The Stage

Tick, Tock says the clock
Drip, drop answers the pot
Silence greets you from the  cup
As smoke dances from the pipe
The monitor lets out some light
The music sways from out a tube
Hints of Vanilla starts to play
It’s another sunday
As soon as it came, it went, the end



Self Loathing. It’s Easy If You Know How.

Sometimes, it creeps into your system. You don’t know when, but it starts with butterflies in your stomach and just grows from there. It brushes over every wound and scar you’ve been keeping inside you. Every hurtful word said to you, every time you lashed out, the moments you desperately wanted a friend, every time you wish wished you were one of them.  It hurts and yet you fall into that hole every time. It’s painful but at the same time comforting because it’s your default state when you’re alone. It’s what you try so desperately to hide. It’s what you’ve felt for as long as you can remember.

You look in the mirror and tell yourself to man up, you hit yourself, slap yourself. Anything to get out of this rut. To avoid falling deeper in that hole of self-loathing you drown yourself in every time. You contemplate telling others. But they’ll see it as melodrama. They’ve got their own problems. They don’t care. They’ll make fun of you. They’ll judge you even more. They’ll never understand and you’ll never be one of them. Not that you want to anymore. You’ve lived the better part of your life just wanting that, but it doesn’t matter anymore. You’re a well-adjusted adult who looks in the mirror every morning and wishes your reflection would put a bullet through your skull. It would be a mercy really.

The rational side of your brain tells you how good you have it. It tells you that you’re better now. You’ve got actual friends, real friends. People who care about you. So why does it still hurt? Why do I have this hole in my chest that burns coldly?

You don’t cry anymore. There nothing left. You just hurt, hurt and hate, hate and hurt. Seething. Just do something.  Smile. You put on your persona. Make people laugh, tease them, try to engage in flippant conversations. Pretend you’re a well-adjusted member of society. Don’t tell them how much you hate yourself. Because they wouldn’t understand and to be honest, they wouldn’t care. They’ve got their own demons to fight.

You’ve heard the theories. Why you’re damaged goods. It doesn’t fucking matter why sometimes. Not when you’re in the middle of it. Not when you’re in so much pain. Not when it presses down on you, when it permeates your every fiber. When every nerve in your body is shaking in impotent rage and fear.

You’ve never been good at anything. Never good enough at least. Always a parody of the real thing. Of things people find beautiful. A parody of a human being. That’s what you are and what you’ve always been. Fake laughs because you never learned to laugh. You know that people laugh at you for that? Yeah, they do. Among other things. They laugh because you’re a subhuman creature put on this planet for their amusement. Because you’re not one of them. They take out their own demons at you. It’s easy to feel big when you make someone feel small right?

So i’m writing this for anyone who would care to read it. It’s the words of someone who feels lost and tired. Someone who doesn’t know what to do or where he’s going. Someone who doesn’t know who he is because he’s tried to be so many things in this life, desperate to be anything else aside from the hateful broken person he is.

Self-loathing is easy. Just practice it a lot. Bleed. Look at your past and remember every damn cut and scar you carry.  Open it up again and again and again. Everytime. All the time. It’s easy if you know how.

Pipe Smoking, Uncategorized

Music For Afternoon Tea

cup-of-tea-1437144-mLately, I’ve been relaxing a lot with a hot cup or pot of tea and some music. Now, being the lazy blogger that I am, I thought “Hey, this would make a good article!”

Seriously though, nothing enchances pipe smoking and tea than some good music. Here are a few of my favorite songs to play while drinking.

The Circle of Life (both from the movie and the musical) – This is a standard go to for me as I find it relaxing. It’s interesting enough that you could lose yourself in the details if you focus on it, but not so in your face that you can’t just leave it playing in the background as you focus on your pipe or cup of tea.

How Blue Can You Get (BB King Live In Cook County Jail) – Another personal favorite of mine, I just love listening to this song while having my tea and smoking my pipe on a lazy afternoon. His guitar playing and soulful singing relaxes me without putting me to sleep.

Circus (Eric Clapton Unplugged) – This is a song I usually breakout when I’m feeling a bit melancholic. The song’s emotions matches my mood quite well during these times and allows me to work through whatever issues I’m dealing with.

Only If For A Night (Florence + The Machine) – Something a little more upbeat. The vocals make you feel like you’re floating over clouds created by the beat. It is absolutely lovely when paired with a nice black tea and some Cavendish Tobacco for those days when you want to perk up.

Hotel California (The Eagles) – While I know a lot of my friends normally associate this song with a few beers, I’ve found it to be quite a good match for an early afternoon tea and smoke break.

Anything classical – Classical music, tea, and pipe smoking is a match made in heaven and is something that has always been a standby for others who do indulge in tea and pipe smoking. I decided to throw it in just to silence the indignant looks by traditionalists.

Of course this doesn’t mean that these are the only music I listen to, or that you should listen to. If you want to listen to Dio or Metallica while enjoying your afternoon tea, then by golly go for it. In case you’re wondering, I’ve been known to do so on occassion as well.


Why Wet Shave?

ImageWet shaving is not as inaccessible as some might believe. It’s not some magical thing that is available only to the privileged few. The only thing keeping this out of most male’s daily rituals is the fact that rubbing an electric razor on one’s face is considered faster and more convenient.

Now, you might be asking, why do I need to learn all that when I can just rub my face and end up looking semi-decently shaved? Well, I can’t tell you why YOU would do it, but for me, I’ve never had a closer, non-irritating shave in my life. In addition, I’ve yet to find something as relaxing as properly prepping my face and creating lather, then indulging in a wet shave. Finally, I find that shaving has given me some time to get away from it all and focus on a task that our forefathers engaged in. I’ve also found that I’ve broken out in pimples a lot less than shaving the normal way.

Of course, it’s not for me to decide if this is for you. You’ll have to see if it’s your cup of tea, so to speak.

If you’re still reading, then a part of you might have been intrigued by wet shaving. So let’s go into what it is. Essentially, as the name implies, you shave with a lot of moisture. That means that your face will be perpetually wet during the whole phase. This has many benefits and I’m sure you can find better articles that will explain it to you.

In a nutshell, wet shaving can be broken down into a few steps: the prep, the lather, and the shave. I’ll go into each one briefly.

The prep is where you prepare your beard for shaving. Hair softens as it absorbs water, so you soak your beard in warm water to make it soft and easier to cut. There are others who do all sorts of things like wrapping their face in a towel and more. While I enjoy a hot towel as much as the next guy, I just take a nice warm shower and find that it does all the prep I need.

The lather is using the soap and a badger hair brush to create a thick cream which you will slather (or even whip) on your face. This makes a protective layer on your face that will prevent you from cutting yourself and facilitate a smooth shave. (Note: Unfortunately, shaving cream just will not do for me as I have yet to find one that provides as good a shave as a proper shaving soap and brush.)

Finally the shave itself. You take your blade of choice, and shave with the grain (the direction your hair is growing) for the first pass, across the grain for the next, and against the grain last. In between each pass, you apply more cream and wet your face some more.

Wet shaving is as much a skill as riding a bike. There are many things to learn such as the angle of the blade in relation to your face, the way your hair grows, how to properly create lather with your brush and soap of choice, the list goes on.

It may or may not be an easy ride for you, some people will pick it up slower than others. Regardless, here are some things that I think everyone will experience at some point:

  • You will nick yourself at one point or another. 
  • You will end up throwing away some good soap because you made too much lather. 
  • You will cringe when you end up making one pass too many and experience razor burn.
  • You will learn what direction your hair grows.
  • You will celebrate when everything you learned just comes together to form one awesome mosaic of shaving perfection.

On that note, I think I’ll be ending this short mini-blog with a few announcements. Expect to have a few more shaving articles on this blog, more in-depth information about it, as well as reviews of some of the better products I’ve tried.

Finally, If you want to try wet shaving but don’t know where to get the necessary equipment in the Philippines, I’d like to direct you to the PhilShaveShop on E-bay. These guys have always been consistently awesome and provide some really good equipment at reasonable prices. And no, I don’t get any money from them or will receive anything for this endorsement. I’m endorsing them because I really believe they’re a good online shop with quality products.