Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Of Films: Bafflers and Elegies



Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Starring: Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Professor Snape


I heard about the book through Sep, who exclaimed over dinner one night that she wants to get her hands on the novel Perfume, which the movie I’m about to discuss is based on. I trust Sep’s taste for it has never failed me yet, so I decided to find the book meself. Turns out, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. Nothing in bookstores, nothing on-line. I’ve also surfed the pirate waves, and came up with nada, zilch, niente. So I just went to a video store and borrowed a copy of the movie which sat gathering flies on the New Releases shelf. I felt a surge of hope when I saw how nobody seems to want to watch it. Hellboy and My Only U is all out, but Perfume remained. It must be more than just crap then. More people like crap nowadays, sells better. And I was right.

Visually gripping, would be my word for the film. How one movie can capture reality so viscerally, I cannot say. I am not sure it was even possible. The theme of the movie felt Harry Potteri-ish, especially with the narration done by John Hurt (I did wonder why the narration sounded British when the story took place in Paris), but you overlook these things because it blends in with what you’re seeing: a seething Paris marketplace, an empty alley, hills, sea, throngs of smelly people. I can also go as far as saying the movie was so sensory (sensorical? Sensual doesn’t seem the right word)fulfilling you can almost smell it as well.

The story is about Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born under a fish stall and left for dead by his mother. He survives; the mother did not --- she was accused of murder and was hanged. Jean-Baptiste (let’s call him JB) was sent to an orphanage and was dutifully neglected by everyone. But if there’s one remarkable thing about this boy was that his sense of smell is so keen that it’s almost a superpower. It’s as if he can see with his eyes. He can smell a frog laying eggs from yards away. He can smell people from miles away. And his world was about smells, until one fateful day, capturing and preserving scent became his obsession. You know from first on that JB, played by Ben Wishaw, did not grow up right. He had some strange fate waiting for him, in some dark alleyway. And that’s exactly how it played out. His obsession of preserving human scent led him to apprentice himself to Baldini (played by Dustin Hoffman) where he learned of distilling scent. But even this did not suffice him. He needed a way to preserve the scent without liquefying it. With overtures of the mad scientist and tortured artiste in him, he went to learn another way of capturing scent: wrapping them in cloths brushed with animal fat and then condensing the fat to release the single drop of essence. His former mentor Baldini told him of a scent so sublime that everyone who smells would feel like they’re in Paradise. JB wanted this, and to achieve it, he needed to preserve the scent of the most beautiful creatures that walks the earth. He killed 13 virgins, took their essence, and put together the magical perfume. He was caught though, but then he found ways to escape, until he realized he could never escape who he is.

It’s weird that in this film, I found myself rooting for the antihero. I wanted him to find the 13th virgin and successfully capture her scent. It was already clear he was amoral, and there’s an innocence to his actions that bespoke of no evil. Odd, I tell you.

You have to watch it. Nothing blows up. There’s not even much blood. I can’t say it was a beautiful film, but then again, what is beauty? But if you are after cheap thrills, who prefers stuff like Hellboy, I might be able to persuade you to watch by hinting that a mass orgy takes place at the near end of the film.

Ha! I bet that got your attention.

Speaking of the ending, I found it hard to suspend disbelief at the end of the film, and it was only then I realized it was a fantasy story ( I even almost thought it was biographical at one point, my bad). I got muddled a bit, but since every frame was so… beautifully unpretty, I am more than willing to forgive.



Grace is Gone
Starring: John Cusack


Allow me to sing a song to the undersung heroes of Hollywood. One in particular. John Cusack. Hands down, he is one of the most likeable actors out there, and he can play every boring character in the world and make it watch-able. Don’t get carried away though. The movie Grace is Gone isn’t for everyone. It could come across as boring, even. That is, if you have never been touched by either grief or tragedy, or perhaps just oblivious to it.

The film’s story revolves around Stanley (J. Cusack) and his 2 daughters, who are living life without Mom because she’s off fighting the war in Iraq. One day, the feared thing happened: Grace dies in action and Stanley did not know how to break the news to his girls. So he took them on a road trip to Florida, while he gathered the courage he needed to tell them what happened.

No, I did not get any preachy vibes about war or honor throughout the whole movie. It just wasn’t the purpose they wanted to serve, I guess. To me, it felt more like, an Elegy to Grief.

How could one movie get so much of it right?

From the point of knowing Death has come, to the strange personal rituals of trying to recapture sight, sound, feeling, everything and nothing.

Stuff they did that I did:

The Silence – I just needed to be quiet. Tears may flow, you don’t notice, but no actual weeping happens. You try to stay calm, while inside your head you’re too busy screaming to every cell you have in your body to Shut up-- it isn’t happening.

The House Tour – you just walk around in what seems like a haze, but actually, your senses have never been so heightened. You go from room to room, from living area to bathrooms, trying to sense that point in space they used to occupy, increasingly decreasing. So you touch things, you smell them, you talk to inanimate objects, pleading for them to return to you what you’ve just lost.

You go to the car, and you just Sit. You stare at the windshield and notice flecks of dirt. You will look at anything just so you won’t have to think.

You Run Away – for them, it’s Enchanted Gardens in Florida. For me, it’s inside my head. Ran away from pain by assuming responsibilities and pretending you’re not a mess inside. You say you went to Palawan to give yourself a break. You don’t tell anyone that for a fleeting second, you never wanted to go back home.

Fuck, let’s stop this.

I could list all the things that struck me in the movie. But if you’ve never been there, you wouldn’t understand. And if you’ve been there, I don’t need to explain.

Let’s just say, don’t watch the movie when you’re depressed. You might just end up offing yourself. But if it was the right time already, like how I’d like to think it was for me today, it might just restore your soul.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Twilight's Trashed Twosome

Why does every single picture taken of Rob Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart looks like they've just been to a Britney No-Panties Allowed Party? Absolutely looking trashed, in each and every frame. See for yourself.







No love lost between me and the movie OR the book, but believe me, it's not the reason why I'm commenting on this. Well, maybe a little.
On the lighter side, I read on Yahoo that searches on how to achieve Rob Pattinson's hair as Ed Cullen has reached gajillions.
...
?
...
Really? I thought it was fairly obvious. Put on Maximum load, climb into washing machine, ask someone to press start, then go out to hang dry. This is the simpler method, because the other one involves a tornado and the murder of the Wicked Witch of the West.
But for those who seriously, seriously, seriously need to know, here's what the experts have to say about it:
How To Get Rob Pattinson's Hair:
(disappointing, completely devoid of any mention of actual scalping or strand-pulling)
Robert Pattinson: A Critical Analysis of His Hair 2005-2008:
(I failed the examination given at the end; failure never felt such pure pleasure!)

TopTenThanks

Ten Reasons Why I am being Thankful at 1:59 a.m.:

10. I paid my December membership for Fitness First: 1 more month to go and Im free!!!
9. My back didn't hurt as much today.
8. Ella and I went window shopping at Trinoma and Shang (kaya kahit masakit paa, okay lang)
7. Bought 2 books on sale: Jack of Ravens by Mark Chadbourn and Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris
6. I saw Jericho Rosales (sabay-sabay: Jericho!!)
5. We bought lamb chops sa Rustans for our Media Noche (I'm cookin'!)
4. Ella bought me a pink shawl type poncho which makes me feel so Zara.
3. She also bought me a 4g USB and I can finally stash ALL my downloads in it.
2. I finished Wyvern Hall by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes while waiting around in Powerbooks. It was great!
1. I have finally submitted the on-line application form for the UN Democratic Fund Proposal, and I am finally, truly free to enjoy my vacation.

yey for things to be thankful for!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Really Shouldn't...


but hot damn.


He is legal already, right? Younger than my sister, but I've heard heck is a place where age doesn't matter. :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

OMG, I'm O-L-D!

When did it happen?

My inaanak which I last saw while he was 6 months old is now a towering adolescent.

My twin cousins are now rambuctious nine-year-olds but somehow they still looked like 5-year-olds in my head.

Ella's friends are now managers, models, etc.

Jamie is getting married on January.

I am growing freakin' old, which proves nobdy really knows they're getting older. Everyone feels the same age inside. No wonder so many people are in denial about it.

How old are you?

OMG, I'm O-L-D!

When did it happen?

My inaanak which I last saw while he was 6 months old is now a towering adolescent.

My twin cousins are noew rambuctious nine-year-olds but somehow they still looked like 5-year-olds in my head.

Ella's friends are now managers, models, etc.

Jamie is getting married on January.

I am growing freakin' old, which proves nobdy really knows they're getting older. Everyone feels the same age inside. No wonder so many people are in denial about it.

How old are you?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I'm not really sure when the holidays started becoming a season of frenetic activity for me. When I was a kid, Christmas was when I relax and watch the adults lead themselves to a frenzy. I guess I really have crossed that threshhold, huh?

Nevertheless, to everyone reading this blog, you're most probably loyal friends. Thus, let me greet everyone a Blessed Christmas and a More Blessed New Year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Writing Exercise: Point of View

James, age 22, has just had a car accident on his way home from work. No one was injured, but his mother's car was totalled. He arrives home to tell his mother what happened.


First Person:

Oh crap. Oh jolly holy crap. My eyes felt like they were burning in their sockets. The doctor who checked me up after the accident proclaimed I was fine, which means the feverish sensation I’m feeling right now is just all in my imagination. I might just be a trifle terrified about what I’m about to do. You can’t blame me anyhow. How does anyone tell their mother you just wrecked her Honda? I’m standing on her front porch and I can’t even ring the godforsaken doorbell.

“James?” Ma called out from the side path. So she was out back and saw me come in. “What are you doing here so early?”

“Uh… Ma. I have a little news for you.” I sgueezed my hands - open and close. “You see… there was an accident.”

“Accident?” her eyes were quizzical. Then I saw when she realized what I must mean. “Are you hurt?”

I was taken aback. That wasn’t a question I thought of. “Me? No, Ma. Doctor says fine. But your Honda… didn’t survive.”

She shook her head and threw down the towel she was holding. “Are you sure?”

“Yes, it was totally wrecked…”

“I don’t mean the car, James. You can’t possibly think I care more about that lemon than I care about my son. Are you sure you’re fine? The doctor says you can walk around like this?”

“Yes.” Relief flooded out of me in gales. It was fine. It was fine.

“Alright.” She slowly nodded. “Come in though, and sit down. I’m afraid you’ll just faint and hit your head or something awful.” She hurried me in and closed the front door. She plucked at my collar, checked for bruises, and all in all did that Mother Tigress thing with her cubs. When she was satisfied, she gave a brief sound of satisfaction and then she raised an eyebrow.

“Now, when you said wrecked, how wrecked is totally wrecked?”

Oh jolly holy crap.


Third Person: Omniscient

James stood at his Ma’s front porch sweating profusely even though it was already the middle of October and the cooler winds of autumn blows through Vermont. The doctor who checked him after the accident said he was one lucky chap and he was good to go. It isn’t shock then or a concussion doing this to him. He just had no idea how to tell his Ma he totalled her car. He stood there, staring at the doorbell, trying to think of reasons why he’d rather not be there at the moment.

“James?” His Ma called out from the side of their house, the path leading to the back of the house. She had been storing some tools in the shed and was just cleaning up when she heard James come in. “What are you doing here so early?”

James took a gulp of air before speaking. “Uh… Ma. I have a little news for you.” His hands were shaking a little, opening and closing his palms as if he was trying to squeeze something out of them. “You see there was an accident.”

His Mom raised a quizzical eyebrow. “Accident?” Her eyes surveyed James clothes, his face, his feet. “Are you hurt?”

James’ eyes widened, not comprehending the question. “Me? No, Ma. Doctor says I’m fine. But your Honda… did not survive.”

She threw down her towel and shook hr head. She advanced upon James making the boy wince a little. “Are you sure?”

“Yes, it was totally wrecked…”

“Oh, I don’t mean the car. I meant you! You can’t possible think I care more about that lemon than my own son!” Her hands were trembling as she opened the front door. “Are you sure? Can you walk around like this?”

“Yes.” His eyes watered with relief.

“Alright.” She slowly nodded. “Come in though, and sit down. I’m afraid you’ll just faint and hit your head or something awful.” She hurried him in and closed the front door. She plucked at his collar, checked for bruises, and just stopped short of licking James like her little tiger cub. When she was satisfied, she gave a brief sound of satisfaction and raised an eyebrow.

“Now, when you said wrecked, how wrecked is totally wrecked?” her voice had sudden steel in it.

James knees buckled from underneath. He never knew what hit him.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's Not the Book, It's Me

I have just been reading a crappy book. It’s by Sophie Kinsella, who I don’t personally consider crappy at all, except that the genre is crappy. It’s crappy but it’s good. For a chick lit. It’s her latest book, Remember Me. I hate it. I hate that it’s making me so want things that I really want. And for making these things so far away from where I am standing in right at this moment.

Where am I standing in this moment?

Actually, I’m sitting. Typing on my laptop. Inside a seedy room in a provincial inn somewhere off the coast of Bataan. I just finished reading a book where the protagonist lost her memory, woke up rich, fabulous and married to a gorgeous fascist, but found out she wants to be her old self again. And in the end, she finds herself with her old friends and with her one true love.

And it brought me to remember my daddy. Not that I consider my Dad as my one true love, that’s sick. I love him with all of my soul, but I think I remembered him because the guy being described in the book felt like my Dad. I think I have an idea how my Mummy felt meeting him. Call it some psychological complex, but there can’t be anything wrong wanting to meet a man who would someday be as wonderful as the man who raised you. THAT can’t be at all bad. I miss them so damn much. I haven’t stopped hurting, and I want it to stop, but not want it to fade. I am driving myself completely nucking futs.

And I want my Jon (which is the name of the guy in the book, not an actual person I know). Except that I don’t want to marry some businessman wanker who invoices me for stuff I broke inside our marital house first before meeting my Jon. (Don’t ask me to explain, just read the book)

Lately, situations have been driving the point why nobody seems to want me. Incident after incident, the message coming across is, lose weight, claim your beauty and win the world. Except that, I don’t want to believe that being slim is the only thing amiss with me. I’m too smart to believe growing thinner will be the solution to my problem. I refuse to accept the world can be so shallow (or that I am). But a part of me suspects that I refuse to accept this because then I would have to do something about it. Do something that will make me absolutely feel crappy about how I look, regardless of how I have tried so verrrry hard to be a shining example of humanity in other aspects. It’s not enough. I am incomplete. Flawed. Unwanted.

And insane to be introspecting after reading a crappy genre book. I want to laugh. But if I do, I might end up crying. So I’ll just roll into this tight fetal ball, in my rented bed, and pretend the world is spinning very, very fast around me. Freud could go kiss my a**.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I Was Nice Today

Oh my freakin' gosh. I scared myself today by making an effort to be nice. I mean, I had to exert actual effort to remind myself to do the kind, patient thing. I guess I don't spurt rainbow off my ass nowadays anymore. It's something I have to concentrate on now.

What happened?

I think for a long while I have convinced the world, and even myself, that I am a nice person. I really don't know where I made the wrong left turn.

But today reminded me how being nice gets you nice things in return. The world was nicer today. Like it used to. Before the earth opened up to swallow me whole.

For example:

1. I decided to give up an hour to help out in a research being done by a sister of a workmate. In the end, she gave me National Bookstore GCs.
2. I decided to temper my anger about a woman who was late for our meeting. Now, I can stand being in the same room with her. AND -- I learned I was part of a free lunch being sponsored by one of our member companies.
3. I did not whine to Ian about his decision no to go to the lunch or hate him for not bringing his car making it difficult for us to get back to Intramuros. I realized I was treating my good friend as an actual driver. Omg. The world nodded and sent us an FX whose driver went out of his way to drop us off route for some yet unknown reason. So we practically went down in front of our office.
4. Ian then offered to buy the training stuff with me -- to drive me to the grocery and bring it back to PBSP so I don't have to lug it to fairview and back. Which saves me a lot of trouble.
5. After buying the groceries for training, we decided to have dinner and I decided to be nice to the waitress at Flapjacks. Guess what? She gave me a Php 500 gift certificate for something I badly needed.

I think the world is trying to teach me to be nice again. Y'know, reminding me of the benefits of being an affable creature. I don't expect to have a reward for every good turn I do, but I'm not complaining til it lasts.

I'm trying. I'm really trying. So help me God. :)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Worst Movie I Have Ever Seen 2008

I know I have flamed a lot of movies already, and I tend to be spicier when the movie is irrevocably bad. Yet a lot of the bad movies I watched sunk to oblivion. I wouldn't even bother writing about it. I just regret the few hours I battered my brain with it. But there are some out there that just needs to be... let's put it this way, people need to know not to bother with it. I'm doing God's work, methinks.

That's how I feel about this confused, poor-everything (acting, plot, writing, directing, script... the list can go on forever) movie that happens to be called Dedication. Mandy Moore is in it. That should explain everything, actually (think Walk to Remember and magnify the pathetic acting seven-fold). Why I even gave this movie a chance can be summarized into two words: Billy Crudup. Hunky, almost-can-act... almost. But for some reason, he is the main reason why this movie feels so sluggish. Wargh. Just remembering it makes me want to bite somebody hard.



Plot: Crudup is a comic book writer and his illustrator partner (the illustrious Tom Wilkinson) dies. Mandy Moore steps in to draw the mass blockbuster Marty the Beaver. Happens that, Crudup's charcter is a jerk, loser, butt-wipe, (insert word of choice here). So the whole movie revolves around his mental and emotional handicap and how he struggles as he falls in love with Moore.

The whole thing was a limp, bloody mess. If you don't believe me, go watch it and prepare for a cranial hemorrhage. Seriously.


The GOOD News:



The good thing about watching Dedication though is that everything pales in comparison to its rottenness. You will watch anything just to get the sour taste out of your mouth. It was so bad that I actually went out to pay to watch Twilight. Surprise, the film was actually a relief.

I think it was a better movie, than it was a book... something I don't usually agree with. But nevertheless, it felt a little confused, undercooked, a little TH here and there. But as I said, I am NOT complaining after watching Mandy Moore look through a telescope... AGAIN.

Ella thought it was okay, but even she, who loved High School Musical and touted it as a master opus agreed that there were cheesy parts. But she endured it because I think she secretly likes Robert Pattinson but couldn't tell me in fear of being torn to pieces. I guess she doesn't know that I concede that Robert Pattinson is NOW Edward Cullen. Even in my head.

Gads, I wish he could act just a teensy bit better, but after Mandy Moore, Pattinson might actually deserve an Oscar. I mean, throw the guy a bone. He tried really, really, really hard. And he almost got there, missing believability just by seventeen miles. And I like him. Because he's a Frodo trying to conquer Mount Doom. Look at what he had to endure: Acting with pancake face and loony hair while personifying a tough-guy-but-not-really-wait-i'm-a-killer-but-oh-not-really who just fell in love with a limp, ansty-but-not-really teenaged girl.... whew!

The only time he outrageously (as opposed to conservatively) disappointed me was when he stood under the sunlight. I was expecting a spectacular sparkle, you know, like almost-blinding sparkle, like a small star. But instead, he wussy-sparkled. I mean, that glittering stuff on him was laaaaame. My Sally Hansen nail polish sparkles better. But that's not his fault. It's the make-up department's bad.

Oh, and Bob's waaaaaay better than the guy who played Jasper. Did you see his acting intepretation of "the one who looks like he's in pain"? He looked electrocuted and constipated at the same friggin' time.

I'm a little disappointed with Kirsten Stewart as well. Where's the spunky girl I saw in Panic Room? Completely dissolved to a confused, passive-aggressive teenager who likes boys that sparkles like Sally Hansen in sunlight.

And Doctor Carlisle looked like a Munster. How in the world was that guy cast as a Doctor? I was half-expecting somebody to jump out and say "You got Punkd!"

But I'm not going to complain. I will actually give it a C+, when I fully expected to give it a fat, thick D-. And it had some wow moments in it:

a. When Edward speed-walked up the mountain while carrying Bella
b. The view of the valley that time Edward took Bella on top of trees (beats hhww in Luneta, I admit).
c. Jacob Black. Yummy. I can almost forget he was Lava-boy.


Bloodless the film might be. But it saved me from from having nightmares about Mandy Moore. I know how to be thankful.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Talking Through Static

Aang versus Pac-man

Ella and I took advantage of yesterday’s nationwide lull in Christmas commotion due to Pacquiao’s fight. While it seemed the whole world was fixated about two grown men having fisticuffs, we gloried in the almost empty malls, and the clear streets. With our combined powers, we have completed everything in our to-buy and to-do list. We even got home by 4 p.m. giving me enough time to finally finish the last 4 episodes of The Avatar (Go Aaang!)

I didn’t even know Pacquiao won until today. I guess that’s good. But I really do hope he’ll lose someday soon. You know, for his own good. Too many wins might make a champion a loser, if you catch my drift.

Geez. Something is really wrong with me. I’m rooting for a cartoon character, and couldn’t care less about a real, live champion of the people (daw). On the same vein though, Aang will never be corrupted, because he freakin’ doesn’t exist. Pacquiao is human, rendering him corruptible. Do I need to flip a coin? (Stay away from commenting if you are one of those “Let’s trust humanity, peeps.” I know your game, I’m still sometimes you)


Marky Cielo

I got the shock of my life when I learned Marky Cielo has died. And I can’t even create any sarcastic comments about it because I genuinely liked and rooted for this guy. Of course, it crossed my mind that the death might be drug-related, which would totally ruin the image I have of him inside my screwed-up head. I dread knowing what caused his death, because I think I desperately need him to be the good guy. Even if I never even met him. He was just one of those people who makes you think the world can’t be all that bad while somebody like him lives in it.

The shallow part of me wept because I was also daydreaming about marrying the guy, or at least, have a picture taken with him. The saner, wiser part of me grieves because such a promising young life was cut short. I don’t get to like masa-actors that much, so it’s really something to be this affected about a stranger’s death. I sincerely hope it wasn’t just a careless mistake. I sincerely pray he’d be in a better place. Kind of enviable, actually.


Olivia the B

I have a confession to make, I’ve been meaner than usual lately. I goad my workmates, I flip sarcasm unto them like honey on …..something that honey sticks to. I even goad my best friend at work because I know he would never ever fight back. Sa MRT, if people push me, I push back. And hello, I’m a walking pison, if I mean to be. I don’t care if may mapa-upo pa. They started it. Don’t mess with me. One time, I actually caught myself narrowing my eyes into slits because I was planning to roughly elbow the ditz who stopped dead on her tracks in a one-lane path. I have become a one-woman Mafia. I don’t know what’s happening to me. All this anger and distrust…. Eyuucch. It feels bad. But I can’t stop. I just want to hurt people, and I’ll grab what little excuse I can get to do it. I wonder who fucked me up this way? This isn’t me. But I won’t take suffering quietly anymore. I just can’t stand hurting, so I’ll hurt them too.

Talk about living on the fast lane to either Mandaluyong or Bilibid.

I’m hoping this behavior will fade by the time the holidays are over. Christmas hurts, deal with it. But if I don’t get nicer, I’ll be the first to ask for professional help, I promise.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

How to Write Like Stephenie Meyer


  • Treat your audiences as if they have never read romance novels before. Don’t shy away from gooey clichés such as “You are my life now.” They became clichés because people liked them. Suck the money out of it; bleed it dry.

  • Make your primary character as physically flawless as possible. Then put a lot of angst into him to make him adorably flawed. Make his bad side as pretty as possible.

  • Speaking of adorably flawed, counteract angst with Claire de Lune. Debussy is like, the original rebel emo…

  • Choose a passive-aggressive heroine. One as confused as a headless chicken. Make her a damsel-in-distress but make her hate it --- and voila! You transcended a stereotype already.

  • Sex is out. Sexual tension is in. Make them wanna, but don’t let them do it for a long, long, long, long time. Make sex dangerous for both of them. Learn from Buffy and Angel (LOSE YOUR SOUL). Learn from Buffy and Spike (LOSE YOUR BAD). Learn from Buffy and Freddie Prinze Jr. (LOSE YOUR CAREER)

  • Defy vampire lore. But not all of them. Retain their unearthly beauty but invent everything else. Sparkly vampires under the sun are new. To someone who probably hasn’t heard of Shimmer make-up (refer to Revlon).

  • Throw in your SOC 1 mini-thesis about different types of vampires that you scammed of Google. Word count COUNTS. (refer to Nanowrimo)

  • Throw in Rosemary’s Baby into your plot. If the book has a fifth installment, I’m sure Freddy Kreuger and Jason would want a cameo too.

  • Freak things up by naming the cute vampire baby Renesmee. Then freak it up some more by imprinting her to the werewolf guy the heroine dumped for the vampire. Everybody has somebody now. It’s nice to be so tidy. Snip, snip.

    Follow these tips and you’ll have a sure blockbuster in your hand. Adolescents will line up to buy your book. They will fight over who plays your vampire hero. They will attend parties in the movie’s honor. The film will gross millions. Your name will be up there with JK Rowling and… JK Rowling.

    You will be --- IMMORTAL!

    (Cue end music: FAME! I wanna live forever! Blah, blah, blah like a flame. Fame! I’m gonna make it to heaven, You’ll remember my name!)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My New Old Crush

So you know about my fascination with James McAvoy (gads, who doesn't?).

And how, after 10 years, I still sometimes wish Ryan Agoncillo met me first.

Or whenever I see a Friends re-run, I find myself thinking I wouldn't mind a Ross in my life.

And since we're talking imaginary here, throw in Harry Dresden to that mix.

Well, I can add somebody new to that list today. I want a Jim Clancy all to myself.

Jim who, you say? Well, blame it on OD-ing on Season 4 of the Ghost Whisperer. Jim Clancy is Melinda Gordon's husband on the show. For some twisted reason, I like Jennifer Love Hewitt. And I love the idea of Jim Clancy (played by David Conrad). The handsome, strong, stable husband who supports his wife even if most people think she's cuckoo.



My sister did comment that Jim Clancy is a little too wussy for her. Well, of course, FOR HER, stable isn't a necessary characteristic of "The One." They will bore each other to death. I, on the other hand, am in constant danger of going off-kilter.

So of course, I am smitten with David Conrad. He probably isn't anything like the character he plays for all I know, but I remedied that.

Imagine my surprise when I googled him and found out he's, like, ancient already. He was born in 1967 and even if I'm no good with Math, I know enough to realize he's already 41 years old. But... he studied in Brown and graduated in Julliard, and he turned down blockbuster movies to act on stage. Sigh. He's gorgeous. Probably inside, and definitely out.



Gosh, that isn't the face of a 40-year-old. And much as I tease my best gff for liking fuddy-daddies, this one, I wouldn't mind at all. Not at all.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Of Bizzare Bazaars and Christmas Senti

I am not a big fan of bazaars.

Not usually.

I think it's just a glorified tiangge where sellers try to convince you that you are getting stuff for less the price. Which is usually untrue. But not always.

When Ella got complimentary tickets to the Noel discovery bazaar @ the World Trade Center, stars lit up her eyes. Seriously. And I discovered that excitement could really be that contagious because I somehow forgot how unpleasant shopping could be when you're being jostled by a gajillion people to look at stuff you could see in Greenhills anyway. But I have to admit that there were a couple of good finds. Bracelets, blouses, jackets, cool beaded bookmarks. We completed 2/3 of our joint Christmas list and we only spent Php 1,575 for everything. I mean, that's some serious savings.

And serious savings is what I have planned for this Christmas. Unfortunately, I cannot go wild with Christmas gifts this year because of financial constraints. I think I'll go for the thoughtful gift rather than the personalized "it's-so-you" thing I usually try to do. I'll go for senti just this once. I hope my friends forgive me. :)

Christmas dinner might also be simplified. I mean, how much food will Ella, Ryan and I need to get through Noche Buena? I'm pretty sure we'll be spending it on our own. Maybe I' even looking forward to it.

The thing with my Christmas senti is that --- I can feel it more now. You know, the emptiness. Last year, we were prepared for tthe worst. We buffered ourselves against grief. People were also extra sensitive and gave soooo much encouraging words. It was after all the first Christmas without both of our parents. But this year, the second Christmas, everybody assumes, us included, that things will get better. We did get through the first, right? So what's a second or a third or a fourth?

Not so buffered. Underestimated. Emptier now than last year. Because now, it's for real. They really are gone. Last year wasn't a test. It was real.

Weird enough, I like the emptiness now. There's less false courage. Without the bravado, the emotions are authentic. Maybe without the coddling from people, we'll move on faster.

Or it could break us.

Break us and God will remake us. Reshape us.

Maybe this is the kiln that'll keep making us stronger.

Maybe.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Knackered Silly


What's the one movie you watched as a child that has utterly fascinated you in a horrific way?
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I believe we all have one. That movie adults will mostly think campy or ridiculous but our impressionable minds totally wrapped itself around it. And it's usually gory and bloody and we can't help but have nightmares about it. Admit it, most of the twenty-something generation today were at least once terrified by one of the numerous Shake, Rattle and Roll or Stephen King's horror flicks (remember the one with the hundred cats???).
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Of course when we watch it now, that terrifiying movie would just be inane. But then still... once in a while, you have to pry your fingers from the armrest where your hands unconsciously gripped it. And then push your butt backward away from the edge of the seat. Now whyever did you do that? Huh.
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Well, for me, one of those unforgettable bad movies include Tremors. Remember this? The one where people get stuck in a valley where there were humongous worms ready to eat them once they made as much as a shuffling sound? Vibration sensitive, they follow their prey by the waves they generate when moving around. To keep safe from them, you have to stay on top of boulders. Pole vault from rock to rock. Haul a tractor. And to save yourselves, you have to make them eat thousand-ton explosives, whereupon the wonders of sulfuric powder and ingestion will transpire. They'll explode to a gelatinous pulpy red-orange stuff you wouldn't let a 4-year-old kid see in case it scars them for life.
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I kid you not. To prove it to you, I'll share how it caused shifts in my psychology:
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1. For years afterwards, I tried to make as little noise as possible when walking. (My Mum also had a thing about "kinakaladkad ang tsinelas or sapatos" which further reinforced my behaviour).
2. I have a general sense that rocks saves lives. Which would lead me, directly or indirectly, to collecting stones.
3. I didn't eat bacon for a while (very short while. Like 2 weeks). Why? Red pulpy stuff + Kevin Bacon. Do the math. (Hey, I was a kid!)
4. I promised never to live in a valley. So it really helps that we now live on a friggin' mountain.
5. I hated worms: not in a scared way, but in an angry manner. I like eating jelly glow worms and biting their heads as mercilessly as I can while thinking, "One more for the humans."
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Other movies which scared the sh&t outta me:
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1. Independence Day - if the US can't stop them, our sh&tty military can't!
2. Deep Impact - Live in a tunnel or drown. Live in a tunnel or drown. Hard decision.
3. Pet Cemetary - Pets should stay buried.
4. Gremlins - Cute can be scary.
5. Mr. Bean - Poster Child for Human Devolution

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Liv the Dolphin Trainer

When I was a kid, I wanted to do a lot of things when I grow up. I really believed I’ll have the coolest job in the world because I’ll make it so. Hay. Kids. Everything was possible.

At one point or another, I wanted to be a:

1. Nun – because my Mummy said I was conceived after two barren years she promised the Virgin Mary she’ll do her best to convince her child to have a religious vocation


2. Housemaid – when I was younger, I liked housework. It made me feel grown-up. Now, house work is in the same line as tooth extraction and assisting in a circumcision

3. Doctor – I wanted to cure heartache because I seriously thought that was what causes heart attacks (I may be on to something there though)

4. Lawyer – I wanted to look tough and talk tough

5. Actress – I practiced receiving the Oscars and the Emmys in the bathroom. I still do.

6. Professional ice Skater – I wanted to be famous and skate with the Stars on Ice team

7. Dolphin Trainer – is this the coolest job or what? You get to spend time with one of the most intelligent creatures on earth and you get to spend your time in the sea!

8. Prolific Writer – as prolific as Danielle Steele is. I thought writing books was just like passing gas. You know, like: you have it, you clench your fists and out it goes.

Days like today make me want to rethink what the hell happened along the way. Sure, my job’s not bad. But it ain’t dolphin-training either.

I wonder if I should have aimed for other courses in college? I mean, look at my friends. They took up accounting or engineering (which would have bored me to hell), but now they do highly specialized jobs which pays them a lot. A lot of my troubles will be erased if I just had more funds to deal with. Not all my problems, but most. Maybe I should’ve trudged along in college, like a drone, but I will be reaping financial benefits today.

The smarter part of me is telling me I wouldn’t like Olivia-the-drone.

But the practical part of me is saying, “You don’t have to like her as long as she pays all the bills.”

Then zen-Olivia will butt in then and say in a voice not unlike somebody high on drugs that “There is nothing. Be nothing. And then you’ll be everything.”

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No Vampire Movie This Weekend. Period.



Maybe the Fates are trying to screw me. For some reason, my sister wants to see Twilight. During opening weekend. And the only thing I can ask her is "Why?!#%!"

No hyped-up movie aside from the Lord of the Rings is worth seeing on an opening weekend. And even then we decided to watch LOTR3 on a weekday. So what is so special about Twilight that we have to watch it with the rest of the mindless hordes? It's bad enough that I forced myself to read the books so when some adoring Edward Cullen fan spitefully challenges my opinions by asking :"But have you read the book?" I can look him / her squarely in the eye and answer, "Yes, all 4 books, because I kept hoping it'll get better, or something must be there to hook so many people. But it started from dismal to appalling and I suffered the most tortorous hours of my life." Never let it be said I didn't give it more than a fighting chance.

But now she's asking me to watch a pasty-faced Cedric Diggory making googly eyes on some pasty-faced kid. As an antidote, I made her read all the movie critiques/reviews coming in from the US, and most of them are bad. I made her do the math:

bad book= bad script
bad script+ good-looking people -underripe acting = campy flick
campy flick +forgiving adoring fans = irritated non-fans
Irritated non-fan big sister = Crappy weekend = Bad Cooking

She got the message.

To make it up to her, I bought her Season 2 of Gossip Girl, and she can saturate her mind with senselessness this long weekend. Yes, it's just as bad as Twilight, but at least she'll leave me at peace.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

For Cookie Patty



No, the world was never fair.


We grew up happy

keeping to ourselves,

ribbons untangling in our hair.


Our world was complete

We were all we need

What there was, we took, we shared.


Then the world shook and broke down.


We searched, we wailed,

We ran away, we sought and

Listened hard but hope echoed no sound.


We were angry and we cried,

Asked more questions than

There were answers to be found.


Now the world is trying to tell us we're not special.


We have become the average

Part of the faceless mass

the hopeless, the insignifant, the nominal.


Little sister, let them try.


But the world cannot take this away:


How we laughed, how we played

Bright like fireflies or the sun's warm ray

How we loved and how we lost

How we carried on at whatever cost.

How we keep believing still

The wounds we have will someday heal.

Yes, I know we're back at the start

Painful and humbling to our once proud hearts

But ordinary, not special --- that's not us

Even if we're now less witty or not so fast.

Because even when praises wane

Princess-warriors we'll remain.

They taught us well so trust you now

We'll make it through someway, somehow.


-Pepsi

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Is it Just Me?


\When was the last time you bought shoes that cost Php 6,000? I really need to know because I need to know if I am the one who’s insane.

My best pal in the office is obsessed with brands. When I left him in his cubicle, he was browsing through the Macy’s on-line catalogue looking for shoes. The one he wants will cost him between 6-7K. Given, he’s only shopping online because he’s got a friend in the US who’ll be sending or bringing the stuff home for him, so that’s saving on the shipping cost. Yet still. Six thousand friggin’ pesos. And looking at the shoes, it isn’t so extra-ordinary. Looks like Rusty Lopez, except the tag will Say Kenneth Cole. It’s not like he doesn’t have tons of Kenneth Coles and Lacoste shoes. Add to the fact that men’s shoes rarely change designs. If he was a girl, with styles and colors to choose from, I may (stretching it, but I may) understand. I may have also overheard him wanting to buy a Diesel belt worth 2k. So you see, it’s a disease.

Some would say it’s because they can afford it, so they buy quality. I think that’s exclusive thinking. Stuff made by some illegal laborer in Pakistan or China or your very own Philippines will be pretty much the same anywhere. It’s the tag that makes the difference. I think people who can find quality for lower prices are much smarter people (or just practical -- which is called for in these hard times). Anything more than what’s necessary is flamboyance and frivolity to me.

I hadn’t always been poor. There was a time we had a choice to buy brands. But thank God my parents quickly veered us away from that godforsaken path or else I would feel miserable not being able to afford it anymore. I don’t mean to be hypocritical, because I do own branded stuff, mostly given by my Tita from the US (or secondhand from ukay-ukay). But the difference is, I don’t search for it like some heat-seeking missile. And to think I felt guilty buying my 800-peso shawl from Zara. Will never compare to buying two pairs of shoes worth P6,000 each as it happens.

So am I insane?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Reward: Movies

Book in Hand: The Thirteenth Tale
Song in Mind: Sama ko, sama ko diyan, doobi doobi doobi yeah... (blasted bus radios)

There are days when I feel so exhausted and looking to the future brings no comfort because I still have many hurdles in sight (think Frodo when he crested the last mountain and he caught sight of Mordor. So near yet so far…). Days like these, nothing beats a complete surrender to another reality. These are the days I watch a movie totally alone.

I LIKE watching movies by my lonesome. I am left to my own thoughts. I don’t have to explain the plot to anyone. I don’t have to pretend to laugh even if I don’t think it’s funny, I won’t have to hide my cringe if it gets too sappy.

The possible pervs don’t scare me. I can always grab their patootie and yank it off if it gets too near me. And I always have a bottle of mineral water which I can bonk at someone in case they are not within arms reach, but within sight and sound. Anyhow, it has only happened to me once, and I threw popcorn at his crotch. I bet he smelled like cheese down there for a while. One incident out of the hundred times I watched a movie alone --- not a bad ratio there.

November had always been hectic in the office. It’s the start of our fiscal year and everyone wants their training to be first, first, first. So basically, 2 months into the year, we’ve already conducted 6 seminar workshops, 2 orientations and a couple of visits. That’s a ratio of one point five training concerns per week. So I needed a movie. No, make that 2 movies.

THE WOMEN



I haven’t come across the original version of this film, which old-timers keep touting to be better. Well, better than what, I ask? I don’t think I’ll be the first to say that this is a total chick-flick. All women all the time. Their concerns include: a cheating husband, losing jobs, fighting with the girlfriends. You know, normal stuff. I can almost get bored, except that…. They lent a new view to the whole thing. Debra Messing’s characters said that there are always two sides to the story, and this movie managed to show the real women’s side. We saw how the wife struggles, we saw how the successful executive make terrible compromises, and we even got to know the mistress so we can’t even hate her.

It isn’t exceptional by common standards, this movie. But it sounded real although it became preachy and overworked after a while. It had good messages in it: a magazine executive who wants to change the industry by putting real people in her magazines.. and fails, two beat friends fighting for a while and describing the abberation as like having a phantom limb… those were nice. But the whole thing became weepy and dragging and wallowing…. And argh!

And even Meg Ryan’s botox-disfigured face couldn’t save it. (Damn, I love Meg Ryan, what happened? She can’t even properly smile anymore!)

Watch it if you must. But don’t say I didn’t warn you about the wallowing.


CITY OF EMBERS




This is one example of a good book someone should have left alone.

Not to say that it was bad. The cast was solid, the acting sufficient, the story believable, the concept astounding. A story like this explodes inside readers’ heads, but that didn’t happen in the movie. It lacked the right tension and action to execute the otherwise good material. But it was definitively darkly imaginative. I loved the texture of the movie… I can feel the struggle between the darkness and light. I love the ending sequence, when they first saw the sun rising after a couple of centuries.

Unfortunately, there was something missing. Something I can’t quite put a finger on. Maybe you should watch it to figure it out for yourself.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I really do...


heart Psych.
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Just finished watching all of Season I and II. I can't wait to see the rest of Season III. I don't feel this a lot when it comes to TV shows. You know, that I-can't-wait-for-the-next-episode feeling. When I get it though, I relish it. More if it's as laugh out loud funny as this show is.
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Hurray for Shawn and Gus!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


You can almost smell Christmas!

And so, I can also feel it coming back again. I’m getting sick a lot which probably means I’m stressed a lot which probably means I’m rounding out on the nth phase of my depression.

I’m not pretending anymore that I don’t have it. Nor can I pretend I can shake it off for life. It comes and it goes, depending on what I’m going through with my life. Christmas was almost lethal for me last year, remember? 2 weeks in the hospital diagnosed for having illnesses ranging from the pedestrian to the esoteric (read: allergies to herpes) ((Oh, they were both revoked by my doctors by the way. They had to settle with unidentified immunity disorder).

Geez. What would this Christmas bring, I wonder? AIDS? Cancer? Forgive me, I can only jest about it now. I wouldn’t be this chirpy in a couple more days so I might as well pour it all out.

Ho. Ho. Ho.
There, that's about it.

Christmas sucks without them.

Harry Trumps Edward *wink*



If we’re going to talk about fantasy boyfriends based on book characters, I have my own thing.

I love Harry Dresden.

Working as the only wizard in the Chicago phonebook gets him the oddest and dirtiest jobs like hunting down vampires and cleaning up after faeries and chasing ghouls. But he does what he thinks is right even if it means he’ll get hurt. Sure, to some that’s idiocy, but on him, it’s almost noble.

He gets scared. Terrified, most of the times. But he keeps his priorities intact. And if everything else fails, he still saves the girl (or vampire or werewolf) even if it meant dying in the effort.

He feels lonely. He seeks comfort, but knows it will always avoid him. He knows he will die alone, but carries on nevertheless.

He cracks me up. It doesn’t matter if he’s being hounded by killer zombies, he can still find the funny things to keep himself sane. Beats shouting “Ludicrus!”

He’s wise. Not all of the time, yes. But he’s got a deeper sense of humanity, our desires and our motivations. He knows how these things affect magic, and how to utilize it.

He’s human. Yeah, he’s got a longer life span than normal humans, but he will die and can die if killed in combat. He knows, fears, understands and faces Death. He respects death, and thus, lives Life.

Vampires go to him for help. He’s never sappy. He’s embarrassingly honest. He always stands up for what he believes is right.

He isn’t porcelain pretty; he looks like his beat-up VW most of the time. Rugged around the edges, a total fashion idiot-savant, and talks to skulls. But you can feel vitality when you’re around him. His passions overflow.

This is my kind of guy. I don’t need a boyfriend who sparkles in the sunlight. I want someone who will stand beside me in the sunlight, normal-like. Except that, I can hear his heart beating, and it tells me I can be certain he will fight for me and the things he believes I stand for to the very edge of his precious Life.

:*)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Film List

After suffering from a dearth of good fun movies the last three months, it seems the Universe is going to make up for it this November. Here’s my list of movies to watch out for:

Inkheart


Why? Because Paul Bettany is in it. So even if the annoying Brendan Fraser also stars in it, I shall brave the insanity and sally forth for Paul. I really like him that MUCH. Besides, Andy Serkis (Gollum in LOTR) is in it and it’s bound to be interesting to see him act without the corrupted hobbit suit.

17Again


Matthew Perry has made movies, which has all miserably flopped. Zac Efron on the other hand could so much as burp on film, and it’ll sell like hot pancakes. Let’s see who will reign supreme for this movie, eh? Perry is a 37-year-old drone who gets a chance to live his life again by being magically zapped back to 17 years old. Probably stolen from 13 going on 30 (that Jennifer Garner sweetheart movie?). Efron plays his younger self, looking all buffed and purty. I Heart Efron. And back off my case, emo-kids. Give me this one idiocy.

Oh and yeah…

Twilight


It’s showing on the 26th and it’s making quite a noise. Publicity group must be geniuses. But then, no matter how crappy the whole thing turned out to be, I don’t think any of the fans will ever admit it. And none of the non-fans will be brave enough to call it shit. Well, except me. I’ll call it as it is. Just have to watch the movie first.

Let’s hope they can salvage the sappy novel into something more respectable.
Peace.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Harry Trumps Edward *wink*



If we’re going to talk about fantasy boyfriends based on book characters, I have my own thing.

I love Harry Dresden.

Working as the only wizard in the Chicago phonebook gets him the oddest and dirtiest jobs like hunting down vampires and cleaning up after faeries and chasing ghouls. But he does what he thinks is right even if it means he’ll get hurt. Sure, to some that’s idiocy, but on him, it’s almost noble.

He gets scared. Terrified, most of the times. But he keeps his priorities intact. And if everything else fails, he still saves the girl (or vampire or werewolf) even if it meant dying in the effort.

He feels lonely. He seeks comfort, but knows it will always avoid him. He knows he will die alone, but carries on nevertheless.

He cracks me up. It doesn’t matter if he’s being hounded by killer zombies, he can still find the funny things to keep himself sane. Beats shouting “Ludicrus!”

He’s wise. Not all of the time, yes. But he’s got a deeper sense of humanity, our desires and our motivations. He knows how these things affect magic, and how to utilize it.

He’s human. Yeah, he’s got a longer life span than normal humans, but he will die and can die if killed in combat. He knows, fears, understands and faces Death. He respects death, and thus, lives Life.

Vampires go to him for help. He’s never sappy. He’s embarrassingly honest. He always stands up for what he believes is right.

He isn’t porcelain pretty; he looks like his beat-up VW most of the time. Rugged around the edges, a total fashion idiot-savant, and talks to skulls. But you can feel vitality when you’re around him. His passions overflow.

This is my kind of guy. I don’t need a boyfriend who sparkles in the sunlight. I want someone who will stand beside me in the sunlight, normal-like. Except that, I can hear his heart beating, and it tells me I can be certain he will fight for me and the things he believes I stand for to the very edge of his precious Life.

:*)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Let go.

Don’t let go.

Love. Forget.

Have you been here? At the crossroads of a love that is either possible or impossible and you are caught between choosing to let go or hold on; terrified you’ll break your heart, but even more frightened of missing out on something real this time around.

I’m sure I’ll break my heart. Who could love someone so… pedestrian? I do not have that delicacy men find so attractive in their women. Nor am I feisty enough to awe boys into adoration. I am not rich and cultured. I do not exude an aura which screams “better-than-you.” I do not have the prescribed curves. I cannot be literally swept off my feet unless I plan to work in cohort with an orthopedic --- imagine the men who will try only to break their backs. I am odd, awkward, silly, alternating between genius and idiot, ingénue and naïve. Who would want such a roller coaster ride?

It could be so easy to just walk away, if only I can shake off my worries about regretting. What if all it takes is a little more encouragement? What if takes is just a little more time? What would I be missing if I shut him out of my world? I can tear down the awnings, pack up, and just go inside. Lock the door, suppress emotions that proved fatal to my sense of peace. But if I lock myself in, I would never know if all this time he had been standing outside waiting for something to shine through the slits of my boarded up windows.

Kaya eto, I’m stuck praying desperately for a clue.

I’ve loved this guy for 2 years now. I either have to let go or take a leap.

I am terrified I cannot do either one.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Today's Not My Day

First, I stepped on dog poop and fouled up the vehicle we were riding to Laguna. I hate poop. Much less stepping on it.

Then, I was eating lunch, slurping my sinigang na baboy happily when my spoon revealed I was about to slurp on a small caterpillar. Between images of the poop on my shoes and that dead cattypillar, my appetite went kaput.

So I didn't eat enough and suffered hypoglycemia. My hands went clammy, my ears went ringing, and my head hurt through out the afternoon.

Then my sister called because tomorrow is the due date of our electric bill, and i neglected to leave my ATM card so they could withdraw the money.

While I was congratulating myself on this supreme idiocy, I bit down into dinner's pork chop and nearly lost a tooth because it was rock hard. I could throw it to the dogs and instead of touching it, they'll sue me for manslaughter.

That kind of day. Yippee kind of day. Days which tells you, tomorrow can only get better.

Obama Wins



I frankly think America needs the change.

I'm not saying Obama's the next superhero, but I do think he will do as much good as anyone who's been the underdog too long. Let's see what he can do.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Kushiel's Legacy


I stumbled upon a copy of Kushiel's Dart written by Jacqueline Carey. I know Mariel loves the books; I know the copy she found during the September book fair was prized and cherished. I just didn't get why. I think it's because the first time I saw the book in National, I chanced upon a page which described weird kind of ... adventures. As in S&M stuff which I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. But Mariel's interest reigned in my distrust. There must be something to it if my girl friend likes it. So I read through the first of the series.... and was genuinely surprised that it wasn't as ewwww-y as I first thought.
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Phedre is a real person, and her adventures weren't just about... uhm... worshipping Namaah...(read the book to find out what that means). It's about politics, and deceit and love as well and discussed in a tasteful manner. It isn't anything like the love scenes you read in romance novels, at ALL. I was completely rooting for Joscelin (I am imagining him to look like a youner Paul Bettany) in the book. I want him to be with Kushiel too. :)
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So, Mariel's taste rules. I don't think I have enough stamina to read all 6 books in the series yet (maybe there's even more). But I do have renewed respect for the series. Black Velvet it isn't.
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Good it really is.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Doors



I have a deep love for doors and doorways ---

They seem to me a promise
Of people who Fate may yet bring;
Of news that may bestow bliss;
Of things that cause hearts to sing.
And one of them, yet unknown,
Will bring my Love to me
Bright, beautiful and wholly strong
A fit, a match, a key.

I search for doors and doorways
Trusting the day will come
When it is suddenly your face
I can finally look upon.

- liv

After All



Call me utterly sappy, but for some reason, I get heart burn everytime I hear the song "After All" by Peter Cetera. And the line which gives me butterflies in my stomach the most?

"And after all these stops and starts,
We keep coming back to these two hearts,
two angels who've been rescued from the fall..."

I really have no idea why. But it spoke to me when I was a teenager, and it still speaks to me now. It's not like I can relate it to anything in my life. But there it is.

Of course I do have other tummy-tingling songs which are more updated, i.e. Breathe In, Breathe Out, but this one gets me all the time. :)

Arrest me, I have no alibi.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Candleglow


.
Outside the lights are fading
Into crisp October nights
Where the cold is almost biting
Like air from mountain heights.

Inside the candles flicker
Reminding me of you
How much you loved the softer glow,
its warmer, gentler hue.

Soon I will be lighting candles
Upon your silent graves
Lay flowers tied in bundles
Grief assaulting me in waves.

They said the years will cure me
Of the sorrow and despair
They expect I move on swiftly
But I hardly think thats fair.

How can a child forget so soon
The hands that soothed pain?
The love that shone ever bright
A beacon through the rain?
This child leaned on majestic rocks
Dependable and strong
Now all she’s got are sticks and stones
To divine what’s right from wrong.
...
No, forgetting is a sin and I
Have plans to never fall
I’ll wait even if it means I’ll hurt and cry
Until the day I hear you call.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

You Lied



Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year's bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go - so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, 'There is no memory of him here!'
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.

-Edna St Vincent Millay (1892 -1950)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008



I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging as regularly as before. I have been… pre-occupied with something. But much better now after spending a little time with girlfriends who always say things as it is.

What happened was I have a friend who, out-of-the-blue snuck kisses on my cheek. A couple of times. Maybe it wasn’t the kiss that got me confused; it’s who was giving it. I wasn’t sure how to act. So the manang in me did, said, showed nothing. Maybe that was a mistake. Maybe I should’ve whined, slapped him or jibed about it. But my instinct had always been “shut up and think” when it comes to unfamiliar territory so my neurons were too busy processing data and failed to commandeer any show of immediate distinctive and definitive response.

I think any convent-school-raised girl will have the same stupefaction I’ve had because I have never really had guy friends growing up and those I became close with are far in-between and few. And some of them are gay. So, as for standards for how a girl and a boy who are just friends should act, I really have nothing. For all my genius and sass-talk, I am still quite socially inept.

After the initial panic, my reliable logical brain has figured out that this guy meant the kisses as a sign of affection, but probably not a lot more. I wouldn’t dwell on it anymore. Besides, I think I got my fair revenge because a couple hours later that day, I kissed him back and now let him mull that over! Two could play this game.

I’m evil, I know.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Of Weddings, Outings and Trainings

Just got back from Bicol province yesterday where I spent one week engaging in at least 1 of the 3 abovementioned things.

Friday

We flew to Legazpi and since some of my companions have never seen the city, we hired a van to tour us around. The works, nothing I haven’t seen before. Pero iba pala talaga pag may kasamang baguhan kasi parang nagiging exciting ulit. Visited Cagsawa Ruins, a couple of churches, then passed by CWC on the way to Naga where we were staying for the next 3 nights.














Saturday

Preparations for Damae’s wedding. Two words: Super stressful. Ganun pala ikasal? Nakakabaliw. And to think hindi pa ako member of the family or the bride. Damae, after one of her countless pre-church pictorials said, “Kakapagod maging bride.” I was just a damn ssecondary sponsor and emcee, but I agree. Probably because OCD and Passive-Aggressive yung organizer niya.. Organizers are supposed to handle stress well. And if you keep prodding your people to Smile!, make damn sure you smile as well. No love lost between us, for sure.

But it was all worth it if only because the wedding was beautiful. Damae was beautiful. Rael, was just basically, damp, because he was crying a lot. He wouldn’t be the only 1, because all of the bridesmaid’s section were virtually weeping with joy, moi included.

The wedding was held at the St. John the Evangelist Church, and the reception at the Clubhouse of Jardin Real. Both good places. Medyo windang yung pag-emcee namin kasi… well, not blaming it on the other person… pero there’s something to be said if you start a wedding by calling the grooms men as opposed to the groom’s parents as clearly stated in the program. And I was starting to hink he was the manager of the wedding band because he kept plugging Phantasmagoria. I wanted to sit down with him before the wedding. I tried, but he was too… lutang or distracted and I didn’t want to come across as a dominatrix, so I let it go. Kaya yun. Lutang din kami. But all in all, we both survived. Almost.
Here’s some pictures of the beautiful bride. :)








Sarah, Guada, ian, Remy, Geo, and Bing


Damae and Me


The Nervous Groom ( I would be nervous too if I'm marrying Damae) Hehe, peace!

Sunday

We couldn’t go to Caramoan, so we settled with Atulayan. It was an okay beach. It was nice that we were the only people there. But it wasn’t exactly clean waters and all. We spent some time avoiding the seaweeds floating with the changing currents. But we had a good time because… well, we chose to. Almost feels like family, LRO.

Had dinner at Bing’s house where we had all of Naga’s best food. She bought Crispy Sisig from Starmark, Chicken from Bigg’s, and Barbeque from the Plaza. Yum!




Almost Caramoan






Bathing (Survivor Style)


Monday to Wednesday

Back to reality, back to work. But work that day meant facilitating a Leadership/Strat Planning session in one of our school beneficiaries in Lagonoy, Cam Sur. The school I went to was nestled between mountain ranges. No electricity, and the running water was provided by mountain spring alone. It was beautiful, only too dang inconvenient. I feel for the people who live there. They sleep at 6 p.m., for crying out loud. They’d rather conk out than spend precious pesos on gasoline for their lamps. It’s nice to experience once in a while, but I will not survive a month in Bolo.

Thursday

Back home. TV. Light bulbs. Electric Fan. My bed!!!