for Nike & dimensione. This gallery is at the third floor of the building across them (the one that has BoConcept). Click the cut for more photos: Continue reading Picture Post: SOLER: PHOTO-GRAPHS at mo-space….
I met up with Pau, Dave and Kris last Friday to eat at this Thai restaurant along Alger Street called Som’s Noodle House. Pau and I were planning to work on individual projects until about 8:30, since we were hitching with Ruth, Clark’s friend. But we hung out in Bugsy’s instead. I met Tonyo, Lee and David. But there are no pictures of them, because I suck. Anyway. We ended up drinking (but not a lot) instead.
Kris makes the best faces.
So, today, I snapped out of my hermitic ways and went to the bank to pay stuff and deposit other stuff. I also had lunch with my parents. Needless browsing through Fully Booked led me to one of my favorite books that I, and it seems, everyone else, can’t find in the Philippines. (I also watched Kick-Ass, but that’s another story.)
I read John Green’s “Looking for Alaska” late last year when a gracious Mr. Villa sent it over for me. I (and the rest of Tumblr) have been raving about this, but they’re not so easy to find here. ANYWAY.
Here is where you come in.
» WHAT YOU DO: Comment with what you want your last words to be. I don’t want an entire paragraph or a novella, okay? Make it short & sweet & yours.1 Only one entry per person, please.
» DEADLINE: I’m leaving this post up until April 30th, then I’m going to pick the winners.
» ANNOUNCEMENTS: Announcing & e-mailing the winners on May 1 on Nothing Spaces. Remember to enter with a valid e-mail so that it’ll be easy for me to contact you.
» PRIZES: ONE copy of John Green’s “Looking for Alaska” & FIVE consolation prizes.
There! That’s basically it. I’ll be leaning towards Filipino-based answers, because the book is hard to find here & I’m iffy about mailing it because I’ve had several packages that have gotten lost in the mail, but I will still consider international answers anyway.
OKAY. Let’s see where this goes.
1 Famous people’s last words are an important part of the book. I thought it fitting to be some sort of criterion for this contest.