Covid Daily – 0418

Mini tubes of toothpaste
When checking out of a hotel, I take all the things I feel I ought to take: tea bags, toothbrush sets, and the tiny tubes of toothpaste that come with them. I save these for guests at my place, while the tiny toothpaste I use for office brushing. I don’t need to save these tiny toothpaste tubes anymore because me and them are not going anywhere. The concept of offices where one goes to earn a living may be obliterated soon, so these tiny toothpaste tubes are now going to make themselves useful in my home.

Group video calls
I usually dread video calls for reasons I don’t need to provide. But it’s important to participate in them because these days, I shouldn’t be relying on my own sources of information. Friends who are priests, government employees, bankers, and accountants offer some insight into their corner of this pandemic-stricken planet. Some friends of mine have read articles and have seen videos that shed light on things that have kept me in the dark for days.

Some days, I feel incapacitated to participate in group Zooms or chats. It’s as if all the space I have left in me have been filled with dread and anxiety. But it’s not always anxiety over the thing that’s punishing us all; it’s observing how some people can still function, share funny memes, be productive, and be happy and content and feel blessed send me to the pits of hell. It’s not that I’m unhappy that there are people who manage to be in high spirits; it’s that I can’t. It’ reminds me of what Eve Babitz said about death — it’s other people having fun without you.

This pandemic has effectively encouraged me to participate in conference calls. Seeing people in small frames squeezed into one main frame has become comforting. It encourages that oft repeated slogan, “We are all in this together” even though we really are not. And yet, it’s such a relief seeing people alive coping on their own as the horrors of uncertainty steadily creeps every day.

My grandparents were called to war; I am called to sit on the couch and watch Moving Parts
Moving Parts is a documentary you can watch in installments, which is how I watch most shows. It charts drag queen and folk recording artist Trixie Mattel’s semi-interesting life as an entertainer. What I love about Trixie is that she makes the most of what she’s given. She seems fully aware that Shangela should have won Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, but did it stop her from starring in a documentary about her experiences in that season and the difficulties of what looks like a mildly successful tour? No, it did not.

Moving Parts is also a film about her friendship with the great Katya, although it only skirts around that subject. That’s probably because Katya might steal the film, which is fine because Trixie doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would mind fading in the background in a documentary about her life. I can relate with that okayness with being upstaged, but only if it’s to deserving queens like Katya.

Fun fact: Like Trixie Mattel, I, too, was called ‘Trixie’ by relatives who thought it clever to feminize Patrick as a way to torment me when I was revealed to be gay at age 7 or 8 or 9 (I can’t remember). This was in the ‘90s, a time that I like to think of as the golden age (in the history of my life) of people being homophobic and unapologetic about it. This may come as a shock, but there was a time when homophobia was as natural as disease. The feminization of my name was a result of getting caught trying on my cousin’s gown. I, too, had the makings of a drag queen. Sometimes, I think about what direction my life would have taken if, instead of being shamed for getting caught trying on my cousin’s gown, I was celebrated and motivated to dress up in girls’ clothes and championed by relatives instead of being mocked and called Trixie.

As it happens, there are many ways to feminize Patrick: Patricia, Patrixie (which was used by some of my dumb cousins and aunts and uncles), Trixie, and Tricia. This essay is a call to stop feminizing “Patrick” to torment little gay boys in Pasay and everywhere else.

My grandparents were called to war; I am called to sit on the couch…

Wanderlust

Those of us who can still afford a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscriptions are lucky not just because we still have money to pay for an incredible luxury like Netflix but because, according to some people who believe they’re clever, all we’re called upon to do is to sit on the couch and watch Netflix during this distressing time.

Watching TV is not my favorite thing to do, but I watch TV often enough — while having lunch or dinner at home and to watch the mandatory weekly movie — to not qualify as a non-TV-watcher like Jonathan Franzen who is proud to proclaim that he doesn’t watch or own a TV. Good for him, but I doubt if that’s still true.

The pull of the couch is indeed very strong in these strange times. I’d rather read, but lately I find that every other marvelous sentence of Eve Babitz’s that I read is interrupted by thoughts of buying next week’s groceries, health issues, and the bleak future. TV shows don’t demand my complete attention, so it has become, a more practical way to pass the time and forget about life for just a moment.

So, in the next few days, I’ll try to write reports of my TV-watching duties that I am being called on to do.

Wanderlust
This is an edgy British sex comedy series about a couple, a female psychiatrist (Toni Collette) and her husband, who have lost the desire to have sex with each other. Other characters include their son who babbles about Jonathan Franzen to a girl he likes at school and the couple’s respective fuck buddies.

Toni Collette’s face on the title card made me watch this, so congrats to Toni Collette for earning my view. I’m never sure if I could finish an entire TV series because there are just so many and I am drowning. Also, I’m in my mid-thirties so I already have favorite shows that I turn to again and again for comfort.

For me, Wanderlust is quite similar to the brilliant Sex Education, but with adults, front and center. I didn’t think I’d finish watching the entire episode because I thought it was trying too hard to be cringey (e.g., the Toni character getting caught JO-ing by his son) and the random quirky characters (like the son) and his friends seem random and written to up the cringe.

It started to win me over in the scene where one of the psychiatrist’s clients was very incoherently yet valiantly trying to explain why and how he and his wife have ended at the therapist’s couch. “Mop up all the semen” also made me laugh.

The episode concludes with Toni and husband confessing their acts of infidelity, leading to their mutual agreement to sleep with other people as a way to keep their marriage intact. The end.

The rest of the five episodes could be as quirk-filled and may contain some hilarious dialogue, but I think the pilot episode could stand on its own, and if I never watch another episode again, I’ll be fine. I feel it has already made a point and Toni Collette was a delight to watch, so that was time well spent.

Up next:
Born Beautiful
Darkest Hour
Moving Parts

Glory of the 90s

Ace of Base. Glicos. Streetboys. Universal Motion Dancers. Pearl Jam. That’s Entertainment. St. Mary’s Academy. Archie & Jughead Double Digest 256 pages. X-Men. Cedie. Uhaw. Solid Gold Songhits. Cutterpillow. Mariah Carey. One Sweet Day. Always Be My Baby. Bone Thugs N Harmony. Bone Thugs N Harmony feat. Mariah Carey. CrazySexyCool. Dragonball Z. Palibhasa Lalake. Cynthia Patag. Gardo Versoza. Seiko Films. Priscilla Almeda. Cory Aquino. Filbars. Goldcrest. Mercury Drug. Nintendo. Rockman 1, 2, 3, 4. Backstreet Boys. Spice Girls. Robin Padilla. Beverly Hills 90210. Cartimar. Jagged Little Pill. Puff Daddy/Bad Boy Records. Typewriter. Boyz II Men. Miss Universe. Miss Belgium. 3-story Tower Records. Quad 2. Quad. Return to Innocence music video. Paolo Contis. Tropang Trumpo. Melrose Place. Cristy Per Minute. Eric Fructuoso. Thank God It’s Sabado. Wacks/Kiko. Donita Rose. VHS Porn. VHS. Angie’s Video House. Ferris Beuler’s Day Off. Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion. Sega. United Colors of Benetton. Hanson. Freddy Krueger. Dawson’s Creek. Dawson’s Creek Soundtrack Volume 1. Tira-tira. Star City. MTV Soul’d Out. Camille Pratts as Princess Sarah. Angelica Panganiban as Becky. Kurt Cobain. 7-11 nachos. Barbie’s Cradle. All Saints. Top 20 at 12. Fun House. Manilyn Reynes. Jay Manalo. Devon Sawa. Are You That Somebody music video. Aaliyah. Semi-charmed Life. Titanic. Always (Erasure). Low-waist. Nerds candy. Fanta. You on My Mind. Penthouse. Mix tape. 200 pesos pirated CD. Dave Matthews Band. Crash Into Me. Brown-out. Flintstones chewables. Bubble Tape. Cry Baby. Silent All These Years. Sustagen. Kero Keropi. Fido Dido. Tina Paner. Nova Villa. Laser Disc. The Cask of Amontillado. N*SYNC. The Boy Is Mine. Joyce Jimenez. Acne-free. Corn Flakes. TT Boy. Ron Jeremy. Taboo. Nokia 3210. Ice candy. Freestyle Live! Building a Mystery. Landline. Autograph. Sometimes (Britney Spears). 10 Things I Hate About You. Phoebe Buffay. Joey Tribbiani. Floppy disk. Prince of Persia. Lemmings. Michael Myers. Matthew Mendoza. Patrick Guzman. Gelli de Belen. Carmina Villaroel. Decades Bar. Tom & Jerry. Magandang Gabi Bayan Halloween Special. Suddenly Susan. Bugs Bunny. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Maala-ala Mo Kaya. Youth. No Internet.