Saturday, June 24, 2006

All That Monkey Business

Do you believe in evolution?

I do. No amount of tub-thumping can change my mind about it. It's this fairly obvious thing: through the millenia creatures change. Not everyone believes it though, because some say the actual evolutionary mechanism is unobservable. If you don't know how it works, then it must not exist.

Weird. Not all people know how automobiles work, but you can't argue the fact that they exist. Non-evolutionists will cite biblical, mystical and divine facts, some of which I also believe in. But science is not exclusionary of faith. Christian science has given an explanation I have come to believe is true.

Not everything you read is accurate. The Bible, holy and sacred as it is, is not a factual account of what transpired through the years. So when in Genesis, you read, "The Lord created man on the sixth day", it does not have to be taken literally. As a writer, it is understandable that to write good fiction, the ordinary must be extremely glorified. No one would read the Bible if the hallowed men who wrote it chose to expound the developments of animals year per year for each of the seven hundred or seven thousand years. And frankly, I don't think they can even if they wanted to. Thus, I believe the seven days stated in the bible it took God to create the universe can mean a wide range of time from one million to nth million of years for things to settle down and take form.

I don't find myself disillusioned to think that we have the same ancestors as other living primates does. Beyond the monkey comparison, we all came from fish anyway. And before we were fish, we were microbes. Then unicellular beings. Before that, we were minerals and chemicals. And way before that, we were part of the dust of the universe, ancient ingredients that makes up the stars we now see when we look up at the sky at night.

That's not so bad.

Well, I am only discussing this because while pondering on these issues fairly recently, I realized that there's a sci-fi story in there somewhere.

When the Greek philospher Aristotle made a ladder of life back in his times, he showed that Man is on top of the ladder (something we can refute nowadays, what about the viruses which can instantly wipe us out?). Just below us are the monkeys. But what if the great philosopher did not just show us a classification system, but rather an evolutionary system as well? Scientific tests nowadays prove that chimpanzees are just one aberrant gene away from being man. Their brains are also four times smaller than the average human being, but seeing their bodies are much smaller than ours, that can just be taken as a case of proportions. The only thing lacking from most monkeys is Speech. Speech is different from communication, as the former just pertains to the ability to control mouth, tongue and throat movements to create sounds upon which meaning can be dictated and thus gleaned upon. Monkeys and all animalia can communicate, just not with the same words we use. Their survival depends on it.

In 1966, Beatrice and Allen Gardner at the University of Nevada taught a young female chimpanzee (whom they names Washoe) how to use sign language. And do you know that Washoe amazed everyone with her quick grasp of the non-speech language?

She learned the signs with speed and agility, and even tried to teach other chimpanzees how to use it. Other monkeys were also trained to arrange and rearrange magnetic letters on a board and it wasn't long before they can compose phrases and sentences that makes sense. Sometimes, their teachers would create nonsense sentences, and the chimps wouldn't be fooled by it.

It proves that some monkeys know what they are doing. Just like Man does. They can easily have been our ancestor. But what if they are our progenitor as well?

Now, let us leave the logical shores of Science and delve into the fantastic. What if a millenia ago, we were akin to chimpanzees (not actual chimpanzees but like-chimpanzees) who were taught language by, let's say, Atlanteans (c'mon, stay with me here, hehe)? What if we are repeating the pattern by teaching the modern day chimpanzees a language? Today, I read in the newspaper that this year was the hottest year for the last 2,000 years. The last time it was this hot, the ice caps melted and earth life was drastically alterred. What if, Man will be wiped out in some future era, and the monkeys we taught would evolve into the next homo-sapiens-like species on earth?

And would they have tales of Atlantis and of gods who taught them magic ? It would be their explanation for airplanes and trains and cell phones and elevators. Would they talk of sagely monkey-like creatures who taught them the language of the hands?

Fantasy, yes. Fiction, yes yes yes.

But all fiction is fantasy and all fantasy have a grain of hard, cold truth in it. Otherwise, it wouldn't be very interesting fantasy.

Oh! This strange game, this play on the would be's and what would have-beens, this course on the What Ifs!

Such fun we have. :) Someday, let's play it again.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Book of Days

WTF am i doing NOT Writing???

Tell me, why am i f wasting my time with these trivial commentaries? Why am f involved with all these inane things that my soul does not care about, not one whit?

Blogging is good exercise for the writer, if and only if, it helps her/him refine her thoughts and broaden her/his perspective. But when you start talking about frea**** Britney Spears, you know you've hit the ground, worse for wear. Tell me, am I being too hard on myself?

Because i don't think so.

Let me tell you why I had been trying to make my blog colorful --- I want to be read. I hope that for the last two years since I had been doing this thing, I at least, could have entertained just one soul. Reading back over what i have written, I can get lost for hours; but after all is said and done, it does not leave a mark inside. I do not feel changed. I believe it's safe to deduce that the readers do not feel changed as well.

Entertaining, yes. Meaningful, no.

Can any of you understand? I'm stuck in this lazy body, and my words cannot leave up to the pristine intricateness of what i want to write about. I. Do. Not. Have. The. Words.

No focus. No drive. Just like the rest of my life.

I have the illusion that I was born to write. Something. Anything. But I get by for months without putting down to paper what I truly want to say. I am drowning in words, but not one of them is what I was born to write.

And out of this frustration, I get touchy and irritable to the people I love the most. I have lost my interest at work, easily blaming it on people I dislike, completely forgetting that I have complete power to change that. I feel stunted. Wing-less. Because I couldn't say the words I need to say, I have lost my capacity for flight. I am not crazy. This is how important writing is to me. It is me. I feel a pain in my gut everytime I remember how I am continually failing to do what I need to do.

I have to get things straight around here. I have to sit down every night as I have promised myself and write. I cannot quit my job because it is not the reason why i couldn't write. If anything, it provides me the fodder because I work with people and not things. I work for causes and not just targets. I am given stories, day in and day out, on a silver platter and I do not see because I choose to let my eyes remain hooded. The stories are not in my head. They are out there in the world. So I should sit up and pay attention.

No more words here, but I will try to resusitate my storyteller blog. No more trivias. I'll rename it my book of days.

I'm sorry for wasting everybody's time.

Whatnots

Book in Hand: Nine Supernatural Stories
Edited by April Yap Timbol and my Hum 1 prof Lara Saguisag

Had been needing my E-fix over the weekend, and I found a link (again, by rickey) which could suffice for now. :) Man, this is worse than being a druggie. :)

Turn off the sound first while it downloads so you won't get robotic sounds. Just wanted to prove I'm not utterly insane to think this guy can sing and that he's pretty great.

Try opening this link in a new window:
www.rickey.org/blog/2006/06/elliott_yamin_moodys_mood_for_1.html

While waiting for the video to download, let me talk to you about this recent news I have heard about Britney Spears.

She (get this) wants to give birth to her second baby in Namibia. She wrote a letter to the Namibian government and everything, asking if she can be afforded the same Baby Plus package (well, wtf would you call it?) provided to Angelina Jolie-Pitt. It seems that this package covers (aside from a nifty hospital delivery) security and media restrictions which would protect her precious second child.

Am I just out of the loop, or does anybody really care that she's going to give birth again barely a year after her last pregnancy? Why go to Namibia? She can just drive over to Mexico City and I'm pretty sure only a handful of reporters would really ever care.

I'm not a very big fan of this Brad - Angelina whoring their baby to the local press (if you can pay the price) and as far as I can see, Mommy Soda Pop just wants to have that "branding", that heck, she can afford to travel to Namibia to whelp a mini-Kevin Federline too.

Jaysuz, why not just go to Timbuktu, Brittle-ney, and maybe stay there? Just a suggestion.


Okay, so is the video downloaded yet? I figure mebbe not, unless you're on broadband so...


I am a frequent visitor of Neil Gaiman's website and in his journal, he's really into answering questions from his fans. I wanted to ask him a gazillion questions, and I did, but I guess I didn't frame my questions interestingly enough because they never made it to his blog. I guess, I should have writte it more honestly rather than take that star-struck tone, because this question was pretty straightforward and what i reall, really wanted to ask him but just didn't have the proper intensity to actually do so. Im happy it got asked, and was answered:

Neil,

I am a huge fan of both your work and your advice to aspiring authors (I have a post-it note with a quote from you about bear wrestling for when i get discouraged). So I know that your most common advice to aspiring writers is to write.Well what about when your youngish (23) and you do write, but you just feel like your skills aren't matching your ideas. In other words, you feel like most of your stuff is utter crap.Did you ever feel like this? And if so what did you do to hone your skills, or improve your techniques?How important do you think college is for writers?Regardless of an answer, thanks for taking the time to read these questions.

Truly,'tricia


That was pretty much how I felt when I was 22-23, too. I had a fairly good ear for other authorial voices, so I could pastiche, and I wanted to be a writer more than most people want to breathe, but I didn't have a lot to say and I knew that I wasn't very good yet -- and also that I had ideas that were better than I was.What I did was work as a journalist. It forced me to write, to write in quantity, to write to deadline. It forced me to get better than I was, very fast.It got stuff I wrote into print. There is nothing for a young author that teaches you how to get better faster than reading something you wrote in print -- suddenly every mistake, every infelicity, every laziness, shows up as if in neon letters.And the process of transcribing conversations forced me to learn to write dialogue and learn the economies of getting speech patterns into just a few words. (Dialogue -- even "naturalistic dialogue" -- isn't how people speak. So you need to learn to distill.)

And I was also lucky in finding myself with several book review columns, being forced to read and review everything, including stuff way out of my comfort zone, or books I simply would never have picked up. (I think writers should read from the shelves they wouldn't normally go.) And it was great reading stuff where I'd read something and go "I may be crap, but I'm better than this." (Working on Ghastly Beyond Belief was a great help on this, too.)Also I got to do some living. That bit was important too, and much of it was a side effect of being a journalist -- I got to see lots of bits of the world I hadn't known existed, and talk to people I would never otherwise have encountered. That was important too.So that was how I did it.

You'll probably want to do it differently. I don't think any two people are going to take the same path, or need to.As for how important college is for writers -- I remember someone once asking here if he needed an MFA before he could write -- the awful truth is that no editor, picking up a manuscript, is going to check your qualifications before reading page 1, and no qualifications will keep her reading past page 2 if she isn't enjoying it and interested in what happens next. (On the other hand, to the extent that college makes you write, get stuff into print, read outside your comfort zone, and meet people you might not otherwise meet, I think it's great. But it's not any kind of prerequisite.)

Does that help?


YES IT DOES, SIR.

YES IT DOES.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Lake House

Book in Hand: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Zoer
Song in Mind: What i Won't Do For Love by Elliot Yamin (thanks for the mp3, rickey!!!)

Being sick has its advantages. I was waddling around the house after a pointless medical check-up (they can't tell me anything about the pain in my stomach) clutching my tummy and bewailing my mystifying illness. My cousin couldn't stand to see me so blue so he ran to the nearest talipapa and bought a VCD copy of the movie "The Lake House." I didn't ask him to! (I promise to all the staunch Privacy is a Crime advocates!) But he said he wanted to cheer me up and he knew I wanted to see the movie because I heart Sandra and Keanu. Since I am in no condition to go to the mall, I did the evil thing & watched the VCD.


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Oh boy. What a tangled web of implausibilities we weave, watching this movie.

The movie started out okay, a bit slow, showing Sandra Bullock as a young Doctor named Kate Forster dealing with a boring life (don't we all?). Three minutes into the film, she has moved out of the Lake House. She left a note to the next renter, who now happens to be Alex Wyler played by Keanu Reeves--- who turned out to be the previous renter after all.

I hear you go, Huh?

Yeah, exactly. The conflict of the story lies in the schism or glitch in time that separates Alex and Kate. She's alive and kicking in the year 2006, while He's still working through the year 2004. Their only means of communication is leaving each other handwritten notes left in the Lake House mailbox. Talk about a seriously odd long-distance relationship.

No, no! Please do't ask me to explain the plot! It would be futile! It would make no sense! My Super-Movie-Critic-Powers has failed me... or maybe I'm just not up to it right now. (Sick and all --- excuses, excuses). I cannot give you a review, but I can give you tips on how to enjoy the movie.

Tip#1 : Watch with a bunch of teenagers who keeps oooh-in and aaah-ing at every contrived romantic moment and laughing at every comedic panhandling. It'll be your cue what the fuck the scriptwriters and the director was trying to achieve with that act. This helps if you are as jaded as I am.

Tip# 2: Do not approach the story line with a rational, logical frame of mind. If you do that, everything falls apart. The story was meant to be illogical and hole-y. Ignore the fact that Alex and Kate did not even question their situation too much (no psychiatrists, no wide-eyed hapless am i going insane self-interviews). Just watch. Flick off the brain power and cruise along.

Tip# 3: Immerse yourself in the glory of the chemistry between Sandra and Keanu. They flexed this incredibly bankable chemistry in Speed. Now, indulge in their three-minute kissing scenes.

Tip # 4: Watch their faces. Note how lines are starting to show on Sandra's face, but she's still down-to-earth beautiful. And Keanu's lean Neo-face has actually meat on it now, and he's starting to get a bit jocular. But somehow, that's even sexier than the chopsticks he used to be.

Tip # 5: Appreciate the beautiful architecture of the houses. Take in the sights of the City of Chicago, usually overshadowed by way too many movies situated in New York. They don't have a Central Park, but they do have The Lake.

Tip#6: Forget all the time-travelling, past-averting movies you'd seen before. It doesn't work here.

Tip# 7: Don't eat squid balls with sticky sauce that drops on every danged furniture that you have to keep wiping up causing you to lose precious seconds necessary to understand the film. Well, just don't.

Tip # 8: Just ignore Alex's strange younger brother played by a strange-looking guy. His eyes -- too blue! Too wide! His smile --- too weird! He should play a creepy person in a real horror movie. He'd be earning the big bucks, just like that!

Tip # 9: If you're a Jane Austen fan, you'd love the way they keep quoting the book Persuasion. If you're a Dostoyevsky fan, you'd be pissed off wondering what the fuck is his connection to the whole damned thing.

Tip # 10: The conclusion was a bit unsatisfying for me. Do make up your own alternative ending.

Follow these tips and you might just end up enjoying every blessed thing about the movie.

And wondering how much longer you have to wait for your own lake house love story to commence.

Or scare yourself silly wondering if your true love is somehow stuck three years behind you or stuffed in a mailbox somewhere or was killed the moment he laid his eyes on you and you didn't even know it.

Ah, Love.

Trabaja de maneras misteriosas. En los lugares más extraños. De la manera más ilógica. Usted consiguió amarla.

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Es mágico.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Where's Rickey?

Okaaaaay... Who's Rickey?

The industrious blogger, that's who. He's just like you and me -- addictive to blogging, but somehow his transcedental commitment to bringing us the lowdown on everything Reality TV, including the successful run of his American Idol forums and threads, has brought him to heights never before imaginable for a Pinoy Blogger.

Yours truly had been a constant visitor, always excited to download his uploaded mp3s of the AI performances, especially that of Elliot! Since he diverts thousands of AI fans from the Official AI website, Fox TV hates his guts. But I say, such a big, powerful company like the Big Bad FOX wouldn't really have their fur all ruffled up if it wasn't a formidable opponent they're facing, right? :) Yea, Rickey's the Dude. He's got the MAN down.

Funny then that I found out he was actually part of the audience in the FOX show Live with Regis and Kelly two weeks ago. He posted some pics where we can see Fox's blatant logo, and what do you know, there is little Rickey who slipped past their fingers! Hilarious!

This is Rickey:

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Now, let's play a game:
WHERE'S RICKEY?

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Teeheee.... go girl. :)

Anyway, I find the fact that he actually met Elliot very fascinating. He said, and I quote:

"My name is Rickey and this blog is the most awesome thing I’ve done in my life.

So the day started innocently enough. I was determined to wake up early and not miss Elliott Yamin’s appearance on Live with Regis Vaughn and Kelly, like I did with Chris Daughtry a couple of weeks back because I got sick. I placed my alarm clock right beside my ear to make sure that I woke up. Ate the one consistent thing in my life right now (oatmeal), texted Jodi and I was on my way.


I got to the studio just in time and Elliott was already being mobbed by a small crowd, in fact I couldn’t see him. I had to push a little bit, but once I got near enough, he left! Drat. And then it happened, someone screamed my name: “Rickey!” To which I said “Hi”, but a few seconds later, I got mobbed by the Yaminions! It was thrilling and terrifying at the same time to hear someone say: “Oh we got see Elliott and Rickey.” Waaaa. I didn’t know what to do so I just posed with the fans. Hahaha.
"

"Yaminion Ashley said she had an extra ticket to a show on Fox later in the afternoon, and invited me to join. *Light bulbs!* And I said yes. I basically cancelled my morning appointment so I can head off to Fox with Jodi in tow. It turns out we were going to be the studio audience for a show I’ve never heard before called DaySide. Jodi and I bonded with Ashley (thanks for the tickets!), Jean (you rock!) and Jen (who hugged Elliott, and said he didn’t smell like cookies but all boy) while waiting in line. "

"One really negative thing that happened though was when Jodi and I overheard this awful sound bite from the blonde PA of the show to one of her colleagues as the fans were leaving: “If you were born looking like that you would have thought you were doomed.” I couldn’t believe it. Everybody write FOX News Channel now! What a disgrace." (I AM FUMING MAD! - Olivia)

"After the show, we waited around for Elliott and our patience paid off when he showed up. This was my opportunity to get our ultra-rare rickey.org t-shirt signed! I come up to Elliott and just as he was about to sign the shirt, his EVIL handler told him not to sign the shirt! WTF? I realized later that I shouldn’t have revealed that it was a rickey.org shirt because apparently, Fox really hates me. No! But Elliott was still nice about it and told me, “Dude I can’t sign this.” He called me dude. Yay. And so I tried to whip my camera instead but at this point I couldn’t muscle my way since he was being mobbed by the other fans. Oh well. We’ll try to get our ultra-rare rickey.org t-shirt signed by an Idol one way or another.

Elliott Yamin is awesome! He’s like half an inch shorter than I am and he’s scrawny. Haha. Love it. For about thirty minutes, Jodi and I walked around Times Square dazed (and looking for food). We were pretty much American Idol drunk. And that’s a very very accurate description. We finally ended up at Bubba Gump for a late lunch.

My name is Rickey and this blog is the most awesome thing I’ve done in my life. Thanks for all your support."

You gotta love this guy. :)
Visit him at www.rickey.org/blog

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Gossip Girl

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Interesting, interesting, interesting.

Life's many wounded seems to be replicating these days. And the wounds inflicted are usually due to matters of the heart it also seems.

This morning, on the way to work, I heard a most frustrating story from my Dad. He teaches at THE oldest college in the country and it seems his new post as Chairman of the Management Area includes the responsibility of ensuring the wholistic development of students, whether as a group or an individual. This in turn translates to the fact that he now has to deal with the rottenest of the rotten Management students, and / or the most problematic. He's got a vow never to repeat it within the walls of the college, but he told me because he asked for my advice. He admitted he was kind of out of touch with the recent generation. He wants to see it from a more youthful (immature?) angle and I suppose that's why he asked me. :) I don't have the vow of secrecy, on the other hand, so I do not feel the least guilty blogging about it. Anyway, I would not be mentioning real names. And I don't suppose anyone from that school would be chancing upon my blog since most of them only care about basketball and the NCAA. Hehe, biased, am I? Growing up with both parents teaching at the same school afforded me an insider-outsider view that is most realistic. Trust me. UP they are not.

Let's call the school, CP (College of the Priests). Let's call this male student, Joey. He's a true-blue Priests-guy, from kindergarten to jis current status as graduating college student. Barely half a minute after he got over his Ragnarok-obsession, he fell in love with a girl 5 years his senior. Let's call the girl, Mei-Li. Mei-li isn't really very pretty and she's not really very bright. Right after high school, she applied as guest relations officer / dancer / singer in Japan. Now, Mei-li is brave, she has to be, because she grew up in an improverished family. She's kind-hearted too, and in fairness, you really can't blame her for wanting to be in love. Meanwhile, Joey grew up lonely since he was an unico hijo. He desperately wants to be loved and be in love.

Last year, Mei-li came back from Japan, met Joey and turned his world upside down. Their story beats a telenovela: Bourgeoise meets proletariat, you and me against the world. Joey's parents hated the fact that their son is in love with a person they labeled as a prostitute. For a while, they accepted the girl into their home, because they did not want to lose their son. But after a flare up between the mother and Mei-li, the latter left and went back to her starving family in Malolos. Joey followed. Up to this point, I am hurrah-ing for the girl. I find their love almost (but not quite) admirable. Except that, at this point, Mei-li changed my mind.

She is asking Joey to quit his studies, work as a bagger boy in a nearby mall, and face the world square on with just the two of them. Oh, and plus Mei-li's family of five.

Stupid. Stupid.

What's even stupider is that the boy is convinced this is what he wants to. The thing that keeps him from dropping out is the fact that if he stops studying, he won't get his allowance. This same allowance he keeps so that he can give it Mei-li and her family. And he says, he prefers to go home to Mei-li's family because he is accepted there, jus the way he is (with his meager allowance at hand).

Moronic. Inane.

Oh my. The story is complicated and I'm not telling it very well. Now, My Dad is trying to help this kid. To stay in school? Maybe. But I hope he helps him more by letting him make a choice and learn to stand by it.

More than this, I can not say anything else.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

E-News

Oh joy! Oh bliss!

I got home in time to watch the American Idol re-runs on ABC 5 featuring the best performances of my favorites: Chris and Elliot! Tonight, I realized how utterly mono-stylistic Chris is, how he turns everything to rock which is cool but can get, boring.

Meanwhile, Elliot sang according to the emotions of the song -- ecstatic, wistful, sad, rock, pop -- and yet still making it his own. When his videos started, it was enough to lure my Dad out of his room asking "Who's that singing?"

I wanted to say:
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"Your future son-in-law; the singer of songs from the land of dreams, who'd sing me to sleep every single night and smile at me with that goofy smile and say I love you just the way you are!"

But judging my Dad's weak heart I had to content myself with, "Elliot!!!" delivered in a voice more gushy than I intended it to be. And besides, E seems very much in love with his girlfriend. That lucky girl. She kinda deserves it, y'know, for choosing Elliot and being there for him even when he was still the lost boy E claimed he was. Yeah. One helluva fortune teller, that girl. Or maybe, she just really loves him.

Lookadat, ain't she pretty?

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Enough about me and illusions though. Let me provide you with an update about what's up with Elliot the past few weeks, whether you care or not (but I hope you care!).

Taylor and Kat had been snagged up by Clive Davis' recording studio but Elliot hasn't inked a deal yet. I'm not really very sorry to hear that Davis hasn't given E a contract yet, because if you would remember Davis was the one who gave such awful suggestions to the AI finalists during his guest appearance. Anyway, E had been busy making rounds of children's hospitals opening up charity functions and social events. Wouldn't it be cool to have Elliot sing for a charity event I am facilitating? It's not such a far reality since I do those kind of stuff, except that I'm in Manila and he's in the US. But that's just a trans-geographical glitch which can be resolved by, uhm, er, excessive wishing.

Oh and yeah! He recently sang the American National Anthem during the recent Mavs - Heat NBA finals! His look? Weird as usual; hobbit-esque at its mostest. He looked like the real Frodo with a Dallas Mavericks shirt on. And Frodo sang the Star Spangled Banner --- with stylistics.

I tell you, it's surreal. Here, grab a peek:

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He must've been quite the lucky leprechaun though because the Mavs won that game. :)

For a chance to watch the Idol Tour, I'll give my right arm and an extra index toe. Sigh.

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Thanks to Terrie of:http://www.everyopinion.blogspot.com/ and Yaminions for the pics and the news.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Rub-A-Dub-Dub

Book in Hand: Isaac Asimov's Magic :
Collection of Fantasy Stories by the Sci-Fi Grandmaster


Bejeez, I'm in love again. :) Teehee... And this guy's tall, for once.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

URBAN GEEK'S GUIDE

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting "City Girl" art by jo tyler


Here's the reality of my life:

Every morning I wake up at 5:00 a.m. so as to be ready to leave the house for work at 5:45. From the Fairview area, I wait for a bus / jeep / fx going to Lawton / Kalaw / Buendia. En route to work, I inhale all kinds of exhaust fumes. I am jostled by a mixture of people --- some clean smelling, some doubtful looking. At 7:00 a.m. I reach the workplace and proceed to live a zombie life for the next eight to eleven hours in the office, unless of course, I'm on field, then I'm completely alive. AT 5:30 / 6:00 / 8:00 p.m. I leave the office and do the commuting thing all over again. I reach home by 8 p.m. / 9 p.m. / 10:00 p.m. and I am so drained it takes a herculean effort to clean up, eat dinner (yes, even to eat!) and climb the stairs to my room.

Can I be blamed for trying to find something to spice this life up?

Sometimes, it takes a huge effort to be interested to live each day. But there are times you just need to focus on a few things to brighten the hours up. I find that these things are usually small ones. I figured I could make a small list of list for urban geek essentials to share around, just in case other people are also trying to find stuff that can make them smile even it's only as long as three seconds. :) Now, who wouldn't need that smile, right?


TOP 3 BEST WAYS TO WAKE UP EACH MORNING:

3. To wake up and smell breakfast being cooked by your mother.
2. To wake up and snatch back from oblivion the last traces of an excellent and happy dream you dreamt all night.
1. To wake up feeling the cool cotton sheets on your skin and you realize that it's drizzling outside.


TOP 3 BREAKFAST MEALS:

3. Tocino, sinangag and fried egg
2. Bacon, fried egg and sinangag
1. Pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse.


TOP 2 DRESSING TIPS TO MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD THE WHOLE DAY

2. Choose clothes according to what you're supposed to do for the day.
1. Wear at least one article of clothing or accessory you love everyday.


TOP 5 STUFF YOU NEED TO PUT IN YOUR BAG

5. Your wallet (goodness!) with enough change to avoid hassles when paying for your ride so early in the morning.
4. Something to munch on during sudden hunger pangs or when boredom attacks.
3. Your FM transmitter / walkman / discman / mp3 player / ipod to provide you with a soundtrack for your day.
2. A handkerchief (believe it, your momma's right about always needing one)
1. A book to read for those indeterminate hours of waiting for various things


TOP 3 RADIO STATIONS TO LISTEN TO ON A WORK DAY

3. Home Radio 97.9
2. Mellow Touch 94.7
1. Jam 88.3

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TOP 3 STRESS RELIEVERS AT THE WORKPLACE

3. Buy and play with a stress ball.
2. Talk to a colleague who looks like he / she needs a break too.
1. Stand up from your desk / computer monitor and putter around for five minutes to rest your eyes and your mind.


TOP 3 MUNCHIES

3. McDonald's Chicken McNuggets and fries!
2. Pringles Original
1. Pepperidge Farm Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!


TOP 3 THINGS THAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD AT THE END OF THE DAY

3. A check beside every item under your To Do list for the day.
2. A ride home / to the nearest bus stop
1. A good joke / story you heard from your colleagues during the course of the day.

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TOP 5 SONGS TO LISTEN TO ON YOUR WAY HOME

5. Somebody to Love by Queen / Elliot Yamin
4. Bad Day by Daniel Powter (if you had a bad day)
3. Fix You by Coldplay
2. Home by Michale Buble / Elliot Yamin
1. Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae


Top 3 Pasalubong for the Little Sister / Brother (even if they're not little anymore)

3. Pizza!
2. Donuts!
1. Rented VCD / DVD of movie she / he wanted to see

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Top 3 Ways to Fall Asleep

3. Read a Book or listen to soothing Music
2. Count your blessing, thank the Creator for another day lived
1. Dream lucidly until you cross the bridge to dreaming in your sleep.


Of course, these are just a few things and I'm sure a million other ideas make other people smile. Feel free to share what makes you smile in a day -- share it around to make sure there'll be more toothy grins than ferocious frowns. It wouldn't hurt, right? :0

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Our Hands

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They fit.

I like the soft friction of your rough palm on my smooth one. I love the contrast in color it makes -- my light brown skin on your darker skin. I observed that there are no awkward spaces in between our clasped fingers. My hands, which used to be always too big for a girl, gloried in the feel of being enfolded in something larger than itself.

If hands that fit one another is the only indicator of destiny, we would have been set for life.

But as it is, I am not a believer of this theory. Physical measurements are too easy --- they make up half of the coincidences in the world.

Or, it could be that after so many years I'm still running. I can't run though if you're holding my hands. So please let go. And remind me never to hold your hand again.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Last Stand

Book in Hand: The Princess Bride by William Goldman (exhausting bit of dollop, if you ask me) and Lempriere's Dictionary (totally incomprehensible)

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Reasons to Watch X-Men III:

1. I love Hugh Jackman.
2. I want to see how the movie messed up the comic books.
3. I love Hugh Jackman.
4. It's better than watching the tired movie concept that is All About Love and the complete failure to launch of, well, Failure to Launch.
5. I love Hugh Jackman.


Is this list clear enough?

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I've watched Hugh in that forgettable movie with Ashley Judd (the movie remake of the book called Animal Husbandry); I endured Kate and Leopold for him (yes, even with that hideous Duke costume he was forced to wear half the movie); and gasp! I even watched that kooky Australian movie Paperback Hero because of him. And of course, I watched X-Men and X-Men 2 because he plays the yummy-licious Wolverine. (Guys will kill me now for seeing Wolverine as yummy rather than the mean, lean fighting machine he is).

To my complete and utter surprise, I was vaguely pleased with X-Men: The Last Stand. Aside from the fact that they showased Hugh in all his rugged handsomeness (to the point of overdoing it, actually), it tickled my imagination as well. What fascinating characters the X-Men are! I remember being engrossed with the cartoon series on TV a lot of years back. I remember liking Jubilee (who barely registered in this movie, sad to say). I don't remember Jean Grey dying though. I thought Phoenix just left her body or something. And Cyclops didn't die, I'm actually sure of that. Meanwhile, Rogue took the cure for the insipid Iceman? I don't think so. All that happened in this movie. But I still liked it.

The movie did take my breath away in some things though:


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1. It was a life long dream for me to be the star of a movie where I play someone with infinite powers --- such as displayed by Jean Grey / Phoenix in the movie. Geez, she even wore my fantasy costume, the mysterious/dominatrix body suit with matching dress/cape. Although most of the time, Jamke Famssen (how do you pronounce that name?) almost started looking like a comatosed patient the way she portrayed Phoenix, I still loved it. Drat. My kingdom for that role.

2. Angel / Warren is too dang beautiful. And he was so underutilized. If you look at the movie poster, you'd think he'd be playing a much bigger role. But the way the movie was edited, he's just one of the minor characters.

3. Kelsey Grammer played The Beast? Now, who could've known that? He was utterly unrecognizable. And so utterly brilliant playing the diplomatic Blue Beast. Well, so I think.

4. Shadowcat's too cute. Is it just me who imagined her to be kittenish and a bit more demure?

5. Iceman was SO flirting with Shadowcat. I mean, what girl wouldn't go over fits of purple rage over the things he did? Make an ice pond and go gallivanting with another girl ? Rogue came out a wimp in the film.


Oh, and check this out, dawg. (Channeling Randy Jackson)
They say X-Men 3 is a metaphor for Gay Rights with its theme of fighting discrimination and alienation.They may have a point there. And what more proper movie title can be used other than X-Men, right? :)

I'm sorry, I hope that was not an offensive joke. I'm still getting my lingo down to pat. Especially now that every other guy friend I have has outed themselves over the span of one year. I totally get the "loving people just the way they are" part. And I do. I for one, still would marry Angel, wing span and all.

Oh, just go on and watch X-Men 3. Indulge yourself. It's a no-brainer, but it's fun. And that's what you want when you pay for the tickets, right?

Oh, and wait for the trailer to end and watch a 2-second clip that challenges the claim that this movie truly is "The Last Stand."

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Under the Weather

I really haven't been feeling well these past few days. I often get stomach cramps because of my absolute love (greed?) to eat, but the past few days they had been unusually bad.

I have a weird suspicion that our canteen food is making me sick. Last Friday, we had an activity we had catered by them and I ended up sick that evening. Last night, I got home to the most violent case of stomach problems I've ever known and that's after eating nothing the whole day except canteen food.

One would think, right?


PBSP Sportsfest 2006

Last year, I happened to be in the losing team. This year, my team won a SWEEP except for one fun game and emerged as over-all champion.

I'm in the LIME GREEN Team this time (bakit may Lime, Lime pa silang nalalaman? Ketchis. Ewan!) Of course, I reminisced about the utter patheticness of my team last year, and I found myself saying that I won't get so involved emotionally this time.

You see, when I say I am a pacifist and I hate competition, what I'm really saying is that I hate losing. I don't like it, I'm not used to it. Now, yesterday I had a headache that can split atoms and I wanted to go home early. But then we started winning all the major sports event (badminton, volleyball and basketball) and I found myself not able to tear myself away. Of course, it was also a factor that I had to stay to emcee the whole hoopla. I also decided to stay for the cheering competition because I utterly believe I can help cheer even if I can't dance moot.

And fancy that, we won the cheering competition as well.

Okay, let's talk about team composition because most people believe that's a vital factor. Honestly, when I saw my team's members last Friday I thought we're gonna be the loser team yet again. Sorry ha? Wala kasi dun yung alam kong magagaling talaga. Except for Troy. And, Troy. And Troy. (He's our resident MIS geek who can play any sport na may balls --- ooops, I mean any ball sports pala) Wala sa amin si Eman, si Joyce o si Art. Ang nasa amin ay ang mga naggagandahang dilag ng Training & Consultancy Unit na sina Arnyl (Arlyn?), Reno (Reena?) at Nilda (Manuelito?). Nasa sa amin din ang mahihinhin na sina Ms. Des at Elaine. Ang kasama ko lang na familiar ako ay si Tin "Team Spirit" Jimeno, Astiging Terteen (Thirty?) Omaña na mukha lang astig pero bopol talaga sa kahit anong sports na hindi basketball at ang aming nice-newbie-but-sometimes-head-is-floating-in-the-clouds na si Grace. (Does her description sound familiar? Ganun din kasi ako ata)

Just goes to show I really don't know all the people in PBSP yet that well, especially those outside LRO. Astig din nga pala maglaro sina Kuya Louie and "Yao Ming" Andang. Si Ms. Knoy and Elaine pala, pambato sa volleyball. Hidden talent ni Tin sa badminton, napilitang magtanggal ng kumot and mag-shine, shine through the heavens. Si Reno astig sa badminton, kung di ko lang siya ka-baro siguro... anyway. At si Ms. Queenie? Magaling mag-cheer. Ako naman, kaya ko pala ang maging malakas mang-asar ng ibang team. Promise, ngayon lang lumabas yang hidden animal characteristic ko na yan. Bait bait ko di ba?

I guess this teaches me to never assume stuff. I'd never know the people around me if I don't go out and get to know them. Yun lang. Learning Number One.

Hindi ko rin dapat makakalimutan kung gano ka-competitive ang mga tao sa PBSP. Hay, ang fun games pa lang, war games na. Sa Charades kasi, I saw in everyone's faces -- Eto na naman tayo, bangayan na naman dahil sa mga rules na yan. Ang nakakatawa pa, yung mga tao na nagsasabi na "games lang to, fun lang" sila pa yung mga promotor na "O si ano nag-ganyan!" Ah ewan. Pakikuha nga ng dictionary at hanapin ang salitang fun. Promise, hindi kayo fun. Siguro it was our advantage na napundi lahat ng tao dun dahil parang matapos yun wala ng kalatoy-latoy lahat. Doesn't make it an ultra-satisfying win for us (mega lang), pero at least our team didn't let the fire fizzle out.

Last but not the least, I saw that I made a comment last year na pag dumating na yung taon na nanalo ang team ko sa sportsfest, pwede na ako mag-resign. Haha. Signs of the times?

Ketchis.

Ewan.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Absurdities

The world is full of absurd things. Stuff that's enough to turn the world upside down. And sometimes, you 'd wonder if it was ever the right side up.

Diana Murders

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OK Magazine this June 2006 banners the story that the Diana Tragedy has disturbing new evidence which points to murder. Her death, along with Dodi Al Fayed, may have been a desperate attempt to stop them from announcing their impending union --- plus baby to boot. Reports say that the Royal Family just couldn't take the thought of an Egyptian baby as another contender to the throne.

Well, if that isn't the oddest thing I have ever heard. But I suppose conspiracy-junkies would love this one. My only say is that, this is so strange it might as well be non-fiction. I'm not saying I believe it. It's just that, the British Royalties are all fluff nowadays. Charles with his New Age / acupuncture fetishes is just a bit too... normal. Coupled with his Dumbo ears--- he's more comical than kingly, isn't he? But if ever he's got the evil streak (and er, the backbone to actually pursue a sinister goal) that'll be more in line with the Mad King of England role, right? I believe that was also Mad Charles I who made such a name for the throne. I guess what I'm saying is, I wouldn't be surprised.

All the better for him to be defunct and for William to asend the throne in his stead. But that's just fluff, right now. 'F Course.


Feed the Hungry Hollywood Nymphets Campaign

Can somebody please give these girls a bit of bread? They look ready to drop out like flies. Oh, I'm sorry.... this was supposed to be cool?

Oh. What strange folks are these?

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Now This Is Just Scary

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Beyond words absurd.