She's asleep when I enter the room. It's everything in one room, really. The kitchen, closet, table, the giant bed she's sprawled out on, one leg tangled up in the blanket and one arm thrown across the fat pillow her roommate used to use. The 6:30 am alarm goes off and she reaches for it. Quietness, again. Dim sunlight through the blinds.

I pull out a chair and sit down. The heavy marble table is between us. I watch her, expecting her to fall asleep again. She slept late. She doesn't fall asleep again, though her head is on top of the fat pillow still.

An hour later, she wakes up and gets off on her side of the bed--the one facing the giant mirrored aparador. She sees herself. I think it's at this point she realizes I'm outside her. Not exactly where I am (at the marble table, being patient and observant and reflective) but that something's off, and I am outside.

She's upset that it's Friday. I am endlessly amused by this. Well, I know she isn't upset that it's Friday per se, but that the excitement for the weekend has drained away a little bit. The upsetness courses through me. And then the anger.

This is why I'm glad I'm outside; maybe my outsideness will lessen the force of it. I see the anger come from different places. I'm angry at how easily her confidence is undermined. Angry at how one moment splits into ten billion.

I realize I've heard this story before. Two nights ago, when an old friend was talking about the multiverse and how in some alternate world, there would be a she and him. Toys and magic, umbrellas and raincoats and turtles. I remembered how sober she was; that all things were ground so firmly in the past. Accessible but immovable. A painting done and dried.

That's how all pasts are, for all people, right? It makes sense to the mind. I laugh. Around the table, I turn. And then the anger flickers, a little weaker this time.

She gets dressed and I move out of the way as she fumbles for her keys and journal and fountain pen. It's Friday. A phrase floats in the air, from two nights ago: You gave all you had to give. So what is the difference, now? When do you not? I am amused, still, as I follow her into the hallway, towards the elevators. There are certain things she wants, but cannot have. There is a time for everything. And so I am angry at the fact that she wants these things, these small reassurances, at this particular time. But I am only angry at her, because she is too.

It's Friday. The world is flooded with sunlight. I try to step back into her, but she resists. Maybe later. She's never been successful at (1) compartmentalizing, and (2) calming herself down. I can sense the words coming; she is going to write. I taste the remnants of her troubling dreams--something about cats and dead children, family and love.

Fresh and ready to face the world, she walks out.
Once upon a time, I reposted two love poems by local poets. I want to do that again, but just one this time. I wish I could write prettily in Filipino; it carries a certain weight / invisible elegance. This one is by Mr. Eduardo Calasanz. Thanks to ze future award-winning poet Mike Orlino for pointing it out. 

Awit kay Ana

Walang ginagawa ang mga bituin
Kundi pagmasdan ang mga mangingibig.

Isang gabi, kapag ikaw ay umiibig,
Tumingala ka sa mga bituin.
Malasin mo ang kanilang ningning,
Ligaya mo’y sinasalamin.

Mabait ang mga bituin.
Sa mga mangingibig
Isa lamang ang hiling:
Umibig, umibig, umibig
Nang may magawa ang mga bituin.

Walang ginagawa ang mga bituin
Kundi pagmasdan ang mga mangingibig.

Isang gabi, kung masawi ka sa pag-ibig
Tumingala kang muli sa mga bituin;
Pati liwanag, nagiging dilim
At tamis ng puso’y dahan-dahang umaasim.

Malupit ang mga bituin.
Sa mga bigo sa pag-ibig
Labis ang hinihiling:
Umibig, umibig, umibig pa rin
Nang may magawa ang mga bituin.

Eduardo Calasanz
Shrimp pasta with too much shrimp

It's a sick day for me today. My morning started at 7:30 with sniffles, sneezes, and a sore throat. I scrambled down to the kitchen to make myself some sick-people food. Chopped half a small red onion, one clove of garlic. Sauteed them in a saucepan, plus a mix of uncooked brown and white rice. Toast, then add chicken broth bit by bit until everything's cooked, and voila, basic lugaw (I think).

I've been wanting to write about cooking for a while. There's something wonderful about the lingering scent of onions and garlic on your fingertips (a love-hate kind of wonderful) and the fact that it's all creation. Delicious, delicious creation that you can adjust and customize and best of all, taste.

Trying to replicate food you eat on vacations in other countries is pretty fun. The first time, it was banh mi, with duck pate from Connie's Kitchen. And then hotteok, kimchi rice, and samgyupsal after our Seoul vacation. I didn't bother making Japanese food anymore (although I did buy a DIY yakisoba pack from Landmark), because my last attempt at maki was a spectacular failure, but maybe I'll try again in the future.

It also suddenly makes the grocery a wonderful place to be. The condiments aisle! The fruits and vegetables! The cold cuts, poultry, meat! *twirls around* Scouring the racks for ingredients for your latest project is comparable to spending all day in a bookstore checking out the cute stationary.

Most of the stuff I make is easy to cook. I suppose the most complicated thing I've ever made is squash soup, due to the baking, blending and then boiling. For me, it's not about difficulty, but about what I like to eat.

I'd definitely like to explore more Southeast Asian recipes (because Vietnamese food will always be love. And Thai food, too) and make more granola, perfect a milk tea recipe, make spam musubi, kaya toast (with perfectly sliced skinny bread), okonomiyaki, and the Tiamu nuggets we tried out in Taipei.

Anyway, that's pretty much the point of this post: I enjoy cooking. Cooking + the internet = endless fun. Now, have some photos!

Fries, pico de gallo (cilantro + tomatoes + red onion with kalamansi + s&p) and pork bbq
Briami (Greek roasted veggies), grilled chicken and mushroom "risotto" 
Healthy eating, post-Seoul: pan-fried tofu in soy sauce, and zucchini. 

Three recipes I like that you should try out:

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