Friday, March 31, 2006

Swan Song

Feels like I'm saying goodbye to a lot of things nowadays.
Just a general feeling, mind you. I don't like feeling so tired anymore so I just let go.

I don't care, I don't care. Just goodbye.
Sana lang I know how to render a truly magnificent, ethereal song as swans do before they go. Maybe it can take another form though. Baka lang.

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Life takes a dip sometimes
In the inky wells of fortune
Wings get soaked most times
As deluge ravage the peace
A swan wades most her life
Webbed feet paddling undercurrent
Going nowhere anyone can see.

But when she lifts her wings
At the verge of flight
You can almost believe she'd always known
She was meant to fly
With the south at sight
In places warm and solitary.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


While on a ten-hour land trip to Cagayan, it suddenly dawned on me that a lot of Filipino houses are bungalow-type, if not completely a one room affair. Of course, this excludes the happy rich who can have as much as three or seventeen floors in their homes. Majority are low houses, and this strikes me as odd because I have lived my life in a strictly two-floor house awareness.

There’s a commercial on TV which shows a kid marveling at a house and saying. “Ay, up and down.” I have no idea if that was supposed to be flattering or an incredulous remark. Thing is, I don’t think I would be ale to live in a house without stairs.

Stairs are vehicles, you see, to two utterly different places occupying the same ground area. In our house, the upstairs rooms are all very private. It serves as our sanctuary. I cannot count how many times I have hidden from visitors upstairs. And some times, when I really am curious about our guests but would not like to be seen, I would sit at the topmost step and listen in on all the conversations downstairs.

Convenient, these stairs. I am fascinated by them.
Maybe I have built my psyche that way too. There’s downstairs in my mind, accessible to all. But upstairs, it’s all me. I don’t think anyone has seen it yet.

Missing the Net

Book in Hand: The Curious Incident of the Dog at Nightime
by Mark Haddon
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Song in Mind: Clockwatching by Jason Mraz

We have been effectively off the internet for the last two weeks. And I'm slowly realizing I can't live long enough without it. Where shall I rant then, if not in my blog? Where shall I spend so many idle time when I should be working? This can't stay this way. I have to buy a new freaking modem if that CD installer still won't turn up this weekend. Argh.

Oh well, anyway, another unbelievable book found its way to me again. This time, it's Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn. It's a 1970 edition in a 75% good condition, and cost me 25 bucks only. Am genius. Am cheap book whore.
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Oh, and I still wish i was an amoeba (though hanne seems to have chosen a more interesting creature - - sponge). One that could read please, if not able to talk, fart or eat.

Thank you.


You Are 22% Evil
A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.
How Evil Are You?
Jessica Zafra Talks about How Evil a Bibliophile can Be...
Biblioholics Support Group
You have a problem. Not a real problem—very pleasant as problems go, but still a sort of problem.
You can't stop yourself from buying books, even if there's a stack of at least ten books on your bedside table that you haven't started reading and another stack you haven't finished reading, and you know full well that this new book you're itching to buy is going to end up on those stacks. You have an entire catalogue of rationalizations to justify buying another book that you don't have time to read. "I'm saving it for my retirement" (Tolstoy or Proust). "If I don't buy it now, it might not be here when I come back." "This is the last one, I swear. I won't buy another book until I finish my backlog." "True, I've sworn to finish my backlog, but it would be more realistic to maintain the backlog at a constant number. Every time I finish a book, I can buy a new one." "Dammit, I deserve to treat myself to a book." "I've been looking for this book forever and I can't insult the cosmos by not getting it." "This could be the book that will change my life/ alter my world-view/ inspire me to write my own great literature." And so on. Two days later you're sitting at home, surrounded by your unread books and you cry, "I have nothing to read!"
Know that you are not alone. There are others like yourself, enslaved by their lust for books. (Never mind their taste in reading matter, never mind if they think The Da Vinci Code is the greatest book ever written--hell, at least they read books. Let's dwell on what you have in common.) Compared to most addictions, this one is healthy (unless you run up huge debts or commit felonies to acquire the books). There is one question: Do you buy the books out of a pure love of books, or is it just avarice? To put it another way: Is it really reading you love--or shopping?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

If There's Just Questions

I think I just have enough time to ask questions today and none of the answers are forthcoming...

Is this how life's supposed to really go? As if troubles never end?
You mean, there's still about 30 more years of this?
Is my confusion just part of a statistic? Part of this newly named quarter life crisis?
I want to let go of everything I have... leave everything behind.
None of it is making sense at the moment.

Geez, I envy microbes. They just are. They just exist. And amoebas, maybe they're the only ones who could really say, life's a chill. Of course, they can't speak, think, eat or whatever. So that's probably too fantastic a hope for them.

Goodness... to wish I was an amoeba. that ain't right, at all. :(

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Am annoyed
To pieces
About my life
Makes no sense
Have no point
Just like this


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Absurd World

Book in Hand: Little Black Book of Short Stories by AS Byatt
Song in Mind: Kung Wala Ka by Hale

Absurd Story # 1
Location: Philippines

A woman sued a hospital for leaving used gauze inside her "puerta" after giving caesarian birth. Said woman gave birth three weeks ago, and had been conscious of foul odor coming from her nether regions. Being her first time birthing, she thought it was just part of the post-pregnancy adjustments she has to make. She said it truly smells like a dead rat and she was given to changing her underwear a lot and copious vaginal washings just so not to puke. (Eww...) Yesterday though, she found the tail end of a gauze used to stopper blood during her caesarian operation dangling from her delicate parts. She pulled at it, some couple dozen inches long, and it was horribly decomposed. Unfortunately, there is no Malpractice Act in the Philippines, so she has to make do with filing class act suit for gross negligence.

Absurd Story #2
Location: Japan

Ever heard of the Suicide Club? It's this huge webring where young Japanese people are getting together online to discuss how they are going to go through their suicide. Some of them even decide to do it together, simultaneously. Hay, these crazy kids. They treat suicide as if it's a game. The land of the Harajuku gets weirder by the second.

Absurd Story # 2
Location: Ireland

A man rants about how he was stopped by the Dublin Gardai for walking the city streets with just his socks on. He says his shoes were really worn down, and he decided to give it to a cobbler to see if the leather thingies were still resurrectable. So he did what he thought was logical, he handed his shoes to the repairman and walked home. Turns out there's an actual law about walking the streets shoe-less in Dublin.

Question Number 1: What happpened to that sensible thing of putting the old shoes in a brown bag and putting on slippers, boots, ballet shoes before going to shoemaker? He can't be so poor as to own only one pair since he hacks away at the computer, obviously.

Question Number 2: Gads, I can't even formulate question number 2 because it's still screaming out the question of why not do the sensible thing of putting old shoes in a brown bag and putting on slippers, boots, ballet shoes before going to the shoemaker?

Absurd Story # 4
Location: United States of America

Katie Holmes loves Tom Cruise, will have their love child. Blooming, expectant, happy.

Absurd Story # 5
Location: Philippines

Girl was rushed to the hospital a few days ago due to chest pains, difficulty of breathing, numbness of shoulders, and throbbing headaches that seems to spread from her nape to the skull. Cute ER doctor observed patient for 5 hours and notes down normal ECG pattern, normal blood count, but unusually high blood pressure. Sent her home for further observations labelling her illness as either neurological or anxiety-driven and asked her to come back for neurological testing. Girl's Health Insurance refuses to cover the expenses because they say it's psychological and not covered by company expense. How was the Girl to know she was having anxiety-fit??? Not clinically insane yet, you idiots. Doctors counters medical outfit by stating chest pain was caused by secondary angina caused by pent-up stress and anxiety, and did he look like a shrink to him??? (Oh, grateful to you forever, cute Doc) HMO concedes and allows transaction.

Breakdown apparent. The girl stayed at home for the last 3 days, recuperating frayed nerves. Cure? She has no friggin' idea.

Obvious enough, the girl was me.

Liv's One Month Reading List

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I bought Michael Cunningham's The Hours last Monday. Due to my illness, I had the chance to read it in one lying-down session yesterday. It is unbelievably beautiful. There was this quiet, luminous clarity to it; there was this resonance that connects with me. Wonderful reading; it did Virginia Woolf justice and more. Read it, read it, read it if you can.

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Meanwhile, I am curently reading AS Byatt's Little Black Book of Stories full of fairy tales meant for adults. Nothing airy-fairy here, it's a bit disturbing, with a beauty that does not scare you... only makes you think. Dark but brilliant.

Here's the rest of the books I have lined up for this month. A bit ambitious quantity here....

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A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way....."
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Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees

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Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel by Susanna Clarke

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Love in Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Iain Laurence

I have also had this books hanging around, waiting in line:

Round the Fire Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
Dancing Girls by Margaret Atwood
Sea Dragon Heir by Storm Constantine
Readers Companion to Ireland by Alan Ryan
24 Stories by Willa Cather
Llamas Night by Mercedes Lackey

Is it possible to be drowned in books, you think? :)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Issue of 2005-09-26
Posted 2005-09-19

Day No. 1:
And the Lord God said, “Let there be light,” and lo, there was light. But then the Lord God said, “Wait, what if I make it a sort of rosy, sunset-at-the-beach, filtered half-light, so that everything else I design will look younger?”
“I’m loving that,” said Buddha. “It’s new.”
“You should design a restaurant,” added Allah.

Day No. 2:
“Today,” the Lord God said, “let’s do land.” And lo, there was land.
“Well, it’s really not just land,” noted Vishnu. “You’ve got mountains and valleys and—is that lava?”
“It’s not a single statement,” said the Lord God. “I want it to say, ‘Yes, this is land, but it’s not afraid to ooze.’ ”
“It’s really a backdrop, a sort of blank canvas,” put in Apollo. “It’s, like, minimalism, only with scale.”
“But—brown?” Buddha asked.
“Brown with infinite variations,” said the Lord God. “Taupe, ochre, burnt umber—they’re called earth tones.”
“I wasn’t criticizing,” said Buddha. “I was just noticing.”

Day No. 3:
“Just to make everyone happy,” said the Lord God, “today I’m thinking oceans, for contrast.”
“It’s wet, it’s deep, yet it’s frothy; it’s design without dogma,” said Buddha, approvingly.
“Now, there’s movement,” agreed Allah. “It’s not just ‘Hi, I’m a planet—no splashing.’ ”
“But are those ice caps?” inquired Thor. “Is this a coherent vision, or a highball?”
“I can do ice caps if I want to,” sniffed the Lord God.
“It’s about a mood,” said the Angel Moroni, supportively.
“Thank you,” said the Lord God.

Day No. 4:
“One word,” said the Lord God. “Landscaping. But I want it to look natural, as if it all somehow just happened.”
“Do rain forests,” suggested a primitive tribal god, who was known only as a clicking noise.
“Rain forests here,” decreed the Lord God. “And deserts there. For a spa feeling.”
“Which is fresh, but let’s give it glow,” said Buddha. “Polished stones and bamboo, with a soothing trickle of something.”
“I know where you’re going,” said the Lord God. “But why am I seeing scented candles and a signature body wash?”
“Shut up,” said Buddha.
“You shut up,” said the Lord God.
“It’s all about the mix,” Allah declared in a calming voice. “Now let’s look at some swatches.”

Day No. 5:
“I’d like to design some creatures of the sea,” the Lord God said. “Sleek but not slick.”
“Yes, yes, and more yes—it’s a total gills moment,” said Apollo. “But what if you added wings?”
“Fussy,” whispered Buddha to Zeus. “Why not epaulets and a sash?”
“Legs,” said Allah. “Now let’s do legs.”
“Are we already doing dining-room tables?” asked the Lord God, confused.
“No, design some creatures with legs,” said Allah. So the Lord God, nodding, designed an ostrich.
“First draft,” everyone agreed, and so the Lord God designed an alligator.
“There’s gonna be a waiting list,” Zeus murmured appreciatively.
“Now do puppies!” pleaded Vishnu. “And kitties!”
“Ooooo!” all the gods cooed. Then, feeling a bit embarrassed, Zeus ventured, “Design something more practical, like a horse or a mule.”
“What about a koala?” asked the Lord God.
“Much better,” Zeus declared, cuddling the furry little animal. “I’m going to call him Buttons.”

Day No. 6:
“Today I’m really going out there,” said the Lord God. “And I know it won’t be popular at first, and you’re all gonna be saying, ‘Earth to Lord God,’ but in a few million years it’s going to be timeless. I’m going to design a man.”
And everyone looked upon the man that the Lord God designed.
“It has your eyes,” Zeus told the Lord God.
“Does it stack?” inquired Allah.
“It has a naïve, folk-artsy, I-made-it-myself vibe,” said Buddha. The Inca sun god, however, only scoffed. “Been there. Evolution,” he said. “It’s called a shaved monkey.”
“I like it,” protested Buddha. “But it can’t work a strapless dress.” Everyone agreed on this point, so the Lord God announced, “Well, what if I give it nice round breasts and lose the penis?”
“Yes,” the gods said immediately.
“Now it’s intelligent,” said Aphrodite.
“But what if I made it blond?” giggled the Lord God.
“And what if I made you a booming offscreen voice in a lot of bad movies?” asked Aphrodite.

Day No. 7:
“You know, I’m really feeling good about this whole intelligent-design deal,” said the Lord God. “But do you think that I could redo it, keeping the quality but making it at a price point we could all live with?”
“I’m not sure,” said Buddha. “You mean, what if you designed a really basic, no-frills planet? Like, do the man and the woman really need all those toes?”
“Hello!” said the Lord God. “Clean lines, no moving parts, functional but fun. Three bright, happy, wash ’n’ go colors.”
“Swedish meets Japanese, with maybe a Platinum Collector’s Edition for the geeks,” Buddha decided.
“Done,” said the Lord God. “Now let’s start thinking about Pluto. What if everything on Pluto was brushed aluminum?”
“You mean, let’s do Neptune again?” said Buddha.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Of Books and Bitches

Oh, the cleverness of me!

I found Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees in Booksale for just 60 bucks! This book had been out of print for decades now, and had just been recently reprinted in the U.S. I saw an ad for it in one of my Realms of Fantasy magazines, and I saw a blurb there by Neil Gaiman (all hail the chief!) giving the book the most unbelievable praise. I would just simply die with happiness if in the future, Neil (all hail the chief!) would be uttering similar sentences about something I have written. He said that Lud-in-the-Mist is:

"The single most beautiful, solid, unearthly, and unjustifiably forgotten novel of the twentieth century."

Just reading his recommendations makes me want to tear up by the promised enchantment of it. And I believe Gaiman (all hail the chief!) because he also recommended Sunshine by Robin McKinley and I loved it.

Suffice to say, I can't wait to read the book!

Mr. Gaiman (all hail the chief! - - ok, ok, I'll quit it now...), please recommend more books, because I am a big fan of yours and I would surely like to pick your brains. But since I could not, I'd pick up the things you'd pick from the books you read instead (or at least, I'll try).

Image hosting by Photobucket Neil "He's-A-Damn-Genius" Gaiman

Now, I am absolutely over-the-moon when I heard that there would be a movie version of his book, Stardust. He's helping rewrite the script so it can't possibly suck. I saw the pic of the guy who will play Tristan, and I'm happy because he fits the bill. I have no idea who that actor was, but I think that will help him carry the role much better. Only thing is, Yvraine will be played by Claire fu_ken Danes who hated the Philippines when she filmed a movie here, and absolutely showed no gratitude for whatever else she experienced here (it can't be all that bad, sorry-ass primadonna biatch). Oh well. There could've been worse actresses. I mean, it could've been Paris Hilton and then the movie's suckage rate will just go space-age high. Better a good actress who biatches, than a biatch pretending to be an actress.

No, those aren't very nice words, right? Sorry. Will rinse my mouth with Listerine, pronto. And I will write on three black boards that - - I will not say Paris Hilton and other like swear words again.

No, am not nice tonight.

Even if my soul is happy because it is raining.
Night, y'all! :)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Entertainment WEAKly

Yeah, yeah, I know. I advertised that I would be publishing my commentary on Pinoy Big Brother. Just that, I really don't care anymore. The bane of a writer's existence is the waning of the flame to write about something. No matter how trivial or nonsensical that something is.

All I really wanted to say about the show is that its being used as a Media Lab, and the people inside are nothing more than just Lab Rats. Probably wanted to see the Pinoy Masa Reaction to Gay Liberation (nothing wrong with that except that they made it a publicity stunt). What should have been a personal journey became a worldwide broadcasting ng "paglaladlad." Well, matanda na si Rustom, and he probably knows what he's doing. That is a non-issue now. What gets to me is the blatant use of advertising for drinking products, for soap, for Jamine Trias' album.... Lahat na. But that's not really my problem anymore. Since I don't like it, I just turn the TV off. Period.

Ever since we lost our cable connection (wahaha... we didn't pay the subscriber for just 3 darn months and pinutulan na kami... bahala sila), I have been suffering from Nothing-Good-On-TV Blues.

I miss CSI, I miss the happy and gay Fab Five, I miss the hunky chefs in the Lifestyle Channel, I miss Star Movies, I miss HBO! We've been so without a good television show that I now have to make do watching American Idol at ABC 5, and Sunday Cinema Presents in that new Channel 11 QTV. Now I know that everything else is crap, crap, crap.

Wala na ring My Juan and Only which I watched kasi ang cute ni Aaron (who plays Juan).

My expectations from that new show at ABSCBN called Komiks were cruelly dashed because, again, it's just an acting lab for their new cast of teen stars.

Yun namang Gulong nga Palad, gulong ata ng 18 wheeler monster truck kasi ang tagal umikot ng istoriya!

Yung mga Koreanovela sa Channel 7 at 2, halos paulit-ulit na lang ng tema. Naduduling na ata ako sa dami ng Singkit sa TV.

Yung bagong soap ni Juday at Piolo, napaka-bland. Si Piolo lang ata ang bulag na nakakatitig sa mata ng ibang tao na parang nakakakita pa.

Sa Starstruck, ang gusto ko manalo si Marky kasi naiiba siya. Hindi nakakasawa ang dating, hindi tulad nung mga kasama niya sa Top 4 na babae na pareng sugar-coated doughnuts, nakakaumay. Pero hindi ko pa rin pinapanood yung show, kasi boring pa rin. Tsaka puro non-elimination night, gaguhan na lang.

May Darna pa ba? Featuring the magnificent twin stars ni Angel Locsin na lumalaki with every episode? Wala na rin atang Panday, where we can see Heart in her successful reenactment of a comatose patient. Guwapo lang kasi si Jericho sa red shirt niya na walang manggas at unbelievable ang espada niyang humahaba pag na-eexcite.

Eto pa isa, yung Bora ng AbsCbn. Walang kakuwenta-kuwenta. Forgive my bluntness, but it's just a means of showcasing their casts' brawns and not their talent. Its just an excuse to feature girls in bikini on TV. Walang matinong storyline, walang matinong jokes, walang matino!

Hay, tama na nga ang tirade na ito. Eh di huwag na lang manuod ng TV diba? I just choose what appeals to me and I watch it. If nothing on TV is good, I turn the darn set off. Tipid pa sa kuryente. May E-Vat pa naman ngayon.

And yet, why don't I feel consoled? Why can't we seem to develop good, smart TV shows? The only shows that fit that are the journalistic documentaries. But even then, it still resorts to sensationalism sometimes. Tsk, tsk. Proud to be Pinoy ako, but in regular moments when I'm lounging in the living room and bored to tears, I often wonder why.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Reality Bites

Reality shows really reign supreme nowadays, huh? They stand there at the top alongside telenovelas. But like any good idea, you could only have it once.

Personally, I like singing contests where the contestants get taken out one by one. I love seeing the people transform themselves every week, just so to be the "hot" one for the day. I used to like watching Star in a Million, the batch where Eric Santos won. It was fantastic, wasn't it? You could actually see the stars being born. Unfortunately, the winners of the following seasons weren't really that amazing or memorable anymore. And the singers in the GMA 7 contest (what's the title of that show again?) are sadly lacking in talent or are trying too hard (oh, i remember now) to be the next Pinoy Pop Superstar. So nowadays, I just content myself watching the ASAP Champions when I could.

On the other hand, I watched the first few episodes of the American Idol last season and it totally sucked. It never fails to amaze me why Filipinos aren't dominating the world music scene. Man, we have talents way better than those who join the show! This seasons picks seem to be better than last year's though, and I find myself enjoying AI again.

Image hosting by Photobucket At first, I watched it because there's this Pinoy guy who was part of the initial 24, Jose Penala. He was eliminated last week not because he doesn't have the voice, but probably because, he doesn't have the appeal. I wasn't really surprised, I'm sorry to say. Pero sayang talaga.

Anyway, I do have my comments about the others. Some are just hanging on by a thread, while some are solidly safe for the next few weeks. Here's the run down of those who I believe are worth mentioning...

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Chris Draughty
I love this guy. He rocks. But can he croon? If he can manage not to bore us for the next few episodes (Stevie Wonder songs are up for next week), he has a good running for winning the Idol.

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Katharine McPhee
She reminds me of Kate Middleton, Prince William's girlfriend. I can almost hate her for that, except that she's really good. She still strikes me as kind of snobbish, but if its talent and hotness, she's in. She can really win this.

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Lisa Tucker.
A-ma-zing girl. She can sing anything. Hope she wins, but if she doesn't, no worries coz she's got a career already. I am sure of it.

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Elliot Yamin
Tee-hee, funny looking hobbit, ain't he? But he's good, for crying out loud. If he had an album, I will buy it. But I'm weird, so I do not speak for America. He's good though. Tsk, tsk. Damn good.

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Ace Young
If he wins, its because he's pretty. Sorry.

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Kevin Covais
They actually told him he looks like Chicken Little. Which he does. His voice is not that amazing; I think he made it to the finals because he's novelty, y'know? But that's not going to be enough to get him the title. Nope. Sorry. I like him, he reminds me of my friend Norman (a little or rather because he's little), but he'd do better to be an actor where he can be taken seriously.

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Best vocals, it's her hands down, feet down. She's so comfortable in her own skin and she gives big women something to be proud of. Hey, big women can rock. This spurious hope though is too delicate to build dreams on. She might not get the votes. AI is a popularity contest after all. Props to her though, because she's simply the best of this crop. She doesn't need the American Idol title to prove that.

The rest of the candidates are ho-hum (Taylor Hicks, that fuzzy-haired guy who plays honkytonk music, unbelievably still in the game) ((Oh and that Bucky guy who absolutely amazes me because he's still in the game as well - - I bet a lot of his friends has got cellphones) or are good but kinda overshadowed by the others(Kellie Pickler, Melissa McGhee and Paris Bennet).

On another note, it made me sad to say goodbye to these guys:

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Gedeon McKinney
Really cool voice, and that smile of his was starting to grow on me. He was a showman, he was great. Tsk, tsk. Sayang din...

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David Radford
He's, aw, shucks, kinda cute. Basta cute siya. His voice sounds Sinatra-esque pa. Hay. Try again in a couple of years, boy, and you might just have a shot at fame again. In the meantime, my name's listed under B in the Philippine's Local Directory. :) Oh wait, this guy's just 17... Uhm, let's wait another year then so I don't end up in jail for corrupting minors. :) Arg. All the cute guys are just kids now, I'm too old already!

Kaw, sino bet mo?

Tomorrow on Reality Bites Part 2 -
Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition: Media Lab Rats

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Hehe, my mentioning Beerkada yesterday made me kinda miss them. So I decided to post a funny strip for today. Kudos to Lyndon Gregorio! He chose to continue the Beerkada story as his characters enter the world after college >>or as I personally call it : HELL<< href="" target="_blank">Image hosting by Photobucket

I'm not sure how to link back the strip to Lyndon's site, but this is where you can find more funny strips by the artist:

On another note, I really, really, really, really want this graphic novel:

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The Mythology Class by Arnold Arre
(Astigin talaga!)

Kaya lang... waah! Expensive! :(
I have to have it... pero pano ba yan, ang layo pa ng PASKO!!!!

These are the times I am sorely tempted to be an immature brat and rant about my financial, aherm, incapacity (more like, inefficiency). Grrrr...

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Book in Hand: Lempriere's Dictionary by Lawrence Norfolk

The First (Famous) Female Fantasy Writer in the Philippines
(F4 Writer for short)

Yesterday, I was idly browsing at our local bookstore when two Filipino publications got my attention. The first was a comic book compilation of fantasy stories called "Fantasya" and the second was a series of books by author Dave Hontiveros with very interesting titles: "Takod", "Craving" and "Parman". You can only imagine how happy I felt to see that publishers in the country are now slowly realizing that there is a healthy market for Filipino-crafted fantasy-inspired tale-weaving.

I glanced through the comic and was a little disappointed. The stories I sped-read through were kind of elementary and predictable. I placed it back on the shelves with a sigh. Girls talking coñotic Taglish, Beerkada-type comic characters (which I love but seemed to take the fantastic from the extraordinary), ten-cents a dozen kind of stories about nuno sa punso, white lady and the like. Still, I concede that it was a good effort. It reminded me that in the 1950s, the US also started from kitschy space alien stories and sword and sorcery yarns. 50 years later, we are now entering the dawning of a new era in Pinoy Lit. Small steps, but I am thankful someone took it.

On the other hand, the book "Parman" showed a bit of promise. It was written in clear English and backed by an interesting plot. It states there that the story is a thriller / dark fantasy hybrid (kinda Gothic) and is set in the Philippines. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough money to buy the book so I just have to wait til the next payday to secure my copy. Still, I walked away from National Bookstore with a light heart, thinking, "There is hope!"

Y'see, I want to be The F4 Writer. A lot of girls are doing very well getting their love stories published by Summit Publications, and for the longest time, I envied them. Sure, I wrote love stories when I was younger and thought I had a good grip on some pretty good formulas, but I gave up on it because I want to write about something that fires me up inside. Right now, the genre that holds me in thrall is fantasy.

Looks like I have to work pretty fast now since opportunities are coming. I can be wrong about being the F4; I'm not sure. Maybe there is a community of Pinay word weavers already dwelling on the fantastic, and has already laid claim to the F4 title. In any case, if I can't be that, then I can always just work on being the DBF2W (Damn Best Filipina Fantasy Writer) of the world. Ehehe... That'll take decades, but hey, Ursula Le Guin, set aside a chair at you tea table 'cos I'm going to get there, no matter what.

Twelve Again

Neil Gaiman noted in his blog that browsing through the Hidden Passages website ( triggers his inner 12-year-old. I realized how he felt when I looked at it myself. I want that!!! Wish I was twelve again because then, I wouldn't know this is highly impractical for our house, entirely too costly and completely unacceptable to my Dad.

But it doesn't make the dull ache to have a revolving bookcase which opens to a secret nave where you can put all the things you hold sacred and dear (rosaries, sure, but also tons of books, cartloads of vanilla ice cream and lots and lots of Post-its) go away any faster. :)


I was Googling about fifteen minutes ago for anybody who might have beaten me as the F4 (when the idea bites, it sure won't let go fast) and Holly Lisle's site came up (because she's a fantasy writer, although 100% American). By sheer coincidence, I saw the title of an article she wrote which just basically kamikazed my insides due to its familiarity.

At the risk of sounding pretentious, I am posting it here. I do not lay claim that I have a writer's soul, although it will explain my love for the written word ever since I was a kid. I have not published anything, have not submitted anything to publishing houses, even. But I write everyday, I conjure stories everyday and I daydream every second. There is a life I want to live out there, and the only way I can get to it is by writing it. That's all I know.

Here's an excerpt:

Live to Write Another Day

Writers, Depression, and Suicide
© by Holly LisleAll Rights Reserved

Another writer died by her own hand, just two days ago. I got the news this morning. I cannot say I knew her -- to the best of my knowledge, we never met, or exchanged e-mails, though certainly at one point or another we may have. I did not know her. But she was, nonetheless, my sister, and one of my tribe.

And she fell, as so many in my tribe fall.

Psychologists note that writers suffer from a higher-than-normal incidence of depression, that the same qualities that make us writers tend to make us more sensitive to the ups and downs of daily life. I do not know in how many cases this is true, but I know it's true for me. I have faced the abyss of self-destruction once, when things were very bad, but managed to walk away. I've suffered from serious depression on a couple of other occasions, also from situations and events that were unbearable, and unfixable.

I count myself lucky to have gotten this far. Now that I'm here, though, I intend to stay. Because along the way, I've discovered that everything changes, and that no matter how horrible things are, they are not horrible forever. Every moment you're breathing is an opportunity to change. If not your surroundings, your trials, your sufferings, then yourself.

From someone who has found a way to hang on even when things are terrible, I want to pass on to you what I've found. Because my tribe has lost enough voices and enough magic, too soon and needlessly. Don't let it lose yours.

....No matter what might be wrong in my life, this is a time I set aside simply to give thanks for anything that is right. There have been a couple of times when my thanks list was pretty short. But I made it through those times, as I intend to make it through similar times that lie ahead. Because as long as you focus on the darkness, all you'll see is the darkness; the most important thing you can do for yourself when you're curled up down in the hole in the dark all alone is realize that if you just look up and open your eyes, you can see the sun. And other people.

You still have a couple of things going for you. You are, at the very least, still breathing. And so long as you are still breathing, you can affect your world, effect change, save your own life, make a difference for someone else, make things better.

Live to write another day. For yourself. For the rest of your tribe. For all the good you can do.

(This article is written with thanks and deepest gratitude to all the writers who faced the abyss and found the strength to walk away.)

Friday, March 03, 2006

Gone Postal

Book in Hand: Le Divorce by Diane Johnson
Song in Mind: When I'm Thinking About You by The Sundays

Image hosting by Photobucket

Feel like a little girl seeing the world for the first time.

Don't worry, when I've entitled my entry today as gone postal, I don't mean to reiterate that I simply have gone insane the past few days. What I meant is that, I have LITERALLY, gone postal.

Took a trip to the Central Post Office today, in between field work areas. I posted the letters I have been writing to Andrea for the last three days. I just found the idea - - sentimental. I wrote the letters because that's definitely cheaper than seeing a shrink and it allowed me to put on paper all these trivial things swirling inside my head. So I told it to my best friend who I am confident will read it, understand it and put the same value to it as I would. Sending it out through the post, as old-fashioned people would, gave it a bit more spark for me. And stamped envelopes are so pretty, besides.

I did some quick calculations on how much I have saved when I decided to just thresh out my feelings by writing about it versus going to a shrink versus just hang myself up the rafters.

If Liv Went to the Shrink

Internet Card to Search Net for Shrink Offices in Manila: P 100
Transportation from Tala, Caloocan to Shrink Office (let's say, Makati): Cab P 300
Lunch before entering Office: P 150
Magazine to Read inside the Office (not interested to read Mags entitled: If I Were Sane, Juday & Ryan Forever, Family Squares) : P 125 (Ok! Mag preferred)
Vendo Coffee while waiting for turn: P 12
New Shirt (as I would probably spill coffee on myself) : P 450
Shrink Professional Free: P 2,500 / 2 hours
Souvenir T-SHirt (Been There, Gone Mad) : P 200 (size triple XL)
Transport Back : P 375 (mas matrapik na eh)
1 Pint Vanilla Ice Cream for Pigging Out: P 55 (Magnolia Vanilla Flavor)
2 1.5L Coke to hype myself up: P 64


If Liv Hung Herself Up the Rafters

Strong Rope: P 85 (2 meters)
Pen and Paper for Suicide Note : P 30


Renovation to Install Rafters Inside my Room: P 59,600


What It Cost Liv to Write to Dre

Pen and Paper: P 30
Envelope: P 5
Stamps: P 7


See how cost-efficient it was? :)

Hehe...I don't know if I can continue writing to her the next few weeks. I guess, the important thing is, I did it now because it needs to be done. It helped me cope better. And thus, Geeks Guide is now back in operation.