Thursday, July 31, 2003


Sombody please direct me to a free webspace-hosting service that --
1. allows the use of FTP
2. allows the use of flash
3. allows me to store images and link to them from an outside site
4. is NOT geocities

I'd be very grateful.
The Nelz Agustin Dilemma

This was bound to happen; I'd seen it when I first considered blogging to wile away the time and hone the ole writing skill. Excercise the making of sense. Of course, Nelz had run into it first.

Simply put: how does one write-- cathartic, untrammeled, immediate-- about what shakes him to the core of his being, when he knows he may have to censor his thoughts for the benefit of the people who will inevitably read them? Cases in point, the blogs of one Nelson Agustin and now, one Dexter Lira.

How much of myself can I safely bare here?

After all, a blog is public domain-- though how "public" public will get depends on a combination of prudence (your own and that of your friends), focused advertising, luck. What bloggers want to happen--at least this has been true for me-- is to broadcast the contents of their blogs to select people, such as friends, admirers, desirable mates and their ilk. What bloggers do not want to do, is provide ammunition for the other inevitable readers, such as detractors, nosy mates, nosy parents, employers, lawyers. The damaging data is always there to find, for the enterprising busybody, if he applies enough patience and marries his search engine.

Big Brother Is Watching

Just a thought. Wouldn't be surprised if this is actually happening.

The Evil Marketing Man can get a hold of a large list of blogs, rustle up a team to comb through each and every one of them. In a month, he'll have all the information he needs to push our buttons --sexual preference, age groups, product usage, other demographics-- and get himself another house in which to knock up the boss's buxom daughter.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Dex word for the week


1. n. diminutive female form of the name "Angel" (messenger), "little angel" (as applied to the young female).
2. n. Any of the various herbs of the genus Angelica in the parsley family, having pinnately compound leaves and small white or greenish flowers in compound umbels, especially A. archangelica.
The edible stem, leaf, or root of Angelica archangelica.
3. n. A sweet white wine.
4. n. A sweet girl-- wherever the woman is now, I wish her all the best
Now THIS I Agree With

SPIRIT is your chinese symbol!

What Chinese Symbol Are You?
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Though I think I'd like to be "Hsing" (Shape) too.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

In 1980's there was a movie titled DARYL, a precursor to A.I., about a robot kid... I forget the rest. I remember wanting to have my name turned into some robot acronym too, waaaay back in grade school, at the height of my personal DARYL mania. Funny, though: I never did watch the movie.

Tonight, I got my wish: Electronic Vigilant Individual Limited to Destruction and Efficient Xenocide

Neat huh? Got it from one of the sites I've linked to below. Follow these links for more weirdness:

The Brunching Shuttlecocks and Fast-Rewind

Buddha Moment

"It's not if you win or lose; it's how you play the game."
--Lousy stinking palliative losers say to themselves because they didn't win.

This is truth: It is ridiculously easy to be a loser, as all you have to do is lose. One loses because of a lack of nerve. Another loses through a lack of initiative. Some lose because they did not persevere. Others lose simply because the odds against them are just stacked too high. There are limits to indomitable fighting spirit, no matter what you see on any episode of Dragonball-- Son Goku can roll it 'til his fingers fall off, but trust me, he'll never get a 7 on that 6-sided die.

If you lose at anything, anything at all, that automatically makes you a loser. The beautiful thing about life is that you can choose not to stay a loser. Life grants you that chance once for every moment you can take a breath-- though there are limits to that too.

Parable of the Loser

A man played strip poker once, against friends who played a much better game than him. He knew by the time he'd lost his shirt, that he couldn't beat them. They watched him squirm, hovered around him with predatory anticipation, like sharks wearing down prey for the final kill. He couldn't beat them at this game, so he played another. Everytime he lost a round, he pulled off a piece of clothing with such gusto that his friends were appalled. By the time he handed them his pants, a large piece of board between them and his nakedness, they stopped the game in disgust. "How can we win if you want so much to lose?" one of them cried.

If you want to win, pick yourself up out of the rut of your last loss. If you must lose, pick your losses carefully. After all, it's not if you win or lose the obvious game; it's how you play the hidden game everyone else is playing.

Life is Just as Weird as the Stuff You Find in My Blog

More proof that if you take upon yourself a view of the universe, the Universe-- or your penchant for attributing human purpose, volition and creativity to the thing-events around you --will validate your view.

"IT SEEMS a man's life is cheaper than what it costs to bury him.
"A Manila regional trial court has ordered a couple to pay P62,900 to cover the burial expenses--casket, wake and funeral parlor fees--of a man they had killed.
"For the victim's life the court ordered the couple to pay P50,000." [emphasis mine]

(Taken from It Costs More to Bury Man by Tarra Quismundo, appearing in the 29 July 2003 issue of The Philippine Daily Inquirer --"for purposes of discussion and review" so you evil lawsuit junkies can't touch me. Ha!)

Monday, July 28, 2003

Determined. Happy. Giddy.

Applied for contractual employment with this firm... Seems they liked what they saw when they interviewed me. Passed the simulation test-- alittle clunkily, but passed nevertheless. Exam on Friday, 9:00 A.M. Wish me luck.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Another Longtime Reader Writes...

"...Do you have issues with Christianity?"

You are Proverbs
You are Proverbs.

Which book of the Bible are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hmmm. Gentle Reader must have noticed all that embedded Christian imagery in my previous posts. In a word, Gentle Reader, the answer is "Yes."

It's a love-hate, You're-making-me-damned-confused, leave-me-the-hell-alone-no-wait-save-me thing. I think it stems from my being a Roman Catholic --who strongly identifies with Buddhists and Sufis-- living with Folk Catholic, Pre-Vatican II Catholic, and Non-Denominational Christian Fundamentalist relatives. I think this uneasy coexistence is more common in the archipelago these days, what with the seemingly increased missionary activities of all sorts of religious groups.

I promise I'll go into this at greater length sometime soon. There's just so much to say, and very little space or time (I'm in an Internet place).

A long time ago, in Los Banos, Dhex was part of an ersatz fraternity. This supposed socio-civic organization was founded the morning after a group of friends drank themselves senseless. The funny thing about the org was that the more colorful members of the group were also infamous for spectacular --and really stupid-- suicide attempts.

One of them decided to end it all after falling out with his best girl. Searching for his secret stash, he got liquored up. Bitterly toasting the rottenness of his life, he then opened a can of insecticide-- they say it was Baygon-- and emptied its contents into his gullet. Convulsing in the grip of his imminent demise, he decided --belatedly-- that death by poison was a really lousy way to go, and yelled for help. It came, and he was brought up the mountain to the UP Infirmary, which sent him promptly down the mountain to another hospital. He survived.


I'm remembering this, because I walked into a Dunkin' Donuts outlet along Quezon Avenue a few nights ago and did something just as stupid.

The smell of the place shoulda alerted me to the state of the food. But did I listen to the little voice in my head? No. I bought the dozen infernal munchkins anyway. When I got home, my sister sampled one, and said: "Lasang Baygon" ("Tastes like Baygon."). Did I listen? No. Did I eat the cursed munchkins? Yes.

Why, why, why did I do it? In hindsight, I remembered thinking I was hungry at the time.

I was halfway through munchkin #6 when the kerosene smell and aftertaste became too strong for me to ignore. That was when I put the bag of munchkins down and started to feel the burning on my lips. Half an hour later my stomach was queasy and there was a tightening in my throat. I was also salivating like a drooling dog. It dawned on me only then that I had to go find some milk of magnesia or some activated charcoal ASAP. So in the midst of Typhoon Harurot, I searched for an open drugstore at 1:00 a.m.

To all you Paranaque and Makati folk, it would be a simple matter to get in the car despite the debilitation and drive to an open branch of Mercury Drugstore. Me, I was a driver without license nor automobile, so I hadda walk several city blocks amidst the rain and the wind, trying to induce vomiting every time I hit a dark street corner. There were no open branches of Mercury Drugstore within my limited walking range. There was a hospital with a pharmacy, but they'd run out of the stuff I needed.

I decided to purchase a Bart Burger from the nearby Burger Machine, puke, eat the Bart Burger as a reward for successfully throwing up, walk home and ride out the effects of Man's inhumanity to insects. After all, I reasoned to myself, our taong grasa have to consume stuff lots worse than this, and I don't hear them complaining...

Gone Postal

I waited the whole morning for Rear Admiral Siapno (Ret) to give me the time of day. What was I doing rendezvousing with a Retired Philippine Navy Rear Admiral, you ask. Here's the story.

Turns out that the aging and decrepit Philippine Post Office was losing money. Government, naturally being concerned with the accumulation of wealth, lost no time in semi-privatizing it, appointing ex-Navymen to run the operation. (Guys, it's not as bad as it sounds! These erstwhile seamen are actually efficient!) Thusly the Philippine Post Office was transmogrified into the more-or-less streamlined corporate entity known as The Philippine Postal Corporation (PHILPOST). And Dhex, naturally concerned with the accumulation of wealth as he was losing money himself, wanted in.

My meeting with Rear Admiral Antonio Siapno (now Assistant Postmaster General for Finance) lasted all of three minutes. In that time, he told me that PHILPOST was still losing money, despite the newer postcard designs, upgrading of the older services, the expansion into internet-related services et cetera et cetera. Ergo, they're in the middle of planning to fire some two thousand unsuspecting individuals. If they were gonna hire people, they were gonna look first and foremost at whoever's left on the day after the PHILPOST Administration unleashes in-house armageddon. Siapno did, however, write up a memo to the personnel office, instructing them to look at my resume and my newly-filled personal data sheet.

If all goes well, they will eventually call my house or cel, informing me that I am qualified to be spirited away, Rapture-like, into the waiting bosom of the Department of Philately. And I shall most humbly embrace my new duties, responding with the proper ejaculation--

"Oh mah loahd! Thank Yew foah takin' me into yoah lovin' ahms! Yessuh! Ah ssseee the glory!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Glad Tidings

Some good news to brighten up my week: the commenting script on this here blog finally exists! Now I know people are actually reading me. Okay, it's not like I'm the most important person on the planet, but at least I know people are concerned about me enough to peek at my thoughts.

Well, at Least I'm Consistent

Eyebrow Smiley
You are pretty horny. Sex is definitely not a
foreign concept for you, and you're probably
ready to do some serious lovin'. Still, you're
not as horny as some.

How Horny are YOU?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, July 19, 2003


My critic was right about me excessively liking the sound of my own voice. In fairness to me, that was why I listened to Ian and put up my own blog. However, if I were to keep rambling I would be bound to offend someone important-- the girlfriend, the family, the friends, the prospective employers. I really should be putting some sort of notice on my journal. A sign that says something along the lines of "Rated PG. The author's opinions do not necessarily reflect those of and the public-at-large. Read at your own risk."

Death in the Family

Dad hasn't been receiving our weekend relatives from San Lazaro and Sta Ana of late. That's 'cause the horsies who grace the tv on Saturday afternoons have taken a backseat to more immediate family-related concerns.

1. I've a grand aunt in Bataan who just bought the farm. I could not make the funeral. She was a great lady who bore an uncanny resemblance to Jaya Ramsey. She was kind to us.

2. I've got a grand uncle who needs a pacemaker; who may not survive if he gets one anyway, as his body's defenses have been ravaged by opportunistic infections. His immediate family is at their wits' end trying to scare up the money to save the old farmer's life. My immediate family is expected to shell out a substantial amount of moolah to finance another life-saving operation.

The High Cost of Living

I remember writing a mass letter to my friends about the cost of a human life. (My life, starting cost at P50,000.00) The gist of which, was that I was a non-performing asset of the family unit, and since I was unlikely to be contributing to the family's general upkeep, maybe they shoulda just let the typhoid finish me off. I am wondering if my grand uncle is contemplating similar thoughts right now, as he's being carted from a hospital in Batangas to a hospital in Metro Manila.

I'm also thinking about my recently deceased granddad, and the moral debate regarding the disposition of his then soon-to-be corpse, which created considerable tension between branches of Clan Lira. Some family members were all for saving his life at any cost-- even of penury, even of granddad's dignity. The rest were all for leaving his fate to the Almighty, letting nature take its course. After all, the old guy was pushing 90, had seen his kids succeed, start their own families, had lived a full life, had made his peace with Jesus. Besides, he hated having to lie down with a plastic tube lodged in his esophagus. Granddad wanted to die. And he wanted to be with his family while he was at it.

What was the cost of his life?

**For the record, I'm not asking for doleouts. Yet. I already owe too many people too much money. ** Besides, I can't exactly show up at the ABS-CBN Foundation to beg for a pacemaker and a cartload of antibiotics-- nobody there would believe my grand uncle's deserving of their money if I were the bearer of such bad, bad news.

Dying Young

Players of the Neverwinter Nights' original game module will probably run into a bard named Sharwyn. Picking her for a henchman will allow them to dialogue with her, and ask about her backstory. She has this to say about death:

"There are ways of dying that don't leave behind a corpse."

Post Mortem

Granddad's death helped cement for me my decision to quit Culture Crash. I was, by that time, a non-performing asset (what is it with me and investments!?) anyway. I had a thesis to finish. I didn't have the energy it took to continually fight off the women in my life while waiting for success, some form of vindication: I had to live with them in the first place. My mother and my girlfriend were against my staying on because, "You're such a lousy worker." The damning thing about it was that it was true.

And just as in my aborted courtship of one Muse from Paranaque, I was speechless through it all. I was never good at explaining myself: not when it wasn't in writing, not when it mattered.

I left, and the guys at the office (between sighs of relief) probably wondered why. Then proceeded with their lives: there was still an issue to finish.

"There are ways of dying that don't leave behind a corpse."

I regret every waking minute of my post-CCCom life. But I cannot countennance having to ...crawl, to ...beg for my old job back. I've made my bed. Now, I have to lie in it.

O little man
Puffed up like a fish!
Fancy yourself a king?
Stop your mouth we will,
Crown you with a hook!
Hang you from our nets,
Cut you open with a spear!
Break you, as bread, an' eat you.
You are supper, proud sir,
And not our last.

Good luck, guys.
What Kind of Threat to the Bush Administration are You?

Nyahahaha! Guys, you've got to try this. This quiz is choice.

morally deficient
Threat rating: Medium. Your total lack of decent
family values makes you dangerous, but we can
count on some right wing nutter blowing you up
if you become too high profile.

What threat to the Bush administration are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
Honey, I'm Gay

Not really. I've long since figured out that much. But the idea bothers the girlfriend so that she's banned me from acting like one when I'm among friends. Well, I'm told twirling a limp wrist even in jest is bad for the image. It does very little to incite feelings of security (male friends), admiration (your woman), and well-being (parents). The people who matter are concerned, and they list why:

1. Many of my friends are gay ...or they soon will be.
2. My favorite singers include Queen, George Michael, Boy George, The Village People, Right Said Fred...
3. My favorite songs include well-known gay anthems.
4. I crack gay-themed jokes. I get off scaring my straight male friends with my gay act.

In fairness, there were days when I got worried myself. I remember telling Diwa I could not accompany her to the local Gay Pride festivities, because I had become "toxic" from all that gayness around me (the shock of friends coming out left and right, for example). There was a period when I was described by some as "gender-confused."

But this is what the People that Matter do not see:

1. Many of my friends are gay ...and they're dependable friends, strong friends, principled friends, damn good people. In high school, I was shunned by jocks because I was a geeky kid: can you guess who I hung out with? When my girlfriend first threatened to leave me, it was a close (gay) friend who convinced me to win her back.

2. My favorite singers, while incidentally gay, also have camp appeal. They're right up there with Tom Jones , William Shatner, Victor Wood, Englebert Humperdinck and Yoyoy Villame.

3. My favorite songs (gay anthems included) are spread across these decades-- 60's, 70's, 80's. They are usually exuberant, showing a love for living that I simply do not get from songs made in other time periods.

4. I admire gays. I admire them for the same exuberance in their anthems, for their can-do approach to living. You can grind their noses to the pavement, but they can give back better than they get. And they can do it with style. If the world goes through a cataclysmic nuclear winter the only things left alive will be:

a. mutants
b. hardened criminals
c. Christian fundamentalists waiting for the Rapture
d. cockroaches, and
e. gay people trying to kill the cockroaches.

Honey, I am not gay. But I am a gay enthusiast.

I skipped over to Carver Carl's online House, and found much to my delight, a link to my blog, represented by the scholarly image of a book, "Dex and His Big Bodega". It's on the top shelf, right up there with "Cynthia" --Bauzon, of Arnold Arre fame-- "Inside". As someone who loves to cavort with fame in almost any shape --if Fame were a woman, I'd do her and marry Wisdom-- I only have this to say: "Wow."

Of course, Carver organizes his blog links alphabetically, and "D" always comes after "C" in cataloging systems I'm familiar with. Nevertheless, my thoughts are of some interest to People Who Matter --people like Carl and my other friends. And so to "Wow" I must add, "Thanks!"

More Wow

Ang Kagila-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah-- on the big screen. Movie rights sold to no less than Regal Films! How ...apt! Congratulations, Carl Vergara!

Friday, July 11, 2003

SGF4 (Samahang Galit sa F4) Members Wanted!

Nananawagan po kami sa mga gustong sumapi sa aming samahan! Kailangan namin ng mga lalaki o babae na mahahaba ang buhok. Siyempre dapat sinusuka nila ang Meteor Garden. May free cake po para sa dadalo sa grand launching natin.

Prodigal Me

Hoo-ha's and congratulations to the guys at Culture Crash! I have seen issue 11 and it's good. It's looking more and more like a lean 'zine, what with the sudden increase in relevant non graphic-content. The art's improved as well. O happy day, it actually came out on time (gasp!) thanks to the hard work put in by newbies Jon Zamar and Mark Navarro! (Some newbies: it takes 'em just one issue to get their mugs in the permanent staff box; It took me five before they bothered to give me this lousy Dr. Wily lookalike avatar, and then I had to go.)

Keep it up, guys! Mr. Obsolete Comicbook Has-Been is always rooting for you!

Prodigal Paycheck

The money from my initial foray into working freelance for the Junior Inquirer has finally come through. Proof positive that my photographic pretensions have graced the broadsheet suplement will be winging its way to the bank by the end of tomorrow. I can finally put that on my resume.

Don't be fooled; I'm only being paid P450 (comparable to my old Culture Crash pay for an article) for a couple of photos that slipped by the editor's gimlet gaze. It'll be a long while before I can tell my critics to dry up and go hang, but I'll be happy with the little sunshine that comes my way. Am I inspired to do something bigger? You betcha. I see an opening, and like Dougy McArthur said, "I shall exploit [it]!"

All this time I thought that the check was a dead thing. When I swung by the Cashier's Office at the Philippine Daily Inquirer oh so long ago (a full month after the pictures came out!) the bright boys and girls in attendance professed a most baffling ignorance of my money's existence. I was told the money would take a while to process but this was cruel and unusual. Royally ticked off, I kept a stiff upper lip, walked away and swore to have no further dealings with these ...people. But then the very angelic editor lady (one Christine Paita) took the time to contact me via my cel about the money just last night.

O joyful day!


I could spin off into a new topic here, like how "the country will continue on its path to the kennel" while people are getting shafted or while their rightful payments are conveniently being delayed by procedure. But then I'd look like something was up my ass. In this world of appearances, it can't hurt to display some magnanimity (the velvet glove) in the right hand and some moral ascendancy (the iron fist) on the left.


1. It's 3:00 a.m. I'm exhausted. I'm still surfing and looking at dirty pictures. Not so soon after my "Let's Talk About God" blog.

2. My hard-earned Inquirer money did not make it to the bank. At the prompting of the girlfriend, I had myself subjected to urinalysis, blood test and a chest x-ray. Now, I'm between jobs and I'm broke. I'm just waiting for my aquarian/tiger's luck to kick in and bring me something to tide me over until I get the next job.

One of my readers writes...

Dear Dex El,

I have been following your writing for some time now, for no reason I can understand. You see, I hate your writing. You come across as someone who loves to talk for the sake of hearing your own voice. Your writing is self-referential, self-mocking and it drips with your patently false and masturbatory intellectualism. You whine about your health, your dog, your job, and that's all you seem to be good at. I have not seen one shred of originality in your blog, except in the thinking behind it, which is original only because you are paranoid, delusional, maybe suffering from a handful of neuroses and character defects.
Why, your very handle is pretentious. Dex El. Who do you want us to think you are? Superman's illegitimate younger brother?
"Internationally Recognized Poet?" I have neither seen nor heard of your work. That's assuming you've had them published in the first place. Your friends' writings were published in Youngblood because they were writing from experience and not from your need to impress the world with your ability to make sounds while converting oxygen into carbon dioxide.
Mr Lira, let me recommend a surefire way to improve your writing. It will only take three words.
Get a life.


Ah, he or she doth know me so well.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003


Please God, give me a cause to fight for. Something to rally around. A goal. Something with enough immediate reward spaced throughout the process of attaining it to keep me going for it. Please God let me kick ass and shut. my critics. up.


Poetry reading happens on July 5 and I still have jack. At least I'm not alone. Apparently some of my blogger friends are just as blocked as me. Apologies. I'm rushing a painting. I'm rushing two. Upon my return to Quezon City, I will be greeted by needy friends; a bank account running on empty; a design job I will not be paid well for; the long and useless wait for art students, who have things better to do than learn crap that they can always pay some geek--like me-- to do.

You must not whine. You are above this. Life is hard. Suffering is the first noble truth. You knew this when you first noticed the divide between your rich and poor gradeschool classmates. Do the work, Dex-boy. Find the need; meet it. That's all that matters.